Volume 12

Recognizing Special Days: Doing it Right

Special days can easily be incorporated into your email marketing where appropriate. When done in a sensitive manner, recognizing special days and achievements can build customer loyalty and increase retention. By the same token, do it badly and your reputation will suffer.

Be Accurate

The number one rule of sending "event-driven" email marketing messages is


Imagine receiving a birthday greeting for the wrong day! Rather than making you feel good that you were remembered, it would make you feel that the sender was incompetent and disorganized.

You should also be sure that you have the recipient's name correct. Names and birthdays are very personal "possessions", and people tend to get frustrated when they are misused.

Be Timely

Ideally, a birthday or anniversary email should arrive on or close to the actual date. When dealing with large numbers of subscribers, it may be more efficient to send all "event" emails for a given month on the first day of the month. Either way, you should ensure that you are emailing the right people, and this relies on your database being up to date.

Be Sensitive

If someone's spouse has recently passed away, it might not be the best time to send an anniversary email. Once again, this highlights how important it is to keep your database up to date. One of your employees may know this vital piece of information but not log it into your database. Make sure that your employees understand how important it is that your data is up to date.

Be Appropriate

If it suits your business, you could offer something appropriate to the occasion. If you are a restaurant, a discount on an anniversary dinner might be appreciated. If you sell products online, a discount coupon could benefit both the recipient and your sales figures. Whatever you offer, be sure that it is appropriate, that there are no strings attached, and that the offer is available at reasonable times.

Remember, your subscribers are real people with real lives, not just email addresses. Think about how you would like to be treated on your special day, and then plan your special events emails accordingly.