Street Walking: Happy Birthday

If you ask your customers for certain personal information at the point of sale, one of the pieces of information you should request is their birthday. Having your customers’ birthdays will give you a legitimate reason to contact them and present them with special offers. It could also do a lot to create customer loyalty.

For example, we recently received an email from The Little Gym wishing one of our children a happy birthday.

Now, this email is certainly better than doing nothing, but they could have done so much more with it. People love getting gifts on their special day, so why not include some sort of special offer?

The parents of the child are the ones receiving the email so by giving them a special offer, The Little Gym may have solved the problem of what to get your child for his or her birthday. And the thing is, we were looking for a class for our child to attend at the time. If they included a special offer, we might have been a return customer.  Lost opportunity.

The Little Gym certainly isn’t the only company that drops the ball on tying in special offers to their customers’ birthdays, anniversaries or other special days. This happens all too frequently, and is really inexcusable when you already have the data.

How do you tie in special offers to your customers’ birthdays, anniversaries, etc.?

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Street Walking is a weekly series that includes a photo showing poor marketing, exceptional marketing or something in between. If you have a marketing example you saw on the street that you’d like us to include in a future post, you can submit your photo here.

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  1. Jason, thanks SO much for putting this out there. I totally agree that these emails are such a good tool but if you’re not actually providing anything of value to the customer then it can have the opposite effect leaving the customer with the feeling that you don’t really care or that you wasted their time. And, unfortunately, in these cases even if you get an A for the thought and heart being in the right place, if the execution fails, it’s the same result as if you did something terrible…a lost customer. Positive, valuable engagement is where it’s at!

    • Hi Holly, thank you for your comment. Why bother sending a Birthday message if you aren’t going to include some sort of coupon, free gift or special offer? It’s a waste of resources and a waste of data.

  2. Good Info Jason,

    We put the first day we are engaged by a client into our CRM. Every year on that day we send them (snail mail) a birthday card, thanking them as well. A few clients loved it so much we are now doing it for them for their clients.

    It is a simple gesture and may sound corny but we have found people truly value the simple corny good will when it is sincerely practiced. The snail mail also creates a feeling of commitment over the “typical” email template.

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment Bill.

      I love using snail mail…still has so much more impact than an email does. But regardless of the method, when you have data, like the first time you were engaged by a client, you should be using it as a reason to contact them.

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