Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Flipboard 0 The current situation might look grim, but we still wish to provide you with some insightful reading material about surprise and delight, customer relationships and birthday rewards, that may come in handy at times like this, when kindness and surprise are greatly appreciated When a customer’s big day rolls around, sending them a thoughtful gift will no doubt make them feel appreciated. It also goes a long way in increasing their lifetime value! As shown by Experian’s survey, birthday emails with mystery offers see 481% higher transaction rates and generate 342% more revenue than regular promotional emails. This is proven by our own experience too: the loyalty campaign of LuisaViaRoma — powered by Antavo — won the Ecommerce Award in the UK, thanks to the birthday emails receiving 25% more opens and 40% more clicks than non-loyalty emails. (Read the case study here for more details.) Of course, such outstanding results cannot be achieved with any ol’ birthday offer. The message needs to boast a memorable design, be personalized to the max, and of course, it requires that ‘mystery offer’. If you wish to turn some heads, these five ideas will definitely help: 1. Make Them Crack a Smile With Creative Coupons or Unusual Timing It’s quite challenging to dress up a discount as a flashy gift. People receive 10% coupons all the time, so giving another 15% off won’t cause much movement on their emotional radar. There’s nothing a little ingenuity can’t solve, though. If you plan to give customers a discount for their birthday, make sure it feels personal. Having a loyalty program unlocks a lot of possibilities to be creative. For instance, you can gift customers loyalty points that are multiplied by their age, the current month, their birth year, etc. “Congrats for turning 21 James! To make this day memorable, here are 210 loyalty points!” Italian dining restaurant chain ASK Italian offers discount-based birthday rewards, but adds an element of surprise and delight by celebrating their customers’ half birthdays. 2. Double the Fun With a Reward Campaign Super-personalizing your birthday discounts might feel more relevant for customers, but it requires serious segmentation and automation behind the scenes. One way to circumvent this is by surprising program members with a double- or triple-points campaign. It’s simple: during a brief time window around their birthday, customers can earn additional benefits when they make a purchase. “Greetings Rose! In honor of your 32nd birthday, you’ll earn double points on all your purchases! This offer is valid for 7 days.” Double-points birthday campaigns work because the benefits are tied directly to a purchase, so you aren’t giving away any freebies. Plus, customers can rack up quite a nice bonus with consecutive orders. However, not giving a gift up-front might sour the mood for some. In case a double-points campaign doesn’t cut it, offer free shipping instead, like Macy’s. For most, this benefit feels even more valuable than loyalty points. 3. Send a Gift Customers Will Hold Close to Their Hearts The truth is, nothing beats an actual gift. A physical item that’s wrapped up in a stylish box, has a greeting card next to it, and is shipped to the customer’s address. With a memory like that, people would no doubt stick with your brand for years to come. Remember: it’s not the size or the value that matters, but rather the sentiment. A stylish pen, a framed picture, a candle or cosmetics sample: any of those would do. If you have a tiered loyalty program, consider increasing the value of the birthday package based on members’ rank, reserving the best goodies for top customers. Members of Sephora’s Beauty Insider program receive a free sample if they visit a store on their birthday. This not only helps the brand save on shipping costs, but also increases footfall in their stores. 4. Create an Unforgettable Memory Through Experiential Rewards The only thing that rivals the euphoria of receiving a box of birthday rewards is the promise of a great experience, for example, an invitation to an exclusive brand event or a free dinner for two at a nice restaurant. Experiential rewards like these aren’t cheap, so they shouldn’t be made available for everyone. Reserve these rewards for top spenders or offer them to your top social media influencers. Alternatively, you can set up a special interest club, with an incentive that allows insiders to select from such delightful birthday gifts. Plus-size fashion retailer Simply Be regularly hosts community events, where they discover new influencers. Throwing a birthday party for the most active members could yield similar results for your brand. 5. Treat This As Part of Your Loyalty Program All of the examples mentioned so far have been more “delight” and less “surprise”. Case in point: if you wish to make an impact, you should add an element of unpredictability to your birthday rewards. You can still mention them on the loyalty program’s promotional page, but don’t tell shoppers what the actual gift will be. Keep them guessing! Similar results can be achieved by changing up the reward type each year. Members will still spread the news on social media, but this kind of word-of-mouth will help build anticipation among other members. Garnering Brand Love With or Without Birthday Rewards Celebrating your customers’ birthday is just one way of fostering emotional loyalty. Antavo has developed a whole arsenal of features and strategies to engage customers outside of the buying cycle. Ready to make an impression? We can help you develop the best-fit loyalty logic. Twitter Tweet Facebook Share Email This article originally appeared on The Antavo Blog and has been republished with permission.Find out how to syndicate your content with B2C Author: Tamas OsziView full profile ›More by this author:Are Paid Loyalty Programs More Effective Than Free Ones?Click and Collect: Savior of Customers, Killer of Brand Loyalty?Loyalty Programs: Are They for Customer Retention or Acquisition?