4 Anniversary Emails you Should Send

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Anniversary emails can be easily automated to help you focus on your customers and target your audience more precisely, which in return, helps generate higher returns on your messages.

“Anniversary” is a pretty broad term; it comprises different kinds of anniversaries such as birthdays, first purchase anniversaries, newsletter signup anniversaries, and many more.

Start by considering your brand’s unique business and which automation or automations make the most sense for your brand. Then, create templates that help automate these types of email campaigns.

What is an anniversary email?

An anniversary email is a message sent to subscribers/customers to celebrate a special occasion like birthdays, purchase anniversaries, or newsletter anniversaries.

You can automate anniversary emails, which you can trigger on the day, week, or month of an anniversary date. All you have to do is collect date data, create the content, turn the automated workflows on, and watch them go, making the anniversary emails simple to set up.

But that’s not all. Anniversary emails often focus on the subscriber or customer and the dates that are most special to them, rather than the company, which allows you to be more hyper-personalized and targeted with your emails.

This is not only a great way to build stronger relationships with your customers, it’s also great for boosting brand affinity, encouraging repeat purchases, increasing retention, and even winning back lapsed customers. 

Here are a few anniversary email helpful tips to keep in mind:

  • Collect date data: To create an anniversary email automation, you’ll need to collect specific dates that are relevant to your customers, such as their birthdays.
  • Hyper-personalize as much as possible: While anniversary emails are inherently personal on their own, think about how you can make them even more targeted to each individual subscriber/customer. 
  • Differentiate anniversary emails: Anniversary emails celebrate a special occasion, so the content should be unique, too. Consider extending a deal you don’t normally offer, like a free gift with their purchase. Create something memorable in the content or offer for their anniversary so that they’ll form an emotional connection with your brand.
  • Consider timing: Think about whether you want your anniversary email to reach the customer on the anniversary day, before that day, or after it’s over, and how your messaging needs to change depending on your send time.

Don’t overdo it: Anniversary emails should be special, so while there are plenty of occasions to send them and they’re fairly easy to set up, it’s best to celebrate only one or two anniversaries in a calendar year to truly make them special.

If you keep some of these strategies in mind, your anniversary automations will prove an asset to your broader email marketing strategy. 

Let’s now dive into the four anniversary emails that your DTC brand should send to your customers:

1. A birthday email campaign

The most popular anniversary email is the birthday email, which you can choose to send either on the day, during the week, or the month of your customer’s birthday.

Birthday emails are a great way to show your customers you’re thinking of them around their special day, just as a family member or friend would reach out. And they’re effective.

“Birthday emails generate a 481% higher conversion rate and 342% higher revenue per email than promotional emails.” - Experian

When you choose you to send your customers a birthday email, though, varies on your preference. Most merchants choose to send birthday emails containing a reward or a discount at the start of their customer’s birthday month. That way, the subscriber has enough time to redeem their reward before their birthday.

Anniversary Email - Topshop Birthday Email Campaign

If you don’t have your customers’ birthdays on record, try collecting it when they sign up for your newsletter, either through the signup form or as part of the newsletter welcome series. Let them know that they’ll be receiving a birthday gift if they give you their birthday details so they’re incentivized to give you the information.

2. A purchase anniversary email campaign

What’s the ultimate goal of your ecommerce store? To get people to buy your product, of course. And when they do, that’s something you should celebrate.

Now the question is, how do you celebrate someone making their first purchase?

It’s simple: send an email using the date your customer made their first purchase! 

You can automate this email by capturing your customer’s first purchase date data. Once this date reoccurs, you can generate the email automatically and trigger it to be sent on their yearly anniversary.

You can take this one step further by targeting more precisely. For example, you could send one email without a discount to people who have purchased in the past year and one email with a discount to people who haven’t ordered since their first purchase to win back customers. :-) 

If you want to take it a step further, try including a product recommendation based on their past purchases.

3. Brand or newsletter anniversary email campaign

A newsletter or brand anniversary is very similar to a purchase anniversary, but it celebrates the occasion when your subscriber/customer signed up for your brand’s newsletter or when your brand was launched.

Joining a brand’s newsletter is like joining their inner circle. The customer has opted into receiving emails from a brand, which means that the brand has made an impact on them in some way or another.

But like subscribing, unsubscribing is just as easy, so sending a newsletter anniversary email each year will let your subscriber know that you appreciate them for being part of your community, hopefully keeping them around for another year.

And if they do stick around for more than one year, change up your messaging and offer, providing greater offers to those who have stayed with you the longest.

Setting up these emails is simple—all you need is the date your customer signed up for your brand’s newsletter or when your brand was launched, the content you want to send, then just set up your email automation.

4. Anniversary email campaigns for major life events

For brands in certain industries, such as bridal or baby, consider celebrating the anniversaries of your customers’ life events, such as wedding anniversaries or children’s birthdays.

Similar to a birthday, setting up this email automation comes down to asking your customers’ for this event date data—whether it’s a wedding date or due date—at some point in the customer journey. 

For example, you could ask for these dates through a pop-up form when they visit your bridal collection page or through the preference center of your email newsletter for new moms.

Life event anniversary emails are a unique way to reach out to your customers and celebrate their accomplishments in a way that’s also related to your brand and the products you sell. 

While this anniversary email strategy might not work for everyone, it’s worth considering what dates or events are important to your target audience.

For example, an online pet store could ask customers when they adopted their dog or when their cat’s birthday is. 

If you’re creative, you can likely find an anniversary to celebrate that resonates with your customers no matter what you sell.