Most people, even those who claim otherwise, like birthdays. They provide an opportunity to take stock of one's life, pat oneself on the back for accomplishments, and give thanks for years past.
For marketers birthdays are an opportunity to reach out to current, former, and prospective consumers. The message might be one of congratulations and best wishes, but it's also part of a personalization program. It reminds the customer that you (and your products) are there.
Birthdays are the interactive media equivalent of celebrating an anniversary or holiday by tucking a catalog clipping of the object of your desire inside a card.
Birthdays are perhaps most evident in e-mail marketing, as we often have access to birthdates through subscriber profile data. Given the challenge in e-mail campaigns of delivering a subject line and message that escape the delete button, birthdays open the door to a friendly, and usually welcome, correspondence.
Consumer birthdays are also an excuse to offer a one-time promotion, free trial, or product coupon designed to encourage brand loyalty or later transactions. Your local bar will pour you a free drink on your special day. Ice cream seller Baskin-Robbins will serve up a free scoop, and Applebee's will give you a free dessert.
Through e-mail or a mobile message, hair stylists can offer a free bottle of conditioner on a customer's next salon visit. An epicurean property might send a link to a recipe for a sumptuous birthday cake to prompt a site visit, while a lifestyle site might do the same by delivering a few teaser tips for planning the party. This sort of approach is popular among parenting sites as well. Consumers provide their children's' birth dates when opting in to receive age-specific baby and child development reports, and publishers like BabyCenter mark little ones' birthdays with tips for pulling off a smooth celebration.
Regardless of the offer, companies make a point of making it relevant, particularly to the consumer's special day, individual product or service interests, and time of year. Consumers love to be treated to something exceptional, and recognizing their birthday reminds them that you, as a company, care about them enough to gift them with something timely and appropriate.
Continue reading here: Happy Birthday, Mr. Consumer - ClickZ.