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Best Direct Mail Campaigns: Birthday Marketing Campaigns
Direct Mail
November 14, 2023

Best Direct Mail Campaigns: Birthday Marketing Campaigns

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Stephanie Donelson

Each month we feature some pieces from our best direct mail campaigns collection that inspire our own direct mail marketing efforts, and we hope they inspire yours as well.

Today, we’re highlighting some brands that are using direct mail creatively in customer retention campaigns in the way that they send mailers to celebrate customers’ birthdays! Let’s get this (birthday) party started and discuss what elements make these campaigns great.

Outside of a birthday card direct mail campaign from Chewy
The inside of the birthday card from Chewy
A birthday card campaign from Chewy


Chewy, an online retailer of pet food and other pet-related products, has mastered direct mail marketing. We’ve featured the brand before and it’s back with another amazing campaign, this time themed to a pet’s birthday. While the pet in question can’t read the card, its owner will love the personalization and reminder to shower their pet with attention and maybe some birthday treats. Let’s look at the elements that make this a best direct mail campaign:

  • Format: The mailer is a simple birthday card but still feels special. The handwriting print inside adds an extra touch of personalization.
  • Images: Even Grumpy Cat would crack a smile at seeing the cute pet birthday pictures featured on this card.
  • QR code: Not only did Chewy feature a QR code to make it easy to shop right from the mailer, it also added a bow on top to make it look like a gift box! The QR code leads to a birthday shop landing page that has sections for dog owners and cat owners and breaks it down even further into different categories, depending on what the pet owner would like to buy.
  • Social media: Chewy also does a good job of requesting User-Generated Content (UGC) on social media by asking to be tagged in birthday celebration posts, as well as show what social media channels the brand is on in case recipients want to start following Chewy if they haven’t already.
A birthday postcard from DSW
A birthday direct mail campaign from DSW
A birthday direct mail postcard from DSW


DSW or Designer Shoe Warehouse, is a shoe retailer that offers in-store shopping experiences as well as online shopping. As part of its VIP loyalty program, DSW rewards its members with a $5 off discount for their birthdays.

  • QR code: The postcard has an easy-to-scan QR code for instant redemption of the offer. It is interesting to see that there isn’t a promo code for shoppers who don’t want to use their phone to shop.
  • Images: The images on this mailer are bright and attention grabbing. The gold balloons, the glitter, the color matching to brand colors, it’s celebratory but not too loud or distracting. The featured image is more about the celebratory mood and excitement around the recipient’s birthday instead of zeroing in too much on the products available.
  • Copy: The messaging references birthdays, gifts, and a party to tap into the positive feelings around birthday celebrations and encouraging the recipient to treat themselves on their special day.
A direct mail campaign from Express
A mailer from Express promoting its line of jeans
A birthday direct mail campaign from Express
Birthday mail from Express


Express, a fashion retailer, doesn’t wait for its customer’s actual birthday when they’re probably getting a ton of offers, but instead offers them a half birthday deal! As they say, “Because celebrating you once a year just isn’t enough.” Let’s see what else is working in this campaign:

  • Copy: The copy tells the recipient they don’t have to wait until their birthday to treat themselves to new and discounted clothing. Plus, it’s easy as you just sign in and shop and can do so 24/7 on the site or on the app, and recipients can take advantage of the exclusive discounts.
  • Offers: Not only does the recipient get $5 in Express Cash, there are other offers available inside the mailer for even more discounts and reasons to shop.
  • Images: Express is really letting its pictures say a thousand words instead of using copy to sell its jeans. It’s showcasing the variety of styles, colors, and sizes available. Skinny, hyper stretch, and flexx jeans, no matter what type the recipient wants, they can get them!
  • Sustainability: Express adds a recycling logo to remind recipients to responsibly dispose of the mailer once they’re done with it.

Get the holiday party started

While birthday campaigns can run year-round, the holidays are quickly approaching right now! Get your holiday direct mail campaigns up and running just in time for the holiday season with our eBook: A Data-Driven Guide to Holiday Direct Mail Success.

Recommended resources

Generating Sales with Direct Mail

5 Hacks for Quickly Creating a Direct Mail Campaign

Direct Mail Marketing: What Marketers can Learn from Each Other and Consumers

3 Focus Areas for Direct Mail Strategies and How to Measure the Results

5 Things To Try in Your Direct Mail - Based on Real Results

How to Send Mail with Lob

Meet your marketing goals one direct mail campaign at a time

When it comes to creating a great direct mail campaign, you don’t have to start from scratch. Explore our best direct mail collection to find ideas of what you can incorporate into your next mailpiece or what elements you should be testing to further optimize your own marketing campaigns.

Curious to learn more about using direct mail alongside email marketing in your organization? Talk to one of our direct mail experts to see how easy it is to get started with Lob’s direct mail automation software.

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