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Happy Anniversary!


By Julia Peavy

Ok. So it’s not my anniversary, but who doesn’t like to celebrate a special occasion? Your subscribers are no different. While many marketers have hopped on the birthday email bandwagon, not as many have implemented triggered emails that celebrate other milestones (some that require no data from subscribers).

While many senders use email to celebrate their brand’s anniversary, focusing on the subscriber’s anniversary is an opportunity to make the email about the subscriber, not the sender. And, the more personal and targeted an email can be, the more likely a subscriber is to engage with it.

The beauty of these anniversary emails is that they can work for a variety of senders and the timeframe can be modified based on the business model. A publisher of a daily health newsletter might celebrate a half year anniversary of “getting serious about improving your health” or a financial company could send an email that celebrates the number of years a subscriber has had an account with their institution. Here are three senders from different industries that have used the “email anniversary” as an opportunity to send a targeted, triggered email that only requires the email sign-up date.

Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut uses the subject line” You Have an Anniversary Offer Waiting,” congratulates the subscriber on a “year of greatness,” and invites the subscriber to kick off the new year with free food. Over the last month, these emails had a read rate 16 percent higher than the 30-day read rate average for Pizza Hut. The clear call-to-action button as well as the promotion of a “pizza party” makes this an effective email.


Crocs utilizes the email sign-up anniversary to celebrate with subscribers on a yearly basis. And like Pizza Hut, these emails provide an offer for these subscribers. However, Crocs doesn’t use the word “anniversary” in the subject line. Instead, they promote a reason to celebrate with the subject line “A gift for you. Let’s celebrate 1 year together!”  These emails still only require the email sign-up date and a simple creative and subject line update for each year. These emails provide a relevant touch point later in the subscriber lifecycle and an opportunity to reach out to potentially inactive subscribers with a triggered email. These emails have a read rate over 2 times that of the regular Crocs’ emails.


Rent the Runway

Rent the Runway uses the anniversary email to celebrate “joining Rent the Runway.” The email entices subscribers with the subject line “You've Earned a 1 Year Anniversary Surprise!” and also provides a reason to celebrate with $20 off the subscriber’s next rental.  In addition, Rent the Runway also uses the anniversary of a subscriber’s first rental (with the subject line “Happy Rent-iversary - Here's A Gift To Celebrate!”) as a reason to celebrate with a special offer. Because subscribers potentially rent attire for special occasions that may recur on a yearly basis (anniversaries, holidays, etc.), these emails are likely to be even more timely and relevant and make past renters feel special.

While each of these senders has a slightly different approach with their subject line and how they expand their anniversary emails, each sender provides an incentive for subscribers and focuses on celebrating the subscriber.   Keep the “email anniversary” in mind when crafting triggered emails that focus and celebrate your own subscribers.

Julia Peavy is director, response consulting, for email intelligence firm Return Path.



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