Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thank You = Power Marketing

You know I'm a fan of mailing handwritten thank-you notes to clients. A. Big. Fan.

Thank-you notes pay big dividends, in my experience.

As William James wrote: "The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated." A thank-you note mailed to clients shows how much you appreciate them. You satisfy a craving when you do this. And your clients will always -- always -- reward you for this.

In his excellent book, You, Inc., Harry Beckwith writes: "Handwritten thank-you notes feel like gifts because you took the time to find the paper and envelope, write the note, affix the stamp, and gift-wrap your note in its package."

Finally, to drive this point home, here are two mini-case studies from the book, Thank You Power, by Deborah Norville:

1) According to a 1995 study by Bruce Rind and Prashant Bordia, restaurant servers who wrote "Thank you" on the check before handing it to their customers got tips averaging 11 percent more than servers who didn't.

The takeaway here is simple: A written "Thank you" can pay you back.

2) In her book, "Thank You Power," Deborah Norville describes another thank-you experiment, in which jewelry store customers were called to thank them for their business -- they "spent more during return visits the following month than customers who didn't get a thank you call."

But they also spent more than customers who got the thank you call and were told at the same time of an upcoming 20 percent-off sale. Word of the sale, which could be perceived as a pitch for more business, made the thank you ring hollow.

The takeaway here is a bit more complex: Your "Thank you" may hinder future sales if you do it wrong. While I've personally received -- and used -- discount coupons that came with thank-you notes, they may rub some customers the wrong way, as they did in the jewelry store experiment.

So, as in all cases where you're offered a new marketing tactic, you should test it out. You may be just one thank-you note away from a major breakthrough with your clients.

Seriously. What would an 11-percent bump in revenue mean for you, like the restaurant servers enjoyed?

You'll never know until you test the idea for yourself.

No matter how you choose to say "thank you" to clients, though, it's an easy, proven way to increase their satisfaction and long-term profitability. And it's entirely under your control -- all you have to do is decide, then start thanking them.

This is another example of "Inside Marketing" -- improving your marketing from the inside, by making a few changes to what you're already doing.

(More ideas like these in the Free Report, Guaranteed Marketing for Service Business Owners.)

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you - hand-written notes make a huge difference because the person has taken the time and effort to do it instead of relying on some pre-formatted computer print out.