The 6 'happy birthday' emails I received

6 branded birthday messages I received on a recent birthday: ideas for media marketers.

Go to the profile of Fergus Gregory
Apr 10, 2017
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I got a year older again recently, and despite a recent 3rd party email opt-out binge in which I removed myself from a lot of marketers' lists, I'm still on enough mailing lists to receive birthday wishes from brands. This year I received a very manageable 6. So I thought I would do a rundown for the benefit of #mediamarketers everywhere!

In order of receipt:

1. The first in my inbox was from Asia Miles (time zone advantage of course), saying Happy Birthday and giving me an update on my balance and asking me to 'keep in touch'. I'm unlikely to actively do that: let's be clear, you aren't actually my friend.
2. Virgin Atlantic Rewards: a nice lady wishing me happy birthday - just a greeting no CTA - except to engage with the brand on social media. I'm not going to befriend or follow you, I'm afraid.
3. A Suit that Fits: a generous £100 gift voucher to spend on any suit or coat in the range with a personalised message from founder David Hathiramani. I've been consistently impressed with the email marketing from this team. They aren't afraid to experiment, they try to create relationships with the people behind the brand, and regularly use content to advise on gents' style.
4. Ikea: Happy Fodelsedag & £5 birthday voucher to spend in store with a link to 'find out what's going on in store'. I didn't click as I don't really care whats 'going on in store' (does anyone?) Perhaps some content would have encouraged me more?
5. PADI EMEA: happy birthday message and links to some content hidden down the email.
6. Heathrow Rewards: they entered me into their monthly birthday prize draw to win £100 of vouchers. First competition on the list and a good excuse for a follow up email to let me know the result.

Interestingly, from this list, and given the personal nature of a birthday wish, only one of the emails was sent as if it was from an actual person. We see time and again that people engage with people not brands, so maybe a personal approach would get you further

I would be interested to hear from the marketers out there on this point and please do share your branded birthday wish experiences good and bad!

Finally, I would like to thank all the marketers who sent birthday wishes, it's a nice touch and although I know it's all automated, and most came from brands not people, a human person did at some point think it would be a good thing to do!

Go to the profile of Fergus Gregory

Fergus Gregory

Advisor, Zapnito

I have 15 years' experience in commercial publishing businesses driving revenue and profit growth, specialising in advertising, event sponsorship and marketing-services funded models. Father to four kids and husband to an amazing wife, I made it to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, sold many solutions, solved many problems, learned from many mistakes. I've collaborated with many wonderful people and seen many wonderful places, for all these experiences I am forever grateful.

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