When it comes to generating and improving customer loyalty, it's the simple things that count. A new report from marketing technology provider Fulcrum found that one of the best ways companies can strengthen their relationships with consumers is by simply remembering their birthdays.
Nearly three-quarters of respondents (74 percent) said they view companies who send them birthday messages more positively afterward. Eighty-eight percent of those positive reactions led to increased brand loyalty as well. Food and beverage companies were the biggest benefactors of this trend, with a whopping 96 percent of customers reporting increased loyalty after receiving a birthday message.
While a simple message was enough to suffice in many occasions, companies that gave customers birthday gifts were rewarded even more handsomely. One-quarter (24 percent) of people who received a birthday discount or gift responded even more positively.
Age was an important factor in consumer engagement efforts. Younger consumers were more apt to respond positively to birthday messages, with 92 percent of customers between the ages of 25 and 34 saying they were more loyal to companies that wished them happy birthday. Comparatively, only 73 percent of customers over the age of 55 reported a similar sentiment.
"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, Fulcrum. "Firms deploying campaigns to celebrate their customers' birthdays tighten consumer relationships while also creating the opportunity to market additional products and services."
Incorporating birthday alerts into mobile consumer engagement initiatives
Many businesses have already turned to loyally programs to bolster the business-customer relationship. Mobile devices have made the integration and execution of these efforts even easier than ever before, as it allows them to digitally track points and redemption.
Birthday alerts could easily be worked into existing mobile consumer engagement strategies. Many businesses already require customers to submit their date of birth when signing up for reward programs, so at that point, it's just a matter of creating an alert that is automatically sent to customers phones on that date.
Furthermore, brands are able to look at metrics such as purchase history to send the best possible gift or discount along with their birthday message. This data enables companies to be relevant while also showing customers they care. It's one thing to get a birthday message with a generic discount, it's another altogether to get a coupon for something customers specifically want and will use.
Although there are a variety of different ways brands can strengthen their relationships with customers, sending customized birthday messages and discounts is one of the simpler and more cost-efficient ways of doing so. For companies already running rewards efforts, it can be as simple as using information they've already collected and creating an automated alert.