27 emails and $168 dollars of happy birthday gifts from my rewards programs

The 15th of November is the one day of the year that I look forward to, not to celebrate my age, rather to analyse (and share some insights with you) which loyalty and rewards programs bother to send their 'valued' members a birthday wish, gift, some love or money.

Over a 3 week period, leading up to the day, on the day and after the day, I received 27 emails, with 5 reminders (no SMS messages).

That's a poor result considering at last count I have joined and given all my birthday data to over a 147 programs (and counting)!

To the defence of some, they made no promises of birthday rewards for the exchange of my data and were collecting for their own demography analysis.

I created a spreadsheet of those I received (still hoping for more) to assess some of the variables that I think need to be considered when developing birthday rewards communications:

  1. Subject header copy (any standouts)
  2. The date of email being received (9 of the 27 were on the day, 13 were leading up to the day and 5 were reminders to redeem the offers sent),
  3. The offers (see assessment below) and
  4. The terms and conditions (summary below)

Subject header copy were standard and bland, with a few (bold) that got my attention:

Sip, Sip, Hooray! Happy Birthday! Adam, Happy Birthday from PANDORA; Adam, It's Almost Your Birthday!; Adam, open to reveal your birthday treat!;Here's a perkilicious gift for your upcoming birthday Adam; Adam, we've got a you a special birthday surprise; Hip, hip hooray! Happy Birthday Adam;Adam, are you a Scorpio?Happy Birthday - here's $10 on us! ; Your birthday brew is waiting for you! ; Open me for your gift…Happy Birthday, Wine Lover! Adam, did you forget to celebrate your birthday? (good copy to grab attention); Happy birthday, Mr. Posner! (formality got my attention)

Assessment of the offers

  • 12 gifts with money rewards with no spend stretch, totalling $168 ($25 highest to $3 lowest)
  • 6 gifts of product rewards relevant to the brand (difficult to measure the value as it depends on the product being gifted (high perceived value, low cost to business)
  • 1 discount offer (15%)
  • 2 gifts with a spend stretch ($100 with a spend of $400 and a $15 off a spend of $75)
  • 1 birthday wish with no gift (got my attention, but no spend behaviour)
  • Points added to an account and double reward points on purchases in defined period

Terms and conditions

  • Urgency created by Boost Vibe Club to get my free boost was only available 2 days before the day, on the day and two days after.
  • Most expiry conditions were within a 14- 30 day period with a few allowing the month of the birthday to be the time period.

In summary, a birthday offer in a loyalty or rewards program is mandatory these days and sure to drive response, so here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Try an odd number for the financial reward, instead of $10, give $11 or $13, just to break through or find a creative excuse...
  • Use the tone of your brand such as T2's "Sip, Sip Hooray" for a different subject header
  • Reminders are important to drive that incremental response and you can consider this at least once if not redeemed and then a second time with a creative message like... "we're extending your birthday celebrations..."

Have a happy loyalty day!

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