As humans, we all have this innate desire to feel special. That’s the reason we love sticking around with people and brands that make us feel valued and appreciated.
Your customers are no different. And if you’re looking to make your customers feel the same way, what better time to do it than on their birthdays?
Sending heartfelt birthday emails is a brilliant marketing strategy, as it can help brands make their customers feel special. In fact, you’ll be shocked to know that birthday emails have a 481% higher transaction rate than promotional emails, making it a highly effective marketing strategy.
To help you craft birthday emails that make your customers go wow, I’ve compiled a list of nine of the most creative birthday email examples for inspiration.
So, without further ado, let’s dive straight into them.
Table Of Contents
9 happy birthday emails that steal the show
Subject Line: 🎂 Healthy birthday, Smiles Davis!
Withings is a French consumer electronics company that creates health-focused products like blood pressure monitors, smartwatches, sleep analyzers, and thermometers, just to name a few.
There are so many reasons why I love this birthday email from Withings.
First of all, I love the way they have used the birthday cake emoji in the subject line to convey a celebratory tone, followed by “Healthy birthday, Smile Davis,” – which not only makes it feel personalized but also highlights Withings’ focus on promoting a healthy lifestyle.
💡 Note: Whether you should use emojis in your subject lines or not is a topic of debate among email marketers, our 2023 Email Marketing report indicates that it’s not always the best choice to do so. Don’t get me wrong – using emojis can genuinely help you increase your open rates, but make sure you’re adding them only if they’re relevant and can be of value. Most importantly, don’t overdo it. And if you’re confused about whether you should add emojis to your birthday email subject lines or not, you can just run an A/B test to find out.
The email starts off with a ‘Happy Birthday Recipient’ message followed by a cute celebratory illustration. It continues with a message of encouragement and congratulates the recipient on making another trip around the sun – super-creative.
Withings takes no time to offer the recipient a $30 OFF coupon as a birthday gift, making him/her feel valued and appreciated. This is followed by the company featuring different products relevant to the recipient’s health, like ScanWatch, Body Cardio, BPM Connect, Thermo, and Sleep.
But it doesn’t even feel promotional. What I love about this email the most is how smartly Withings highlights the importance of taking care of oneself while also putting its health-focused products front and center. The brand has done an outstanding job at showcasing that they genuinely care about their customers’ well-being.
2. Forever 21
Subject Line: Happy Birthday Kiran! Enjoy 30% Off! ✨
If you’re looking for a simple, sweet, yet effective birthday email example, you need to check out the one rolled out by Forever 21. Forever 21 is a fashion retailer that offers men’s, women’s, and kids’ clothing and accessories.
First of all, I love the subject line so much as it immediately greets the recipient (Kiran Shahid) with a personalized birthday wish and entices her with a special 30% OFF offer as a birthday gift.
The email is visually appealing with a colorful background and a BIG “Happy Birthday, Treat Yourself to 30% OFF” message in the center. Also, the birthday cake looks so delicious – even though it’s just an image.
Another thing I love about this email is that the promo code has been put in front of the recipient front and center. Rather than hiding it behind a link or making the recipient search for it, the promo code has been displayed in bold letters. The expiry date has also been clearly mentioned, making it easy for the recipient to know how long they have to use the offer.
3. Pizza Hut
Subject Line: Good job being born. Time to celebrate.
Kevin James once said, “There’s no better feeling in the world than a warm pizza box in your lap.”
People close to me know how much I love pizza. But don’t let my love for pizza think you I’m biased. Trust me when I tell you – this email from Pizza Hut is one of the best birthday emails I have ever seen.
Just like the one rolled out by Forever 21, Pizza Hut’s birthday email is simple, sweet, yet effective. What I love the most about this email is how good the design is. Like seriously, the muffin goes so well with the black background.
Also, the subject line is unique and attention-grabbing as it uses a playful and lighthearted tone to acknowledge the recipient’s birthday. The phrase “Good job being born” is a humorous and fun way to acknowledge the recipient’s birthday.
Offering free cinnamon sticks with their next order on their birthday is a great way to show the recipient that they are valued and appreciated. Alongside this, it’s a great way to encourage them to make a purchase and celebrate their birthday with Pizza Hut.
Even though offering free cinnamon sticks may feel like a small gesture, it shows that Pizza Hut cares about its customers and are willing to make the extra effort to make their birthdays feel special.
Overall, this email stands out because of its playful tone, simple yet effective design, and thoughtful offer.
Subject Line: A birthday gift from us, Smile Davis-10% OFF.
People love Nike. There’s no doubt about that.
And when they see their favorite sports brand sending them a happy birthday email and moreover giving them a 10% OFF, they’re likely to feel even more connected. If you love Nike, it’s highly likely you won’t be able to stop yourself from opening this email.
By addressing the recipient (Smile Davis) by name in the subject line, Nike has done a brilliant job at creating a sense of connection and familiarity. This is followed by the preview text “Free Shipping, Get free shipping as a Nike Member,” – which adds even more value to the email by reminding the recipient of their membership status and offering them an additional perk.
There’s an image of Marko Cheseto in the center wearing a Nike T-Shirt – with HAPPY written on the left and BIRTHDAY on the right. It feels like Marko Cheseto himself is wishing the recipient a happy birthday (great job, Nike!).
Nike has done an incredible job at crafting the email with two calls to action – one to shop for men’s products and the other for women’s. Also, the 10% OFF on a purchase of $100 or more is an irresistible offer, encouraging the recipient to make a purchase and celebrate their birthday with one of the best sports brands in the world.
Also, to avoid any confusion, the email clearly tells the recipient how they can redeem their free gift, both online and offline. Last but not least, at the end of the email, you’ll see the message “Thanks for being with us,” – which is an incredible way to show appreciation and gratitude to the recipient on their birthday.
5. Aliens Tattoo
Subject Line: Your Birthday is Coming!!! – Aliens Tattoo
Aliens Tattoo is one of the most popular and preferred tattoo studios across several cities in India. As someone who has desperately been wanting to get a tattoo, this email encouraged me to finally make that decision and visit Aliens Tattoo.
This email by Aliens Tattoo isn’t exactly a birthday email, but instead, a Birthday month email that was rolled out to me seven days prior to my birthday.
The subject line clearly highlights my upcoming birthday, creating a sense of excitement. Also, it makes me feel special and valued as a customer. The email is written in a friendly tone with phrases like “We are so excited, excited more than you, hahahah!!!”
On top of this, the 15% birthday discount on any tattoo/piercing of my choice is an irresistible offer, considering the fact that getting a tattoo has been on my list for quite some time.
But the email doesn’t keep you hanging.
Aliens Tattoo has mentioned clear instructions on how to avail of this offer. Last but not least, the email also invites me to explore tattoo ideas either on their website or by physically visiting their studio for a free consultation. This shows that Aliens Tattoo is willing to invest its time and effort to help me make an informed decision.
The email is well-timed, as it was rolled out just about a week prior to my birthday, giving me enough time to make arrangements and plan my schedule accordingly.
Subject: Halfy birthday to you.
Drizly is an online alcohol marketplace that partners with retailers to offer wine, beer, and liquor delivery to customers. This email from Drizly is not technically a birthday email but instead a half-birthday email.
Honestly, I have never seen a brand celebrate a customer’s half-birthday. That’s the reason when Drizly’s customers see an email with the subject line “Halfy birthday to you,” on their half birthdays, they’re bound to open it.
They may not even know that it’s their half-birthday, but when they see a brand like Drizly taking the time to acknowledge and celebrate their half-birthday, it’ll create a positive and memorable experience for them.
Also, I love the humorous and playful nature of the email. I just couldn’t stop myself from laughing when I read, “To celebrate your half birthday, we were gonna get you half a birthday cake, half a present, and half a clown. It got weird.” Like seriously, it’s so good.
And even though Drizly hasn’t rolled out any special offer or offer in this email, the playful and humorous tone of the message helps Drizly build a warm and friendly relationship with their customers.
This email helps Drizly convey they care about their customers and want them to feel special.
7. Dutch Bros Coffee
Subject Line: Cheers to another year of being rad!
This email from Dutch Bros Coffee has all my heart.
Dutch Bros Coffee is a popular drive-through coffee chain in the US.
First of all, the subject line “Cheers to another year of being a rad” is so cool that it’s likely to catch the recipient’s attention immediately. It’s unique and upbeat.
Also, the email is well-formatted and visually appealing. One of the things I love about this email is how Dutch Bros Coffee has used an image of their coffee cup as a replacement for a muffin or a cake to celebrate the recipient’s birthday.
A huge salute to their branding efforts.
Furthermore, this email clearly puts the recipient in the spotlight by offering them a free birthday drink as their birthday gift, making them feel valued and appreciated. All the recipient needs to do is stop by their favorite Dutch Stand (that’s what they like to call it) to avail of their free drink.
Also, the call to action, “ENJOY A DRINK ON US!” is clear and straightforward. Overall, this email is an outstanding example of how to make a customer feel special on their birthday while also effectively promoting the brand and encouraging customer engagement.
Subject Line: 🎶Happy birthday to youuu
FitBit is a well-known American consumer electronics and fitness company. In my opinion, this email from FitBit is an outstanding example of a birthday email done right.
Firstly, the subject line consists of a festive emoji along with the phrase “Happy birthday to youuu,” – which manages to not only catch the recipient’s attention but also convey a sense of celebration. I love how they have used an image of a cake along with bold font and capital fonts to emphasize the festive tone.
I also love how playful the email is as it encourages the recipient to enjoy their birthday cake while promoting physical activity.
The best part isn’t even here yet.
What I loved the most was the personalization. The email includes the recipient’s name and age and provides useful information, such as tips and statistics (of other users who are the same age as the recipient) about their fitness progress. This is further followed by a call-to-action that encourages the recipient to check out their own stats. Overall, the email makes the recipient feel special and valued by the company while also promoting the brand’s message of healthy living.
Subject Line: What’s better than birthday cake?
Chipotle is an American chain of casual restaurants that specialize in tacos, bowls, burritos, salads, and several other dishes.
This email from Chipotle offers free chips and guac as a birthday gift to the recipient with a purchase of $5 or more.
I love how intriguing the subject line is as it asks the recipient, “What’s better than a birthday cake?” – making them feel curious enough to open the email. As soon as they do that, they are instantly provided with an answer – “Free Chips and Guac.”
Chipotle has used the image of chips and guac instead of a birthday cake in a smart way, allowing them to not only showcase their products but also reinforce the idea that they offer fresh, high-quality ingredients that are both delicious and healthy.
This email feels special as it acknowledges the recipient’s birthday by offering them a gift that can be redeemed throughout their birthday month.
These are some of the best birthday email examples I’ve ever come across. You can use them as inspiration to create results-driven birthday emails that make your customers go wow. To help you further, I have listed down a few best practices that you can take into consideration to get the most out of your birthday emails.
Best practices to create captivating birthday emails
Here are a few best practices you should consider to create captivating birthday emails for your business:
Personalize the subject line and message
Your customers are more likely to connect with an email that comprises their name vs. an email that doesn’t. So, it’s a good practice to include the recipient’s name in the subject line and inside the email message, especially if you’re wishing them on their birthdays.
However, it’s important to note that what works for one business doesn’t necessarily work for another. We recently discovered that personalization in email subject lines tends to be overused and doesn’t bring great results for some businesses. So, it’s a good practice to test the effectiveness of personalization in your email campaigns before implementing it extensively.
Send a birthday month email a week before their birthday
Your customers are probably going to be super-occupied during their birthday. And it’s highly likely they don’t get the chance to open your email (no matter how brilliantly you’ve crafted it.)
To increase the chances of your efforts getting noticed, you can send a series of emails just like Aliens Tattoo did above. Aliens Tattoo sent me a birthday month email a week prior to my birthday, followed by a birthday email on my actual birthday. You can do the same. Or you can also run a half-birthday email campaign similar to what Drizly did.
Add shoppable videos
Videos are powerful. There’s no denying that. Last year, we conducted a study in which we found out that just by featuring videos in your emails, you can increase your click-through and deliverability rates.
If you run an ecommerce store, you can take it one step further by embedding shoppable videos in your emails. Shoppable videos allow ecommerce businesses to deliver a seamless interactive, and immersive online shopping experience. This way, they can click on products within the video itself and purchase them directly without even leaving the video player.
There’s literally no way you can keep track of every customer’s birthday and send them an email on that day manually. That’s where automation comes into play. With an email marketing platform like GetResponse, you can create automated email workflows that trigger birthday emails to be sent automatically before, on, or after your customer’s birthday. And the best part is – you don’t have to start with a blank workspace in front of your screen. With hundreds of readily available templates to choose from, GetResponse makes it super-easy to run results-driven birthday email campaigns.
Follow up with a reminder
It’s highly likely your recipients will miss your first email or not be ready to act upon it right away. To maximize the chances of your recipients taking the desired action, consider following up with a reminder email X days after you initiate your first email. But while doing so, make sure you’re not overdoing it to the point that it becomes annoying or spammy.
Offer unique promo codes
The problem with generic promo codes is that they can easily be used by anyone on the internet, leading to widespread distribution. If you want to offer a birthday discount, you’re better off using unique promo codes (similar to how Withings and Forever 21 did it) as it will protect you from having your codes shared on the web and used by people whom you’re not looking to target.
Be creative about the gifts you offer
The whole point of running a birthday email campaign is to make a long-lasting impression and foster meaningful connections. However, you’ll struggle to do that if you offer generic and predictable gifts. To make a great impression and make sure your brand is at the top of your audience’s minds, it’s advisable to offer creative gifts like a personalized discount code, video message, or maybe gifting them a product that they have been meaning to purchase for so long yet weren’t able to do so.
The beautiful thing about automation is that you can keep expanding your campaigns to offer your subscribers a truly personalized experience.
After sending your birthday emails, you can follow up with another email asking your customers to leave a review or offer them other recommended products to incentivize the next purchase.
Alternatively, if you see that your birthday email didn’t convert, you can follow up with your audience via SMS or a web push message.
Best of all? All of this can be done automatically within the same workflow.
That being said, let’s learn how can send birthday emails in GetResponse.
How to send birthday emails in GetResponse
Now that you know what you should put into your birthday emails to make them resonate with your audience, it’s time to learn how to set them up in GetResponse.
Follow these six steps to start sending automated birthday emails to your audience in a matter of moments.
Note: If you need a more technical tutorial on how the GetResponse Marketing Automation works, check out this Help Center article.
Step I: If you don’t have a GetResponse account, the first step is to create one. However, if you already have an account, you can simply log in to your existing one. Getting started is free.
Step II. Collect birthday information
Before you can start sending birthday emails, you need to ensure you’re collecting customer birthdays and storing them in GetResponse.
The first thing you’ll want to do is to create a Custom field where this information will be stored. Go to Contacts > Custom fields > Create custom field.
Now name your custom field (e.g., birthday), choose the “date” type and “line of text.” When you’re ready, click save.
Pro tip: If you’re collecting signups using Forms and Popups or Website Builder, you’ll need to ensure this custom field is added to your forms.
And if you’re sending this data to GetResponse via an integration, double-check if the subscriber’s birthday information is passed along as well.
For more information on how to use custom fields in your forms and pages, check out this detailed tutorial.
Step III. Now it’s time to prepare your birthday campaign. Select “Tools” followed by “Automation” from the drop-down menu. Once you’re there, click on “Create workflow.”
Step IV: It’s time to create your first workflow. You can start from scratch or use one of the ready-made templates available in our library. If you’ve never done this before, I recommend choosing the “Birthday message” template.
Step V. It’s time to configure your workflow.
When you’re in the arena, click on the first block at the top and in its properties specify:
- Which occasion should be tracked – for this example, choose a custom field with the birthday date information
- When should the workflow start – before, on the day, or after the birthday date
- How often should the next step take place – every year
Once you’ve done this, click on the other blocks on the arena to create your birthday email, track any specific link clicks, and plan your followup email.
Unless you’re a designer, I recommend that you use one of the existing free birthday email templates you’ll find inside GetResponse. Pick any birthday email template you like, add your copy, customize the colors to match your branding, and you’re good to go.
Note: If you’d rather send a simple campaign, you can remove blocks 3 and 4 from this workflow.
Step VI. After configuring all the individual blocks, you’re now ready to hit save and publish.
Congratulations, your workflow is now live!
Starting today, you’ll celebrate your subscriber’s birthday with thoughtful and high-converting birthday emails.