Return of the Thank-You Card

    By Diana Doherty | Small Business

    Return of the Thank You Card image rmtu sReturn of the Thank You CardMake no mistake: thank-you cards are not a hunk of fossilized 1950s etiquette. They are a powerful, cost-effective marketing tool many small business owners overlook. Choose the right occasion, use a memorable card with your logo and contact information, and take time to write a thoughtful note inside. Your customers won’t forget it.

    Why You Should Say Thanks

    People want their actions to be appreciated. Your customers choose to do business with you over other options, so take the time to acknowledge their choice by sending them a personalized thank-you card. Show special clients or preferred customers you appreciate their business. Including a special offer with the card offers both a compliment to the customer as well as incentive to continue doing business with you in the future.

    Use thank-you cards as a way to deepen the relationship with a new contact. To make sure people remember you, reach out to them within two days of meeting. One way to do this is by writing out a note expressing gratitude to your new contact for the conversation you had with them. For example, if you’ve recently met someone in your industry and you exchanged business ideas, send a note telling them how the conversation was valuable to you, and express your intent to meet again. Be sure to include a way for the recipient to reach you should they choose to do so.

    When a client or colleague refers a customer to you, thank them for it. They’ll be happy to hear about how their referral worked out for both you and the customer. Plus, they’ll be more likely to refer more customers to you. A buy-one-get-one offer or refer-a-friend offer could be included to encourage them to continue sending people to you. Show your referrer you value and appreciate their trust in your business.

    Make It Memorable

    In addition to making your clients and contacts feel special and enriching your business relationships with them, sending a thank-you note can solidify your brand in the mind of the recipient. Make it personal and memorable. Before you start writing, brush up on the basics of thank-you note writing.

    To give the note a personal feel, take the time to write it by hand. If it’s been a while since you picked up a pen, you may want to practice a few sentences on a scrap of paper. Written communication is such a rarity these days that just seeing your note and logo in a card will have a lasting effect. Of course, if your handwriting is difficult to read, you may want to opt for typing instead. Either way, pick a design that stands out and represents your business well. Those generic cards high school grads send out are not a good choice.

    Despite the low cost of sending a card in the mail, it could be cost-prohibitive for your business if you have many customers. If that’s the case, you can opt for email or an ecard. However, consider creating a new message personally for each customer or client you want to thank, instead of using a form mailer. This will help maintain some of the personal touch you lose via digital contact and deliver the customer appreciation you’re striving for. If you choose an ecard, skip any with poor graphics or auto-play music. They can look tacky and cheap, and some may not display properly on the recipient’s device.

    Remember, building relationships is essential to building your business. The most important reason for sending any thank-you card is to say, “thanks.”

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