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This article was provided by Scott Colby of Say It With Gratitude . Scott is on a mission to make everyone feel appreciated through the power of gratitude. He spreads his message to individuals and businesses with thank you cards, T-shirts and live experiences. To learn more, check out his free report, 29 Ways To Use Gratitude To Grow Your Business And Make It More Profitable.
When is the last time you received a thank you card from a business?
It doesn’t happen too often, does it?
Now, the more important question…when is the last time you sent a thank you card to one of your clients or customers?
If you can’t remember, don’t worry! It’s never too late to start. And it’s a great habit to start practicing that will set your business apart from the hundreds or thousands of other businesses you might be competing with.
The first question you might be asking yourself is “why should I be writing and sending professional thank you cards in the first place?”
Running a business is all about relationships. Whether you’re a personal trainer helping people get fit, a doctor treating a patient, or an author with thousands of readers, you’re in the relationship business.
And there’s no better way to build relationships than through a handwritten note.
Think about it:
How many emails do you get a day?
50? 100? More?
Emails tend to get lost in a sea of hundreds or thousands of other emails that your customer gets each month. Many of them go unopened.
A text message is quick and simple. But does it really convey a heartfelt message that took time and care to craft? I don’t think so.
Now imagine yourself walking to your mailbox. When you get there, you open it up to a stack of mail. You pull everything out of the mailbox and flip through the stack.
Ad, ad, bill, ad, bill.
And then you see it. An envelope addressed to you in handwriting.
It’s obviously a card and you instantly smile.
Your mood changes. You’re happy, just knowing that someone took the time to sit down and write a personal note to you.
This is how your customers will feel when they receive your card in the mail.
And guess what? Unlike many emails, which go unopened, and then moved into the trash, handwritten cards get opened 100% of the time.
Now before we go into what every thank you note should include, let’s look at some businesses and entrepreneurs that have used thank you notes to grow their business.
What You Will Learn
- How Showing Gratitude Helped the “World’s Greatest Salesman”
- How Personalized Thank You Cards Helped Other Businesses
- 4 Steps to Write a Professional Thank You Card
- 2 Examples of a Professional Thank You Note
- When Should You Send a Thank You Note?
- How to Build a Habit of Sending Thank You Cards
How Showing Gratitude Helped the “World’s Greatest Salesman”
Joe Girard knows how to sell cars.
In fact, he is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “World’s Greatest Salesman.”
Check out some of his impressive statistics from his 14-year car-selling career, at a Chevrolet dealership right outside of Detroit, Michigan:
Every month, year after year, Girard would send a handwritten greeting card to every customer on his list. Inside would be a simple message. He knew they’d need a new car one day, and he wanted to keep himself top of mind.
Girard’s dedication to keeping in touch with his customers instilled in them a psychological obligation to do business with him. When they needed a new car, they went straight to Joe. And when their friends needed a new car, his customers referred them to Joe.
How Personalized Thank You Cards Helped Other Businesses
One of the most successful business women of our time has a similar story.
Mary Kay Cosmetics Company
Mary Kay Ash, the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics Company, set herself a simple task: she hand wrote three thank you notes at the end of each day.
She attributed part of her success in business to taking the time to let the people around her know they were appreciated.
To date, Mary Kay Cosmetics has grown to a 2 billion dollar industry
Bockman’s Auto Care
Joe Bockman owns Bockman’s Auto Care in Sycamore, Illinois. For the past 8 years, he has spent, on average, $1,858 on thank you cards each year for his entire customer base.
That might seem like a lot, right? Well Joe has consistently seen between a $35,000 and $45,000 return on his yearly Thanksgiving and “Christmas in July cards, which tell each customer in his database simply, “Thank you.”
Sending thank you cards benefits non-profit organizations as well.
In an experiment to measure the ROI of their non-profit, the staff of Donors Choose sent handwritten thank you notes to half of all recent first-time donors.
They found that 38% of people that received a thank you note were more likely to give again than those that didn’t receive one. The thank-you notes recipients donate an additional $41 per year on average, translating to more than $3 million in additional donations per year.
How Thank You Cards Helped Wufoo
Thank you cards are good for retention as well. Wufoo is known for sending thank-you cards to customers — every week, the team takes time to draft, decorate and mail personalized cards, a tradition that dates back to Wufoo’s early days.
And get this:
According to the Customer Ops team lead Renee Morris, “out of the roughly 800 customers who received handwritten cards from us last year, 50% fewer folks left our product than those who did not receive cards.”
Think about that…
Retention rates are a full 50% better among customers who receive a thank-you note.
4 Steps to Write a Professional Thank You Card
So now that you know you can easily grow your business with thank you cards, it’s time to turn our attention to how to write professional thank you cards.
First, it needs a greeting.
This is how you should start the note, of course. And use the recipient’s name to make it more personal.
Here are some suggestions:
Next, your thank you note needs a thank you!
This is the point of writing the thank you note in the first place, right? So make it genuine, authentic, thankful, and show that you truly care.
Here are some suggestions:
Thank you for helping me put together our gratitude dinner. Your willingness to do whatever it takes made it happen.
Thank you for advice and for your generosity with your time and knowledge. Without your support, I wouldn’t know how to start writing my book.
Thank you for being there for me to talk things through, and for being willing to share your experience. Your insights and advice made me decide to start a business
Add a personal touch.
To wrap up your thank you latter, add a personal touch, when possible. You’re human. Your clients and customers are human.
This shows that you not only listened to them but care about their well-being. Now’s your chance to cultivate that personal relationship.
Here are some examples:
I hope you had fun at Disney with your family!
Sorry to hear you’ve been sick recently, but I hope you’re feeling better now!
Hope you enjoy the warm weather in Mexico!
Congratulations on launching your latest book! Let me know what I can do to help you spread the word.
Use a closing that is comfortable for you.
The only thing left to do is to finish your note with a closing that is comfortable for you.
As you can see, writing a thank you letter doesn’t have to be time-consuming. It’s just a few sentences of honest appreciation for the other person.
Here are some common examples:
2 Examples of a Professional Thank You Note
To put it all together, here are two examples of thank you cards you can send to the important business
Just a note to say hello and to let you know how grateful we are for you.
We love working with entrepreneurs like you who are committed to growing their Ideal Business and we wanted to thank you for letting us help you.
We’re here to support you and know that 2020 is going to be a great year for you!
P.S . Congratulations to you and Stacey on the birth of your baby boy.
I wanted to reach out to you personally to let you know how grateful I am for you. I love connecting with people who are serious about their health and fitness and that's one of the reasons I appreciate you so much. Thanks for allowing me to coach you to reach your fitness goals these past 3 months!
I hope your bootcamps are going great! You continue to change lives, so keep doing what you're doing and make an impact on the world.
I'm wishing for nothing but the best for you in 2020! Here's to a great year!
When Should You Send a Thank You Note?
Now that you’ve got the mechanics of writing thank you notes when should you send them? You definitely should be sending them on a regular basis if you want to use them to grow your business.
But here are some common specific times that you’ll want to reach out to people and send them a handwritten thank you note:
Thank you notes can be sent at any time, but here are some common times that people send them:
1. After an interview. Thank the person who interviewed you. Thank them for their time and for considering you for the position.
2. After a meeting. After an important meeting, thank the key players for attending and sharing their insights.
3. After someone invests in a product or a service that you offer. Thank them for their purchase!
4. After events. You often meet new people at events, so thank them for the pleasure of their company and for sharing information with you.
5. Out of the blue. These are the best kinds of thank you notes—totally out of the blue, and will really set you apart from the competition.
6. After a referral. If someone refers to a new client or customer to you, take out a notecard and pen a thank you note. This will show your gratitude and encourage that person to continue to refer people to you.
7. During the holidays. The holidays are a great excuse to thank people for a great year together. However, I like the approach of sending out cards on different holidays instead of Christmas, when everyone else is sending cards. Think about sending cards out for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Christmas in July or Thanksgiving.
The last thing to touch on is creating a habit around writing thank you cards. You’re probably all gung ho now that you know how you can grow your business with thank you cards, but that excitement is bound to wear off in a few days, even if you’ve made a commitment to write thank you cards regularly.
How to Build a Habit of Sending Thank You Cards
Here are some tips to keep your thank you card writing on track and make it a habit:
1. Start small.
It may sound great to write 5 thank you cards daily, but is that realistic? Start small and consider writing 1 card per day. Or 1 card Monday – Friday or even 1 card 3 days per week. Make it a small habit that fits into your busy schedule.
2. Determine who you’ll write the card to.
I would suggest doing this in the evening, right before you go to bed. Figure out who you want to write your card the next day.
A customer that bought one of your products?
Perhaps a co-worker that helped you with a project.
Figure this out the night before so you don’t have to spend a lot of time on it the next day.
3. Get your materials ready.
Writing a thank you card involves a card, an envelope, a stamp, a pen, and a mailing address. Have all of these out the evening before so you’re ready to go the next day!
4. Figure out what time you’ll write the card.
I love writing cards as part of my morning routine. It ties in nicely with writing in a gratitude journal. Writing a card first thing in the morning improves my odds of getting the card written.
As the day goes by, and other “stuff” gets in the way, writing thank you cards becomes more difficult.
5. Practice habit stacking.
When creating this new habit, you’ll have a better chance of sticking with it if you stack in on an existing habit. Perhaps you make coffee first thing in the morning each morning. This is called habit stacking. (For more on this, check out this 13-step process for building a habit stacking routine.)
Making coffee can be the trigger to write your thank-you note. While you’re sitting down enjoying that freshly brewed cup of coffee, put pen to paper, and write the thank you note.
Businesses are built through relationships, and handwritten thank-you notes help you grow those relationships and cultivate a connection with your prospects and customers. They are a simple way to grow your business and you can even start today!
And don't forget to share it on your favorite social media network, so others can start writing thank you cards!
Finally, if you're the one who received a thank you note, read this post on the various ways to respond to “thank you”.
Scott Colby is an adventure lover who has always created businesses around his passions. Although he has spent over a decade in the fitness industry, helping people create transformations, it was a trip to Guatemala that inspired him to create his latest brand – Say It With Gratitude.
To learn more, check out his free report, 29 Ways To Use Gratitude To Grow Your Business And Make It More Profitable.