Birthdays are usually the one day each year where the world around us dedicates time to acknowledge us as individuals. It’s a momentous celebration filled with family, friends, gifts, and cake - all in celebration of our existence. We feel loved, wanted, and special, and tend to treasure these memories for years to come.
This makes birthdays an excellent opportunity to further connect, or reconnect, with your clients. Sending a personalised birthday message signals a deeper connection between adviser and client, but can also be used to generate opportunities and expand your service offering to the client by personalising the message to the client's life stage.
Best of all, you can do this all in your sleep!
In this example we will be sending a personalised email or SMS / TXT message to each client at 8:00am on the morning of their birthday, and automating the process to “set-and-forget”. We’ll touch on the following functions:
- Build an Advanced Search to identify all clients who have a birthday today
- Build a personalised Email or SMS Template
- Automate the process using Scheduler
The following skips over many of the fundamentals for each step, but links to articles explaining each function in more detail are listed in each step.
Build and save an Advanced Search using the following criteria:
For more information on Advanced Searching please check this article: Advanced Search
Create a new Email Template in XPLAN using your preferred mechanism, and decorate as desired.
We will be inserting Xmerge code for the detail we wish to personalise; in the example below we are using the "First Name" and "Age" of the Recipient (which, in this case, will be the Client).
To further personalise the email, we can condition the birthday message based on the client’s age. To do this, we will use the following code:
<:if int($recipient.age) == 20:>
Insert personalised message for 20 year olds here
In the example above the green text is the condition you want to test against, and in this case must be a number. The red text is the operator, and includes the likes of:
Greater than or Equal to
Less than or Equal to
Therefore, the above code will insert a personalised message if the client’s age equals 20.
If desired, you can expand on this to include a “between” condition:
<:if 20 >= int($recipient.age) =< 30:>
Insert personalised message for 20 to 30 year olds here
This conditioning will insert the personalised message if the client’s age is between 20 and 30 (inclusive).
Multiple conditions can be used in one template, and as XPLAN sends the email to each client the conditioning will be checked and only the correct message will be shown. A basic example of this is illustrated below:
For an even more personalised experience, you can save your Email Template as an SMS Template which will send a SMS/ TXT message to your client. Simply select the “Also SMS Template” option when saving your template.
Note that SMS messages are not able to support images or colours and have a character limit of 160 characters, so if you intend on sending an SMS to your client it’s best to keep the message short:
For further information on Email or SMS Templates please see:
Scheduler will help us automate the process of finding clients who have a birthday today by running the Advanced Search we created earlier, and sending them a message using the desired Email/SMS Template.
Firstly, access the Scheduler area of XPLAN, and create a new Schedule.
We will set our desired schedule on the Recurrence Tab. In this example, we will want to check our clients birthdays on a daily basis, and run on each day of the week. We can also specify the time we would like the schedule to perform the search and send the template, and in this example we will set the time to 8:00am.
On the Steps tab we will set the steps we want the Scheduler to perform.
1. Click Add and set Step Type to Client Selection
2. Give your step a name, then select the Saved Search you created earlier. Click OK.
3. Click Add and set the Step Type to either Email Template, or SMS Template, depending on whether you are sending Email to SMS to the client.
4. Give your step a name, and select the Email/SMS Template you created earlier. Click OK
This will leave you with the following steps, which instructs the Scheduler to firstly retrieve a list of clients using the Advanced Search, then it will send an Email/SMS to each client returned by the search.
The last step is to enable the Scheduler, which is done from the Manage Schedules screen by selecting the Action icon next to the Schedule you just created, and click Enable.
Before enabling the Scheduler it is prudent to test each component to ensure that they perform as expected – does the Advanced Search return the correct list of clients, and does the Email Template condition correctly when sent?
For more information on Scheduler review the following: