How companies are recognising customer’s birthday? Sephora email

Ok, so it’s been a while, but I’m back and inspired about email marketing and a few other digital marketing things.

February is one of the best months because it’s my birthday and I can see which companies I subscribe (newsletters) remember my birthday and what they offer me. My birthday is under two weeks away and I’ve only received one email targeting my birthday. The thoughtful email was from Sephora, a US cosmetic and beauty company doing some great stuff online.

Below is the email I received:

Sephora - My birthday email sent on 6 Feb 2010

Sephora - My birthday email sent on 6 Feb 2010

This email details are:

  • Send date: Saturday, 6th February 2010 – exactly two weeks before my birthday
  • Send time: 8.59pm (Sydney time)
  • Subject line: It’s almost your birthday! Open your gift early.
  • Offer: Beautiful Eyes Kit redeemable instore or online
  • Small print: The offer is valid for one month (two weeks before and two weeks after my birthday)

When I clicked through to the site from the email, this is the journey I went on.

1. Signed in page (personalised Sephora page)

Sephora Login - Birthday message

Sephora Login - Birthday message

2. Birthday offer highlighted as the first message

Sephora Login - Birthday message details

Sephora Login - Birthday message details

3. Automatic offer included in checkout

Sephora Login - Checkout with birthday message

Sephora Login - Checkout with birthday message


  • Subject lines: Subject line invites you to open the email because there is a mention of a gift. I opened this email instantly to see what my present was.
  • Customer journey: Ensure the customer journey is seamless. If you make it easy for a consumer, they have a great experience and will return.



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Overview of Apple’s email marketing

OK, so I have become a little obsessed with Apple’s email marketing and understanding what they are doing and not doing.

Below is a presentation showing Apple’s email marketing or a collection of all the images used in the previous posts, as well as a screen grab of the email visable in the preview panel. It’s an interesting journey and has definitely helped me understand more about their ongoing communications and why clients love Apple so much.


Are there any other company emails/newsletters that you think are doing a great job? Would be really interested to read anything else?



Web development: 10 assumptions to think about

Palmer Web Marketing wrote an interesting article about 10 assumptions that must be considered when developing a website.  Below are the 10 assumptions:

  1. People will know how to find your website
  2. People know what you sell
  3. Everything will go as planned
  4. People know where to click
  5. People know how to get home
  6. People know where they are
  7. People know how to buy
  8. People will volunteer loads of personal information
  9. People will contact customer service if they have a question or problem
  10. People will come back

I think assumption 1 and 10 are true within most agencies: people know how to find your site and they will return. Too often we build these great sites for clients, but don’t think about how we are going to drive traffic to the site or what we are going to do to ensure it keeps back. As corny as it is, we need to think of a website being like an island, without bridges it doesn’t get any traffic. It’s our role to define what those bridges are (a combination of paid for and free traffic) and how we can generate a constant stream of traffic to the site/island.

There are so many ways that traffic can be driven to a website (I will post more about this because it is one of my favourite topics):

In regards to driving repeat traffic, this is extremely hard. Question: how many campaign sites do you return to on a weekly basis? I don’t go back to many unless it’s connected to a promotion/competition that I am actually interested in winning or it is one of my client’s competitors sites.


If there are two things to take out of this post, they are think about:

  1. How you are going to drive traffic to the site consistently (even after the campaign launch period)
  2. How you will drive traffic back to the site (what’s the incentive? content? promotion? other? Why would they come back?)
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Digital marketing 101 – An interactive intro

One of the most viewed posts (from this blog) and referring search terms are around digital training or advertising agency training for digital/interactive. Every agency is craving digital training and trying to up skill all staff quickly. In Sydney, there are so many digital courses and conferences out there, but it is hard to know which ones are right for the different skill sets.

Based on the iSchool sessions I ran at Y&R Brands (see previous post), I have put together an updated digital marketing introduction or basic 101 session for agency staff.


The purpose of the presentation is to provide a basic overview of digital marketing, the different facets and how companies are embracing digital. This is only a short/quick introduction to digital.


Traditional advertising agency staff across all areas: strategy, account service, production and creative.


The presentation covers very basic digital topics including:

  1. Short introduction to the Internet
  2. Customers online: a paradigm shift
  3. Advertising today
  4. Online advertising
  5. Search consumption (SEM & SEO)
  6. Blogs
  7. Social networks
  8. Website
  9. Email
  10. Benchmarks & ROI
  11. Top 3 online trends

The presentation doesn’t cover the following topics (another presentation will be created for these):

  1. Mobile
  2. RSS
  3. In-depth web development
  4. Driving traffic (social marketing)


If you would like a copy of the presentation, please send me an email (in presentation) or post me a comment.

Written by Dominique Hind

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