Rekindle the Spark with Three Simple Anniversary Emails

By Greg Zakowicz | 24 Mar 2016

Anniversary emails are a great way to reward customer loyalty, re-engage subscribers and leverage data. Here are three simple anniversary email strategies.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before — life cycle messages drive revenue. Retailers are constantly looking for simple, automated messages to not only contribute to their bottom line, but also re-engage subscribers. While the usual suspects — birthday and re-engagement messages — are often used, the anniversary message is underused. When people think of anniversary messages, they tend to think of wedding anniversaries, but this message can actually take on several different forms.

Purchase anniversary

Using only the first order date, you can automate an anniversary message to customers one year from the date of their first online purchase. This message should explain the anniversary, thank the customer and invite them to come back with a special offer. These contacts are your valued subscribers. Not only did they purchase from you, but they remain an email subscriber one year later.

This is also a great opportunity to ask if their tastes or preferences have changed and ask them to manage their preferences as a secondary call to action.

You can continue to send this message in subsequent years. If you do, however, be sure to change the creative and offer. You can even use past order information to determine how valuable these contacts are and provide incentives based on average order value (AOV), lifetime orders or dollars spent.

Wedding anniversary

While a more traditional example, a wedding anniversary is still a great life cycle message for many retailers. Yet, I am amazed that it is so rarely executed. Do you sell lingerie, gift baskets, flowers, jewellery, traditional anniversary gifts (e.g. leather, paper, etc.), or other relationship-related products? If so, you should be collecting and using this information.

This is an opportunity to message someone who has shared intimate information with you. They trust you; provide them with value for that.

With a wedding anniversary, be sure to send this message before the actual date so the customer has time to shop, compare items and have the gift delivered. If you offer white glove service, gift wrapping or other valet-type services, offer those either as add-ons or as part of a wedding anniversary package. If you have the ability to customise product suggestions by price point or by something such as traditional anniversary gift, do so.

You can always send a goodwill anniversary message on the actual day, but if you do, don’t include a call to action to shop. Link the message directly to your site, to an unrelated social callout or simply omit any call to action altogether.

Sign-up anniversary

Send this email on the anniversary of a subscriber’s subscription date. This message can be triggered yearly, and it should treat the recipients well. Show them how much you appreciate that they are still active members of your email program.

Offering an incentive based on their purchase history is a perfect strategy to use here. How many purchases have they made? Do they have a low AOV? Based on their history you can include incentives to reward customer loyalty, attempt to increase their AOV by setting a minimum spend, or drive a first purchase by reinforcing your brand’s value.

While you can send this message every year, be sure to factor in purchase behaviour when sending it the first time. If the subscriber opted in at the point-of-sale, do not send the sign-up anniversary message. Instead, defer to the purchase anniversary. If these dates are within a few weeks of one another, however, you may want to defer to the purchase date. Use your best judgment here.

There you have it! Three incredibly simple automated email marketing messages that can help drive revenue and re-engage subscribers with your email program. Have fun, be creative and nurture your valued email subscribers.



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