This morning I’ve been writing thank-you cards. One of the best business purchases I’ve ever made (Thanks Nicole!!) was a whole buttload of blank 360|Conferences thank you cards.
Not only do we mail them after each conference to speakers and sponsors, but we use them through out the year. Right now I’m writing thank you’s for 360|MacDev speakers for a nice surprise I have for them. I’m also writing “I’m Sorry” cards for some mistakes in billing from 360|iDev to certain speakers. I’ve also sent them out when special thanks is required and an email just isn’t the right mode. I’m not some “paper is dying, we have to save it!” luddite, but there is something meaningful in the process of writing someone a note on paper and mailing it.
The value of a hand written thank you is beyond measure. Yeah it’s time consuming, and your hand cramps up like a lobster claw, but the feeling you get afterward is worth it ten-fold. People are constantly amazed and appreciative of the gesture of the card, and each time someone says, “thank you for the card”, it validates the reason we bought and send the cards. We do a lot to try and thank those who help us, but I think the most meaningful thing we do is the cards.
If your business isn’t thanking your supporters in a meaningful and truly heartfelt way, you’re doing it wrong. Spend the money and the time to show your appreciation. Don’t make hollow simple gestures like “thanks to all our sponsors” tweets, sit down, write a note, sign your name, lick an envelope. All those things mean a lot to people.