Take Time - Send Thank You NotesSeptember 13, 2011

When I was very young, my Mom (yep, my Mom) told me after every gift-receiving holiday that I had to send a thank you card or I may not receieve a gift from them again next year. Granted the logic of this on a young child was simple, "give thank you cards, get more gifts". As an adult, the thank you card has evolved from "give thanks:get gifts" to "give gratitude: get the business".

If there is one thing most business professionals don't do is expressing thanks with thank you cards. Why you should do this as part of your marketing campaign:

1. A thank you card breaks the digital media and stands out in junk-mail

A thank you card is a lovely break from the digital noise and a refreshing switch from the ACT NOWS! and the tax bill. 97% of hand-written thank you cards are read. The 3% are the one's that never made it to them. They're gonna read it, you have their attention. Always start your note with a salutation and the first line should read something along the lines of, "Thanks for that idea on ____, really appreciate your time and good looking out!"

2. Thank you cards show care

Taking the time to write a fun note of thanks, the recipient will know that you value them. We must take the time to be grateful, think and express thankfulness. The key word here is "take the time", too many times people say they just don't have time, remember the point of the Thank You card is to "show" you took the time to care. Think about what you're going to write before you write it on the note. A scratch piece of paper or better yet a word doc., so you can spell check before you hand write it to the card.

3. Don't be forgotten

Thank you cards help people to not forget about you when there time of need for your product or service arises. Send thank you cards and send them often. Create reasons, "Thanks for taking my call" & "Thanks for the project lead". Add something personal, like "hope your child ____ did great in that soccer tournament".  Then add something corresponding about you. "Don't know if I told you but my child _____ won the spelling bee". Always conclude with another Thank You. It's relationship building!

4. Thank you cards are marketing tools

I recommend adding a headshot or logo to your address labels or on the front of custom-made note cards that you will send out to customers. Sending a few thank you cards, over the course of a year is a good way to say thank you, but also brand your business. If possible, mention a date for an upcoming event or situation and say, hope to see you there (think school recital, ball game, networking event, community event, theatre, etc). It really pays to know your audience.

If you don't know your audience, your first thank you card may be bland, but make sure to ask a question in your thank you note to populate a reply. Like, "When was the_______again? Call me when you can!" Be concise here though. It's a thank you note, not a letter. Always conclude your note with another thank you.

Make sure that when they do call and acknowlegde your card, have a follow up plan in place. An actual campaign written out that has steps you will follow consistent for all replies to Thank You cards.

Example Outline for a Thank You card Campaign:

On _____ I Sent Thank You Card to______

If the recipient in response to you note:

a) called-  You could invite them for coffee

b) Emailed - Turn it into a reply call, then schedule meeting

c) Sent a note back - rarely happens, but if it does, this person is actually saying, I value your note, I respect your style, I am busy now. Do not call them for at least 30 days.

d) Did not acknowledge - if they don't acknowledge it within 30 days, it's okay to call them and see how they are and ask if they received it. It's just another reason to call. Don't miss this opportunity.

You can write a note for just about anything, don't know why people kick and scream against this. Do it!  No one will ever call you and say, "Stop being so grateful! Cut it out with the Thank You cards!" Won't happen. What will happen is you will extend yet another form of communication to learn your target in order to market them efficiently & effectively. Ready to grown your revenue? Start writing. Order thank you cards today and send them out on a regular basis.