Did you know that the average email user gets 88 emails a day? That’s a crowded field if you’re trying to get someone’s attention. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t send the right kind of email. But it suggests you might consider going old school some times to stand out in that crowd. Learn how sending a thank you card (especially a handwritten one) can do just that.
When to Use Them
Chances are, you don’t have time to send personal notes to all prospects or customers. So, it’s important to be strategic about it. Pick the situations where it’s likely to have the greatest impact. Here are some of those:
- First-purchase – Sending personal thank you notes can be a great way to nurture a new customer relationship. It shows you appreciate their business. And it helps avoid buyer’s remorse—that feeling of regret after the purchase is made. Some businesses include items like a calendar, a t-shirt, or mug to make the impression last even longer.
- Customer anniversary – Repeat customers are gold so let them know with a simple note on the anniversary of their first purchase. Not many businesses do this so it will likely get noticed when they receive one. And it serves as a reminder to think of you for any upcoming purchases they might make. Or it may prompt them to refer a friend.
- Holidays – Thanksgiving is a natural time to tell customers you appreciate their business or to connect with prospects. Its timing at the beginning of the holiday season that helps you get noticed before they’re inundated with holiday ads. That’s just the time when many businesses want to be top-of-mind to prospective buyers.
- Business/Networking events – Consider sending a thank you to prospects who attend an event you sponsor or your trade show booth. Another idea is to send a note to someone who spoke at an event you attended. Thank them for sharing their insights, then pose a question or suggest you meet. It’s an unexpected prospecting touch point.
- Pre-approach contact – Imagine getting a handwritten note from someone you hardly know. It makes a memorable impression that will serve you well when you follow up with a phone call or email to a prospective customer. They’ll likely remember you and respond.
Tips to Make It Personal
A handwritten thank you note might be unique but a well-executed one gets their attention. Follow these tips to make the most from your notes. The key is to make it personal.
- Name it – Use the individual’s name in your note (check to be sure you have the right spelling). They’ll know it’s not another form letter that you send to everyone.
- Pay attention to packaging – Personalize your notes with your business’s name. Consider including your photo as part of the design. It will help them connect the face with your name. That’s especially important if you’re sending to a new prospect.
- Keep it specific and sincere – Your message doesn’t have to be long, just genuine. Tell them why you are thankful—for their continued business, a recent order, a referral, an insight they shared. Avoid the “ask” as part of your note. It will dilute your message.
- Provide a follow-up contact – Make it easy for them to respond to your thank you by giving them a quick way to contact you, if they wish—a text number, email address, or Facebook URL will work.
- Integrate – A relationship is built over time. So, integrate the handwritten note into your overall communication strategy. That might include a series of emails, your monthly newsletter, or social media posts. Be sure you have a common message that threads through all of your contacts. With each successive contact, you’ll build rapport.
Make a powerful statement to prospects and customers by sending a handwritten thank you note. Its novelty will get you noticed and the personal touch will help you stand out among other small businesses.