My birthday is approaching and boy have I been feeling the love already from some of my favorite businesses. I have been opening the mailbox to cards with special birthday coupons and hand-written notes and my email inbox has been receiving personalized html birthday greetings as well.

Birthdays are a great time to show your customers that you value their business, all while putting a smile on their face. And who doesn’t love to get spoiled on their birthday?

The simple act of ‘birthday marketing’ lets your customers know you care. While I think birthday marketing should mainly be used as a relationship-building opportunity, it can also increase sales at the same time. By offering your customers a special birthday treat or coupon, you’re enticing them to not only use the coupon, but to stop in or visit your website.

The birthday promotion does not need to be anything big. “It’s sometimes the little things that count.” While I stop by Family Fare to get my free birthday donut, I’ll probably pick up $100 worth of groceries and while I’m using my coupon at the Gap, I’ll be taking notice of the new fall merchandise that’s being stocked.

If you don’t have an easy way to set up a ‘Birthday Club’ or to collect customers birthdays, you may want to consider celebrating your business’ birthday instead. Offer customers a free gift or special promotion during your birthday month.