The birthday email program has a few goals / benefits.

Mainly it’s to make the individual feel like we really know who they are and we’re mindful of their birthday.

A massive secondary benefit of a birthday email program is the brand advocacy that comes with the treat or reward from the birthday offer / reward. The subscriber is unlikely to unsubscribe from the email marketing program when they receive such a great reward every year on their birthday.

We have some companies in Australia doing a great job with their birthday email programs. If you have a chance sign up to Boost juice, where you get to redeem a free Boost juice drink on your birthday. Additionally, Hoyts provide a free movie ticket on your birthday. These rewards have been known to change the subscribers attitude, loyalty and longevity of their subscription (less likely to unsubscribe). This is really significant for any business with an email marketing program.


Depending on the offer that will be included within the email, it’s generally best to send a “Justine, it’s your birthday soon” type email 2 weeks before the birthday. This should include the valid offer. This will enable the individual to plan for an event such at attending the cinema, or allow the person to purchase your product prior to their birthday.

For example, a retailer selling women’s shoes may want to send an offer such as “We want you to look great on your birthday – Here’s a 20% off voucher just for you”.

On the date of the birthday an email should be sent to congratulate / wish a happy birthday, then also remind of the pending offer.

Open Rates:

Second to the Welcome email, the birthday email is the program with the next highest open rate.

It’s a significant email and with a personalized subject line can achieve a 60% – 110% open rate.


The content for a birthday email needs to be birthday themed, a cake works really well, or some sparkles, if there is a relevant product shot or offer shot this could also be used in the artwork.

The message should be kept simple, and the theme and offer should be over-arching.


When implementing a birthday program, you need to be committed.

You can’t start and stop a birthday program. Once you implement this program you need to continue. This is because subscribers will continue to expect this nice reward on or around their birthday.

Offer Code Maintenance

Artwork and offer codes need to be maintained on an ongoing basis.

  • Refresh the artwork for the birthday email on an annual basis. Even if the offer, copy and all other content remains the same, the artwork should reflect a new design to keep the email looking fresh and current.
  • The use of promotional codes within a birthday email is fantastic, However, remember that these need to be updated on a regular basis. Some businesses will do this monthly others fortnightly. This is to ensure that subscribers don’t use an open ended birthday voucher code for all their purchases throughout the year. You’ll loose significant revenue if you don’t manage these promotional codes and maintain the emails correctly.

We recommend using a good email platform that will allow easy ongoing maintenance of these promotional codes.

We have seen lots of wonderful birthday emails over the past 5 years, below is a selection of some of our favourites;

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