Want to know what the highest-impact, lowest-cost tool is in your marketing toolkit? First, here are ten reasons to start using this tool right away:
1. It won’t get tossed out with the rest of the junk mail.
2. It builds a genuine bond with the recipient.
3. It’s personal, a 1:1 “marketing touch,” and customized.
4. It costs less than 40 cents.
5. It takes less than 10 minutes to do.
6. It requires no expensive investment.
7. It’s low-tech, but high-touch.
8. It’s a great way to turn downtime and waiting into productive marketing time.
9. It’s rarely used and sets you apart from the crowd.
10. It gets a higher response than any other marketing tactic you could use.
What is this amazing tool? A thank you note. Okay, wait…before you roll your eyes and stop reading, take a quick look at happens when you use this one simple tool:
“Thank you for your note. I’ve never been so impressed. It made me stop and send this email to you. When can we meet?”
“I’d like to say thank you for the note. Really nice touch—you’ve made an impression. Yeah, I’d definitely like to talk more.”
“Thank you for the personalized note. It is a very nice touch and will motivate me to think more about the marketing skills you taught me in your class. I will do my best to inform my management and colleagues about the value of your class and the services offered by TurningPointe Marketing.”
“Thanks for the nice card! I pinned it up in my office as it made my day!”
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve walked into a prospect or client’s office and my note is propped on their desk or pinned to the bulletin board. Can you say the same of your marketing materials?
Here’s when I send a handwritten note. I’m sure you can think of more opportunities, as well:
1. After a meeting to thank a prospect.
2. After a networking event, particularly to people with whom you had a genuinely good conversation.
3. When you earn new business.
4. When a client recommits to you by giving you more business.
5. When someone gives you a referral (whether it pans out or not).
6. When someone consistently gives you repeated referrals. Often, I send more than a note: anything from a $5 gift card to a high-end basket of their favorite goodies or tickets to an event should accompany a note when they’re been really good to you.
7. After you give a talk. I know it’s daunting, especially if your audience climbs above 30. But the payback is amazing. There are ways to “systematize” this, so that you don’t have to hand-write every single note yourself. Send me an email, and I’ll let you in on my secret process. Also, send a note to your sponsor, host, other speakers, and any co-panelists.
8. If you’re new to a committee or board – or welcoming someone new to yours – send a note to each member.
9. After a kick-off meeting, retreat, or visit with a new client – to everyone that was at the meeting, if possible. I also like to send thank-you’s to key support staff that were involved (i.e., meeting planners, secretaries, A/V technicians, vendors, etc.).
10. When you’ve ended with a client.
For tips on how to give thanks, keep reading…
1. Above all, be genuine. If you don’t feel grateful or don’t mean what you write, don’t bother. You’ll resent it, won’t make it a habit, and the recipient will know it’s hollow.
2. Do them immediately (i.e., the next day). I’ve found that if I don’t, chances are I won’t later. This is more about discipline than it is about creativity or a big marketing budget.
3. Make them a habit. On average, I do three notes every morning before I turn to other priorities. In less than a half hour, I start every day off with a high-impact marketing action.
4. Use a professional note card – I find that a 4” x 5” folded card is perfect. Mine are an exact replica of my business card, which creates a consistent “identity” after someone has received my business card at, say, a networking event. I slip them into sheer envelopes and include another business card, for a low-cost marketing piece. Before I had them, though, I used small note cards in my company colors – don’t let the lack of the “perfect” stationary keep you from starting now.
5. Hand-write them! This is about relationship building. A short note written by hand (even in sloppy hand writing) has a much more meaningful impact than a sterile letter with a (heaven forbid!) stamped signature. Nobody is too important or too busy to write a quick note. Many a U.S. President has hand-written-noted his way to the top. If they can do it, so can you.
The real key to this strategy? Being grateful. I don’t take any of my clients, prospects, and valued contacts for granted and want them to know it. By expressing my gratitude in writing, it’s a great mindset to start the day.