In today's age of impersonal texts and emails, it can be easy to overlook the power of a simple handwritten thank you note. We all think that we're responsible for our own success, but in reality, our success depends on the strength of the relationships that we develop with the people we interact with. It's human nature to want to do business with people we like and trust. A handwritten thank you note goes a long way to help strengthen relationships and foster trust. What makes it so powerful? The fact that it's old school. What I mean by this is that it's handwritten and mailed. Actions that take time, thought, and effort. Anyone can take 2 seconds and crank out an email or text message, but to write and send a thank you note takes time and thought—and that alone elevates the value placed on the message by the person receiving it. Well-written and timely thank you notes foster relationships; couple this with the fact that most people enjoy an unexpected thank you and you have a winning combination. Below I've outlined what makes a good thank you note.
The key to a well-received thank you note is for it to be handwritten. Regardless of how illegible you feel your handwriting is you should always hand-write any thank you note that you are mailing. It should also be written by you and not farmed out to someone else in the office.
When thanking someone, be specific about what you are thanking them for. If someone took time out of their busy schedule to meet, make sure you reference that in your note. When thanking someone for taking the time to meet with you it's important to mention some of the details that came up in the meeting. This will help to reinforce that first of all that you were listening and that you understand the importance of any details that they brought up in the meeting.
Outline what the next steps are. This will help to let the person know what they can come to expect from you. If you're thanking them for their first order and you are planning on following up with them in a few weeks, let them know that.
This one goes without saying you should always personally sign your thank you note. Try to make it legible, so that there is no question who wrote the note. Don't use the same hen scratching that you use to sign a credit card receipt. Making your signature legible instills into the recipient that the note is actually coming from you and you didn't farm it out to someone else to write.
When possible it's best to send your note out within 24-48 hours. This way you are still fresh in their mind. It will also show how important the recipient is to you. However, if a week has passed, don't let that stop you from sending a note as it will still be well received.
When you're going to take the time to write a note you want to make sure you are penning your note on nice card stock. Spend a little money on a quality set of note cards printed on a nice heavyweight card-stock with a matching envelope. Go the extra step and have the cards branded with your company logo and name. A set of 50 folded 4 1/4" X 5 1/2" note cards isn't going to break the bank and will pay off big dividends in the long run.
When it comes to what color of pen to write with there is a lot of physiological debate about what color says subconsciously. I would say if you want to play it safe go with blue or black. Want to be a little different? – go with a green, purple, pink, or whatever moves you. Just be sure the color matches the tone of the message.
Bonus Tips: Hard-to-Reach Prospects
Note cards can be used for more than just saying thank you within the business world. I've had good success using handwritten notes cards to set appointments with prospects that I haven't been able to reach via email or phone. After a couple of emails, a couple of voicemails with no response, I'll use a note card to drop the prospect a quick note asking for an appointment. I include my business card and also let the person know that I'll give them a call to follow up with them about setting up some time to meet. Most times when I call to follow up I usually get some sort of response, which to me is better than no response at all.
Don't overlook the power of a handwritten note; with the decline in snail mail volume people look at mail a lot differently than they did a few years ago. Many statistics show that most people look forward to receiving mail and place a higher value on snail mail over email. Then there is the power of "thank you". Who doesn't like to be thanked, especially when they were not expecting it? When you send someone a handwritten note it makes the recipient pause and take notice.
Need a little help getting started, reach out to one of our print specialists and we'll help get you up and running with note cards that you’ll be proud to send out.