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10 Engaging Birthday Email Examples + Strategies

10 Engaging Birthday Email Examples + Strategies

When it comes to making your customers feel special, nothing says “We’re glad you’re here” like a personalized birthday email.  Not only that, but they are great sources for driving up engagement and strengthening brand loyalty.

After all, who doesn’t love a freebie or a discount to spoil themselves with?

Whether you’re currently sending birthday emails or want to start, below you’ll find some of our best strategies for crafting and optimizing birthday messages that delight your recipients.

What is a Birthday Email?

Birthday emails are powerful automated email campaigns brands use to provide a more personalized customer experience. While on the surface, they might seem like a simple gesture to brighten your customer’s day. These emails are strategically crafted and inserted into every big e-commerce brand’s email marketing efforts. 

What is the Purpose of a Birthday Email?

Birthday emails have multi-purposes. While they are created to help celebrate a subscriber’s special day, they also drive up email engagement and brand loyalty. Here’s how: 

  • Deepen Subscriber Connection: A personalized birthday wish can strengthen the bond between a brand and its subscribers. A simple message can make your subscribers feel important, keeping you at the top of their minds the next time they purchase. 
  • Drive Sales: Exclusive birthday discounts or offers can incentivize subscribers to purchase. 
  • Boost Engagement: Birthday emails often see higher open and click-through rates than regular promotional emails.

Do Birthday Emails Work?

Absolutely! When it comes to engagement metrics, birthday emails are the party animals of the email marketing world. In fact, according to Experian, birthday emails generate “179% more clicks, 481% more transactions, and 342% more revenue per email.”

Our educated hypothesis is that everyone loves a little extra attention on their birthday, and when brands deliver that in the form of tailored offers and heartfelt messages, subscribers are more likely to engage (and buy)!

10 Happy Birthday Email Examples (and  their strategies)

Birthday emails are a unique blend of celebration and strategy; finding the right balance is important. We’ve scoured the email universe and handpicked 12 of the best birthday emails. Each example showcases a different approach, from heartwarming messages to irresistible offers. 

As we unwrap each one, you’ll discover what makes them stand out and drive results. By the end of this list, you’ll be brimming with ideas and ready to craft birthday emails that resonate and convert.

Make your offer stand out 

This birthday email example from Chipotle showcases a brilliant marketing strategy. The “Gift of Guac” is not only quirky and engaging but also entices the receiver with a tempting offer on one of Chipotle’s delicacies. Not only that, but the offer is applicable anytime during their birthday month, which promotes return visits.

In addition, the call-to-action button attracts the reader’s eye and offers clear instructions for the next steps.

chipotle birthday email example

Keep it Simple and Stay on Brand 

When it comes to birthday emails, Outdoor Voices nails it by embracing the beauty of simplicity. 

A common mistake with birthday emails is that it is really easy to go overboard. Outdoor Voices does a great job of embracing the “less is more” approach to design and copywriting, which aligns with their overall brand identity.

Another differentiating factor, when compared to Chipotle’s approach above, is that the offer is not the star of the email. Instead, the customer is. This strategy is great for strengthening connections with readers as they often feel less “sales-y. ”

Regardless, they do a great job of ensuring the offer is still noticed by adding an on-brand CTA that stands out.

Outfoor voice birthday email

Nike’s birthday email also beautifully embodies its athletic and dynamic brand essence. Featuring an athlete surrounded by playful hand-drawn elements, the email captures attention and reinforces Nike’s iconic image. The straightforward offer of a 10% discount on a $100 purchase, combined with the exclusive feel of ‘Member Access,’ effectively incentivizes the recipient to shop. 

nike birthday email example

Use a Humorous Approach

The following birthday email from Markiplier incorporates humor to create a memorable and light-hearted message. The message feels personable as it makes a joke about aging that a friend would make, yet emphasizes genuine appreciation. 

The offer for a discount on Markiplier store items adds an incentive to the comedic touch. If there’s a lesson here, it’s this: a good laugh can reel ’em in, but pairing it with a genuine offer? That’s the cherry on top!

Markiplier humorous birthday email example

Exclusivity For The Win

If you’re an avid Sephora shopper, you’ll know their birthday mini sets are (unfortunately) not curated for the individual; however, this email makes you feel like it is.

While using your reader’s name is a great example of personalization, in this case, it isn’t the star of the show.

Sephora’s unique layout, design, and use of high-quality images exude the feeling of “these were hand-picked just for you.” The use of supersized images
laid out was intentional to make these “minis” feel larger (and, in turn, more exclusive) than they are, which likely makes “Mary” feel special.

They also subtly hint with a subtitle that “Mary” is receiving this exclusive offer because they are part of their “beauty insider” program, further promoting the feeling of exclusivity and encouraging customer loyalty.

sephora beauty insider exclusive birthday email

Time Is Of The Essence? or Not? 

The following two emails offer a different approach to birthday offer expiration dates.

PixelBoosts offers a 30% discount to be redeemed within three days. Crafted for those looking to renew their subscriptions, this birthday email does a good job of blending the personal touch of a birthday email with a gentle nudge toward “stick around with us!”

PixelBoost birthday email example

On the other hand, the email below extends the festivities and gives the reader the entirety of their month to redeem their discount. The phrase “pick your own present” offers a sense of autonomy and personalization. 

birthday email campaign

There are pros and cons for both strategies.

While offering limited-time offers such as PixelBoost can be a great way to encourage urgency and conversion, finding the right time to send this email is important. According to Campaign Monitor, 55% of birthday emails are sent on the recipient’s birth date. For limited offers such as 3 days, the challenge comes with not knowing whether the recipient will open the email in time as they might be taking some much-needed R&R.

For birthday emails with a much longer deadline, while they offer recipients ample time to open and purchase, you risk them forgetting about your offer. In this case, reminder emails will be essential, turning birthday emails into birthday campaigns.

As always, we recommend testing and monitoring what works best for you and your organization.

Personalized Product Recommendations

According to Epsilon, “80% of consumers say they’re more willing to purchase when provided with a personalized experience.” While, a birthday email alone is a strong example of this, Rachel Jackson’s birthday email takes it one (or ten) steps further. 

While we usually see product recommendations being personalized with the power of dynamic content and consumer behavior, Rachael Jackson takes a unique, maybe simpler, but still impactful approach using the recipient’s birthstones. 

The use of high-quality images and meaningful descriptions engages the recipient to learn more about their birthstone, which only further helps promote the feeling that “this was made for me.” 

rachel jackson jewelry birthday emails

Use Interactive Elements 

When done right, videos, gifs, and polls are great ways to catch your readers’ attention and guide them toward the desired action.

While the email below is simple, the animated birthday cake and candle GIF catches the reader’s eye and embodies the essence of celebration, warmth, and festivity. Again, while simple, the GIF enhances the user experience, making the offer more enticing and the email more interactive.

animated birthday cake and candle GIF

Loyalty Points Boost

Simons’ birthday email effectively leverages a loyalty program by offering double points on the largest purchase made during the birthday month. The CTA “treat yourself” is strategically used to encourage a larger-than-usual purchase, possibly enticing the reader to buy something they might have been eyeing for a while. The double points incentivize the consumer as they are more willing to buy, knowing they will receive something in return.

Simon isn’t just sending out birthday wishes but making it a win-win for everyone.

simon birthday email

Best Practices for Engaging Birthday Email Campaigns

The best birthday emails are more than just a celebratory message; they’re an opportunity to deepen your connection with your subscribers. To make sure that your birthday wishes stand out in a crowded inbox, it’s important to follow some tried-and-true best practices. 

From creating an automatic birthday campaign to the art of the perfect call-to-action, here are our top secrets to crafting unforgettable birthday emails.

Automation is Your Birthday Campaign BFF

No one is to be left behind. Setting up an automated birthday campaign ensures subscribers feel acknowledged on their special day. It’s not just about convenience; it’s about consistency. 

Automation permits timely and personalized gestures that say, “We remember, and we care.”

Send More Than One Birthday Email 

One email is great, but why stop there? Celebrating a subscriber’s birthday isn’t just about the day itself; it’s about the anticipation and the afterglow. 

Start with a warm pre-birthday greeting, followed by the main birthday wish, and perhaps a gentle reminder or a thank-you note a day or two later. It’s a prolonged celebration that keeps the connection alive and makes your brand memorable.

Ensure a Smooth Redemption Process 

If you’re gifting your subscribers a birthday treat (and we highly recommend you do!), make the redemption process a breeze. The last thing you want is for them to jump through hoops on their special day. Whether it’s a discount code, a freebie, or exclusive access, ensure they can claim it effortlessly.

Part of this is ensuring a clear and compelling CTA. Whether you’re nudging them to shop a birthday sale, read a special message, or claim a gift, your CTA should stand out. 

Design Unforgettable Birthday Emails with Beefree

Whether it’s a heartfelt message, a special discount, or an exclusive offer, it is proven that birthday emails strengthen brand-consumer relationships. And with only 31% of retail email marketers sending birthday greetings, there’s a huge opportunity for you to stand out.

As shown above, playing with color, layouts, images, and interactive elements is the name of the game. And while it might seem challenging and time-consuming at first, it doesn’t have to be. 

With an intuitive drag-and-drop interface and a catalog of over 1,600 templates, Beefree makes designing birthday emails a piece of cake ;).

Not sure where to start? Try this free birthday email template.

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Emily Santos
Emily Santos

Emily Santos is a Content Specialist with experience as a Brand Strategist and Designer.