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Christmas Cookies and Email: Lessons to Be Learned!

Here at ClickMail, we might be gearing up for a busy year as an email marketing agency, but we take the time to enjoy Christmas cookies! Baking and eating the seasonal delights got us thinking—as usual—about a mouth-watering analogy, how we can learn from Christmas cookies and baking and apply those lessons in 2012.

The symptom: Missing ingredients

If you’ve ever been halfway through baking cookies and realized you would need to run to the store—again—you can sympathize. It’s hard to make butter cookies without butter, gingerbread without molasses, and macaroons without coconut. In fact, it’s impossible. Knowing what you need ahead of time means a successful result.

The lesson: Have all the pieces in place.

When you’re shopping for an ESP or digital marketing services, you want to be sure you’re buying all of the functionality you want now…and those features you’ll want in the future. In the age of engagement, capabilities like integration move beyond extra to expected. Be sure you have all of the ingredients in place before cooking up your new email program.

The symptom: Uneaten cookies

Is every cookie gobbled up, each type as popular as the other? Or do some cookies sit for weeks in a red-and-green container, ignored and stale, until finally tossed at Easter?

Until recently—this year, to be honest—we’ve been making the same cookies at our house every year, year after year, whether they were eaten or not. The sugar cookies and the snowballs would disappear before we even had a chance to toast the new year. But the gingerbread men and cinnamon stars languished untouched. Despite the effort put into making the dough, then rolling out, cutting out and baking the cookies, they were unappreciated and uneaten. We kept making them because we were too tradition-bound to be sensible.

The lesson: Do what works now, not what worked then.

In email, we avoid the uneaten cookie when we test, stay fresh and stay up-to-speed with the latest trends, tools and technologies. The trick is not to do something because that’s the way we’ve always done it, like baking cookies destined for the waste bin. Keep up with the trends, then test, test and test again to be sure you’re delivering tasty morsels of email to your subscribers.

The symptom: Weight gain, oh no!

Too many cookies = too many pounds. I’m sure we’ve all noticed there’s a direct correlation between the number of lemon bars consumed and the snugness of one’s jeans!

The lesson: Email as often as works, no more.

Eating too many cookies is bad for you. Emailing too often is as well. The first will gain you pounds, the latter will lose you subscribers. We lack a hard and fast rule about email frequency, however, just like I can’t tell you how many cookies is too many. That’s because, like the cookies, it depends. A 200-pound teenage boy can consume far more spritz than a 90-pound grandma.

Your subscribers differ in tolerance as well. Some will welcome the semi-weekly email from you while others prefer a monthly contact. Make everyone happy with a preference center that gives the subscriber the control. Who knows? They might gobble up your email messages and want to hear from you as often as possible.

That’s the Christmas cookie lesson from this email marketing agency. Take a look and put these three lessons to work for a successful 2012.

Oh, and has anyone seen the last rumball cookie? I had dibs.

Published On: December 30th, 2011Categories: Miscellaneous email marketing topics

About the Author: Sharon

Sharon Ernst from is on a mission to improve the business and marketing writing skills of today’s workforce with her blog, newsletter and online classes. Her newest class on intermediate email copywriting covers 19 tips and techniques non-copywriters can put to use right away for better results. The class has real-life examples and before/after comparisons to make the lessons stick. Find her class at When she’s not busy helping employees, managers and marketers master their writing skills, she and her husband are busy raising pigs, cows, chickens and vegetables on their 20-acre farm.

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