The Power of the Personal Touch

EnvelopesWhen was the last time you received a personal thank you from a purchase? My guess is that it has been a while. Handwritten notes are rare and a way for you to stand out from the competition. I see people saying that personal notes are “All the rage” but I still haven’t ever gotten one and neither has anyone I asked. There are companies out there that do it with great success but they are few and far between, so here is a way for a small business to really stand out without a lot of expense. Here are some tips to make your thank you note campaign stand out.

  • Really make it personal – Address it to the purchaser “Dear Steve”. and include details so the customer knows it isn’t just a form letter. “Thank you for buying the blue hat, it is my favorite color and was fun to make for you.” These little touches tell the customer you really do appreciate your business and aren’t just sending formulaic thank you cards to everyone.
  • Leave out the business card – Or at least carefully consider it. This tip goes against instinct and against my feelings that everyone should have my card.  If you include your card it diminished the note. It goes from a genuine thank you to a branding effort. Of course you make sure they can get back in touch with you, address embossed on the card or written on the back, but there is no need for branding efforts here. The thank you is the point.
  • Make it a surprise – The first purchase a customer makes should have a thank you card in it, after that, make it random. If they expect a card each time it is no longer special. This keeps the card as something they hope to get, but don’t expect. It also reduces the burden of how many cards to send. If you are set on sending a note with each purchase make sure to look at the next tip.
  • Don’t make it a chore – If you have to write too many cards, this is a good thing and a bad thing. Don’t let it burn you out of become a dread, it will be reflected in the writing. If you just have too many cards to write consider hiring someone to help with it or outsourcing the process (yup there are services for everything). Don’t let this powerful tool bog you down.

Use these tips to stand out from the crowd. Almost no one does personal notes, so it is an easy win and a powerful tool for creating customer loyalty. Feel free to send me questions or comments below.

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Build Your Leadership Library

Eager KoalaTo be seen as a leader you should build your leadership library. No one is ever going to see your leadership library (unless they see it one book at a time as you read), but having one and using it will build your reputation as a leader. Leadership is a skill to be honed and perfected and one of the ways to do that is books. You should be reading the books of leaders who inspire you. Of course, don’t JUST read, write the thoughts you have about the book out and use them. If you only read and don’t implement what you have learned, why waste your time reading? You should have a leadership notebook that contains these thoughts and action plans. Review it regularly (I recommend first thing every morning). Over time these action plans will become action habits and it will be noticed. So remember, always have something you are reading about leadership. Here is a short list of my favorite books on the subject.

Your Leadership Story by Tim Tobin

All Star Sales Teams by Dan Kleinman

Managing Change by Harvard Business Press

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Getting to Yes by Fisher and Ury

Leaders: Strategies for Taking Charge by Bennis and Nanus

Leadership by James Burns

On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis

New Patterns in Management by Rensis Likert
-My list goes on…..what are your favorite leadership books?

 

 

Tip to Grow your Email List

Grow your email list by offering a birthday or an anniversary club. People that sign up get something special that month and you get access to a potential customer. People love free things and if they sign up, they probably like what you are giving them. This means that you will have a list rich with people who are your target audience and rich lists produce more sales. Use your email list segmentation (you had better be with a service that has it) to manage those lists. Then you can send out the special promotion to the right people. Make sure what you give is worth them signing up but not so good it breaks your bank. Envelopes

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Increase Open Rates – Avoid These Words

EnvelopesWant to increase open and response rates? Leave these 6 words out of your subject line. Just, Very, Really, ASAP, Stuff, Things. They do more harm than good and here is why.

Just – I just want to let you know that you should just leave out any word that just really has no place in the subject line. “Just”
is overused and annoying and really doesn’t add to the content of the message. Consider other words if you feel “Just” belongs in the subject line. Example: Just 5 people can participate.vs Only 5 spots available. One is soft, one is urgent. Do yourself a favor, “Just” leave it out.

Very /Really – Overused and doesn’t add any thing. What’s the difference be tween urgent and very urgent?  One feels like it’s trying too hard. Every word of your subject line should be deliberate and these two words aren’t. They sound like you didn’t have a better way of expressing yourself.

ASAP – As soon as possible? Who defines soon as possible? Does that mean this minute or next month some time? If you are trying to create urgency this is not the way. Say what you mean. Respond ASAP. vs. Respond by tomorrow. One gets opened, the other gets forgotten.

Stuff/Things – What stuff? What things? Be accurate with your subject line. It is ok to create mystery. “Get a free gift just for opening this email” (though with a line like that it had better be something decent) vs “Get free stuff” “Check out these things”. Ambiguity is not your friend when it comes to email marketing.

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