People love feeling special. As a marketer or brand representative, this is a huge “in” for you. Whether it’s birthdays, births, or special victories, there are certain milestones in your client or audience’s life that you should always be celebrating. As your company grows, though, this is harder to keep up with – except for birthdays. Birthdays are a perennial opportunity, a consistent year date that will always have special meaning to your clients. This is the date that should also matter to you.

Recognizing your clients’ birthdays gives us a chance to say “hey, look at me.” Of course, you’re recognizing their special day but that recognition is coming from you – so they’re also going to be recognizing you. This is a classic social media move: always wish people a happy birthday. Many times that just gets you on someone’s radar and/or it opens up a dialogue.

This is where email marketing is more special. If you’ send your email subscriber a birthday email campaign – especially if it’s personalized – you’re able to send them a digital card versus what everyone else is doing, which is just sending them a message.

Birthday campaigns can be automated. Put it in your project management system to set aside a couple hours at the start of each month or quarter and schedule email campaigns. The more personalized, the better. Even using someone’s name or getting their style down and sending them something tailored to suit their tastes shows you’ve taken the extra step as a brand.

When sending a campaign you can offer a discount code or a freebie with purchase. If you’re able to, the best bet is to send a small gift that they can redeem by entering a special code on your landing page at checkout. It can have a $5 or $10 value, but it’s something they’re getting for free that triggers interest. Even just directing a consumer to your landing page to enter the code – even without purchase – will likely get them to make that purchase.

However, it’s really about more than just the purchase. It’s about the brand and creating bonds with consumers. Sephora, a titanic makeup retailer, offers a pretty decent sized freebie. They offer a special “birthday cake” scented bath soap or bubble bath. For the retailer, it’s a drop in the ocean compared to how much they make a year. For recipients, it became a huge talking about and got people to sign up for the mailing list in order to get the freebie.

There’s the real silver lining in giving away something in an email campaign – and that’s getting people to sign up as your subscriber in the first place. Even if you’re giving away something of small value to you, you’re gaining subscribers who are going to likely hang on in the long run, which means they will also be exposed to other email campaigns. And who said the act of giving is more rewarding than the act of receiving? If you plan it right, you can both give and receive for mutual gain.