It's Birthday Time - well it was on Friday...

Last Friday was my birthday - YAY - and it reminded me of a really clever way to market your business. Plus it'll help increase engagement with your customers and potential customers, and who doesn't love that?

Let me ask you a question, how much do you love your own birthday? 

I personally love birthdays. If I can, I like to turn it into a whole month celebration full of adventure and good friends. And I've found that the people who say they don't like their birthdays, unfortunately, have a history of being let down or forgotten - so we are going to change that! Of course, there are some exceptions, but this is the general rule.

At the end of the day it's nice to be remembered and celebrated - it makes us feel good, so how do you use this feeling in your marketing? Let me show you!

Option 1 - The Birthday Email

If you have any resemblance of an email list or customer loyalty database you NEED to be collecting birthdate information. Why? So you can make people feel good about themselves. 

If you're not doing this already - start collecting this info immediately. 

The week leading up to my birthday is present central in my inbox and I love it. My favourite clothing stores, pilates studio and food joints send me a little email with a big happy birthday message AND a little something to celebrate. Sometimes it's a discount, sometimes it's a free pass or a free smoothie - but there is always a nice surprise.

It doesn't cost you anything to set up this kind of campaign, and the value it adds to your clientele is enormous.

The one thing you DO NOT want to do here is to send a sales email. If I feel like you're asking for a sale you are doing more damage than good. Take one example from last week, where they sent me an email and on one line it said happy birthday and the next two paragraphs were reminding me that I hadn't been in a while and I should book in.

No incentive, no value - it was a bad letter. Focus on celebrating and adding value and you'll be fine. This is a time to build a relationship not make a sale (that'll just be a bonus.)

Option 2. The Power of Facebook

If you're in an industry that can (even at a stretch) be used to celebrate a birthday either in an event or 'self-present' capacity - you should definitely try adding a Facebook Ads element to your marketing mix.

So how does this work? 

Well, we all have to tell Facebook our birthday, right? And most of us like being told by friends happy birthday, so we have incentive from FB to give them accurate info (there are some exceptions to this rule, but that's okay.)

Facebook now knows exactly when your birthday is - not in a creepy invasion of privacy kind of way, just a general knowing - and we as marketers and business owners can use this information to craft very clever campaigns. I'll give you an example.

If you're a restaurant try a - "Your birthday is coming up and we would love to celebrate with you - click here to claim a free bottle of champagne on us" - Now this works because people love free things AND when they come in they are going to spend money on dinner as well.

You've made the decision process easier. If they are trying to pick a restaurant and one is giving you free champagne - I know which one I'd pick. 

Perhaps you sell clothes, jewellery or homewares (something I can spoil myself with) why not try, "Spoil yourself for your birthday with a 20% off voucher or a FREE (insert awesome thing here) with every purchase." This works because people like to spoil themselves - and you're helping in this process.

If you're in a different industry - get creative. There are so many ways you can utilise this strategy.

The important thing to remember with these campaigns - it's not ALL about the actual sale or the freebie, and more to do with people feeling connected. When someone remembers your birthday, it makes you feel loved and cared for, and if we can do that as brands we are well on our way to creating a user experience people will remember - and that's half the marketing battle!