Online Marketing

6 Ways to Increase E-Shop Turnover Through Birthday Adverts on Facebook

Ben Olšanský

Christmas, Valentine’s or Mother’s Day are days that a lot of people celebrate and e-shop owners can celebrate with them, because turnover increases by leaps and bounds. But there’s another day in the year when people are inclined to spend and which tends to be forgotten by e-shops. Birthdays.

Just under 30 thousand Czechs (the population of the Czech Republic divided by 365 days) celebrate their birthday every day, and they are looking forward to receiving a gift. Some of them are more excited than others, but nearly all of them will get a gift.

If your customer database includes their date of birth, then creating an automated e-mail campaign is just the thing. The person celebrating their birthday can then be sent a voucher/discount to their e-mail address on their birthday. Or, if you think ahead, your users will receive a message two weeks before the great day with recommendations for gifts that they could request from their family and friends. (There’s no better gift than the one you choose yourself. ;-))

But what if you don’t have your customers’ dates of birth? Facebook does.

The potential of adverts targeted at people celebrating their birthdays and their friends

Facebook allows you to target users based on the month of their birth or on the fact they will be celebrating their birthday within one week. You can find these options when creating an advert in the Detailed Targeting section under Demographic data -> Life events -> Birthdays.

  • Birthdays in January
  • Birthdays in February
  • Birthdays in March
  • Birthdays in April
  • Birthdays in May
  • Birthdays in June
  • Birthdays in July
  • Birthdays in August
  • Birthdays in September
  • Birthdays in October
  • Birthdays in November
  • Birthdays in December
  • Impending birthdays (People with birthdays within one week)

In our experience however, targeting friends, who are trying to think of a gift for these people, is even more powerful. You can find them a few items lower down in Detailed Targeting:

  • Close friends of people with birthdays within one month
  • Close friends of people with birthdays within one week
  • Close friends of men with birthdays in 0 - 7 days
  • Close friends of men with birthdays in 7 - 30 days
  • Close friends of women with birthdays in 0 - 7 days
  • Close friends of women with birthdays in 7 - 30 days

Selecting the group of friends depends on the products/services you offer and the target group. If you are not an e-shop with extra fast delivery, you will be most interested in the 7 - 30 day range.

6 ways to use birthday targeting on Facebook

This clever way to target adverts can be used in four basic scenarios:

  1. Acquisition of new customers, whose friends will be celebrating soon
  2. Acquisition of new customers, who will be celebrating soon
  3. Reactivation of former customers, whose friends will be celebrating soon
  4. Reactivation of former customers, who will be celebrating soon

And if your e-shop has a high enough visitor rate, it also offers another two scenarios:

  1. Retargeting visitors, whose friends will be celebrating soon
  1. Retargeting visitors, who will be celebrating soon

You can give the person celebrating a birthday a voucher for a specific financial amount or a percentage discount, both with an expiration date. Don’t make the terms for redeeming such a voucher too complicated - your goal is for the user to feel that he/she has received a gift and not that you are trying to push them into a corner. It’s his/her day to feel special.

If you know that people tend to purchase your merchandise on impulse, you can avoid discounts for the person celebrating a birthday completely. A week before their birthday, these people are much more intent on “making themselves happy” and will make a purchase without a voucher.

The ‘acquisition of new customers whose friends will be celebrating soon’ offers the greatest potential in terms of the size of the group and for most shops. It will probably be enough to remind them that someone close to them will be celebrating a birthday soon. But how to specifically apply this type of targeting?

An example of targeting customers whose friends will be celebrating soon

The group of users identified as ‘Close friends of people with birthdays within one month’ is too large for most e-shops - Facebook estimates its size in the Czech Republic as 670 thousand people. You need a narrower group of people. Ideally users who are apt to like your merchandise so much that they will purchase it for their friends.

You can do this for example by taking your customer database and creating your own group of users. Your own group is a function that Facebook uses to try to find your customers among its users, so that you can then target your adverts at them.

It then takes just one step to create a Similar Group of Users from Your Own Group. Facebook will use this to select users for you who have similar interests and behaviour. When creating this group, choose a group size of 1%. This means that selected users will be as similar to your current customers as possible.

You have now managed to create a group of users, who have similar interests to your customers and there is a good chance that they will like your products.

You now need to use this new group along with your birthday targeting when creating adverts. First choose your Similar Group and then choose just close friends of people who will be celebrating their birthdays soon in Detailed Targeting.

You have now completed your selection of a high-conversion audience. Your gift campaign can begin.

And finally, the cherry on top of precision targeting

If the resulting group of users is big enough, you can consider dividing your advert into multiple segments and target Close friends of women and Close friends of men separately. This means that you can add stimuli adapted to each gender in your adverts or modify the selection of displayed products.


  • Marketing aimed at people celebrating their birthday and close friends has a very good return.
  • Facebook allows you to target your advert at people celebrating their birthday and their close friends.
  • This targeting can be used to acquire new customers, reactivate former customers and retarget current visitors to your e-shop.
  • We recommend you first try targeting the close friends of people celebrating their birthdays, who have been chosen from a group of people who are sufficiently similar to your current customers.

Are you interested in this method of effectively targeting adverts? We have a lot more up our sleeve. We will be happy to examine your advertising account on Facebook, Google or Sklik to make sure you’re not losing money unnecessarily because it’s incorrectly configured. Write to request an audit by sending us an e-mail at

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