When’s the last time you showed your clients some love?

Hey, we get it – as a small business owner, you’re busy. Like, crazy busy.

But consider that how even the smallest personal touches can make a lasting impression on your clients and customers.

Case in point: a simple “happy birthday” speaks volumes when it comes to customer appreciation.

If you want to make your clients feel like a million bucks and prove that you’re paying attention to their needs, birthday messages can do the trick.

Not only that, but you can also turn your birthday greeting into a way to encourage clients through your door with the right offer.

Besides, most big box brands promote email offers to their customers: why should small businesses miss out on the fun?

With the help of vCita, you can put together brilliant email birthday promotions that look stunning and encourage repeat business at the same time. To help get you started, we’ve broken down the steps to creating a quick email campaign from A to Z.

1. Begin by Collecting Your Clients’ Birthdays

First thing’s first: you can’t run any birthday campaigns until you actually have your clients’ birthdays handy.

In some cases, you might already be collecting your clients’ birthdays when they book their initial appointment or opt-in to your list.

And if you aren’t, it’s definitely a data point worth grabbing. People are more than happy to hand over their birthdays granted that you ask for ’em.

If you’re using vCita, adding a “Birthday” or “Date of Birth” field to your online scheduler only takes a few seconds. Simply go to Settings > Client Card > Add Field > Date and label your clients’ birthday as a required field.

Adding a date parameter to your client card allows you to easily collect your clients' birthdays

Now anytime a client books or makes contact, you’ll already have their birthday info on deck.

2. Sort Out Your Subject Line

Subject lines are a make-or-break moment for any sort of email offer. Birthday messages are no different.

Ask yourself: if your clients are receiving emails from multiple businesses on their big day, how is yours going to stand out?

Here are some best practices of email subject lines that you should consider for your birthday emails:

  • Keep it short. Between five and seven words is considered optimal – no need to get wordy!
  • Make it personal. Including “you,” your” and your clients’ name makes your message seem like a personal letter rather than something from an email blast.
  • Sweeten your subject line language. Words like “treat,” “surprise,” “celebrate” and “special” signal that you’re sending a birthday message without being too in-your-face about it.

For example, here are some simple subject lines that work like a charm.

  • “We heard it was your birthday…”
  • “Hey [client name]! Time to treat yourself!”
  • “Check out your birthday surprise – on us!”

Also, consider that there are some marketing tricks you should avoid when crafting birthday subject lines.

The big one is to avoid sales language like “FREE,” “OFFER” or including a percentage (“25% OFF!”). This makes your email feel more like a straight-up sales message rather than a birthday greeting. Likewise, such terms could accidentally get your message marked as spam.

Don’t craft subject lines that could potentially “spoil” your surprise.  Keeping your subject lines short and vague will only encourage your clients to open them up and see what they’re all about.

3. Personalize Your Greeting

Ask any seasoned email marketer and they’ll tell you the same story: personalization is key to any engaging email.

Even when sending emails as a business, your message should feel like it’s coming from a flesh-and-blood person rather than a robot.

This rings true if you’re relying on a template, too.

That’s why we include personalization features in our own email campaigns. For example, you can provide that much-needed personal touch by addressing your clients by name. All you need to do is include %{client_first_name} or %{client_full_name} fields and presto!

Personalize your email marketing

This makes your emails feel tailor-made for each client minus all the legwork.

By creating multiple templates with personalized fields, you can cycle through different birthday greetings and offers based on your particular clients. Nice, right?

4. Keep Your Copy Short and Sweet

Perhaps one of the best parts about coming up with birthday campaigns is that they’re so simple and straightforward.

So no, you don’t need to break out a dictionary or worry about being Shakespeare when writing your campaign copy.

When in doubt, take a “less is more” approach to your email body. A headline with a couple of sentences is more than enough to seal the deal, granted you tick the following boxes:

  • Say “happy birthday” (duh!)
  • Wish your client well or include a message of appreciation
  • Provide a call to action (checking out your offer)

The fewer words it takes to get your point across, the better. What really matters is driving your clients to click on your ever-so-important offer.

Here’s an example of how big box brands like Nike keep it brief with their birthday emails:

Example of promotional birthday email

Seriously, don’t overthink it! Just remember – “less is more.”

5. Bake in a Brilliant Birthday Offer

Finally, let’s break down the last (and arguably most important!) part of your birthday message:

Your offer!

This is your chance to provide some serious value to your clients.

After all, birthdays only come around once a year. Birthday campaigns are perfect for your “heavy hitter” deals and discounts that’ll give your clients no choice but to book or redeem your offer.

Want to give your clients a freebie or free session? A sweet 25% discount next time they see you? A birthday booking special?

All of them are totally fair game – just make sure you’re framing your offer as a “thank you” rather than a hard sell.

Coupons are perhaps the easiest sort of birthday offer to roll out (in vCita, just head over to Settings > Create Coupon to get started). Just make sure to give your clients a reasonable amount of time to redeem (think: a month+ is common for birthday offers) so you don’t come off as too “salesy.”

Birthday coupons are great incentives to get clients to come back through your door

Now, let’s look at a couple of examples of email campaigns we cooked up in vCita. Here’s a short-but-sweet birthday discount…

Example of promotional birthday email

…and here’s a template for a birthday booking special. Notice how the open-ended language means that you can insert pretty much any sort of offer that you see fit and it still works.

Example of a promotional birthday email

And the beauty of these campaigns is that they can be created in mere minutes. Just plug in your creatives into our template and you’re ready to start running regular birthday campaigns with your clients!

How Are You Celebrating Your Clients?

Birthday emails are great for making a lasting impression on your clients while also driving repeat business.

Because doing so does double-duty of engaging your clients and showing them some serious appreciation.

Oh, and they’re a no-brainer to roll out since they’re so easy to make in vCita. Give our custom email campaigns a spin today to see just how easy it is to start making email templates to celebrate with your clients.