See Andy's other stuff:

RSS Feed

Follow Andy

Contact Me >>

Newsletter #752: The “Happy Birthday” Issue

{Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I Thought of That Email Newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.}

Birthdays are excellent times to both reach out to existing customers as well as earn some new ones.

1> Get them in the store
2> Get ahead of the rush
3> Get your own party
4> Check it out: What does your phone number spell?

1> Get them in the store

Birthdays are excellent opportunities to bring in lots of customers because it’s an event that’s celebrated with friends. Apparel retailer American Eagle gets it right by offering an in-store discount to customers celebrating their birthday. Victoria’s Secret runs a similar promotion, offering shoppers a free pair of birthday undies. Try bringing in the birthday party by offering a nice discount or freebie, or by waiving any rental fees or cover charges for birthday groups.

The Lesson: If you can bring in the birthday boy or girl with something great, you’ve got a chance at selling to all their friends, too.

2> Get ahead of the rush

The problem with marketing to someone celebrating their birthday is that lots of folks do it. But, if you think like cosmetics retailer Sephora, you can beat the rush. Sephora sends customers an early note, saying that while they know it’s still two weeks before the big party, they like to give early presents — usually a small gift that can be redeemed in their stores or online. You can overcome the birthday marketing blitz by reaching out to your customers a little early, or by putting a spin on it all and celebrating a different milestone — like a half-birthday.

The Lesson: Don’t get lost in the shuffle. Let your customers know how you’d like to celebrate their big day by finding a time when they’re less likely to be bombarded with offers.

3> Get your own party

Customers aren’t the only ones with birthdays. If you’ve been in business for a while, you deserve a celebration — and your biggest fans will love it. Chicago retailer Akira went all-out for their 7th birthday. Their “Retrospectacular” in-store celebration featured wild decorations, complimentary cocktails, and live entertainment — and a 20 percent discount off all purchases. Once the store closed, the party rolled on to a nearby dance club where fans and employees continued the celebration. Though your celebration may not involve booze and fancy clubs, you could still have a memorable event by inviting customers and families to join you for a day in the park or by hosting an online, virtual get-together.

The Lesson: There’s no better way to make some new friends than by throwing a great party, and your birthday is a great excuse to do it.

4> Check it out: What does your phone number spell?

Does your phone number spell anything? You can quickly check it out over at Unfortunately for us, the best we could use is 31-by-fax-000; but hopefully you’ll have something much more memorable.

Check it out:

Email to a friend:

Privacy: We won't save or reuse these emails.


  1. Craig Rentmeester October 15, 2009 at 10:39 am #


    Thanks for sharing I am actually getting a phone number for my start up later today. I’ll be able to quickly run the available numbers for something intriguing using this tool, instead of doing it manually.


Get My Newsletter!

Subscribe to Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! for a weekly email full of unusually useful ideas for smart marketers. Great marketing is about brains, not bucks. The best business ideas are easy to do, inexpensive, and fun. Learn to simplify your business, earn word of mouth, and thrill your customers:

Never display this again