Remembering and acknowledging a customer's birthday is a good method to build brand loyalty, confirms the results of a recent online survey conducted by analytics and marketing technology provider Fulcrum.
The survey finds that nearly three out of four (74 percent) of consumers who received e-mailed birthday messages from a company they do business with think more positively of the company afterwards. Eighty-eight percent of those positive reactions translate to increased brand loyalty.
The impact is the greatest within the food and beverage industry, particularly restaurants. Ninety-two percent of consumers receiving greetings from food and beverage establishments, such as Ruby Tuesday and Applebee’s, think more positively about the sending company, and 96 percent report an increase in loyalty toward the restaurant.
The survey also reveals that birthday greetings that included some type of discount or coupon were 24 percent more effective in positively impacting consumer opinion than simple birthday greetings (87 percent and 70 percent, respectively). Many brands use e-mail clubs to generate birthday coupons, providing the potential of ongoing customer engagement throughout the year.
"While marketers who recognize their customers' birthdays assume the message creates an even stronger relationship with them, our consumer research confirms the positive influence on both the brand's image and future sales to that customer," says Tara Piazza, senior vice president, Fulcrum. "Firms deploying campaigns to celebrate their customers' birthdays tighten consumer relationships while also creating the opportunity to market additional products and services."
Age played a decisive role in how birthday greetings impacted brand loyalty. Consumers between the ages of 25 and 34 years were far more likely to report increased loyalty, at 92 percent, compared to 73 percent of consumers 55 years and older. Income level and gender played significantly smaller roles in differentiating consumer responses.
According to Fulcrum, participating in a customer birthday e-mail campaign is an excellent marketing tool, as birthday greetings generally have the highest click and conversation rate among all operational e-mails, are essentially cost-free, and lack the risk of a negative consumer response.
By Joann Whitcher