Top 9 Things to Know About Business Thank-You Cards
Never underestimate the importance of two little words: thank you. For your business, these two words can boost the mood of your employees, encourage brand loyalty among customers, and nurture relationships with suppliers and professional partners. When two words can do so much, sending thank-you cards should be a part of your professional practice. Get started or improve your existing practices with the following 9 important things to know about sending business thank-you cards.
Thank-You Cards Are for Everyone
Sending business thank-you cards benefit organizations across a range of industries. Any business that deals with members of the public can find opportunities to say thank you with a card.
Your business should send thank-you cards to anyone with whom it has meaningful interactions. Sending thank-you cards is a thoughtful way to show someone who has made a financial contribution, given a gift, or donated their time to your organization.
Consider sending thank-you cards to your customers to show how much their support means. You may send thank-you cards to all customers once a year and thank-you cards throughout the year to anyone who has made large purchases.
Thank-you cards also help present your business in a more positive light when you’re making new contacts. Taking the time to formally thank business professionals for meeting with you or sharing ideas at a corporate event help cement a new business relationship.
Don’t take for granted the people you interact with regularly, such as your business partners, suppliers, contractors, and employees. Thank-you cards can show these people that you value their ongoing efforts or anything they’ve done out of the ordinary.
Thank-You Cards Do More Than Express Thanks
Saying thank you is the primary goal of sending any thank-you card. However, these cards do much more than express your gratitude. They also show your recipient that you value them and the relationship your organization has with them.
Thank-you cards can also generate loyalty to your business. Thank-you cards make people feel special, exactly the way they feel when they’re loyal to a business. Make the people your business interacts with feel valued and they’re likely to think of you first when they need your products or services. They’ll also be more willing to speak favorably about you to their family members and friends. Positive word of mouth is so important for business success, as 92 percent of consumers say they trust suggestions from family and friends more than advertising.
Saying thank you should be a part of any good business interaction. When you send thank-you cards, you’re showing that you can follow through on interaction with someone. Businesses that send business cards also show they pay attention to the details. Both of these admirable qualities should make individuals and other businesses more willing to work with you.
Personalized Thank-You Cards Make the Biggest Impact
Saying thank you should be a personal gesture between your business and your card recipient. The more personal you can make your thank-you card, the larger the impact it will have.
The details are all important. Simply adding the recipient’s name to the thank-you card makes the individual or business representative feel valued. We’re wired to respond positively to this type of customization. That’s why personalized promotional emails have 29 percent higher open rates and 41 percent greater click-through rates than impersonalized messages.
Add details specific to your interaction to make your thank-you card more meaningful. For example, imagine a hospital is sending a thank-you card to donors who participated in a fundraising drive. Mentioning the specific donation amount and what this amount can do for the hospital will help the donors understand what their gifts mean.
Handwriting your thank-you cards is another way to make them feel more personal. Handwrytten reported that 64 % of Americans prefer handwritten notes to electronic messages. This preference results in handwritten envelopes opened 300 percent more often than printed ones.
If you can’t spare the time to handwrite thank-you notes, consider partnering with a service such as Handwrytten, which creates messages that look remarkably like handwritten ones. Its templates make composing thank-you notes from your desktop or mobile device easy. Choose block or cursive typefaces with a variety of styles, from formal to casual, to match your business branding. Make sure to upload a signature for that final personalized touch. Handwrytten reports its signature technology is 100 percent indiscernible from authentic signatures.
Effective Thank-You Cards Have Common Elements
If you’re unfamiliar with writing thank-you cards, you may be uncertain about where to begin. Note the following elements the most effective thank-you cards have in common.
1. Start your thank-you card with a greeting. As explained above, the best greetings include the recipient’s name. Depending on the tone and image of your business, the name itself may be a sufficient greeting. You could also preface the name with a salutation such as “Dear,” “Hello,” or, if your business is young and irreverent, “Yo.”
2. Next comes the body of your card, or the thank you itself. Make your thank you specific so that your recipient knows you understand and value what he or she did for your organization. You should also be genuine in your words. Resist the temptation to gush excessively or add humor to your card, as these tactics can make your words seem insincere.
3. When possible, add personal touches that reference the recipient or your relationship. A reference to the recipient’s upcoming professional projects, family, location, recent illness, injury, or interests can make your recipient feel more special and strengthen your bond. This reference should feel natural and unforced. Otherwise, it can seem creepy rather than charming. When you add these touches, your recipient knows you care about him or her on a personal level, not just what the person can do for your business.
4. Finally, add a closing statement. “Best wishes,” “Thanks again,” “With gratitude,” or “Cheers” can all work well, depending on your business and its preferred tone. Choose whatever closing feels most natural for you.
The Best Thank-You Cards Are Tangible
Much business communication occurs electronically. Email has been king for more than two decades, but newer electronic methods of communication such as social media messages, instant messages, and texting are now nipping at its virtual heels, especially among the working members of Generation Z. While electronic communication methods may be convenient, it takes something to cut through all that digital clutter. Don’t risk your thank-you note going to a spam folder or being accidentally overlooked in a sea of social media notifications. Opt for tangible business thank-you notes instead.
Electronic communication is disposable, absorbed in a moment then deleted. In contrast, traditional tangible thank-you notes get pinned on notice boards and displayed on desks. When people see these thank-you cards, they reflect on your business and their encounters with it favorably.
Businesses who send these classic thank-you notes take the time to create them, then mail them or hand deliver them. That attention doesn’t go unnoticed by the recipients, who typically feel traditional thank-you notes are more genuine and special. When your recipient finds your thank-card among the bills and junk mail, think how that person’s mood can be lifted.
When you want your thank-you note to make an impact, forget about electronic communication and opt for a more traditional approach.
Timeliness Is Important
It’s good business practice to send a thank-you note as soon after the meaningful interaction occurred as possible. This attention to timing ensures the encounter is still fresh in the mind of the recipient. It also communicates to the recipient that saying thanks is an important priority for your business, not just an afterthought.
For best results, most thank-you notes should be sent on the same day or the next day after the interaction occurred. You have a little more leeway when thanking people for their ongoing contributions to your business, rather than a specific event. In these circumstances, an annual thank you, perhaps sent at Christmas or tax time, is appropriate.
Business Thank-You Cards Shouldn’t Be Promotional
Sending business thank-you cards is a great way to make your business appear in a positive light and encourage brand recognition. Any time you transmit materials with your business name, logo, and corporate branding on it, you’re promoting your professional interests. However, resist the urge to take the promotion too far. Don’t include items such as brochures, business cards, or coupons with your thank-you card. These inclusions dilute your message, making it seem as though you’re trying to promote your business rather than express genuine appreciation.
Gifts Can Add a Special Touch
Don’t think that you need to restrict yourself to simply sending cards. If the occasion feels natural, you may attach your card to a small gift to show your appreciation. Baked goods, relevant books, bottles of wine, and gift vouchers are all great gift ideas.
If you have surplus promotional items in the office, these objects may also make great gifts. T-shirts, stickers, and drink coolers are all excellent options. Consider whether the gift will be of value to your recipients. If you’ll think they’ll love it, send away. If you believe they’ll think you’re simply trying to market your business, then leave the promotional items out.
Writing Thank-You Cards Takes Time
If you’re a busy businessperson, finding the time to compose and write business cards may seem challenging. Making this process part of your existing routine will help you fit this practice into your schedule. You can compose business cards while you’re sipping your morning coffee or commuting home from work on the train. When you start doing a routine activity like this one, you’ll remember you need to compose your thank-you cards, too. Remember that a service such as Handwrytten will also streamline the process for you.
Saying thank you makes a massive impact, but sadly, many businesses don’t take the time to say these two important words to their customers. Don’t be one of them. Make sending thank-you messages a key part of your business communications processes and start reaping the benefits of this thoughtfulness today.