I had the joy of experiencing a birthday in September. Though at this point in my life, I don’t really like the idea as I have experienced so many of them, the alternative is not better. One of the things I did notice this year was the large number of birthday acknowledgments that I received from the businesses that I frequent.
Here are my observations:
- I really do appreciate these “best wishes”. Even though they are computer generated, it shows that the business is making a connection with me as one of their valued customers.
- I received over 20 of these “best wishes” with about a third of them sent via direct mail and the remainder via email.
- About half of them were just “best wishes” with no offers. The rest included a special offer. I actually appreciated both.
- Restaurants seemed to all provide an offer, nice ones like a free entrée or free beverage. A furniture store sent me a $25 gift card to use on anything in their store, though I doubt I could find much at that price. A few of the offers were only good on my actual birthday, but most are good the entire month of my birthday.
- Over half of the loyalty programs that I belong to did not send me “best wishes”. Why wouldn’t they at a minimum send me an email? It may be that they are not doing a good job of capturing my birthday, though I know of several programs that I belong to that have this info and are not using it.
From a loyalty marketing perspective, this is a great opportunity to connect with your customers, even if it’s only to wish them a great birthday. It’s a positive vibe about your brand and a reminder to your customers that you appreciate their business. I like the added offer, but make sure it’s significant enough that your customer views it as a gift, not just another promotion.
If you aren’t capturing your customer birth dates, I recommend you start as soon as possible. We also recommend that you only request their month and date of their birthday so they don’t feel you are infringing on their privacy. We also recommend that your loyalty program provide the opportunity for your customers to give you their preferred form of communication; mail, email or text. This will ensure your customers get the message you want, and hopefully you’ll see them more in your store.
To all of you that may have a birthday around now, happy birthday!!
Founder & CEO