The Thank You Card Factor

5 03 2009

My marketing budget has been getting tighter and tighter these last few months, so I’ve had to think long and hard about the most effective way to reach out to my customers through advertising. Historically, one of the most effective methods that I’ve found is to send a Thank You card with a handwritten note. Recently, I’ve found another reason: note cards make great decorations.

I’ll admit that I have a few Thank You cards from customers that are years old, but I keep pulling them out at different times of the year because they fit the decorations of a particular holiday or season. For example, one of my customers sent me this beautiful Christmas card that has kind of become a staple decoration that I pull out after Thanksgiving to give my desk a festive look.

Here’s the important thing: I know exactly who sent me that card and have their phone number memorized because I keep pulling that card out and seeing the note for several months out of the year.

Thank You Cards as Decorations
Why not take advantage of this opportunity and send my customers Thank You cards that are worthy of sitting on their desks? Sure, it means more time in design and a quality print, but the opportunity to have that point of contact when I get to say a genuine “Thank You” and have the opportunity to keep my brand in front of the customers for awhile is worth it.

The next choice is how to design. My preference is to send the customer a card on a quarterly basis. Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, 4th of July, and Halloween are some obvious choices, but there are others like Easter, Thanksgiving, and Labor Day. The key is to make the Thank You card an obvious reference to the holiday with the design and content. This way, my customers have custom greeting cards to decorate with on the major holidays and at the same time are reminded of my company every day.

Conclusion
As I am dealing with shrinking marketing budgets, I’m inclined to reach for those few ad formats that seem to work time and time again. The Thank You card gives me a chance to offer a sincere “Thanks” while also creating the opportunity for a semi-permanent decoration. The trick is to make sure the cards look top-notch and are designed to be seasonal enough that they warrant being used as a decoration.

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