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7 Design Tips for Birthday Emails

7 Design Tips for Birthday Emails

Do you send birthday emails to your customers? Birthdays offer a great opportunity for engagement. Readers love to know you’re thinking of them. And they’re always on the lookout for good deals, especially when it’s their special day!

According to Experian, birthday emails are high-performing email campaigns:

  • Birthday emails have a 481% higher transaction rate than promotional emails.
  • Birthday emails generate 342% higher revenue per email than promotional emails.
  • Birthday emails have 179% higher unique click rates than promotional emails.

Seize the opportunity to associate people’s feel-good moments with your brand. Here are our top 7 tips for designing a memorable birthday email.

Birthdays offer a great opportunity for engagement. Seize the opportunity to associate people's feel-good moments with your brand. Click To Tweet

Tip #1: Update your calendar

First things first: If you don’t know your subscribers’ birthdays, you need to figure that out. Send a quick email to your customers asking for their birthday so you can send them a special gift. People like free stuff, so most readers will be motivated to open this email and check it out. We like this bright red example from Shiseido advertising a birthday bonus:

birthday email example

Or take your cue from this cheerful Origins Online email promising a free treat.

email to collect customer birthday

However you collect your subscribers’ birthdays, do it in a way that’s festive and fun. And when their birthday comes around, deliver what you promised you would.

Tip #2: Do something different (with color)

Birthdays are an opportunity to do something out of the ordinary with your email design. But “out of the ordinary” doesn’t have to mean complex or costly. Changing the color scheme of the email, for example, is a simple way to show the reader that the day (and the email) is special.

Rent the Runway typically uses minimalistic, pastel colors in its emails, something like this:

marketing email example from rent the runway

This birthday email from Rent the Runway is similar, but just different enough to make you look twice. The colors are still understated. But they manage to be a little more festive at the same time.

happy birthday email to customer

Brands often rely on product images and graphics to make a statement in emails, but color is a simple way to liven up a message—without throwing off your image-to-text ratio or increasing your email size. Plus, HTML colors render across all inboxes (unlike images), take up less than one line of code, and are easy to set up. (To learn more, check out our workshop tutorial to learn more on how to use HTML colors alongside images in email.)

Tip #3: Address your reader by first name

Birthday emails should be personal. After all, it’s the recipient’s special day. One way to connect with birthday recipients is by using their name in the email. Here’s an example from Columbia:

personalized birthday email

Not only is the recipient’s name included, but it stands out. When the email is opened, the reader’s eyes are likely to land on her name, which will make her more inclined to continue reading.

Tip #4: Make your promotion super easy to read

Many brands offer readers a birthday promotion—a gift that encourages them to continue shopping the brand. But don’t make readers hunt to find the deal! If one is being offered, put it front and center. This birthday email from Steak ‘n Shake does just that.

colorful birthday email

Thanks to the giant image of a delicious milkshake that takes up almost the entire email, it’s pretty clear what you’re being offered. Plus, the text at the bottom is large, which makes reading a breeze.

Tip #5: Choose the best CTA button color

Okay, there’s isn’t always a “best” CTA button color — but if we had to choose, it might be blue. An analysis from Really Good Emails showed that more emails had a blue CTA button than any other color. One reason may be because blue is popular as a favorite color among men and women, according to research by Joe Hallock. Help Scout visualizes those stats:

Men Women favorite colors CTA button color

When we saw this email from Curology, not too much stood out in terms of design. But our eyes were immediately drawn to the blue CTA.

simple birthday email to customer

Blue is the brand’s color, but it also stands out really well against the white background. And the CTA button is a nice tap-friendly size.

Tip #6: Send more than one email

One way to help increase engagement for your birthday email is to send more than one. A single email can get lost—especially because people tend to be busy on their birthdays. Creating a simple email stream increases your opportunity to connect. Chili’s did just that. A week prior to the recipient’s birthday, they sent a simple email inviting the reader to “Celebrate with us!” Then, on the actual birthday, they sent this email — with the same image, same CTA button and slightly modified text:


birthday email example

These two emails show that birthdays are a perfect opportunity to set up a drip campaign — a marketing strategy that uses a series of automated emails to stay connected with subscribers. Sending an email a week or month before a reader’s birthday could be a clever tactic to grab attention instead of only sending birthday emails on the actual day.

Tip #7: Automate your birthday emails 

Automation is an essential tool for any email marketer’s toolbox. And when it comes to birthday content, automation is even more important. Unlike other holidays, birthdays are scattered over the entire year. While you might be emailing all of your customers on Christmas Day, keeping track of hundreds or thousands of birthdays is just about impossible.

Get around this time-sucking problem by automating your birthday emails. Email service providers (ESPs) like MailChimp and Constant Contact offer automation options that are perfect for customer birthdays. And when you use the BEE email editor, you can design HTML emails using our templates and then push those messages over to an ESP with just one click. What’s not to love?

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Wrap up: Birthday email templates

Design birthday emails for your customers with BEE’s drag-and-drop HTML email editor. Then automate your birthday email content so it sends without a second thought. Get started with our free email templates today!

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3 birthday emails


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BEE Team