Thanks-Giving = Thanks-Getting: 21 Small Business Profit Boosters (#2)

Thanks-Giving is Thanks-Getting

In the United States, we're celebrating Thanksgiving. In our tradition, this means expressing our gratitude for the bountiful harvest. It is a long-standing tradition, steeped in the mythology of the birth of our nation.

For many people, it is one of the very few times of the year they pause to truly reflect on what they're thankful for.

In keeping with the idea of giving thanks, I'm about to suggest a simple strategy of thanks-giving that can also have a “boomerang effect”; by giving thanks, it's possible to get thanks back in return. In the form of dollars in your bank account.

Which leads us to Tactic #2 in our 21-part series. Here's the tactic…

Get out your trusty list of all past customers.

Even the ones who only spent a few dollars with you.

Now send each one of them a hand-written thank you note.

Yes, I said a hand-written thank you note.

Not one printed by computer, using a handwriting font.

Not a photocopied “hand-written” note. No, I'm suggesting you send each individual customer a short, quickly-written, perhaps even a little tough to read… hand written note. (HINT: I never said you personally had to write each one; just that it be written by a human hand.)

“But That Will Take Forever!”

I can already hear the protests that this is much too time-consuming.

I beg to differ.

Follow my reasoning: which has more impact on you… a computer printed note (which you can always detect, right?), or an obviously hand-written one?

My questions are a setup, of course. We all know that hand-written note is magnitudes more important and attention-getting to each of us.

How important do you think it is to create those emotions in your customers?

If you can reach a large number of your past customers, and grab a little piece of their attention, and make them feel a little special… do you think that's likely to result in new or repeat business? Do you think it's possible that they will recommend you to their friends and loved ones? Do you think it's possible that when one of your competitors starts marketing aggressively to this customer, they'll remember that handwritten note from you?

Now, if you simply stop with the thank-you note I don't think your results are going to be very outstanding; although I do predict you'll get some business if that's all you ever do. But here comes the real power play…

How To Follow Up Your Thanks-giving Note With a Thanks-getting Note

The timing on this nextmaneuver is crucial.  If you wait too long, it won't work nearly as well. Within two days of sending the thank you note, send a marketing communication.

My suggestion is this marketing communication be simple and to the point. It might say something like, “as an added thank you for being a loyal customer in the past, I'd like to make you aware of a special opportunity right now…”.

The keys to this tactic working  are:

  1. The fact that the first note is genuinely handwritten.
  2. The proximity (in time) of the second note to the first
  3. The words “added thank you”. Because they evoke the memory of the thank you note.

Mess up one of those variables, and your results will diminish.

Is this groundbreaking?

Is it earth shattering?


But it will work. The hand-written note will stand out from among all of the “fake” thank you notes your customers are getting from other businesses. Trust me. You're going to be on a whole different level.

If you send a marketing communication within 48 hours of your customer receiving your hand-written note, your marketing communication will be at least seven times more effective than it would have been on its own.

Many of your past customers will thank you for your personal attention-and they'll thank you in the form of new business.

Tomorrow's profit booster: Bobby Fischer marketing.

Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at