Direct Mail Strategy: Birthday Greetings!
As direct marketers, we work overtime creating attention-grabbing events to surround special marketing offers such as white sales, frequent buyer programs and preferred customer privileges.
However, do you realize that every customer in your database already has a very special and personal event that's anticipated as much as Christmas? That's right, it's his or her birthday!
So, my question to you is, how are you helping celebrate your customer's birthday? It's a grand opportunity to make him or her feel special. It's also the perfect excuse for a one-to-one communication that builds brand loyalty, increases sales, liquidates products, and helps you meet a host of other marketing objectives.
In my September 2004 column, "Show Them How Much You Care," I talked about greeting cards as a direct mail format. I suggested the value of using greeting cards as another option for gaining attention and strengthening relationships.
Shortly after that column ran, I celebrated my birthday. I'm a September Virgo. And even though I'm a direct marketing professional who understands the motivation behind all those "marketing prompted" birthday greetings I received, I opened every one, saved most of them, and took advantage of the special offers. Here are a few ideas from what I received.
Determine Your Objective
Decide if your birthday mailing is a sales- or relationship-building activity … or both. More than half of the birthday mailings I received included special money-saving offers tied to making a purchase. Southwest Airlines, my insurance agent and chiropractor were the only ones who were well-wishers only.
Observation: Southwest Airlines did not have to include an offer to stand out from the other airlines whose frequent flyer cards I hold and use. None of the others bothered to say, "Hi" or "How are you?" much less "Happy Birthday." Consider and test whether you need to include an offer. Also test the type of offer you make by customer segment.