Wishing customers "happy birthday" is an easy way to earn their repeat business, new research shows.
A study by analytics and marketing technology provider Fulcrum revealed that nearly three-quarters of consumers who received birthday messages from a company they do business with thought more positively of the company afterward, with 88 percent of those positive reactions translating into increased brand loyalty.
The consumers surveyed responded most positively to birthday greetings from food and beverage companies, including Baskin-Robbins, Ruby Tuesday and Starbucks. Ninety-six percent of consumers who received greetings from such food and beverage establishments had a more positive image of the company that sent the message.
"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," said Tara Piazza, senior vice president at Fulcrum. "Firms deploying campaigns to celebrate their customers' birthdays tighten consumer relationships while also creating the opportunity to market additional products and services."
The research found that while nearly all birthday greetings receive favorable consumer responses, those that included discounts positively influenced the most people. Greetings that included some type of discount or gift were 24 percent more effective than birthday greetings alone in positively impacting consumer opinion.
The study discovered that age plays a decisive role in how birthday messages impact brand loyalty. More than 90 percent of the survey respondents ages 25 to 34 reported increased loyalty, compared with 73 percent of those age 55 and older.
Researchers said the study's results suggest that companies that aren't sending shoppers birthday wishes by email are missing out on a strong opportunity to engage with customers in a very influential way. They added that birthday greetings generally have the highest click and conversation rates among all operational emails, are essentially cost-free and lack the risk of a negative consumer response.
Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.