Restaurant and Retail Marketing: Send Birthday Emails

Laptop and GiftsOne of the most important challenges facing restaurant and retail owners is in drawing back return customers to their locations.

Advertising for new customers can be very expensive, while relying on customers to take initiative to come back after a single visit can be risky and unprofitable business.

A popular, tried and true way to boost return business throughout the year is to send personalized birthday emails to customers.

Make Customers Feel Special on Their Birthdays

Personalization is one of those “X factors” in marketing, where singling someone out from a group in a way that reminds them of their individuality can pay great dividends.

What better time of year to single someone out and make them feel special than their birthday? This is when many of us are more than happy to take a break, relax our egos a bit, and celebrate ourselves.

What better time of year to single someone out and make them feel special than their birthday?

Some of us are also willing to spend (or have someone else spend) some extra money on things like gifts and special birthday dinners.

A taylored and targeted offer can be just the thing to make someone feel special and remember us when they’re making the spending decisions surrounding their special times.

Step 1: Collect the Necessary Information

Sending birthday emails is simple.

We just need to collect just two things from our customers at our locations and/or websites:

Their email addresses
Their birthdays

At your location, keep subscription cards at your counter and/or provide them with the bill to dining customers.

On your website, you can simply add a field to your signup form asking for birthday information.

Step 2: Schedule Monthly Birthday Emails

Once we’ve started to collect this information, all we need to do is schedule monthly messages to cover the birthdays of each month.

If you’re using AWeber, just segment your list creating what is called a “view” before and schedule them:

Send Your Customers Birthday Email

By giving customers another reason to get your email newsletter, advertising birthday specials can help you grow your list of subscribers. Surprising them with special incentives to return to your location boosts business and helps to maintain a profitable subscription.

If you’ve been racking your brain thinking of ways to use your restaurant or store’s list and bring back customers, consider adding a birthday email to your campaign today.

More Restaurant Marketing Advice

Beyond Coupons – Ideas for how email marketing can help to reduce advertising costs and raise profits.
Meet the Chef – Have your restaurant’s biggest asset greet each of your customers without depleting their time for cooking.
Why Aren’t Customers Returning? – Discussion on the importance of consistency for building a regular customer base.
Two Steps to Better Service – How effectively collecting feedback from customers can help you improve your business.

For more information on email marketing for restaurants, view our complete Email Marketing for Restaurants Guide.


  1. Silvia Chauvin

    3/19/2008 1:27 pm

    While I find the monthly birthday email very interesting for a restaurant it is not so useful for another kind of business. In another industries I think that an email received the very same day of the birthday is much more appreciated.

    Once You have a "Birthday month" view Is there any away you can sort them by day and send a broadcast message only to the people whose birthday is that specific day?

  2. Restaurant Marketing: 5 List-Building Ideas

    9/21/2009 1:28 pm

    […] on restaurant marketing, we’ve floated a number of content ideas for your emails, like sending birthday emails and giving a behind-the-scenes look at your chef and […]

  3. LBM

    3/12/2010 5:57 pm

    These type of email marketing tips are great fodder for anyone looking for marketing clients. Thank you.

  4. Paula Kemp

    12/11/2011 3:50 am

    As a Holistic Therapist, I would also like to send birthday emails on the specific day of the clients birthday (which I did with Mailchimp, prior to subscribing with Aweber). Is this something that can be set up?