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Connecting with Birthdays

Collecting and acknowledging birthdays is a critical marketing function. Personally acknowledging a person's birthday captures their attention and connects with them emotionally. It's an opportunity to connect the relevance of your offerings to their life. Markets are becoming connections and conversations. In that context making a connection and obtaining attention are critical.

Collecting birthday information is as important as how you use it. There are many ways to collect birthday information from customers. Some are better than others. Just as people are increasingly wary of submitting their email address for fear of spam people are hesitant to submit personal information such as birthdays and other demographic information.

The key to overcoming the resistance to submitting accurate information is to earn trust and provide incentives in exchange for information. Presenting a professional image through high quality web design and professional email marketing materials projects a serious organization that readers can trust. Being upfront with privacy policies provides reassurance to hesitant readers that their information will not be abused. Incentives can be anything of value to your chosen audience that makes it worth their time and effort to sign up. In B2C markets this is often in the form of discount coupons, gift certificates, loyalty points, etc. In the B2B markets this can be special reports, white papers, e-books, .pdf files, software applets, audio files, sample chapters from books, etc.

Once you have a way to collect information from customers and prospects it's important to have a plan for how you will use the information.

In the case of Birthdays it's an opportunity to connect with people. Birthdays are a time to draw emotional lines for people. Connecting past, present and future for people creates a bond that earns attention and loyalty for your business.

Three things your Birthday acknowledgements should do:

Connect People with the Past: By providing "this day in history" type data chunks for a specific person's birthday demonstrates you value them enough to provide personalized relevant information that stimulates their memories.

Immediate Value Offering: Providing a discount or gift certificate demonstrates you value and appreciate them today as a customer or a prospect.

A Next Step Offering: Give people an opportunity to take their relationship with your company to the next level. This could be "insider" type information, a personal audio greeting from the CEO, an invitation to participate in an invitation only online forum or survey, a VIP type group membership, etc. Basically anything that provides a person with a feeling that they have a special connection to your company or brand will keep them interested and loyal to your offerings.

Birthday acknowledgements should not be a time to sell people. Don't send messages that mention a birthday in passing on the way to sell more stuff. People don't want to mentally move your company from relevant to spammer and click "unsubscribe" from your business. Birthdays are a time to strengthen the relevance not screw it up.

Find out more about what BeTuitive can do for you.

September 13, 2004 in award winning newsletter, Blog Outsourcing, Brand enhancement, build credibility, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, bulk email marketing, Business Marketing, Business newsletter | Permalink


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» BeConnected on Birthdays from Thinking by Peter Davidson
I've got a great post over at BeConnected about the value of Connecting with Birthdays. It includes three things that marketing birthday acknowledgments should do. Check it out. [Read More]

Tracked on Sep 13, 2004 4:17:58 PM


I'm not a marketer (got here via Carnival of Vanities via Instapundit). But it seems to me that birthdays are personal events. And spam is spam. I used to get birthday cards from the dentist and optometrist. They always felt shallow and slightly manipulative, like "he wants to use my birthday to improve his business relationship with me." Definitely not a trust-builder.

Posted by: LP | Sep 22, 2004 4:35:00 PM