Silverpop how-to: setting up a birthday email program

faithThis week we welcome a guest post from one of our Senior Online Marketing Managers, Faith Albers. Faith is Silverpop Certified and played an integral role in setting up the PaperStyle.com campaign that won Silverpop’s Crawl, Walk Run Programs competition. Here, she shows you the easiest way to set up a birthday campaign – even if you’re not collecting birth dates!

Hopefully you already have a “Birthday” field in your database. If you haven’t been collecting birthdays, don’t worry – it’s not too late! Start collecting birthdays on your email sign up form or email preferences form. You can always send an email asking the subscriber to share their birthday. Here’s an example from B2C Retailer, Mud Pie:

Mud Pie birthday email

Setting up the actual birthday campaign takes 4 easy steps:

  1. Create a new program and limit contacts to the setup rule: “Birthday” is today OR “Birthday” anniversary is today. So whether they put in their upcoming birthday (11/11/2013) or their actual birth date (11/11/1979) they will still receive your email.

Birthday rule builder

  1. In your Edit Program Settings page, make sure to check the box that allows contacts to repeat the program. This way, they’ll get the birthday email annually.

Repeat program

  1. Switch over to the Edit Program page and set up a simple email track that waits 0 days to send the “Happy Birthday” email. This email can simply wish them well on their birthday, or contain an offer like free shipping or a % off their next purchase.

Birthday email track

  1. Set up a move to exit action (end track) so that once the contact receives your email they will exit the program one day later. This ensures they re-enter the program on their birthday next year. You can put this end track on the email itself, on the start track, or at the global level.

Configure move to track

Want to take it to the next level? Here are some ideas to make your birthday program even better:

  1. If you’re in the B2C e-commerce realm and are offering a coupon, send a follow up email seven days after the birthday email to those who haven’t used their coupon yet. You might even add a second offer to “sweeten the deal”. For example, if the original offer is a 10% off coupon, offer them free shipping as well.
  2. Use dynamic content in your email to show “recently viewed products” or relevant content to a category they have visited on the website. This reminds them what they like on your site and they’ll be more willing to come back.
  3. If they did end up purchasing with the birthday coupon, you could send an email with the theme “We hope you enjoy your birthday present – Invite a friend to get a special gift on their day too!” This is a great opportunity for social sharing!