happy-birthdayHappy Birthday!

I’m sorry for the tease if today isn’t your birthday. But if it is, tell me something.

Were you excited when you saw the topic?

Birthday greetings in direct marketing communications are a great way to engage people. As I’ve stated before, relationship marketing is way underrated. Sometimes we get so caught up in getting to the bottom line as fast and efficiently as possible that we forget there are humans with feelings receiving our communications. While numbers are our ultimate goal, forging a genuine relationship with our audience is crucial to achieving that goal, and wishing people a happy birthday is a genuine way to implement relationship marketing that lasts.

Birthdays are a common denominator that all of us in existence share. It’s a marketer’s dream to target people with birthday messages because they resonate with everyone, regardless of demographics, beliefs or geography. That’s why in Curtis 1000 campaigns, we see some of the highest open rates with birthday emails and receive so much positive feedback from printed birthday greetings. Happy birthday communications can include small gifts like discounts and offers, but they aren’t always necessary, and sometimes a call to action above and beyond the greeting can even ruin the magic of the message. The key is in the execution. Keep the message sincere and you won’t scare your audience away. However, as direct marketers we need to remember one more thing.

We do have ulterior motives.

According to Forbes.com, 80% of your future revenue will come from 20% of your current customers. I’m sure this is especially true for organizations that focus on retention and relationship strategies. A 5% increase in customer retention can increase business profits by 25% to 125% [Sources: Gartner Group and “Leading on the Edge of Chaos,” Emmett C. Murphy and Mark A. Murphy].

See? We’re not forgetting about the bottom line. We also benefit because we can keep up with data cleansing when we communicate regularly with an engaged audience. Whether it’s an email subscriber or postal mail address, we can purge bad addresses and focus on getting updated information every month as we send the greetings out year-to-year. The more we send, the better information we have on the target audience for future communications and offers.

Happy Birthday to us, right?

With all of this said, I recommend that birthday communications be incorporated into any direct marketing campaign. If you can’t be there to smile and wish them a “Happy Birthday” in person, then sending them a greeting is the next best thing!

Check out some of our signature electronic communications for birthdays as well as many other holidays and “feel good” occasions that are geared toward cultivating and maintaining relationships with people: