Birthdays are a time to say “you are special and we know it”. Since it is almost my husband’s birthday, let’s seize the birth-day and remember this opportunity not only repeats annually but is one of the lowest cost marketing tools ever.
Warning: this takes finesse and a balance between sincerity and selling. The sincerity needs to be real and the selling must be soft.
Let’s take a quick look at how others reach out to customers on their birthdays and how you can turn this annual event into a day you can utilize to connect with your customers, for life.
Some of the examples below are via email, text or through the post office and include real offers of discounts or special treatment. Then there are the few that are truly engaging experiences.
A FAVORITE: Disney has a simple yet very effective tool – It’s your birthday? Here is a big button with your name on it so everyone in the park (including the cast members) can also wish you a Happy Birthday! They also have buttons for your anniversary, wedding, engagement and more – once a team is trained to tune into customer comments about celebrations – the buttons are the pathway to making this customer the center of attention all day long. Just one more way to continue their brand promise of being “The Happiest Place On Earth”, where “Dreams Come True”.
• Travel companies know how to maximize birthdays – because so many wishes include travel.
• Restaurants, ice cream parlors etc. know few people dine alone so offering an “eat free on your birthday” means at least one other diner will be in attendance too.
Use their visit to take their picture and put it on your restaurant Facebook page – just one more way you can let others know your restaurant is great for celebrations! You might want to mention any special desserts you have or private meeting rooms too!
• Retailers, like Macy’s do a great job of making their offer meaningful – any time I get a certificate with $10 or more I believe the retailer is sincere. It is an annual pilgrimage for the birthday person in my family to head to the mall with their best wishes from Macy’s.
• Real estate companies use this as a tool for keeping in touch with former home buyers and to keep the agent top of mind. Very often “next step” decisions are made around birthdays and a simple postcard might get a new listing.
GREAT RESOURCE FOR MORE IDEAS: The Retail Industry section of About.com – http://retailindustry.about.com/od/bestusretailpromotions/a/birthdayclubs.htm
So the big question is – how do you capture these birthdays?
– Ask the customer at time of purchase, or registration – either in person or online
– Include this question on all credit applications (no year needed)
– Put a button on your website that says you’d like to remember their birthday with a quick form that asks for their name, email, birth month and day – and maybe even a place for a comment.
– When you send an email birthday wish … ask the customer to also give the names, email address and birth month and day of their friends and family. Your list will grow fast.
While you are celebrating birthdays – be sure to celebrate your company’s too.
We all need even brief moments of happiness – so seize the birthday opportunity!
Happy Birthday Ricky!