How to Send Amazing Birthday Emails (With Examples)

Who doesn’t love getting a birthday email? Ok, perhaps those who are worried about getting older. 

But we’re willing to bet that most of your customers would just adore receiving a birthday email to celebrate another successful circumnavigation of the sun.

And here's the thing - birthday emails aren’t just an awesome way to delight customers. They’re also a powerful tool to increase your sales.

Because when your birthday offer meets your customers' heightened desire to treat themselves, you better believe you’re going to generate a few extra sales.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • How birthday emails work
  • How to design a birthday email template
  • How to write birthday email copy that converts
  • How to collect customer birthdays and run your campaign on auto-pilot

Sounds good? Let’s jump in.

What are Birthday Emails & Why You Should Send Them?

Let’s begin by defining what we mean by birthday emails and discuss a few reasons why you need to send them today.

What is a Birthday Email?

In the realm of eCommerce, a birthday email is an automated marketing email sent on your customer’s birthday. Here's an example from loomi:

a birthday email example from ecommerce brand loomi

Birthday emails typically highlight the occasion and congratulate your customer on their milestone. More often than not, birthday emails contain a special promotion to celebrate the day.

Some examples of birthday email promotions are:

  • A discount on a selection of personalized recommendations
  • A free gift or mystery gift with a purchase to boost CTR
  • A nice perk like free shipping to celebrate the day

Like regular birthday cards, birthday emails are usually designed in bright, attention-grabbing colors. The tone is light and humorous.

Such emails increase customer loyalty and retention. But the primary reason for sending them is to encourage customers to return to your store and treat themselves with a purchase!

Why You Should Send Birthday Emails

If you’re like most eCommerce retailers, you likely start with ‘why?’ - ‘why should you send birthday emails at all?’

Well, the reason is that birthday emails are one of the simplest marketing automations you can set-up.

And once you automate your birthday collection and emails, you don’t have to think about it again. It will continue to run (and scale with you) in the background, bringing in more sales without lifting a finger.

And birthday emails work. In fact they’re one of the most powerful forms of email marketing you can set-up. For example, think about these birthday email statistics from Experian:

  • A 481% higher transaction rate than promotional emails.
  • A 342% higher revenue per email than promotional emails.
  • A 179% higher unique click rates than promotional emails.

Pretty impressive, right?

So, let’s keep going and figure out how you can add birthday email automations to your business today. Beginning with how to collect your customer’s birthday information in the first place.

How to Collect Customers Birthday Email Information

To send birthday emails, the first thing you’ll need is to know when your customers’ birthday’s is. So, how do you collect this information? Let’s look at a few strategies

1. Collect customer birthday information on your thank you page

The easiest way to automate birthday collection is to add a birthday sign-up widget to your thank you page. So, when your customers completes an order, they’ll see a widget like this:

Pretty cool, right?

If you’re on Shopify, you can easily do this with ReConvert. So, head over to the app store, install the app (it’s got a free trial), and then follow these simple steps.

  1. Go to your Thank you page builder.
  1. Select customize to open the thank you page builder
  1. In the left area or right area menu , select add section, and click Birthday collector widget

  1. Use the widget editor to customize the design and text of your widget so it matches your branding

Next you’ll want to integrate your birthday collector widget with your email marketing software. 

This allows you to automatically pass customer birthday information into your birthday email flow - which we’ll create in a moment.

You can seamlessly integrate ReConvert with the following email marketing software providers:

Click on the platform you use for further instructions on how to integrate your widget with your email service provider (it’s super easy!)


2. Collect birthday emails from your existing subscriber list

Your existing subscriber list is also a great place to retrospectively gather birthday information. 

Send a ‘Tell us your birthday’ email. Just tell your customers that you want to put their birthday in the calendar (and send them something special on the day). Here’s an example from watch brand Timex:

To increase your conversion rate, set up a three email sequence. Create a conditional split for customers who didn’t open or click on the first and second email.

It’s also a good idea to add a birthday collection email to any of your existing flows. To do this, add a conditional split trigger to check the birthday value

If it’s empty, send an email to remind someone to provide a Birthday.  This would work great in your welcome email series or your post purchase series, if you’re those running.

3. Use social media & pop-ups to collect customer birthday information

You can also encourage your social followers to share their birthday information. The great thing about this is that many of your followers might not yet be customers. 

And a well-designed birthday email can be all it takes to move them from prospective shopper to paying customer.

To do this - create a dedicated web page, with an embedded sign-up form. Then, drive people to that page from your website or social media accounts. 

Post on your accounts promoting your birthday offer to tempt followers to sign up. You can also run a non-birthday related giveaway, where entering a date of birth gains an additional entry. This is a nice way to collect birthday information as an adjunct to your existing campaigns.

You can also experiment with collecting birthday information via a pop-up on your website. You can offer customers 10% off their purchase +  a special birthday gift in exchange for their email and date of birth. This approach can help drive initial sales, and then repeat sales when the customer's birthday rolls around.

How to Design Your Birthday Email

Now that you have some ideas for how to collect birthday email information, let’s talk about the design of the email itself.

Since a birthday is a celebration, you want a design that reflects that. Think big, bold and attention grabbing. 

Now, most email marketing softwares have pre-built birthday templates like this one from Klaviyo:

And while this is ok as a base for your design, you do want to customize things so they feel a little less generic. 

At the bottom of the post, we’ll look at several excellent birthday email examples - but for now, here’s three tried and tested principles for birthday email design:

1. Get in the birthday spirit

Your birthday email design should be playful and light. It’s a party after all so see it as the perfect opportunity to showcase the more fun-loving side of your brand.

You can incorporate elements of a birthday party into your email design - think cake, candles, balloons and all that jazz. It’s also okay to stray a little from your usual brand guidelines - think of it like fancy dress for your emails.

Case in point: this birthday email from Puma - which holds very little resemblance to their original branding - with the exception of the logo confetti action:

While we really like this birthday email design, it has one flaw. The CTA is too small and doesn’t stand out enough. And if opened on mobile, it looks like it’s pretty easy to accidentally land on their YouTube page too. So, on that note, let’s move onto our next point.

2. Put the focus on your CTA

As with all emails, your birthday email needs to have a clear call to action. It’s important that your call to action is in a highly contrasted color to its background.

Plus, you also need sufficient white space surrounding it so that it stands out and is the obvious action for readers to take.

For example, this birthday email from Nike has a CTA which stands clear and on it’s own.

We also like how they opt for a ‘birthday month’ as opposed to a single day. This strategy would be especially powerful if the birthday discount expires after one month - and Nike follows up with an email reminding customers to use their discount before it’s too late.

3. Use Birthday GIFs

GIFs are a great way to add visual interest to your birthday emails and make them more engaging.

Don’t be afraid to add GIFs to your birthday email template - they’re fun and light-hearted which is in-line with the celebratory theme. For example, here’s how Nine Lives Bazar uses gifts in their birthday emails:

an example of a birthday email using a gif to increase engagment

How to Write Your Birthday Emails

Now that you have a strategy for collecting customer birthday information, and a few ideas for how to design your birthday email template, let’s discover how to write your emails.

1. Write a birthday-themed subject line

We all know how important subject lines are. Seriously, without a good subject line, the rest of your birthday email is in vain.

Brevity is key for subject lines. But it's also important to make them intriguing and relevant to encourage recipients to open the email.

It’s also a good idea to include your promotion, and some emojis if you can. Here’s some sample subject lines for your inspiration:

  • "🎁 Happy Birthday, [Name]! Your Gift Awaits 🎉"
  • "🎂 Celebrate Today: Get 20% Off!"
  • "🥳 Special Day = Exclusive Savings!"
  • "🎉 Discover Your Gift Inside!"
  • "🎁 Your Exclusive Birthday Offer 🎈"
  • "🎊 [Name]'s Day: Enjoy 30% Off!"
  • "🎈 It's [Name]'s Special Birthday!"
  • "🥳 [Name]'s Big Day: Unveil Your Gift 🎂"
  • "🎂 Unwrap Your Gift! Celebrate 🎉"
  • "🎁 Claim Your Birthday Surprise Now 🎈"
  • "🎊 Exclusive: [Name]'s Birthday Gift Inside!"
  • "🎂 Cheers to You, [Name]! Enjoy Your Day!"
  • "🎉 [Name], Your Birthday Surprise Awaits!"
  • "🎁 It's Party Time! Your Birthday Gift Inside!"
  • "🎂 Enjoy [Discount]% Off on Your Birthday!"

While these are a good starting point - they’re probably a little generic. So don’t be afraid to sprinkle in some of your own brand voice and personality when using them.

2. Make it personal & memorable

Think about the best birthday cards you’ve received. They’re usually memorable because they're personalized, right?

So, incorporate this principle in your birthday emails. Seriously, just because you’re using automation, doesn’t mean that your birthday emails have to feel insincere. 

Use merge tags to add special details about your customers. Use smart product recommendations to suggest relevant items that they might like. 

Maybe even get your customers birthday wrong on purpose and make an excuse for it like Need Supply does on their birthday email:

See how this unconventional approach feels a lot more human? 

Plus, it’s also likely that you’re not the only brand sending your customer birthday emails. Need Supply’s email bypasses the flurry of emails from other brands (as well as the real-world commotion of a birthday) and stands out from the crowd.

The idea here is to get your creative juices flowing. Ask how you can make your birthday email more memorable. Remember, generic birthday emails are not what we’re after.

3. Keep it brief

On your birthday, it’s nice to get a heartfelt message from a loved one. 

But a similar message from a brand? It doesn’t hit the same.

As you’ve seen with the birthday email examples we’ve shared so far, all of them are brief. 

There’s no need to write an extended letter of appreciation. Just include the basics:

  • Happy birthday!
  • We’re so happy to celebrate with you
  • Here’s your offer
  • Caim it before it’s too late
  • Go get it now!

Remember, refine your message. Keep it short and sweet. 

5 More Birthday Email Examples to Learn From

Ok, let’s quick fire through a couple more birthday examples to get your creative juices flowing.

1. The half birthday email example

Here’s a clever birthday email idea from drinks retailer Drizly. Instead of sending an email on the customers birthday, they send it at the customers ‘half-birthday’ - i.e. 6 months before their next birthday.

A birthday email example from drizly

It's a pretty funny email copywise - ‘we’re gonna get you half a cake, half a present and half a clown’ - is sure to get a chuckle from the readers.

Plus, nobody celebrates a half birthday - so this email would definitely stand out and make you giggle. And at the same time - it’s not competing with other brands' emails on their actual birthday.

The message here is to think outside the box - how else can you use your customers' birthday information to tailor your marketing and move them closer to your brand?

2. The company birthday email example

So far, we’ve discussed celebrating your customers' birthdays. But you can also send birthday emails to celebrate your brand’s birthday. Here’s an example from probiotics brand Jeston:

While a company milestone email isn't as personalized,  you don’t need to collect any customer data to send these. It’s a simple way to run a promotional campaign and invite your customers to share in your success.

3. The free gift birthday email

You don’t always have to offer a discount in your birthday emails. Sometimes a free gift does the trick as is the case in this email from coffee company Dutch Bros:

This email incorporates all the elements of good design:

  • A birthday themed image
  • Short, on-brand copy
  • A clear CTA
  • Subtle urgency

While it’s unlikely that this email generates a large amount of revenue for Dutch Bros - it’s still a nice way to build loyalty and get shoppers in the door with a free gift on the customers special day.

4. The super simple birthday email

H&M sends very simple birthday emails to their customers. In this example, you can see they offer 25% off any item.

Now, H&M could easily improve this email by adding a couple of relevant product suggestions. They know what other items I’ve purchased after all. Additionally, they could add an expiry date for my discount to nudge me to buy something.

But overall, it goes to show that you don’t need to completely optimize your birthday campaigns to make sales and build customer loyalty. Which leads us nicely to our next example:

5. The Template Sensation Birthday Email

Here’s an email from travel company Selina - and by the looks of things they’re using a super simple template (possibly from Klaviyo)

The thing is - this email still works. They haven’t spent time or resources creating a completely optimized email. And they're a company valued at over a billion dollars in 2022.

So this tells us that an unoptimized birthday email campaign that’s live will produce infinitely better results than a never-perfect campaign that sits in draft.

In other words - start now! You can always study the data and optimize as you go. Get something live and start generating more sales right now.

4 Basic Birthday Email Templates to Copy

If you’re stuck on what to write in your birthday emails, don’t worry. Below we’ve provided four basic birthday email templates you can use.

Each one follows a different promotional theme - depending on what you want to offer costumes. Remember to customize them so they match your brand and resonate with your loyal fans.

Birthday Email Template 1: Personalized Discount

Subject Line: 🎉 Happy Birthday, [Name]! Enjoy 20% Off Your Special Day! 🎂

Hi [Name],

Happy birthday from all of us at [Your Brand]! 🎈🎉 To celebrate your special day, we're excited to offer you an exclusive 20% discount on your next purchase. Treat yourself to something you've had your eye on or discover new favorites from our collection.

Use code BDAY20 at checkout to claim your discount. But hurry, this offer is valid for the next 7 days only!

Shop Now

We hope your day is filled with joy and celebration.

Best wishes,

The [Your Brand] Team

Birthday Email Template 2: Fee Gift

Subject Line: 🎂 Happy Birthday, [Name]! A Gift to Brighten Your Day! 🎁

Hello [Name],

Wishing you a fantastic birthday filled with happiness and laughter! 🎉 As a token of our appreciation for being a valued member of the [Your Brand] family, we've prepared a special gift just for you.

Click below to reveal your birthday surprise:

Claim Your Gift

Thank you for choosing [Your Brand] for your [product category] needs. Your support means the world to us!

Warmest wishes,

The [Your Brand] Team

Birthday Email Template 3: Exclusive Early Access

Subject Line: 🎉 Happy Birthday, [Name]! Celebrate with Early Access! 🎈

Hello [Name],

Happy birthday from the [Your Brand] family! 🎂 To kick off your birthday month in style, we're giving you an exclusive gift: early access to our upcoming [New Collection/Product] before anyone else!

Explore the latest [New Collection/Product] and be the first to snag your favorites before they're officially launched. As a special bonus, enjoy free shipping on your early access order.

Start Shopping

Thank you for being a part of our journey. Your support means everything to us!

Cheers to you,

The [Your Brand] Team

Birthday Email Template 4: Create-A-Bundle Birthday Special

Subject Line: 🎁 Happy Birthday, [Name]! Make a Birthday Bundle & Save! 🛍️

Hi [Name],

Warmest wishes on your special day from [Your Brand]! 🎉 We're thrilled to celebrate with you by offering a unique opportunity to create your own birthday bundle.

Choose any [Number] items from our [Product Categories] collection and enjoy [Percentage] off your entire bundle. Mix and match your favorites to curate a personalized birthday treat just for you.

Start Bundling

Thank you for being a part of the [Your Brand] community. Here's to another year of great memories and amazing moments!

Best regards,

The [Your Brand] Team

Remember to customize these templates with your brand's voice, details, and specific offers. The key is to make the recipient feel valued and appreciated on their special day while also offering them an enticing reason to engage with your eCommerce store.

Start Sending Awesome Birthday Emails Today

In conclusion, birthday emails are not just a delightful way to celebrate customers but also a powerful tool for increasing sales. 

Start by collecting customer birthday information through post-purchase pages, existing subscriber lists, social media, and pop-ups. 

Then design a birthday email template that reflects the celebratory mood, incorporating personalized touches, and focusing on clear calls to action.

Use the birthday email examples and templates provided to help you create a super effective campaign. 

Once you set up your birthday email campaign, you’ll automatically connect with customers on their special days and drive meaningful engagement and sales for your brand.


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