Why giving thanks is a marketing win

During this season, and especially during Thanksgiving week, we see a lot of talk of gratitude. At least one DC-area TV channel is asking people to post what they are grateful for (and hashtag it, of course).

Thank you card

Those that do

I have been getting several email thank you notes—from airlines, rewards programs and organizations that I have supported in the past. It’s nice to get an email that is simply expressing thanks and not trying to sell or promote or convince.

And every end of year, I get a couple “Season’s Greetings and Thank You for your Business” holiday cards in the mail. I generally get one from my accountant and one from a company that painted the exterior of my house three years ago. I get so few actual printed holiday cards, especially from vendors, that I really notice them.

And those that don’t

On the other hand, I don’t get anything from the painting company that painted the interior of my house, or from the company that installed the hardwood floors in my house (a much bigger job than the house painting) or from the company with which I had a multi-year service contract.

Perhaps these companies don’t send any thank yous at all. Or perhaps they don’t value my patronage.

I have been thinking about this because I just had a new HVAC unit installed. It is the largest purchase I have made this year, and it was a hard decision to make. The company that sold and installed the unit was very professional. The salesperson followed up and answered a ton of my questions and concerns. The installers were on time and worked diligently, leaving everything clean and tidy. All the paperwork was in order.

But a week later, I have not heard a word from this company. No follow up to see how the system is working, no inquiry about my experience with the installation, and most surprisingly, no thank you for buying the product/service.

Polite, and meeting expectations

We don’t expect thank you notes from the grocery store (even though we probably spend money there more consistently and frequently than almost anywhere else) or for the vast number of regular transactions we all make during the year. But when we buy something big—a car, a house, a time share—we do expect a thank you.

Writing (or emailing) thank you notes is what polite people do when they’ve received a gift. And it is what companies should do when you’ve made a big purchase or done business with them. Because so few companies do it, sending a thank you is what differentiates them. It also shows, in a tangible way, that a company values your patronage. It’s a marketing win.

Do you send thank you notes to your customers or clients? If not, why not? If so, how do you do it–electronically or with a printed card?

And with that, let me say thank you for reading this post, and this blog. Have a very happy Thanksgiving!



About Deborah Brody

Deborah Brody writes and edits anything related to marketing communications. Most blog posts are written under the influence of caffeine.


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