Items Needed In Every Marketers’ (Actually Every Business’) Toolbox

I wish I could say that I had thought of the idea myself, but I didn’t. Just like the saying goes, Success Has Many Fathers, While Failure Is An Orphan, the same came be said of author of a really good idea as well. So I won’t claim to be the father of the idea that I have been practicing for several years. That father (or mother in this case) would be my wife, Nicole. And Nicole, ironically, got the idea from her mother. Now, who my Mother-in-Law got it from, I have no idea. So what exactly is this ground-breaking idea? Well it is the idea of writing (and I do mean handwriting) a simple thank-you note and sending it to a person through the US Postal Service, otherwise known as snail mail.

Doing this, is something that I learned from watching my wife do consistently throughout the 24 years we’ve been married. Whether it was someone who had done something nice for her, gave her a gift of some kind, hosted us for dinner, you name it, whoever that person was, they were going to get a handwritten thank card or note in the mail. I have actually been on the receiving end of these notes from my own Mother-In-Law. It’s never anything big ever, just simple note cards over the years that have said something along the lines of, “Thank you so much for the wonderful whatever, it’s absolutely beautiful or I love it! – Love Mom.”

But when this simple gesture is practiced in business it takes things to a completely new level in business. And I enjoy going to that level. Because as we all know, the practice of even saying thank you is becoming a bit rare. And in business, thanks-you’s are typically delivered  by either someone actually saying the words or by sending a thank-you email. Both of which are fine. However I actually enjoy sending handwritten thank-you’s and have seen how well they have been received, and also have enjoyed receiving benefits from having done so. On several occasions after having sent a handwritten thank you, I have received an invitation from the recipient requesting a one-on-one meeting, or have received an unexpected introduction or referral from that person with a glowing recommendation. I don’t send these thanks-you’s for those purposes. I genuinely feel that there is a lack of human touch and interaction across all areas of life, but especially in business, and sending handwritten communications is my way of trying to keep the human touch and connection alive. As a side benefit however, doing so has helped me create a vast network of people who feel they really know me, feel strongly about me, and are willing to do (and have done) amazing things to help me.

As Marketers though, think about how transformative that kind of unexpected touch and interaction could be for your business if you were to practice that kind of communication with your customers and clients. Imagine how your customers, clients and/or prospects would feel if they received from you a handwritten and addressed thank-you in the mail that simply said: So-n-So, Thanks for coming to our event, it was great seeing you! – or So-n-So,Thanks for stopping by our booth, really enjoyed chatting with you! Sure, it would take some time to do something like that, but think of how well that note would be received…think about how well you and your company would be per-ceived. It might make a lot sense to think about. If so, perhaps as you think about the tools you need to develop stronger and more effective marketing efforts, you may want to consider adding a pack of note cards or thank-you cards and some postage stamps to that list.