Branding Matters

Generic thank you cards & lame “just checking in” e-mails


My morning e-mail contained a notice from the United States Postal Service informing me that I would be receiving a personal card by snail mail that day. 

(Informed Delivery is a free e-mail service from the USPS that allows you digitally preview grayscale images of your snail mail that will be arriving soon. In other words, it gives you a chance to get to your Macy’s bill before your spouse does...)

So — someone had cared enough to mail me a card! My name and address had actually been written by hand in script and a 55-cent stamp had been attached. Wahoo.

I waited anxiously for the mail to arrive that afternoon. When it finally did I tore open the envelope to discover that it was a generic thank you card from a local printer. 

I had recently toured their facility and they wanted to say thanks. The sales rep included a personal business card and a short note thanking me for stopping by, saying if I ever needed anything I should give them a call.

How 1990’s, I thought as I discarded it. Not even a mention of the infamous store that sells chocolate located just around the corner from their building. We had discussed it in length and I had even said that I was going directly there after my tour...

Sending a thank you card was a kind gesture, more than what many people do today, and I really did appreciate it. However, the sales rep had missed an opportunity to make a personal connection that could have been used to build on, and then nurtured into a relationship.

Please do this for me the next time you meet with a prospect, I’d like for you to find one unique thing about them that you can relate to, something you will remember and can use to build a relationship on. 

Next, instead of sending generic thank you cards or e-mails that say “just checking in”, mention the “one unique thing” instead, make it the focus of your message. Then, as if an afterthought, you can ask them if they need anything. 

Doing this will make them feel special, gain their trust, and let them know that you think of them as a person, not just as one of many prospects. It could be the first step towards building a real relationship.

One of the most valuable intangible parts of your brand is the way your client is made to feel each time they interact with you, your brand, and your business.

Make them feel special — because they are.