Santa's Red Letter sends letters from the Big Guy himself to kids & grown-ups and both naughty & nice alike. The official looking letters are delivered with a North Pole postmark, a wax seal and are personalized to the recipient.
Although not the first in this market, we have differentiated ourselves by creating the most real and authentic looking Santa letters out there. I come from a strong design background so it was critical to me that we design something that looks, feels and even smells (we spritz the letters with peppermint scent) genuine. It's about keeping the magic of Santa real and building memories kids will never forget.
Everything was bootstrapped with my family of 7 pitching in to help.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
Everything was bootstrapped with my family of 7 pitching in to help, so spending money on traditional marketing was out of the question.
We launched October of 2013 and saw virtually no traffic. Despite trying every guerilla marketing tactic we could conceive our sales remained zero. We couldn't even get the charitable family/friend sell.
What seems obvious now, though we didn't know then was that our sales window is only about a month. Black Friday seemed to be the tipping point for us and we were flooded with traffic and sales which increased till we were unable to take on any more orders, having to close up shop a few days before Christmas.
Although we did dabble a bit in paid ads, the majority of our traffic resulted from being featured by bloggers and by a few TV stations around the country. It was a cool unique story, so it was very palpable to media organizations.
Tell us about the back-end of your business. What tools and apps do you use to run your store? How do you handle shipping and fulfillment?
I love Shopify apps. About once a week I will get on and see what is available and try new things. There are however a few apps we couldn't live without the biggest being Product Customizer by ShopStorm. It lets us add customization options to our product pages so customers can personalize each letter. The new Variant Images app by Shopify also makes it easy to attached images to product options.
What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?
Just get out there and try it. With indecision you are sure to fail. If you try it there is at least the possibility of success.