Unlocking the power of personalised birthday rewards in loyalty programs
24 April 2024
Susan Walsh

Every year a special opportunity comes around, where brands can incorporate a truly personalised element into their loyalty program design. A member’s birthday!

Most loyalty programs tend to use tactical offers as their birthday reward rather than a physical gift or gift with purchase. There are many benefits to providing a birthday reward:

  • Foster member appreciation: It demonstrates to members that they are valued and appreciated, fostering a positive bond between the brand and the customer.
  • Increase engagement: Birthday rewards can encourage members to engage more with the loyalty program, leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Data collection: Birthday rewards can help the brand collect demographic data, which can be used to tailor promotions and offerings to specific segments.
  • Incremental sales: By offering a reward on a member’s birthday, brands can encourage incremental sales and increase brand advocacy.

Ideally a birthday reward should be personalised, relevant, valuable, and easy-to-redeem. You can also see if you can utilise efficient rewards in your loyalty program design. Read this article to learn more about efficient rewards. For more great suggestions on rewards to use for your birthday rewards, see this article.

Having recently had my turn around the sun, I wanted to share my experience with birthday offers and also pepper in some examples shared between the team at Loyalty & Reward Co.

Physical experiences


Provided a free little treat for a few days around my birthday – a Krispy Kreme donut! It was a lovely, sweet treat – but what made it even more engaging was the team member wishing me a happy birthday when they saw in the POS it was a birthday reward. Read more about the 7-Eleven program.

Any room for improvement? Personally, I would have preferred a little treat based on my past purchase history.

4/5 birthday candles

Boost Juice

A week before my birthday I happened to order a juice and was informed about their program, especially about how I would get a free juice on my birthday. You guessed it – I joined. Sadly, I was working on my birthday and went over to claim my juice in my lunch break. I prefer being served by a human, rather than a machine, so I went to the counter to be served. Easy process, I swiped my card, choose my juice – to which the team member wished me a happy birthday AND used my name. I was then informed my juice was free. I was even wished another happy birthday when I picked up my yummy juice. Read more about the Boost Juice Vibe Club.

Nice and easy mechanics. The team were highly engaged. I wouldn’t change a thing!

5/5 birthday candles

Bakers Delight

I do love a nice loaf of bread – so when I received the email to say I had a birthday scone waiting for me I was very excited. I was extremely disappointed in my experience though. I ordered a loaf of bread and provided my account detail. The team member then asked for me to pay – no acknowledgement of my birthday treat. At this point I prompted to see if my birthday reward was on my account or not? Of course, it was – but the team member didn’t bother to check if I had any rewards at all. I then had to provide my details again. It was a very underwhelming experience, and I it didn’t make me feel special. Read more about Dough Getters.

Any room for improvement? All team members should be trained to look in the POS for any rewards and provide that special value add.

2 / 5 candles


When my birthday month started and throughout my birthday month until the day itself, a colleague and I received many birthday emails.


A yummy free ice cream scoop to redeem over the next six months!

I love that you can save the voucher in your app for a future use. Read more on their program.

Any room for improvement? Personally, I would have a shortened the redemption period. Six months is a very long time.

4/5 birthday candles


A voucher for $25 off a new pair of glass/sunglasses. Minimum spend is $100 and a 90 day expiry – which does seem very fair. Read more on Bupa Life Rewards.

Any room for improvement? It would be great to have an image in the email based on my previous purchases e.g. Calvin Klein branded reading glasses in the latest style.

2.5/5 birthday candles


A free treat when I book my next movie. I can choose before a small popcorn or small post mix drink. Expiry is 30 days. Read more about Hoyts.

Any room for improvement? The efficient rewards are great but surely I could get one of each! They are only small in size. I also feel the expiry could be longer, as there might be a new movies of interest coming out post 30 days.

2.5/5 birthday candles


A simple message of happy birthday. No offer. Read more about Friend of Laphroaig.

Any room for improvement? Provide a meaningful offer based on my purchase history.

1/5 birthday candles

Mad Mex

Holey guacamole! A free burrito to redeem once through my birthday month. Very simple mechanics – everything will be available in the app. Read more about the Mad Mex program.

Any room for improvement? Maybe check my order history and offer me something I love to enjoy.

3.5/5 birthday candles

The Pass

A $20 credit to use on food/drink within the next three weeks. Very simple mechanics – everything will be available in the app. I also love how the email has my points balance included. Read more about The Pass.

Any room for improvement? No.

5/5 birthday candles


Order any main and receive a free snack size chippies of my choice. Voucher has a 31 day expiry which is very fair. Read more about the Relish program.

Any room for improvement? Snack size…. But they are soo small.

3.5/5 birthday candles


A $20 voucher to use with 30 days. Very simple mechanics – everything will be available in the app. I also love how the email has my points balance included. Read more about the program.

Any room for improvement? No.

5/5 birthday candles

City Beach

A 20% voucher for full priced items. Very simple mechanics – barcode in the email. Read more about the program.

Any room for improvement? A smaller percentage and available across all products might be more appealing.

4.5/5 birthday candles

Best & Less

I received a very shocking email, I needed to spend more money over the next two weeks to qualify for a discount birthday voucher! Read more about the program.

No – I wasn’t urged to spend more money.

Any room for improvement? Yes. Firstly, if I need to spend more to qualify, please tell me how much and also what I will be eligible for. My email told me none of these details.

How is it a treat that I need to spend more? The comms in the message “2 weeks left to qualify for your birthday treat!”. This does not feel special.

0/5 birthday candles


I could earn double points at their restaurants during my birthday month. Read more about the program.

Any room for improvement? I would have expected a glass of something with my meal.

1/5 birthday candles


A 15% voucher for full priced items in my birthday month. Very simple mechanics – barcode in the email. Read more about the program.

Any room for improvement? No.

4.5/5 birthday candles

Overall, a well-designed birthday reward within a loyalty program can enhance member satisfaction, drive engagement, and contribute to the overall success of the loyalty program design. Ensure to always do your business due diligence on the cost of your rewards. See this handy article.

Checklist of questions to consider when offering a birthday reward in your loyalty program:

  • Does it make sense for your business to offer birthday rewards? For some businesses it makes more sense to celebrate a member’s anniversary milestones rather than birthday
  • Do you have any efficient rewards members would love?
  • Is the member value exchange clear when you are asking them to provide their birthdate? E.g., when asking a member for this data point make it clear why you are collecting it – so they can receive a gift on their birthday. This helps with trust and data accuracy.
  • What will the reward be? ($ off, % off, GWP, etc)
  • How will the reward be redeemed (instore, online, barcode, app etc)?
  • What will the subject line be in your email?
  • What is the value of the reward to the member – do you tier these?
  • Do you have birthday rewards included in your staff training for orientation?
  • Do you have a means to continually remind staff monthly of all offers (including a reminder about birthday ones!)
  • Do you want to setup feedback from members (surveys, reviews etc) to find out their feelings of their birthday reward?
  • Can you provide a way for members to share their birthday redemption in social media?
  • How long will the voucher/offer last for? (1 day, 1 week, 1 month)
  • What is the cost to the business for redemption?
  • In what ways does having a birthday reward attribute to business KPIs?
  • Can you clearly track results?
  • Do you need to provide a different offer to achieve required results?

Looking to implement personalisation into your loyalty program?

Our loyalty consultants can help. Contact us to learn more about our comprehensive loyalty services and talk with our loyalty consultants to understand how to develop or optimise your loyalty program strategy.

<a href="https://loyaltyrewardco.com/author/susan/" target="_self">Susan Walsh</a>

Susan Walsh

Susan is a Loyalty Director at Loyalty & Reward Co, the leading loyalty consulting firm. Loyalty & Reward Co design, implement, and operate the world’s best loyalty programs for the world’s best brands. Susan has previously worked in product, marketing and business roles at Optus and Virgin Mobile, Catch Connect Mobile, Coles Mobile, Proactiv Skincare and ABC Shops. Susan applies her skills across all aspects of the business, including implementation and operations, loyalty program design, member engagement and digital marketing.

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