How to Send Highly Effective Automated Birthday & Anniversary Emails in WooCommerce

Sending targeted, automated birthday and anniversary emails is one of the most powerful yet underutilized tactics for boosting customer engagement and sales.

As an experienced WordPress professional with over 15 years in the industry, I‘ve helped implement these campaigns for countless WooCommerce stores.

The results speak for themselves: properly executed automations can lift engagement rates by 40% or more and get conversion rates spiking as high as 15%.

In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll draw on my expertise to walk you through how to craft birthday and anniversary emails that captivate subscribers and drive results.

Why You Should Be Sending Birthday & Anniversary Emails

Let‘s first look at why birthday and anniversary messages work so well:

Remind Customers You Value Them

These emails show customers you remember them beyond just a transaction.

Calling out their special day makes shoppers feel appreciated. It strengthens the emotional connection to your brand.

Give Customers a Reason to Engage

An exclusive birthday coupon or gift provides incentive for recipients to open and take action.

Customers love getting deals. A sense of urgency also kicks in if the offer is temporary.

Boost Customer Lifetime Value

Engaged, loyal customers have much higher lifetime value. They purchase more often and spend more per order.

Automated outreach helps nurture long-term relationships that pay dividends over time.

Stand Out in Crowded Inboxes

With the average person getting 121 emails per day, your messages must stand out.

Personalized subject lines like "Happy Birthday Jessica!" break through the noise.

How to Collect Customer Birthdays

Now let‘s get tactical. The first step is gathering customers‘ date of birth (DOB) data.

You have 3 options for capturing birthdays in WooCommerce:

1. Checkout Page

Add a DOB field to the billing details form using the FunnelKit Automations plugin.

Pro: Ensures you get the data from every customer.

Con: Additional checkout fields can increase abandonment rates.

2. My Account Page

Lets customers submit their DOB anytime on their account profile page.

Pro: No checkout disruption.

Con: Relies on customers proactively updating their details later.

3. Thank You Page

Use a FunnelKit shortcode to add the DOB form after checkout completes.

Pro: Doesn‘t interrupt purchase flow.

Con: Depends on customers returning to the thank you page.

I recommend trying the thank you page approach first. It‘s the least invasive.

You can even offer a coupon code as incentive for customers to provide their birthday after checkout.

How to Create Birthday Email Automations in WooCommerce

Once you‘re capturing birth dates, it‘s time to create the automation workflow.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. In FunnelKit Automations, create a new automation

  2. Add the "Birthday Reminder" trigger

  3. Configure it to send the birthday email X days before the customer‘s birthday

    • I suggest 3-5 days prior for the best open rates
  4. Schedule the email for early evening when most customers are engaged

    • Basing the send time on the recipient‘s timezone is best
  5. Ensure the workflow runs only "Once" per customer

    • You don‘t want to bombard them with multiple birthday emails
  6. Design the email content using the drag and drop editor

    • Include a personalized subject line

    • Offer an exclusive birthday voucher or gift

    • Thank the customer and make them feel valued

    • Add their first name throughout the copy

    • Use fun birthday imagery and borders

  7. Preview the email across desktop and mobile

  8. Add any desired follow-up emails leading up to their birthday

  9. Activate the automation and start collecting those engagement clicks!

Now let‘s explore some best practices and optimization tips…

Offer a Birthday Discount Code

The #1 way to drive engagement is by providing an exclusive offer.

A personalized birthday discount code incentivizes opens and clicks.

Make sure to set an expiry date 1-2 weeks out to create urgency.

Send Follow-Up Reminders

To maximize coupon redemptions, send follow-up reminders:

  • 3 days before expiration
  • 1 day before expiration
  • On their birthday (if first email was sent prior)

Gently prompt customers to take advantage of the deal.

Continue Testing and Optimizing

Monitor open and click-through rates. Try subject line variations and offer tweaks.

Aim for a 45%+ open rate and 12%+ CTR. Refine based on your performance.

How to Craft High Converting Anniversary Emails

Now let‘s look at creating automated anniversary messages.

The steps are similar:

  1. In FunnelKit Automations, create a new workflow

  2. Add the "Order Created" trigger

    • Configure for completed orders
  3. Set a delay before sending the email

    • For a 1 year anniversary, set to 12 months
  4. Create an exclusive anniversary offer

    • Anniversary discount code

    • Free shipping

    • Extended return window

    • Free gift with purchase

    • Contest entry

  5. Design the email copy and creative

    • Thank the customer for their loyalty and business

    • Call out this is a special anniversary offer

    • Add urgency if the offer is temporary

  6. Send follow-up reminders as the expiration nears

  7. Activate the automation and watch your CIR and sales climb!

Anniversary Email Best Practices

Here are a few optimization tips:

  • Make the subject line personalized for higher opens

  • If you sell subscriptions, offer a special upgrade deal to incentivize renewals

  • Use anniversary badges and celebratory imagery to make it feel special

  • For your VIP customers, make the offers progressively more generous based on their lifetime spend

Start Building Your Email List with OptinMonster

While automation is extremely powerful, you need an email list to send to first!

This is where OptinMonster comes in…

It‘s the most beginner-friendly tool for growing your WooCommerce store‘s subscriber list.

With OptinMonster you can create high converting lead generation popups, floating bars, wheel spins, and more.

Use their 400+ templates and advanced targeting to capture more emails.

Then send your new subscribers targeted automations to boost sales.

It‘s a proven formula for eCommerce success!

Let‘s Get Started Driving More Engagement

As you can see, birthday and anniversary automations are extremely effective when done right.

Now that you know the fundamentals, it‘s time to put them into action.

Start engaging customers on a more personal level and watch your open rates, CTRs, and revenue grow.

As always, let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m always happy to help.

Written by Jason Striegel

C/C++, Java, Python, Linux developer for 18 years, A-Tech enthusiast love to share some useful tech hacks.