Thank You Cards

Val

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Posts
6,729
From
Carson City, Nevada
I've been mailing hand-written thank-you cards to some of our customers who are special, have paid a bunch, or just because I want to. I found the perfect cards.

My questions are:
1) What is an appropriate amount of time to pass before sending one? Immediately? Wait a week? a month? Next day?

2) It was discussed on another thread from a Search, about including a business card with percent/dollars-off next framing project. Is that necessary? Is just a nice hand-written card enough?
 
1) Just my take, others willsay I am wrong. Think of it like meeting a girl. You dont want to be to desparate, you also dont want them to think you forgot them. So a balance. I think a week to a week and a half after they have picked the order up. They get home get it up, then they get a card and think that is nice.

2) I would say not all the time. It seems a little much to do it everytime. I would think, gosh why does he have prces if he always discounts. His prices must be inflated. I may do it every once in a while. And track when and how much dollar or % you put on the card and if they return.

Consider doing this every once in a while, think of it as marketing. If you get a good response it may be something that is worth it to do. Instead of running an ad, send out a card and say we were thinking about you and thought you might like a "special customer" discount.Always track these, otherwise you may get buisness cards that you did not fill out.

PL
 
I like the way you put it PL.

I could'nt have put it any better.

Danny I have to tell you that if you start agreeing with me it might look bad for your reputation...you still have time to edit your post. It was a sweet gesture, but remember what people might think :rolleyes:

PL
 
I send thank you cards to everyone. The first one I send (after their first order) gets a discount card of some sort on their next order, but after that it's just a nice, handwritten thanks. Who knows if it works, but I'd sure like to get a nice thank you card after I dropped a bunch of cash somewhere. I like to personalize the message for each customer so it at least appears as though I appreciate them personally.

I usually wait a few days at least, so it doesn't look like I have nothing better to do than write their thank you card out.
 
We send hand written cards for every order except refits and mats only orders. I had them custom printed with my name and logo on the front, and nice message on the inside. We include a business card, but not discount on the next order.
 
We use the Abbott thank you cards. I put a personal message on the bottom. "We enjoyed framing your hockey stick!" And in the place on the left for a business card, we printed on business card stock a variety of $amount off any purchase cards. The value is approximately 5% of the purchase (There is a $200 custom framing floor) So a $200 purchase gets a $10 card. Now we are lucky in that we actually HAVE something in the store for $10, so it can be used that way too. People are so pleased, it seems, to use those cards, and when a $50 card is whipped out, you can bet those folks get an extra nice smile from me, because they already spent $1000 with me and therefore I love them like a sister. They usually go out a week or two after the order is picked up.
 
I have cards printed at the "wedding invitation" place across the street.

As each piece is picked up I place the workorder and the card in a "to be sent" basket. My wife comes in most Saturdays and addresses them and puts stamps on. On a rare occasion, a piece might get picked up on Friday and the card addressed on Saturday. (mail pick up Monday recieved Tuesday) At other times a piece could get picked up on Tuesday and not recieve a card for a little more than 2 weeks.

I have debated discounts, but have not used them yet. I get a lot of "what a nice gesture" comments and people thanking me just for the card.
 
"So they Thank You for the Thank You.


It guess it keeps you at the top of their mind"

Yeah, a little wierd uhh? It wouldn't impress me much, but it seems to be impressive and impressionable (a word?) for a lot of people. I think it makes them feel like a friend or family member. It costs me about a buck and a half per and I have debated a number of times whether to continue. Everytime I think "this has played out" someone comes in and makes a comment about it!
 
I think a handwritten thank you note is an excellent idea, but putting in a coupon or a discount offer takes away from the meaning of the note and looks like a come-on.

I was thankful to a customer who had driven about 45 minutes to come to me when I moved from my downtown shop to a rural village and thought at the last minute as I knew he was driving up to pick up his work that I wanted to give him more than a verbal thank you. I printed up a $ 50.00 gift certificate without a name on it and said he could use it himself or give it as a gift to someone...shook his hand and thanked him for coming all the way to see me.

Now...this is a very nice person from a great local family who has had a family owned business in town for generations. I was surprised at his response when he said something about a "discount coupon" in the envelope. I realized that this gesture of a gift certificate actually took away from my expression of sincere appreciation for his business.

Keep the come-on's entirely seperate from the thank you's.

Dave Makielski
 
Does anyone send out gifts to a large number of customers during the holidays? I would prefer this approach in light of my past thread.

One idea would be to send out a small to medium size non-ammonia store branded glass cleaner with a cotton cloth with your name also printed on it. Include wishes for the holidays...preferably hand written and addressed.

On the glass cleaner label you could put the educational information you wanted to get across about the whys of using this cleaner and any general information about glazing.

This would also work for a spring cleaning theme with a possible offer of replacing any torn dust covers at no charge.

I remember that for years Crescent had the brilliant idea of sending out a large assortment of gift wrapping papers, bows and ribbons with scotch tape and everything needed to wrap a present. They sent this in early October...long before the Christmas rush. I really appreciated receiving this and looked forward each year to getting it. It was undoubtedly an expensive business gift, but it still remains in my memory as a very classy and seasonal thank you.

Graphic Products Corporation always sent a useful imprinted modest gift to me on my birthday. A travel alarm clock, a unique stapler, a cuticle set, a toiletries travel bag or the like. I still remember and use these gifts and appreciate them many years later. They did this even during very lean years.

For many years we sent out art wall calendars with our name imprinted. They too got to be expensive and we were forced to quit sending them in the '70's. Many customers said how much they missed receiving them for years.

I will put my bah-humbug message in here. I wish that the manufacturers would just plain stop wasting their money on imprinted unsigned Christmas cards. I almost resent the card hitting my door often with imprinted white mailing labels with bulk mailing cancellations and would much prefer just a verbal greeting from their rep on a seasonal call or even on the phone. There I said it...call me Scrooge or whatever, but I'm the kind of guy who when you ask how I am I think you really mean it and will give you an answer instead of a pat remark.

Other ideas or comments, questions, or the inevitable snide remarks?

Dave Makielski
 
Originally posted by Patrick Leeland:
1) Think of it like meeting a girl......
......

.....They get home - get it up, then they get a card and think that is nice.
But you have to move on from that type of girl.....!
 
We send them out about a week afterwards except during November and December, don't want to ruin that Christmas gift. Then it is in the first week of January

We offer a discount and it never expires, we have had people bring them in 7 years later.

We have ours printed to look handwritten. Give the printer a handwritten card and they print it on the back of a postcard with room for us to hand address. Buy 5000 at a time for great pricing from Mitchell Graphics.
 
There are tons of nice hand scrips out there. Use a dark blue color and I swear it looks hand written at a glance.

I just bought a new laser printer and this is one of the reasons I bought it.
 
"There are tons of nice hand scrips out there. "

Jay, out where?
 
Originally posted by Val:
"There are tons of nice hand scrips out there. "

Jay, out where?
Val, I just typed this into a web search and this is the very first one that came up. (about a gazzilion more)

Free fonts, and your own hand turned into a font.
www.scrappinfun.com/index.html

Now for me, it wouldn't work, because my own handwritting is unreadable, even by me if I wait to long.
 
I found my cards through a handicapped organization. The name of my shop is "Heart & Home Custom Framing". The drawing on the front is a giant red heart sitting in a sneaker. Says "We appreciate your business with all our heart and soul". It was drawn by a paraplegic guy, hit on a motorcycle by a drunk driver. He did it in colored pencil, with his mouth. So, I'm supporting the handicapped and getting a very appropriate card at the same time!

Jay, I checked it out, what a great idea!
Since I also do calligraphy, and enjoy it, I might not use it that much, but it would be nice to have it handy anyway.

Hmmmm, my daughter has asked me to hand-calligraphy her wedding invitation envelopes soon, now that might be a good time!! I wonder how "authentic" the computerized "your script" looks? Might try this. Shhhhh...don't tell daughter!

p.s. I got a call yesterday thanking me for a thank you card! She paid over $1k for some framing, I thought it was appropriate, to say the least! She said that was a first (new to the area, had framing done before) and she will tell her friends "how thoughtful" that was. (Advertising...gotta love it! But really, I did appreciate her business with all my heart and soul...a lot!)
 
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