Day 340/365 - Letters to Santa

It’s funny how much in common writing a letter to Santa has with email marketing. If you deconstruct the ideas within the letter, you can’t help but spot the similarities. They remind us of the most basic principles of sending marketing emails.

1. It’s Always Personal 

All letters to Santa are personal. Children have to introduce themselves quickly so the jolly old man knows whose letter he's reading.

Personalization is certainly a must-have in email marketing, too. A 2011 study showed that 1/3 of marketers consider personalization in email marketing to be highly effective. Your “From Name” and signature should be personal or suggestive of how the recipient initially subscribed to receive your email communication. Check out our guide with ways to personalize your marketing emails.

2. Show That You Care

One best practice for writing effective letters to Santa is asking how he's doing. This simple gesture shows that the child cares about Santa before he ask for gifts. In this way, the child is distinguishing himself from the rest of the youngsters who just can’t wait to mention all the toys they hope to receive for Christmas. 

In email marketing, you should be also showing your recipients that you care about them. You can do that by asking a question, offering an industry insight they might not be aware of, or suggesting a practical tip. In other words, provide your subscribers with some value rather than jumping straight to your pitch.

3. Explain Why You’ve Been Good

If you have ever written a letter to Santa, you know the importance of mentioning how good you've been all year. You need to be as specific as possible and mention certain examples of how you've been good.

Similarly, in email marketing, you need to use the right superlatives to describe your resources or products. Be as specific as possible: for instance, mention that the whitepaper you offer is “the most comprehensive” whitepaper in your industry, and list its number of pages or chapters. 

4. Make Your Request

Now it’s time to ask Santa for your gift. What is it that you want to see under the Christmas tree?

In email marketing, this equates to including a call-to-action and asking readers to click through and complete a specific action. Do you want them to see a video, download a whitepaper, or request a demo of your product? Pick something from your marketing wish list, and make sure it's consistent with the rest of your email.

5. Send it at the Right Time 

Writing a letter to Santa might be the majority of the hard work a kid needs to do to get a Christmas gift. However, all kids know that you need to send the letter well ahead of Christmas Eve in order to receive their gift on time. 

In email marketing, timing also plays an essential role. You don’t want to send emails when your recipients' inboxes are overflowing with messages from everyone else. However, you don’t want to be too late and risk not hitting your monthly marketing goal. Experiment with counter-competitive timing on the weekends or at night, and see how it performs for your company.

Do you find other similarities between writing a letter to Santa and email marketing? Share them in the comments below! And Merry Christmas!

Photo credit: Great Beyond


Originally published Dec 25, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017


Email Marketing