There’s a party in my inbox and everyone’s invited

Birthdays: the perfect excuse for excessive cake-eating, cork-popping, mad dancing and, of course, email marketing. It’s nothing new – brands have been using birthdays as a way to sell more stuff for a very long time. So, with my birthday coming up, I thought I’d collate the best offers for your perusal.

Bring on the birthday freebies:
The best of birthday CRM

Well, actually, most of the time it’s not quite a freebie – more just a slightly better value exchange, but still, it’s the thought that counts. Let’s start with Pizza Express, the forerunners in birthday gift CRM.

“Bring on the birthday freebies: The best of birthday CRM.”

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Free bottle of Prosecco or wine, or four bottles of beer*

*When you buy two full-priced meals

They’re smart at Pizza Express. A bottle of Prosecco on the menu costs £25. It probably costs them, at most, a fiver. You feel like you’re getting a real treat, and they’re not giving up anything too valuable. The catch here is that you must buy two full-priced main meals – no 2FOR1 vouchers, no Tesco Clubcard points, nuttin’. So, say you went in and bought two of their cheapest main courses, like the Classic Margherita pizza: you spend about £17 and you get two pizzas and a bottle of bubbles. A win for them and a win for you. Add starters, desserts or extra drinks and it starts to look a little less appetising. The voucher is valid for four weeks, so you have plenty of opportunities around your birthday to take advantage.
Bill’s also offered me the same birthday treat with exactly the same terms. It’s gonna be a boozy month.

Early to the birthday party was my ever-reliable friend, Boots.

Double Boots Advantage Card points for a month

Boots have taken a slightly different approach to the birthday treat, making it last the whole month. From 1st–31st March I could earn bonus points on all my purchases. In some ways, very generous, but with all the bonus points offers Boots send me each month, it doesn’t feel all that special. At least they remembered, which is more than can be said for a few of the brands I’m loyal to. Hmph.
It’s time for another meal out. Who’s paying this time?

£20 off your bill when you spend £50 at ASK Italian

It’s not often that a restaurant knocks 40% off your bill, but as a special birthday treat, that’s exactly what ASK Italian are doing. So, when you’ve had your fill of Prosecco from Bill’s and Pizza Express, move on to ASK Italian for a meal with a couple of friends. If you plan it carefully and spend as close to £50 as possible, you could enjoy £17 worth of food each for £11. Bargain!
For something a little more sophisticated, head down to your local Côte Brasserie.

Complimentary Kir Royales for the whole birthday party*

*When two people order main courses

Crème de cassis and champagne… Who could possibly resist? Head down to Côte with your pals for your birthday celebrations and these delicious aperitifs are on the house. What a nice touch – and at £4.95 per drink, it’s a pretty sweet deal. But you will need to order a full-priced main each to qualify for the birthday treat.
Now for the new kids on the block, well more specifically, the new kids on Glass Wharf (the building we call home!) – it’s Veeno.

A complimentary wine tasting experience

I got quite excited about this one when I saw it... Try five Sicilian wines, paired spuntini (aka nice little bits of food on the end of cocktail sticks), a sweet wine AND tiramisu for FREE! What’s the catch? Well, you need to take at least one person along with you and they’ll pay £26.95. Still, share the cost, and you get five glasses of wine each and some nibbly bits for a tenner per person. Winning! And you might even stumble out knowing a little more about Sicilian wines than you did before. A great way to celebrate with your other half, or maybe even a Tinder date.
When I’ve eaten and drunk myself to oblivion, it’ll be time to head down to The Body Shop for some ethical pampering.

£5 to spend on anything you like

Nothing says ‘Happy Birthday’ like free money. Sign up to the Love Your Body Club and you’ll get £5 credit on your loyalty account to spend within one month of your birthday. Treat yourself to some lovely lotions and pampering potions to help you forget that you are another year older.
The ones I missed out on that I wish I’d known about:
  • Free Birthday brow wax from the Benefit counter with Debenhams Beauty Club
  • £5 to spend at Space NK with N.dulge loyalty card
  • Free cookie at Millie’s Cookies with the Cookie Club
  • Free Patisserie Valerie cupcake with Cake Club
  • Free Krispy Kreme with Friends of Krispy Kreme Rewards
  • 20% off at New Look
  • £5 to spend at Paperchase (so I can buy myself a really posh birthday card)

So, what have we learnt from the best of the birthday CRM?

I think, much like a good gift, a birthday treat from a brand should be something you wouldn’t normally buy for yourself. Giving away bottles of bubbles, aperitifs and experiences that we would perhaps deem as too indulgent to spend our money on from day-to-day helps us feel super special. If you can’t think of one, then there’s always a voucher.

Right, I’d better get off to my first dinner date and start on all those free bottles of bubbles.

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Josie Gillingham

Language is constantly evolving, but the power of words stays constant. It’s this paradox that keeps me writing. Day in, day out.

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