In this blog, I’ll share some insights and tips when I organized Secret Santa. Sounds easy, doesn’t it. Organizing Secret Santa with only superpowers. With my blog, I hope you can also use the superpowers I used to organize Secret Santa in 15 minutes. First I used Google Forms. This was a major thing. What information is helpful and gives a nice insight into the ‘giftee’? With this experiment, I tried my first Add-On, and we are now in love. Add-ons make dull-tasks fun! (… or at least simpeler)

The Secret Santa questions I used

  • Name (yes, you need to ask)
  • Email
  • What makes you happy?
  • What is your favorite color? (in a selection list)
  • What is your lucky number?
  • What is the maiden name of your mother (ow, wait this isn’t a credit card hacking scam)
  • How would you rate 2020?

And then? How can I used the earlier mentioned Super Powers With YAMM?

With that list (pro-tip export it to a sheet) the fun starts. I used YAMM (Yet-another-Mail-Merge), free of usage with 50 mailmerges/day. Like any decent Mail-Merger, it used the first line as a guide. So the list is now used as a data collection; keep the titles simple; name, email, happy, color, number, 2020. I used the documentation a lot. An excellent example of good documentation. There are free themed email templates! And now the fun continues. Do not only provide the ‘gifter’ with the data of the ‘giftee’. Provide examples of gifts, suggestions for poems/nice letters and don’t be afraid to write an example Haiku :-)

The « » are the placeholders for the titles from the first line from the Sheet. «User_Name» here is used. Notice the camelbacks; the Two Capitals? Be very consequent with capitals! Via Add-Ons in the Sheet. Easy right?

Install YAMM open add-on menu

Add ‘Add-ons’

Example template - free to use -

These are tips to be an Email ninja

  • Select a themed email template
  • Double-check before sending
  • Track (!) opening rates. So we can nudge non-openers
  • Provide shops links
  • And repeat the suggested amount of money per gift
  • Nudge, repeat, rinse repeat
  • Provide an optional unboxing party.

Quick video to install YAMM