Thursday, October 20, 2022

Create A Free Holiday Gift Sure to Wow Your Email Subscribers

Edie here. I'm so excited to introduce you to my friend Patricia Durgin. Many of you already know her as an idea machine for writers and marketing. Now she'll be a regular guest here on The Write Conversation!!! Be sure to give her a warm TWC welcome!

Create A Free Holiday Gift Sure to Wow Your Email Subscribers
by Patricia Durgin @PatriciaDurgin

Though it's October, you may already have the holidays in mind: family gatherings, church socials, Thanksgiving parades and Christmas concerts. Makes me feel warm inside thinking about it. You, too? 

Presents are part of this season. Have you considered giving your email readers a free holiday gift? 

A great way to deepen your connection to your subscribers is to send them a valuable gift, whether they're a new or long-time reader. It can be in a PDF, video, or audio format. 

The present doesn't have to be elaborate, but it can be. It might be as simple as a one-page guide or as detailed as a 20-page PDF. But think twice about sending a resource--even if it's free--with more than four to six pages. And limit audio or video recordings to 5-7 minutes. Your readers, like mine, are busy, and getting busier each day as the holidays near, so a short, uber-helpful gift is more likely to be read, and thus appreciated. 

If you're sending a multiple page PDF, consider making the first page the title page, the second a short About the Author page, next the content page(s) and ideally, the last page will invite them to take a non-monetary action: join your FB group, listen to your latest podcast, add their info to a Wait List for a future event, or something similar. 

All in a friendly tone, not a hard-hitting promotion. The goal for this gift is for your audience to feel more deeply connected to you. Promote your products some other time. 

This is a Lead Magnet with one key difference: the recipients are already on your email lists. So, they won't need to sign up to receive it. It's a simple way to thank them and wish them well for the holidays. 

It's important to send them content they want rather than what you think they need. 

But how can you know what they want? Because you've already experienced what they're experiencing now, or something similar, and Christ guided you to safety. 

Then He called you to share your story, which is part of His larger story. Both resonate with your God-ordained audience. You've felt their fears, asked their questions, and waited for God to deliver you, just like they're waiting now. You know them in ways that an arm-chair expert never will.

Let's Brainstorm Some Content and Title Ideas

More readers will open your digital gift if it's titled well and if it answers a question or solves a problem they have or foresee having before, during, or after the holidays.

What problem might your audience likely have between Thanksgiving and the New Year? If the word "problem" stumps you, replace it with "challenge," "obstacle," "struggle," or "complication." 

Move on to an idea for your content, then create a title that fits. Enjoy this fun exercise.

Ideas for Writers to Create a Gift of Your Subscribers

Audience: Recently divorced men or women

Potential Problem: Family get-togethers dredge up old, painful conversations 

Content Idea: How to skip family gatherings without burning bridges

Suggested Title: Surviving Your First Christmas After Divorce


Audience: Newly marrieds hosting their first holiday party

Potential Challenge: Culinary disasters due to lack of cooking skills

Content Idea: Entree and dessert recipes easy to make ahead

Suggested Title: Cook a Fabulous Make-Ahead Holiday Meal


Audience: Flea market shoppers

Potential Obstacle: Giving great gifts on a tight budget

Content Idea: Share multiple ways to stretch $10 at a flea market

Suggested Title: 25 Flea Market Gift Ideas for $10 or Less


Audience: Parents of children fighting cancer

Potential Complication: Child's surgery may keep him or her in the hospital 

Content Idea: Suggest 15 ways to have fun even while confined to a sick bed

Suggested Title: Have a Fun Christmas Even If Your Child Is In the Hospital: 15 Games


Audience: Christian writers and speakers

Potential Struggle: Need a way to celebrate the holidays with their email readers

Content Idea: Explain how to create a free gift that their audience will appreciate

Suggested Title: A Free Holiday Gift Sure to Wow Your Email Subscribers


Additional Thoughts & Tips
Your audience and their needs may be vastly different than the examples above. No matter. The process will work for any audience at any time of the year because human beings face challenges every day. Write content that solves a single problem or answers a single question. Keep it tight. No e-books allowed!

Shape your title so it's the opposite of your audience's problem / challenge / need / obstacle. Then make it interesting by adding a specific number if possible. Readers love titles that include numbers!

Above all, your title should offer a promised result, not simply information. 

For example, Surviving Your First Christmas After Divorce contains a promise, whereas a more boring version might be Your First Christmas After Divorce. Adding the word "surviving" to the title makes the title a promise and not simply information. So similar and yet so different! 

Christmas On A Budget implies a promise but 25 Flea Market Gift Ideas for $10 or Less is much clearer plus it's a concrete promise. See the difference? Your audience will!

Remember to keep your PDF short--eight total pages or less--with lots of visuals and "white space," a design term meaning "empty space." This gives the reader a visual break. They'll read more pages with white space included than if your PDF is jammed full of text with few or no interesting photos or graphics. 

Your audience is already thinking of the holidays, pondering potential obstacles and how to avoid them.

Create a short, visually interesting gift in PDF format or a video or audio. Give it a promise driven title and fill it with practical advice to help their holidays be a little bit smoother or more enjoyable. 

Send it with your thanks and well wishes for their holiday season. 

Connecting with your audience person-to-person takes the relationship to a deeper level. And that's always a good thing!


Patricia Durgin loves clarity! It's her honor to serve Christian writers and speakers who are on fire for Jesus but who—whether beginners or advanced—lack the clarity to market their message beyond their family and friends. As a recognized marketing coach and strategist, Patricia serves via one-on-one and small group coaching, online courses, and a private Facebook group for Christian communicators. She contributes monthly columns to The Write Life, Almost an Author, and as of this article, The Write Conversation. Yay! 

Though Patricia's vision impaired, Jesus sends her on grand adventures across the country, all to serve Him. Don't worry...He sends the help she needs. One day that might be you! 

Connect with Patricia at MARKETERSONAMISSION.COM


  1. I'm pretty sure I just received one of those free Holiday gifts in this post. Thank you Ms. Patricia, and welcome to TWC. Looking most forward to more ideas and inspiration ma'am.

  2. Replies
    1. Good morning, Martin. Thanks!

  3. Welcome to TWC, Patricia, and thank you for these excellent tips. I look forward to your future posts.

    1. Hi, MaryAnn! You're very welcome. Glad it's useful to you.

  4. Patricia, thank you for this interesting idea and for the multiple examples...the wheels are turning now! : )

    1. Yay! Glad to hear it! Thanks for kind words, Chris.

  5. Wow! Thank you Patricia. What a great idea and what a variety to choose from. Blessings to you!

    1. You're so welcome! Thank you for the gift of your blessings!

  6. I'm not sure if my comment posted or not . . . Patricia, welcome to TWC! And thank you for this. Reading your post spurred some ideas of what I can offer my subscribers. Thanks!!

    1. Good morning, Jeanne! Thanks for your warm welcome. I'm glad this post hit the spot. :)