If you think of writing thank you notes as merely something your grandmother did, you couldn’t be more wrong. Thank you letters might be old-school, but they’re a new-wave form of marketing for more and more small businesses. This unexpected gesture is a proven way to generate repeat business and spark word-of-mouth marketing.
This article explains the value of sending thank you notes to customers and how to write ones they’ll remember.
What to Know About Customer Thank You Notes
The Case for Customer Thank You Notes
It costs very little to write and send a thank you. However, the payoff can be huge.
These efforts often result in repeat business from the customer you thanked. Plus, they’ll often tell others about the delightful experience. Word-of-mouth marketing is incredibly valuable to small- to mid-sized-companies.
Handwritten thank you messages are more powerful now than they were 10 or 20 years ago for a few key reasons:
They are rare and unique
They can be special enough to turn people into loyal customers and brand ambassadors
Social media has expanded peoples’ networks, increasing the audience who may find out about your gesture
Think of it this way: Twenty years ago, someone may have told one or two people how nice it was for their hairstylist to send a note after a cut-and-color. Today, people will snap a photo and share it with hundreds of friends and followers on Facebook, Instagram, or other social media platforms.
A simple thanks can provide your business with an extraordinary amount of free positive exposure.
How to Write a Compelling Customer Thank You Note
Use this simple outline to write thank you notes your customers will love:
Greet the person by name.
Express your gratitude, clearly explaining what you’re thankful for.
Include details about why you appreciate the customer—be as specific and thoughtful as possible.
Reiterate your thanks.
End with a sign-off such as Best, Yours Truly, Kindest Regards, Warm Regards, Cheers, or whatever feels most appropriate for the customer, you, and your brand.
Sign your name and include your title if you think it’s helpful.
Tip: Thank you notes typically come from the sales or customer service representative who serves the customer. They can also be written by managers or a company leader.
Handwritten Business Thank You Messages: Do’s and Don’ts
Use these tips to ensure your notes get the most positive response possible:
Never use a red pen. It’s a lot like typing an email in ALL CAPS. Red ink feels hostile or aggressive (it also evokes the dreaded feedback received on tests and essays in school). Blue or black ink is usually best unless your brand is very sparkly, rainbow, and unicorn.
Use note cards or stationery that express your brand. If you’re a gourmet food store, use photos of food and products featuring your logo. If you’re a modern architectural firm, come up with a sleek design centered around your logo.
Include photos. If you have a picture of you serving the customer or of the work you did for them (such as an image of the garden you created if you’re a landscaper), send it along.
Don’t make excuses for your penmanship. The digital age has made almost everyone’s handwriting terrible. Just make sure yours is legible. Part of the charm of a business thank you letter is that it’s a personal expression of gratitude. And part of that personality is your handwriting.
Offer thanks in a timely manner. Write and post your letter before your customer forgets having done whatever you’re thanking them for.
Don’t go promotional. Never include anything overly promotional, such as coupons, offers, or business cards. The point is to express genuine gratitude, not promote your business.
Showcase the personality of your company. Whether it’s elegant formality, intelligent professionalism, or childish playfulness, make sure your “thank you” expresses the essence of your brand.
Include a little something extra. It’s okay to add a token of appreciation to your note. It could be something like a book, stickers, T-shirt, tickets, or a gift certificate to a favorite shop or restaurant.
Thank You Notes: The Final Word
Handwritten thank you messages are an unexpected throwback to traditional high-end and high-touch customer service. And too few businesses take the time to do it anymore. It’s a gesture that makes people feel special enough to call it out and share it with others.
Nothing is more powerful (not to mention free) than someone recommending your business to someone else. In today’s world of manipulative digital marketing and questionable promotional tactics, a positive personal recommendation from a friend, family member, or coworker is as good as it gets.
Your business can’t afford to ignore the value of repeat business and referrals. Mailing handwritten thank-you notes is an inexpensive and highly effective way to get customers to come back and to trigger word-of-mouth marketing.