Create an Automated Birthday Email

With automation, you can make sure each subscriber gets a custom birthday message or promotional offer on the right day for them. MailChimp can send a friendly email to your subscribers to wish them a happy birthday on, before, or after their actual birthday.

In this article, you’ll learn how to send an automatic birthday campaign to your subscribed contacts.

Task Roadmap

Setup for this automation has a few steps.

1 ) Add a Birthday Field

2 ) Create an Automation

3 ) Design Your Email or Email Series

4 ) Start Sending!

Add a Birthday Field to Your List or Form

To create a birthday campaign, you’ll first need contact birthday information in a MailChimp Birthday field. This is a list field where you’ll store the dates in MM/DD (Month/Day) format. A regular date field in MM/DD/YYYY (Month/Day/Year) format won’t work with this type of automation.

If you don’t have any birthday data yet, add a birthday field to your signup form to collect this information from contacts when they sign up. If you already have birthday data, you can update your list with an import.

Learn more:

Manage List and Signup Form Fields

Update Your List Fields via Import

Change a Date Field to a Birthday Field

Create an Automated Birthday Campaign

Now that you’ve got a birthday field in your MailChimp list, it’s time to get started on your email.

By default, the automated birthday campaign is a 3-email series that sends before, on, and after your subscriber’s birthday. You can change this to send more or fewer emails if you want.

To create an automated birthday campaign, follow these steps.

  1. Navigate to the Campaigns page.
  2. Click Create Campaign.
    Image: create campaign button
  3. In the pop-up modal, click Create an Email.
    Image: the mouse clicks the Create an Email Button
  4. Click Automated.
    image: the cursor clicks the Automated email tab
  5. Click Date Based and choose Say ‘happy birthday.’
    Image of the "Say happy" birthday automation description
  6. Enter a campaign name and click the drop-down menu to choose a list.
    Image of the campaign name and list selection process for creating an automated birthday email
  7. Click Begin.

Design your Email or Email Series

First, decide how many emails you want to send, and add, reorder, or delete emails from the series. Then, you’ll be ready to design your birthday email or email series. If you need a little design inspiration to get started, check out our birthday email tips.

To design your automation email, follow these steps.

  1. Click Design Email next to the email you want to work with.
    A screenshot of the Emails step of the automation builder, with the cursor pointed at "Design Email"

  2. On the Setup step, name your email, then enter the subject, preview text, from name, and from email address.
    A screenshot of email settings

  3. Click Next.

  4. On the Template step, select your template.

  5. On the Design step design your email.
    A screenshot of an example "Happy Birthday" campaign being designed in MailChimp
    Try the Preview and Test drop-down menu to access powerful testing tools to see how your email will look to subscribers.

  6. Click Save and Continue.

After you design your first email, repeat steps 1-6 for any other emails in your automated Birthday series.

Start Sending

After you design your automation, preview and test, and check your workflow settings, you’re ready to launch. We’ll handle the rest!

To launch your automation, follow these steps.

  1. On the Emails step of the Automation Builder, click Next to continue to the Confirm step.

  2. Review the checklist and click Resolve or Edit to make any necessary changes.
    A screenshot of the confirmation checklist for an automated birthday email that's ready to go.

  3. When you're ready, click Start Workflow to start sending your automation.
    A screenshot of the "Start Workflow" button

  4. In the pop-up modal, click Start Workflow to confirm.

It’s a party! Now your subscribed contacts will receive birthday emails from you. You can verify that someone received a birthday email in their subscriber profile, or the automation report.

Birthday Email Tips

A good birthday email helps subscribers know you care, and can also encourage them to make a purchase. Here are some tips to ensure success with birthday emails.

  • Check out Pinterest to see some great examples of birthday emails from various companies.

  • Be sure to personalize your email. Try merge tags to greet subscribers by their first name.

  • If you have a connected store, add promo codes or product recommendations to your emails to encourage subscribers to buy something or visit your store.

  • Try a birthday email series to send people extra reminders and well wishes. (For example: "We see your birthday is coming up! Here’s 25% off!" then "Happy birthday! Did you get your discount code?" and then "Let the party continue! You should treat yourself to 25% off.")

  • Take a look at your automation report anytime to see how well your birthday automation is doing, and how much revenue it’s earning for your business.

  • To change things up at anytime, you can pause and edit your automation.

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