Let’s start today with a story; when I was planning our wedding, our photographer sent us a sweet handwritten card to say thanks for picking her as our photographer. I was already so happy with my choice but getting this sweet card really was the cherry on top.
Although sending real life thank you cards might seem kind of intense, there is a huge benefit to doing something so personalised (especially as a small business). That benefit is word of mouth marketing (the secret weapon of all small businesses)! I got married 5 years ago and I still the story of getting a thank you card, and i still sing our photographer’s praises whenever I get a chance (her name is Kate Pardey by the way).
Oh, and by the way, between 10% - 50% of your business is generated by word of mouth marketing, and 81% of people base purchase decisions on the opinions of friends and family, so it’s definitely something that’s worth focusing on developing.
There’s another benefit to writing thank you letters, it develops gratitude. I’m sure you’ve heard by now about the importance of gratitude to a healthy, happy mind. Gratitude practices and journal are all over the place these days.
Writing a thank you note is another way to develop gratitude. Don’t forget, your customers are the people who are helping you pursue your dream of running your own business. They’re the reason you’re working on something you’re passionate about, and hopefully they’re helping you pay the bills as well.
Now, I love a handwritten thank you note (you know - the kind you get in the post with a stamp) but I also understand that a lot of online businesses sell products or services that don’t require customers to give you their physical address, and that would make it really weird to start asking. So if that’s your business, you’re off the hook, and I give you full permission to write a thank you email.
Tips for a great thank you note
If you are writing an email, make sure to send it from your personal email address (not a generic company one). This will make it feel more personal.
Address the customer by their first name, but feel welcome to adapt it if appropriate. A lot of older people are still more used to being addressed as “Mr” or “Miss/Ms/Mrs” and for them that is considered better manners than the familiarity of using a first name.
Schedule time to write thank you notes, and make it a mindful practice. Put away your phone, ask any staff not to disturb you for 10 minutes and focus just on expressing your thanks. You can make this a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly practice, it’s entirely up to you.
If you are sending a physical thank you note, make sure it’s on nice paper (preferably a card or card stock paper). Pick a card that makes sense with your business and brand. Don’t buy a bunch of filthy joke cards if you have a business that prides itself on its professionalism at all times.
Do not use red pen unless you want people to feel like they’re getting their high school English essay back.
Start with your gratitude, and be specific about what you’re grateful for; it could be their nice compliment on Facebook, thanking them for choosing your service, or just thanks for being a customer. Include as much detail as possible to make it clear you aren’t writing the same thank you note to every customer.
Don’t try to upsell your product or services
Sign off with sincerity.
Need some inspiration?
Here are some of my favourite expressions to use in thank you notes:
Thank you so much for…
Thanks! This means so much to me
I really appreciate…
I wanted to thank you as soon as possible
I wanted to send a quick thank you note
Thank you for your time
I hope you like…
Have fun using…
Enjoy your new…
X is my personal favourite from this range/release
I’m so happy to hear you love…
Thank you for letting us know about…
I really appreciate you reaching out with your issue/feedback
I also love...
Let me know if there is anything further I can assist you with
Reach out if you have any questions about your new…
Thank you for being our customer for X years. I can’t believe how fast time has passed