This article will walk you through how to use the Happy Birthday apps Customer Birthday Flow trigger to begin a Shopify Marketing Automation. The purpose of the automation is to then send out a Birthday email to a customer via Shopify Email.
- Marketing automations are available to any Merchant on a paid Shopify plan.
- This trigger relies on the Birthday Club member also existing as a customer within your Shopify Store as the trigger needs to be associated with a valid Shopify Customer ID.
- Shopify Email will only be sent to a customer if they have subscribed to email marketing.
- Why use the Customer Birthday trigger?
- Selecting the trigger to start a marketing automation
- Selecting Shopify Email as the action for your Workflow
- Choosing and customising the Shopify Email template
- Configuring your Flow trigger settings
- Final considerations
- Testing the marketing automation
- Need any help?
Why use the Customers Birthday trigger?
You may wish to use Shopify Email to send out your birthday emails rather than the default email sending feature within the Happy Birthday app. There are some drawbacks to this approach, which we will cover later.
You may even decide to use the flow trigger to send out a pre or post birthday emails to your customers as a teaser ahead of their Birthday email. You could even use it to send them a follow-up email to remind them to use their unique Birthday discount code.
It's entirely up to you how you use your flow trigger.
We're hoping to eventually see more flexibility within the Shopify Marketing Automation builder so that more customer specific data can be used within the email template merge fields.
Selecting the trigger to start a marketing automation
Click on the Marketing link on the left-hand menu of your Shopify Admin screen and then click on Automations within the sub-menu. At the top right of the page click on Create automation:
You will be presented with a number of templates to use for your automation. We will create our own so click on the Create custom automation button:
The Marketing Automation Workflow Tool will then load and you will be presented with a list of Shopify Triggers to select from.
In this instance, however, we are looking to use the Happy Birthday Discount trigger for our automation which should appear in the list under INSTALLED APP TRIGGERS:
Happy Birthday trigger not appearing?
If the Happy Birthday Discount app does not appear in the list of installed app triggers, please don't worry, but please do let us know. There is a known Shopify bug that can cause this and we can talk you through how to make the trigger appear.
Click on the Happy Birthday Discount option that appears under INSTALLED APP TRIGGERS and you will see the Customer Birthday trigger:
Click on the Customer Birthday trigger, the screen will refresh and the trigger will be added to your workflow on the left hand side of the screen:
Now you will need to add an action.
Selecting Shopify Email as the action for your automation
Click on the + icon to the right of the word Then and click on the Action button:
Click on the Email option that has now appeared under INSTALLED APP ACTIONS on the right-hand side of the page:
As mentioned previously, it is important to remember that Shopify Email will only send emails to customers that have subscribed to email marketing.
Click on the Send Marketing Email action:
The right-hand side of the page will then refresh and an error message will appear highlighting that an email template has not yet been assigned. Don't worry, that's our next step.
Click on the Select template option:
Choosing and customising the Shopify Email template
For the purpose of this tutorial, we will find and select the Discount template, but you can choose any template you prefer, or build your own email from scratch:
Click on the template of your choice and then click on the Select button.
You will now be taken to the Shopify Email Editor where you can begin to customise your email.
Add in your logo, any images you'd like to include and customise the styling and messaging to wish your customer a happy birthday.
Including a discount
At present, Shopify Email does not have support for dynamic merge fields.
Unfortunately, this means that you will be unable to use our auto-generated discount code feature within your Birthday emails.
You can create and include your own discount code for use within the birthday email, however, there are some drawbacks to using a fixed discount code within a birthday email campaign. Here are some of the drawbacks:
- A fixed discount code does not have a setting to allow it to be used once per year
- If you set the discount to be used once per customer, you will need to change that discount code each year.
- The discount code might be passed around from friend to friend, making it useable by anyone who knows the code.
A fixed discount code is therefore open to abuse and should be considered carefully.
Hopefully we will be able to replace this using our auto-generated discounts if Shopify Email adopts the ability to use Metafields as merge fields within their templating.
Using a fixed discount code
Included within the template we have selected for this tutorial is a Discount block.
To add a discount for inclusion into your Birthday email template, click on the discount block and then on the right-hand side of the page, click on Select a discount:
If you already have a discount code that you'd like to use for your Birthday email campaign, it will appear in the list for you to select.
If you don't already have an existing discount code that you'd like to use, we recommend that you open a separate browser window and create your preferred discount type within your Shopify Admin.
If you are creating a fixed discount code to use within your Birthday Email Campaign, then please also enter the code into your Happy Birthday app settings so that we can provide you with usage stats to help you analyse your birthday campaign.
Please take a look at our article on setting up your discount code to see where this needs to be set within the happy birthday app.
Come back to this discount block and select your newly created discount code.
Select your discount code:
Your discount block will be updated with the details of the discount code:
Continue to customise your email by adding in the Subject line and preview text.
You can also personalize the messaging throughout the email as Shopify already knows the customer's details. Personalization of this campaign is likely to provide better conversion rates:
You can send yourself a test of your Birthday email to check how it looks by clicking on Send test in the top right-hand side of the page:
Save the email and you will be taken back to the updated Marketing Automation Workflow.
Click the Turn on workflow button to enable the workflow:
You will be asked to confirm that you are happy to turn on the workflow:
Click on the Turn on button and that's it!
There are a couple of settings that provide control over when the Happy Birthday app sends the Flow trigger through to your marketing automation. We'll take a look at those next.
Configuring your Flow trigger settings
The next time you visit the Settings page within the Happy Birthday app, you may notice an extra setting called Shopify Flow under the Advanced Features section:
You will not see the Shopify Flow setting until you have created either a Marketing Automation or a Shopify Flow Workflow using the Happy Birthday Flow trigger.
Click on the Manage button and you will be presented with two settings:
Days Before Birthday
Leaving this setting at 0 will ensure that we send the Flow trigger to your Marketing Automation on the customer's birthday. If you'd like to send the Flow trigger ahead of the customer's birthday, then set the number of days before within this field.
You can choose to send the Flow Trigger at a specific hour in the day based on your timezone, e.g. (GMT+00:00) Europe/London. We use your store's timezone setting to determine your timezone.
Make any required changes and hit the Save Settings button.
You may want to disable the email sending feature within the Happy Birthday app if you are choosing to send your Birthday Emails via Shopify Email. It will not be turned off automatically.
Testing the Marketing Automation
Once you have everything set-up, we recommend that you manually add a test Birthday Club member into the Happy Birthday app using an email address that you have access to and set their birthdate as today.
The Birthday Club Member must also be a customer in your Shopify store, i.e. they have already placed an order or they have created a user account. If they don't have a Shopify Customer account, the Flow trigger will not run.
Temporarily change your Shopify Flow settings within the Happy Birthday app so that the flow trigger is set to run 0 Days Before Birthday and at the next hour of the day based on the timezone of your store.
On the hour, the Flow trigger will run and you should receive your Birthday email from Shopify Email.
Click on the Apply discount button within the email and you will be taken to your store where the discount will be applied behind the scenes.
Add some qualifying items to your cart/basket and then go through to the checkout. You will then see that your discount has been applied:
You can also take a look at your Marketing Automation Workflow metrics which will display activity based on your Birthday Automation. You should at least see that an email has been sent:
All being well, go back in to your Shopify Flow settings within the Happy Birthday app and change the trigger back to your preferred timings.
Send/ re-send Flow Trigger
In addition to the advice on testing above, there is also an option to send/ re-send a Flow Trigger for Birthday Club Members with a valid Shopify Customer ID. This option is also useful should a Birthday capture or Birthday event have been missed. Please read our How to send / re-send a Flow Trigger? article for more details.
Need any help?
If you have any trouble setting up your Marketing Automation or customising your Shopify Email Birthday template, or have any questions about using our Flow triggers, then please do get in touch.
If you have an idea that requires us to create a new Flow trigger, then once again, please do get in touch.