5 Keys to Writing a Thank You Note

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I received a thank you card for my purchase at a local retail store last week. It was mixed in with all the other mail I got that day and I honestly did not give it much attention. It was "form-filled" and the copy was so generic that I did not get a warm feeling that the store really liked me. In fact, I think they just liked my money. Great idea - poor execution.

Here are 5 keys to writing a great thank you note.

1. Make it Handwritten

If it is in your handwriting, it tells the reader you care a LOT. Think about it, we can easily send an email or text in today's word, but when we take the time to handwrite something, it shows the level of care we actually have for the person and the message. In fact, I do so much typing on my computer that when I do my handwritten notes, my hand literally cramps up! And by the way, hand address the envelope as well. It does  you no good to take the time to handwrite the inside and the customer never knowing it because of the envelope. 

2. Make it About Them

The typical card or note will say something like "thank you so much for your purchase" or "thank you for buying the dress." This is thanking them for giving you money, not for being your customer. Make sure your message communicates that you appreciate them as a person and not just their money. Use their name and let them know you appreciate them trusting you in their decision. 

3. Make it Personal

Be sure and mention a specific item from you conversations with them in the store. For example, write. "I cannot wait to hear about your time at the fundraiser. I am sure the new dress will knock everyone out." In this instance, we are referencing the fact that the purpose of buying the dress was for the fundraising event the customer was going too. By mentioning it in the note, it becomes personal and when it becomes personal, the customer feels you genuinely care about them. Plus, they are more likely to return to the store to tell you about the event (as you asked) and then you can sell them something for their next outing. 

4. Make it a Note of Appreciation and Not a Warranty Card

Typical copy for a card is to finish with "if you have any issues or confirms please don't hesitate to call me." While the person who writes that has his or her heart in the right place, this is actually a warranty card designed to help you if there is a problem. Keep the note positive and focused on the customer and your appreciation of them. Never reference problems or concerns in your thank you note 

5. Ask for a Referral

Now that one may have caught you off guard, but it is true; always ask the customer to send people your way. For example, finish your note by writing, "if you can think of any of your friends who could use my service, I would consider it an honor if you sent them my way." 

When was the last time you got a handwritten note from someone. Not a birthday card, but a true note to say "thinking of you" or to express their "appreciation of you." Remember how that felt? Wouldn't it be great for your customers to feel that way about you every time they do business with you? I actually used to write notes even if the customer did not buy from me. It was amazing the number of times someone would come into the store and say how much the service meant to them - and then they bought!