5 Amazing Birthday Email Examples

Melanie Balke
August 3, 2023

Who doesn’t love a good birthday gift?

If your business doesn’t have birthday email marketing campaigns, now’s the time to start! They’re the quintessential engagement tool, a trust-building exercise, and a promotional email — all rolled into one compact package. More importantly, modern email automation has made it easier than ever to roll out dedicated campaigns for each subscriber’s birthday.

So, join me!

Keep reading to learn about this amazing marketing tool.

What Is a Birthday Email?

Overlapping leaves. "The Basics: All About the Birthday Email."

A birthday email is exactly what it says on the box.

It’s a personal message delivered on a subscriber’s birthday. While its contents may vary, its function is always the same. Birthday emails benefit from email automation, so all you need to do is set the trigger. For these campaigns, the trigger is the date.

Why Should I Care About Birthday Email Campaigns?


We know what it is.

Now, what should we care about it?

A birthday campaign — like any other automated marketing email — is designed to keep your brand at the forefront of a customer’s mind. It’s a courteous greeting with the benefits of run-of-the-mill promotional emails. In some cases, it may even be considered a drip campaign. However, at the end of the day, its usefulness is equal to its metric improvements.

Birthday Emails Build Customer Relationships

Old currency. "Audience Growth: Birthday emails have been shown to boost brand trustworthiness."

One of the first benefits of a stock birthday wishes email is innately human.

Yes, your brand is a business. Customers know this. They’re aware that your company isn’t a person, but that doesn’t mean they’re entirely ambivalent. Even the tiniest things — like misspelled names, missed anniversaries, or poor customer service — can sour a customer’s opinion of a brand.

That’s why we have customer-centric marketing. This practice posits that the customer’s experience with your brand is no less important than their monetary contributions. It’s not enough to grab a reader’s attention. You need to keep that attention and provide positive feedback.

And what’s more positive than acknowledging a recipient’s special day?

Studies have shown that birthday emails benefit from established excitement. Few people decidedly hate their birthday, and most expect some sort of birthday present. Combining these facts, it’s easy to see how that “special birthday reward” can pique a customer’s interest.

Moreover, acknowledging a customer’s birthday creates a personal connection. That link — be it real or imagined — is powerful enough to boost customer trust and encourage a positive relationship.

The Right Email Subject Line Can Make a Big Difference

Speaking of customer trust…

Birthday emails are a great way to improve customer engagement.

Think about it for a minute.

You probably expect some emails and messages on your birthday. Even the blandest email templates are a little more exciting when they’re sent on your birth date, and messages with an explicit birthday theme naturally encourage engagement.

Many common subject lines (e.g., “Claim your birthday coupon” or “A Special Gift for You”) tap into a user’s natural curiosity.

Create Personalized Emails That Boost Awareness

A blurry photo of a plane taking off. "Mind Over Matter: Birthday emails can help raise brand awareness."

Even non-promotional emails can make an impact.

Your happy birthday email doesn’t have to include a coupon code. You don’t even need to have an explicit sales pitch. Sometimes, simply acknowledging a person’s 365-day trip around the sun is enough to boost your metrics.


Well, it’s the power of brand awareness.

That email campaign made it to a customer’s inbox, and the birthday person in question saw it. That means they’re more likely to think about you when they’re making their next purchase. The effect is further amplified by personalized birthday emails, which make everyone feel like valued customers.

Time for Those Birthday Email Examples

A frosted cake on a wooden table. "Examples: 5 Amazing Birthday Emails."

With that out of the way, let’s get to the main event: the examples.

I’ve found some of the absolute best birthday email examples from my team’s portfolio, and I’m letting you sneak a peek! Each of these picks highlights someone’s special day with a clever mix of fun images, compelling copywriting, and personalized content.

Of course, just showing you the content won’t help you make your own campaign.

I’m taking it a step further.

I’m breaking these birthday email examples into bite-sized bits. So, get ready!

We’re about to dissect some top-tier email examples!

Most successful “happy birthday” email campaigns can be broken into three distinct parts:

  1. The greeting and celebration (e.g., “Happy birthday!” or “It’s your special day”)
  2. The value proposition, which ranges from a free gift to “special” or “secret” tips and information
  3. The action and — by extension — the call to action

To make things easier, I’ll summarize each example with this three-stage outline.

1. The Birthday Gift Awaits

A caramel-topped cake with chocolate shapes. "Example 1: The Classic Birthday Email."

The first of our birthday emails promotes Angry Orange, a vendor of delightful pet products.

It’s also a unique variant of the classic “Happy Birthday” email. Instead of focusing on the customer’s birthday, this email campaign is sent on the pet’s birth date. Note that this information is gathered organically during the sign-up process. Brands cannot and should not compel customers to reveal personal information by force.

Open Strong and Make Your Move

Putting aside the topic of birthday email subject lines, the first thing you’ll notice about this email campaign is the bright, colorful theme. This distinct visual style is wildly popular right now, as its unique shapes and curves easily draw readers through the content. The mix of on-brand hues also promotes brand consistency.

An Angry Orange email campaign. “Birthdays never smelled better.”

“Happy birthday!” this email says. “You’re a valued subscriber, and we want to make sure you get yourself a great birthday gift!” You’ll notice this zealous cheer and celebratory tone throughout our birthday email examples, and this Angry Orange campaign is just the beginning.

Note, too, the active language of this campaign. We’re not settling for a generic “shop now” button; no, we want the reader to “celebrate with us!”

Seal the Deal (and Maybe the Odor?)

Now, this email was a bit longer than what I’ve included here.

There were multiple products showcased in the birthday campaign, each with an easy-to-use link to the relevant product page. Obviously, this won’t work for all birthday emails. Angry Orange has a wide range of products — including its famed deodorizing spray.

The body of an Angry Orange email. A photo of the brand's stain remover and deodorizing spray occupy the center of the email.

Together, The Email Marketers team (the copywriters and designers especially) capitalized on the variety. We showcased the most popular products and made it easy for buyers to redeem their 20% off coupon code on whatever they needed. We even drove this point home by giving users secondary call-to-action links for each category.

Pay close attention to the clarity of each button. Again, we’re not handing down a vague “shop now.” We’re urging readers to view specific items (in this case, stain remover).

Design-wise, we used “floating” images: transparent cutouts that appear to float above the email template. Aside from being fun images, these cutouts act as visual subject lines, naturally drawing the reader’s attention downward.

Putting It All Together

The conclusion of the Angry Orange email. A banner reads, "Smells like heaven. Works like hell."

At the end of the email, we hit the target audience with a personalized birthday message: “Don’t forget to tell your pet Happy Birthday from Angry Orange. We hope you raise the woof all day long.”

This type of copy is highly targeted and perfect for making even generic email templates seem like personalized emails. It also ends the content on a high note. Think of it as the big, pretty ribbon on a gift, except, in this case, it’s the joy-inducing copy at the end of a fun email.

So, remember that three-stage list from before? Let’s break the email down and see why it works.

  1. Our greeting was a thematic, on-brand header: “Birthdays never smelled better.”
  2. The value was a limited-time birthday coupon for 20% off the customer’s next purchase.
  3. Finally, we wanted users to buy something. In addition to the “celebrate with us” call to action at the beginning, we added some product-focused secondary links throughout the email campaign.

2. The “Simple Is Better” Approach

A scallop-frosted layer cake. "Example 2: Simple Is Better."

That Angry Orange example was a bit ambitious. That’s not to say it was bad, but it won’t fit the aesthetic of a more modern, minimalist brand. If your “happy birthday” email fits into this category, you’ll want to check out this simple design for B-SIX.

You Don’t Need a Long Birthday Email!

This isn’t a long email campaign. In fact, the entire birthday message takes up two or three lines of text:

You’re one year older, hotter, and wiser. Take 20% off your order for a nippies refresh. Code: (You really didn’t think I’d hand out the discount code, did you?).

That’s it. Seriously.

You don’t need an essay. You don’t need a novella. You certainly don’t need to send them a Pride and Prejudice-sized email (which, for the curious, would be 122,189 words).

Remember: The birthday person is probably getting a lot of emails right now. It’s their special day, and everyone wants a slice of that celebratory birthday cake. Much like your coupon code, your reader’s attention span has an expiration date. Your brand’s “special birthday gift” is just one of many, and you only have so long before your subscriber loses interest.

Shorter email templates like this prioritize customer retention over the potential for word-of-mouth marketing. So, instead of waxing poetic about a product’s benefits, these birthday emails cut straight to the point. Give customers what they want (the birthday discount) and let them go about their day.

Putting the Birthday Treat Together

A birthday email from B-Six.  A celebratory photo is framed in an arch shape.

This is the shortest of our email examples. So, the summary should follow suit.

  1. The greeting uses compelling, emotion-driven copy. Not only is it your birthday, but you’re also “older, hotter, and wiser.”
  2. For the customer’s birthday, we’re offering them a 20% off coupon code as the value proposition.
  3. While I didn’t include the call-to-action button in the screenshot, this birthday email example aimed to increase revenue.

3. The Smooth-Talking Birthday Email

A person spreads sugar with a sieve. "Example 3: The Reader's Birthday Email."

So far, we’ve seen visually-oriented email examples.

But what if your brand doesn’t have many fun images to use?

Fear not! You can still craft delightful birthday campaigns with great copy. Enter our next birthday email example, courtesy of EZ Melts. Unlike our other examples, this brand sells a consumable product: dissolvable vitamins. This makes their customer relationships even more important, as a consumer’s opinion of them can easily make or break that next purchase.

Active Language Improves Promotional Emails

An EZ Melts birthday email's header.

Again, we see plenty of active language. “Use my discount” — the CTA — is the most prevalent element in the header. It’s the visual subject line of this image, and customers are much more likely to click it.

Notably, unlike other birthday email campaigns, this is actually an anniversary flow. It uses a birthday email template, but it’s meant to commemorate the first year after a customer’s initial purchase.

I’ve included it in our collection of email examples to showcase how the concept can be repurposed. You don’t need to restrict yourself to birthdays! You can also celebrate anniversaries, customer engagement, and similarly time-sensitive events.

This data-lite approach also reduces your liability in the event of a data leak. You aren’t holding info on your customer’s birthdays; you’re just storing information about their purchase history.

Let Your Birthday Treat Tell a Story

The real star of this campaign is the copywriting.

The body of an EZ Melts campaign. The CTA reads, "Save now."

“Can you believe it’s been a whole year since we partnered up to meet your health goals?” That’s a bold, personal message. It’s the type of thing you say to a friend, and that familiarity creates a sense of personal connection between a brand and its consumers. It also sets the stage for one of the most underutilized forces in modern email marketing: storytelling.

This email manages to tell the story of a customer’s health journey. We’ve treated the anniversary of a user’s first purchase like the customer’s birthday, giving them a sense of accomplishment. Then, we sweeten the deal with a “birthday” gift: 10% off!

Wrapping the Gift

The end of an EZ Melts email. Two columns have different CTAs.

Finally, we close with two more bonuses. Readers can sign up for the rewards program or the SMS campaigns. Like the Angry Orange example’s product links, these choices are secondary CTAs. They’re entirely optional, but they ultimately benefit the brand.

So, let’s piece this birthday email example together.

  1. Our greeting was a celebratory declaration, “Happy Anniversary!”
  2. We offered customers the chance to get 10% off as the main value proposition. Our secondary CTAs provided them with a chance to get even more discounts.
  3. Aside from joining the rewards and SMS programs, we wanted to improve sales and boost customer engagement.

4. Give Them Something to Look At

A close-up of a chocolate cupcake with mint garnish. "Example 4: A Delicate Balance."

Want something fancier?

Necklow, a specialty pillow manufacturer, has a spectacular birthday email flow to fit your needs.

This campaign remains a crowning achievement for our implementation and design teams. Aside from its branded design, the email included a delightful, scrolling display of happy Necklow users. Unfortunately, I couldn’t capture that in my screenshot.

Balancing Simplicity and Visual Impact

The header of a Necklow email. The CTA reads, "Your perfect gift."

I’ve already pointed out everything there is to see in the header of this image.

You have a gorgeous, simple design; a bold, attention-grabbing CTA; and a strong, action-oriented link. The real star of this campaign is the copy.

While we’re obviously trying to promote purchases, we’re also educating potential customers. That discount code is the birthday present, but our informative copy is the lovingly penned card.

And, if the copy wasn’t enough, his happy birthday email example adds plenty of visual confirmation for its readers. Check out all of those happy customers! They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and it’s true. “It works,” this email says, “Try it for yourself!”

The body of a Necklow email. The discount code is blurred out. Images on the bottom originally scrolled across the screen.

Use the Birthday Celebration Theme to Your Advantage

I’ll let this brilliant campaign speak for itself: “Who says you can’t treat yourself for your birthday?”

The conclusion of a Necklow email. Photos show people sleeping with the pillow.

You’re probably getting the hang of it by now, but let’s top this off with a summary.

  1. We greeted readers with a clear birthday discount.
  2. And that 10% off coupon code was the value proposition.
  3. And we wanted customers to use that discount code to buy a pillow!

5. Surprise Them

Cows in an Irish field. "Example 5: The Birthday Surprise."


This is getting long!

Don’t worry; we’re almost done.

Our last birthday email example is from Unicorn Snot, a beauty company. Like many birthday emails, Unicorn Snot’s plays with curiosity. You’re expected to see this “glittery gift” and pounce on your chance!

It’s the perfect formula: Excitement + Birthday Emails = Sales.

Summarizing Our Last Birthday Email Example

A colorful Unicorn Snot email campaign.

By now, I’ve pointed out everything there is to see.

You can probably spot some of the big talking points. We have a strong header and active CTA. Our sleek, modern design makes for a gorgeous birthday email.

There really isn’t much more I can say, so let’s wrap it up!

  1. We greeted readers with a mystery-based title.
  2. We offered them a generous BOGO 50% off deal.
  3. We asked them to buy something.

Amplify Your Birthday Emails

These were just five of our best birthday emails.

Crazy, right?

If you’ve been struggling with your email marketing, now is the time to claim your free gift. Book a meeting with me to see how The Email Marketers can amplify your birthday campaigns. We will, of course, do much more than that, too!

You can also check the rest of my blog to see more tips and tricks to improve your email marketing.