Friday, August 3, 2012

Thank You Notes

I've been streamlining shipping lately and am skimping where I shouldn't be.  Namely, the thank you note.  Ideally, it should be an individually written card lovingly enclosed and packaged with the order.  It should thank the customer, remind them who they're shopping with, and encourage them to come back.

I'm of two minds.  I truly believe in my deepest of hearts that most of my customers toss them.  I've seen a couple board posts with people lamenting the waste of paper and packaging on simple orders.  I can't skimp on packaging - all it takes is one order arriving damaged and needing to be replaced and I'm in the red.  Promotion is a different story.  We've all got business cards and enclose them in each order.  Even with returning customers.  I keep business cards in a file on my desk with notes on them as to what I bought and if anything happened but I'm not sure anyone else is this compulsive.

Where does the thank you note fall in?  Again, this is something I have sent but stopped when I started seeing that the same people who I sent them to complained about wasteful shipping.  At the same time, I just received one from a large supplier I placed a wholesale order with and I'm rethinking the whole thing.  It was individually printed, customized to what I ordered, tasteful and shared what they did that made them different from the other places I might have gone.  There was an individual's name (first and last), their phone number (not 800 but we're all on one-price unlimited calling anyway) and an invitation to call for any reason at all.  When I read it I was struck by the thought that someone actually cared.  I was planning on doing business with this company again anyway because they have great prices and their product arrived in good condition, exactly as advertised and promptly.  I confess that the thank you note I received is tipping me more in their favor.  It was a wholesale order.  I'm a small fish in a big pond.  A person with a last name gave me their phone number if I'd like to discuss my order.  I'm impressed.

What does this mean to me as a small business owner?  I'm going to enclose a thank you card again.  I have them, I might as well use them.  The ten seconds it takes me to write one out is priceless.  Please let me know if you find this offensive or tedious.  I will flog an idea to death.  If you disagree I want to hear about it!

If you've stumbled upon something that your customers find extra special, please share it with me so I can steal the idea.


  1. You know, I have to admit, whenever I receive an order of any kind and it has a hand written note, whether it is a card or just on the receipt, it makes me pause. I like feeling the connection. Personally I feel it shows that you are taking the time to show you care. I understand some people complaining about waste, but a small thank you card seems sweet to me. I keep mine personally, but if for some reason they don't want to keep theirs recycling is always an option! And if you already have the cards, you might as well use them! Just my personal opinion :) Do what feels right to you!

  2. Thank you for the input! I am going back to using my cards! I was just at a sort of mega-show and the purchases I made all came with notes in addition to the business cards. I was buying at those booths anyway, but I'm choosing to interpret that the more successful shops use cards. They are probably as successful as they are because of the connection they form with their customers.


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