Follow these steps to create an automated birthday email on Campaign Monitor.

This tutorial assumes:

  • You have an account on Campaign Monitor.
  • You have purchased the Emailnery Birthday Card layout.
  • You know where to locate the Emailnery Birthday Card layout HTML file on your device.

Campaign Monitor calls automations “Journeys.” They have a terrific Journey Builder tool that makes it really easy to build simple and complicated multi-step triggered email campaigns. Let’s do this!

The first step is to login to your Campaign Monitor account and create a “List” (assuming you don’t already have one).


1. Login to your Campaign Monitor account (or create one).

1 Create List - CM

2. Go to Lists & subscribers, then click the Create a new list button.


2 Create List - CM

3. Name your list. Select the Single opt-in type. Then click the Create list button.


Campaign Monitor: Go to Custom Fields.

4. Click the Custom Fields link (top-right).


Campaign Monitor: Create custom field.

5. Enter “Birthday” as the Field Name. Next, select the “Date” option on the Data Type menu. Then click the Add custom field button.

A list with a Birthday custom field have been created. Next, you will create an automated Journey to send your birthday emails automatically each year.


1 Create Journey - CM

6. Click Automation, then click the Create a new journey button.


2 Create Journey - CM

7. Click the Create a new journey button (in the Build your journey block).


Campaign Monitor: New Journey - Step 1

8. Enter a name in the Name this journey field. Next, click to select the A date trigger option under What will trigger this journey?


Campaign Monitor: New Journey - Step 2

9. Scroll down. a) Select your birthday list on the Select the list this journey will apply to menu. b) Next, under the When should this journey start section click the menu that reads “On” and select the Before option.


10. Scroll down. a) Enter the number of days before each persons birthday you want the birthday email to be sent in the first field under the “When should this journey start” section (we set this for 1 day in our example). b) Next, select Days on the timeframe menu. c) Then select the Birthday field (on the “Select a date field” menu). d) Finally, click the Build your journey button.


2 Enter Journey Info - CM

11. Enter Journey Info

  • Step name: Enter a name for this Step. (Example: Birthday Email)
  • Subject: Enter the email Subject. Consider using personalization tags like the recipients First Name.
  • From: Enter your name or your company name, and then enter a reply-to email address.


9 Add Journey Step - CM

12. Click the + button to add a first step to the journey (appears under the first step in the journey diagram).


10 Select Email Journey Step - CM

13. Select the Email option.


7 Select Import HTML - CM

14. Click the Import HTML link (under More Options).


8 Find and Open Emailnery - CM

15. Locate and select your Emailnery Campaign Monitor Birthday Card layout HTML file (or another HTML email files). Then, click the Open button.


9 Import Emailnery - CM

16. Confirm you selected the Campaign Monitor version of your Emailnery (look for “CM” in the filename). Then, click the Import button.


10 Preview Proceed - CM

17. Click the Next button. Be sure the Add an unsubscribe link for me and continue radio button is selected. (Note: Before clicking the Next button to complete the email creation process, you can click the Preview it link to preview the imported template, or click the send a test email link to receive a test email.)


12 Turn On Journey - CM

18. a) Confirm your email appears in the Journey diagram; b) Check the automation settings (left-sidebar); and c) Click the Turn on journey button (top-right).

Your automated birthday emails will send automagically. You can edit your email and automation settings anytime.


19. Create a list of contacts with their Birthdays.

Be sure your list has these 4 custom fields:

  1. First Name
  2. Email
  3. Birthday
  4. Permission (Value: Yes)

Campaign Monitor Birthdays must be formatted as yyyy/mm/dd. This is a four-digit year, then a two-digit month, followed by a two-digit day. Since we are sending birthday emails every year we won’t use the year, so any year in the past will work if you don’t have the year for a contact’s birthday. For example: a March 18th birthday must be entered as 2000/03/18.

You can create your list using a spreadsheet like Excel or Google Sheets, with each contact on a separate row. The birthday list spreadsheet will have 4 columns with these titles in the first row:

  1. Column 1 Title: First Name
  2. Column 2 Title: Email
  3. Column 3 Title: Birthday
  4. Column 4 Title: Permission

Another way is to create a comma separated list saved as a CSV file (.csv at the end of the filename). The format for a CSV file is to have each contacts first name, email, birthday, and permission separated by a comma, and each contact on a separate line as follows:


Save the list in Plain Text format (or CSV format if available). Name your list like this (notice the “.csv” at the end of the filename): birthday-list.csv


20. Lastly, follow these steps to import the birthday list you create into your birthday list on Campaign Monitor. Use this import process repeatedly to add new contacts anytime.