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When your customers shop with you online, they’re probably not expecting you to show up on their doorstep with balloons, cake and bubbly for their birthday. We know you value your customers and they think you’re great, but – well that type of response from you might be a little weird.

So how do you celebrate your valued customer’s birthday in the E-commerce world?

With a Happy Birthday email, that’s how.

What is a Happy Birthday Email?

It’s simply an automated email that you send to a customer on your email list to wish them a Happy Birthday and give them a gift. This email is usually sent on their birthday or in the days leading up to their birthday.

Being able to send this type of email obviously relies on you knowing your customer’s birth date – which means you need a way of collecting this information from them.  This can be done in an after-purchase email or when running a competition for example.  Consider your own email marketing sequence and order process to determine the best way to ask for your customer’s birth date.

The email and the gift that you send are a thoughtful personal touch that serve to deepen the relationship with your customer by making them feel valued.

But the gift will also be a way to increase revenue in your business when you use it as an incentive for your customer to head to your E-commerce store and go shopping.

Are Happy Birthday Emails Effective?


Salesforce research shows that 75% of businesses that send Happy Birthday emails rate them as very effective. And here are some more impressive stats to show you why you need to be sending this email to your customers (from

  • 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

What makes a great gift for your customer’s birthday?

The first thing to keep in mind is that you’re celebrating something special by sending this email – your customer’s birthday and the relationship you have with them.  This means the actual email itself should stand out as being special. Whilst your emails should always be ‘on-brand’, design this email to be fun and celebratory. Get creative with the look of it and also with the subject line. Make it irresistible to your customer.

Your next consideration is what to gift your customer. Here are some suggestions to inspire you:

  • An incentive coupon.  An example would be $20 or 20% off for spending over $100
  • A free gift or free gift with purchase
  • A discount code that they can use for any purchases throughout the month of their birthday
  • Free shipping
  • 1 month’s free subscription if you sell subscription boxes
Happy Birthday Email Kikki K

Our top tips for getting the most out of Birthday Emails:

Personalise the email!

We recommend using your customer’s name wherever you can in an email and even the subject line.  So make sure you’re using those merge tags (personalisation tags) in your automated birthday email – this could mean the difference between your email being opened or left unread in your customer’s inbox.

Make it clear what you’re offering.

Make your discount, offer or gift stand out within the email so it’s very clear that you’re giving your customer something special for their birthday. And make it super easy for them to redeem the offer.

Track the results to determine the best time to send your Birthday emails.

According to Campaign Monitor 55% of birthday emails are sent on the exact birth date. About 38% of birthday emails are sent one to three weeks prior to the birthday to give the recipient time to purchase. Track your results with Birthday emails so you can send them at the optimal time for your ideal customers.

Send a reminder.

According to Experian, reminder emails increase the open rate, click through, average order value and revenue per email by up to 20%. When setting up your automation for your Birthday email campaign make sure you include an email to remind your subscriber to redeem their gift if they haven’t done so by a certain date.

Need a hand?

Happy Birthday emails are a relatively easy email to include within your email marketing, as long as you’ve collected your customer’s birthday upfront. And as you can see, it’s worth doing as the Happy Birthday email is proven to be an effective way to show your customers what they mean to you and increase sales for your business.  If you need help with your email marketing, we would love to hear from you.

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