Thursday, December 23, 2010

The 39,900% ROI of a Simple "Thank You" - MPR Story

A client tipped me off to a story on MPR about a "new" marketing strategy to build your business.

First, read an interview with a small business owner ...
Brett Brohl: I've written, at least 2,000 thank yous just in the last 12 months.

Brett Brohl owns He sells medical scrubs. You know, those pastel-colored outfits, doctors and nurses wear. Brohl says he hand writes a thank you note for every single customer. Scrubadoo is a new company, and Brohl says there are a lot of websites out there selling the exact same products he does.

Brett Brohl: If you Google the word "scrubs," we're not on the front page, we're not on the second page. And just like every other industry right now, competition's tough and with less people buying, it's even tougher.

Brohl says, a new company like his can't afford major marketing like TV commercials. Instead, he says, he's counting on thank you notes to help Scrubadoo stand out.

Heh. Did you get that?

Google may rank your competitors higher than you, but one thing Google can't control is the personal touch. You can give out as much of that as you'd like. Free. Or, you can send a personal touch by mail, for the price of a stamp, in the form of a thank-you note.

You may know that I write regularly about the power of "thank you" in business. And with good reason ...

While writing and mailing thank-you notes is "no-tech" and slower than email, the ROI can be incredible. When I say incredible, how does a 39,900% ROI grab you? 

Read on to learn how ...
Sarah Siewert is 24, she lives in Chicago. A couple of months ago, she hit up a department store with her mom and her sister. They were shopping for purses.

Sarah Siewert: And as soon as we got there, into the purse section, one of the saleswomen immediately approached us and was really attentive, she pulled purses from the back, she went through different options, different colors

Typical shopping experience, right? As long as you get an attentive sales person, like Sarah did. She and her mom ended up buying a purse apiece. Then, a couple weeks later they both got letters in the mail from the saleswoman who'd helped them. They were thank you notes.

Siewert: It was a fully hand written note, referencing the exact bag we purchased. And on my note, she even had a nice reference to our alma mater.

Turns out they'd gone to the same school. And, I'll admit the purse Sarah bought wasn't exactly cheap. It was Marc Jacobs, about $400. [And] it worked. Siewert says she just bought another bag.
Let's do the math.

After getting a thank-you note in the mail, which cost about $1 to send -- including postage -- Siewer returned to buy another purse. If she spent another $400 on a similar bag, that's a return on investment of 39,900%.

You can thank me later. Right now, you've got some thank-you notes to mail ...

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  1. Update: I spoke by phone yesterday with a prospect about giving a marketing presentation to her sales force. Prior to calling her, I mailed her a thank-you note.

    Near the start of our conversation, she said, "I've got your thank-you card here on my desk!" Ice broken. Smiles. Smooth sailing. And we set a date in May for me to speak to her group.

    Can an email "thank you" do that?

  2. Wow! Sounds like an excellent idea!