You’ve probably heard lots of companies offer all sorts of fun freebies for your birthday. Well, I like free (good!) stuff, so each year around my birthday I go on the hunt for free birthday treats from some of my favorite places. And I do it for two reasons:
- I like free stuff (I said that already, but it bears repeating!).
- I like to pay attention to the communication and marketing from the biggest companies.
This morning I spent a few minutes looking through a list of free birthday offers (you can find them with a quick search on your favorite search engine for “birthday freebies”) and signing up for the various birthday clubs. Typically that simply means signing up an email address, your full name, and adding your birth date. In exchange for your birthday freebie, you agree you be on the electronic mailing list of the company. Not a bad exchange.
For any business, having a birthday club and offering a free gift makes sense – it’s a winning situation for both parties. The birthday person enjoys something of small value for free or receives a special discount once per year, while the business gets to market to the birthday person all year, adding another name to their marketing list, and thereby reaching more goals by increasing that benchmark by one for very little cost per addition. Plus, when these companies factor in how few of the birthday club members will actually take advantage of the birthday offer, they truly have nothing to lose and everything – including good will – to gain.
Back to my freebies – uh, um – I mean – market research this morning when I signed up for four offers. I then steeled myself to open my email, waiting to see welcome messages from each business, as well as the first promotion, discount or deal. I expected to receive at the very least four confirmation messages, but was thinking I’d most likely be in store for a minimum of eight messages. Guess what I got.
Only one of the national companies where I registered for their birthday club thought it’d be a good idea to reach out and welcome me via email with a confirmation message.
I’ll admit, I feel a little ignored.
Here I am, telling these companies it’s ok to reach out to me, in most cases even telling them my preferred location. It’s like I’m saying, “Market to me. I like your stuff. Give me a reason to buy something right now!” And most of them chose to ignore me.
Oh, I’m sure my data was entered into their systems and I have no doubt at some point I’ll hear from each of them. But they missed out on a golden opportunity. I hope you’re not missing out like they are. When you get a new registration for any of your online offers, you have a chance to immediately communicate with them. Here is the information you can be sending, either in one email message or several over the course of a few days:
- Confirmation Message: When people enter their name and email address into an online form, they like to know everything worked the way it should. Taking them to a confirmation page on your website is a good start, but now you have their email address. Make sure your autoresponders are set to send an immediate confirmation message to the email entered.
- Welcome to the Club: This can be combined with the confirmation email message and might even have a surprise bonus or offer in the message. When you call your birthday marketing campaign a “club,” people start to feel like they belong – at the very least they feel like they are welcome to your business. And that’s important for the beginning of that relationship.
- What to Expect: People like to be in the know. So when you contact them shortly after they sign up to hear from you, let them know what they can expect from you, when they will hear from you, and what kinds of messages you will be sending. You also want to give them a reason to stay registered beyond their birthday to continue receiving your special offers. For example, you could offer club members early or extended hours on a sale, or advance notice on a product or service that could sell out quickly. The only way to know about these offers is via email, and therefore they will want to stay subscribed.
- Your Social Media Links: Many customers like to interact with you and your brand, so give them that opportunity to do so through their social media of choice: Facebook page, Twitter, and YouTube.
- Ask for Referrals: In the moment when people give you their contact information, especially for a birthday club or free offer, they are usually excited about the offer, so why not give them the opportunity to share the love. Remind them to forward the birthday club to their friends so their friends can get the free deal, too. You build your community and subscriber base with the powerful word-of-mouth referral. It couldn’t be better!
Does your business offer a birthday club of any kind? What could you offer your clients, customers, and subscribers as a free gift for their special day? I’d love to hear what works for you or any questions in the comments below.