Last week was my birthday, and a few retailers stood out, sending me personalized communications, timed appropriately with a birthday message. I believe that many more retailers know this information since I have provided it to them in the past, and I was actually surprised that only a small handful took action, sending me a triggered email. I can definitely say that these emails caught my attention, got me to open, and increased my positive feelings toward these brands.
Foley+Corinna and Banana Republic went a step above and beyond, including an additional discount code to use during my birthday month. Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp offered me a free class which I thought was a nice touch and a great example of how even small companies can take advantage of the information they know about you to create customized experiences.
subject line: Happy Birthday to Youuuu!
The only somewhat negative association was that Vanguard emailed me asking me to verify beneficiaries which seemed a bit distasteful. Similarly, my husband received a solicitation from a cemetery on his birthday, trying to sell plots. Not exactly what you want to think about on your special day!