Having a hard time competing against other brands in your space? Worse yet, is your company unable to attract repeat business from the customers you once acquired?
Whether you realize it or not, these are very common issues that many businesses face. Fortunately, there is a simple way to start turning things around.
In this article we are going to explain how just saying thank you can help a struggling business improve their online exposure, revitalize their brand image and win back the very customers that they once impressed.
What Does Saying Thank You Have to Do with Online Marketing?
Two of the most powerful words that you can use in business are – Thank You.
These words, when used genuinely, can make the biggest difference in your online presence without having to spend a single dollar.
How is this possible?
It’s quite simple actually – people like to feel appreciated.
It doesn’t matter if someone spends $5 or $500,000 with your company, they want to be acknowledged and they want to feel like their investment is just as important to your business as the next person’s.
Adam Grant, of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, found that…
In other words, saying thank you to the people that support your business not only helps to extend your relationship with them, but it also encourages them to share their experience with their friends and family.
Before you know it, a couple basic words become an effective extension of your online marketing that not only attracts new business, but also helps to reconvert or retain the business you worked so hard to earn originally.
Some Obvious, and Not So Obvious, Benefits of Saying Thanks
Let us know if this scenario sounds familiar to you…
You spend [what you feel is] a good amount of money on something you’ve needed or wanted for a long time.
As you hand over your payment or payment info to the salesperson you get ready for that red carpet to be rolled out to make you feel extra special for your trust and investment with their company.
After waiting for a genuine, sincere “thank you” you quickly realize you’re not going to get one and you immediately start to feel like just another customer number to the company.
Worse yet, you start to question whether or not your purchase was the right decision.
Hopefully you’ve never experienced this, but chances are pretty high that you have as this scenario continues to play out in too many cases. And these cases aren’t just B2c. They happen just as much in B2B situations as well.
You may not be able to go back and change these situations, but what you can do is make sure that the people that support you and your business never experience these situations with you.
Have you had a similar experience?
If you’ve experienced this and there was one thing the company could have done to prevent you from feeling that way, then tell us about it in the COMMENTS BELOW.
Saying thank you is the simplest gesture to show appreciation, but many struggle with this. Perhaps outlining some of the obvious, and not so obvious, benefits of saying thank you will help to encourage more of these simple gestures.
- It makes your customer, partner, vendor, referral source, reseller, etc feel appreciated and want to do more business with you
- It solidifies a sale (some sales people refer to this as the “tuck in”)
- It helps a project / relationship to start off on the right foot
Not So Obvious Benefits
- It becomes habitual throughout your company
- It becomes habitual to those you say it to, thus improving experiences for others as well
- It makes you feel good
Getting the idea?
Good, now let’s share some unique, fun and sincere ways to say thank you.
Creative Ways to Show Appreciation
Saying thank you does not always have to be a forced “thanks” at the end of every call or meeting. As a matter of fact, a sincere “thank you” should never be that.
The best ways to show real, genuine appreciation are to do things that go above and beyond the polite “thank you” that you should be saying daily to anyone that supports you.
To get some gratitude flowing through your company, here are some creative ways (using online marketing of course) that we would suggest trying out to say thank you to your customers, vendors, partners, etc.
Idea #1: Create a Piece of “Thank You” Content
One of the easiest ways to express your gratitude is to write a “thank you” letter on your blog.
Using a company blog to communicate a message to customers and partners is nothing new (Tony Hsieh of Zappos may have started this trend with his letter). However, we’ve yet to come across too many examples of genuine, sincere letters from CEOs that are posted for the sole purpose of thanking their customers, partners and supporters.
And don’t limit yourself to a blog post either. Here are some other creative ways to say thank you with online content:
- Create a YouTube video of yourself or your team saying thank you
- Dedicate a page on your website to your most valued clients, partners and supporters
Idea #2: Vocalize Your Thanks Over Social Media
If you’ve done a good job of getting your customers to follow your social media accounts, then take a break from pimping out your products and put those profiles to use to show your gratitude.
Even if your customers aren’t all actively involved in social media, sometimes a simple mention with a nice message can find its way to those you’re looking to thank.
Just posting updates might lose its luster so here are some other ways to use social media for saying thank you:
- Create a fun Vine video
- Dedicate a Pinterest board to your supporters
Idea #3: Do Something Helpful / Meaningful for Them
Saying “thank you” is always a nice gesture, but sometimes there are customers and other supporters that deserve much more.
If you’re a B2B business, then, as it is for you, a positive online presence is extremely valuable. You can help your customers to improve upon their current online reputation by leaving them a positive review (if you’ve used their services of course) on one of their local business sites.
B2C businesses can be a little trickier, but something like offering to provide your services pro bono to their favorite charity can be a great way to do something meaningful for them.
The best ideas to do something helpful and meaningful for your supporters are going to come from you, but here are a couple more suggestions to show your appreciation in extra meaningful ways:
- Make introductions on LinkedIn for customers that may be able to grow each other’s businesses
- Invite your top supporters to a Google+ Hangout to introduce them to each other for possible business connections
Some Great “Thank You” Examples
Non-profit organizations are fantastic places to look for inspiration and direction when it comes to creating a genuine “thank you” message for your audience.
Here are some of our favorite “thank you” examples:
Company: charity: water
Type: Personal video “thank you” from the CEO
Company: The Humane Society
Type: Interactive Infographic
Company: Epic Change
Type: Email Campaign
Type: Hand Written Letters
For Those We Want to Thank
One main goal of this post was to encourage other businesses to remember to thank people more often, especially their biggest supporters. This doesn’t happen enough in business so hopefully this article can change just a little bit of that.
The other purpose of this article was to actually thank certain people that we feel needed some [more] acknowledgement and appreciation. These people, although not customers, are ones that have helped to shape our industry, challenge the status quo, educate others and push us to constantly improve the way we do things.
So we would like to express our gratitude to the following people; for what they’ve done and what they continue to do.
A Special Thanks to…
Thank you for imparting your creative wisdom and experience on everyone lucky enough to have started listening to and following you years ago. There are few influencers, in any industry, that have consistently communicated meaningful, digestible content that applies universally to any business fighting to understand their purpose and growth paths. We continue to check your blog every single morning to absorb your knowledge and insights.
Every SEO has at least a couple people that inspired them to get into the online marketing industry. For us, one of those people is you. Your SEO Book became an adult equivalent of our favorite childhood toy that we never let out of our sight. We read it cover to cover, multiple times, and still continue to follow every bit of knowledge that you share. Thank you for being a pioneer in an industry that has created many opportunities for a lot of people.
It’s hard to think of any other person in our industry that might be the most loved AND the most hated at the same time. We’ve always admired your ability to remain professional, helpful and as transparent as possible given your role in the industry. You have used your position with Google to communicate what you can while at the same time working to keep webmasters educated on best practices. Thank you for working to improve communication from Google to us.
From the first day we followed your SEOMoz blog to now, there still has yet to be a person in our industry that has motivated and educated us, as consistently and effectively as you have. What you have done with SEOMoz has been one thing, but your transparency throughout your entire journey has made the biggest impact on us. Thank you very much for everything you have done and continue to do (like Inbound.org) for our industry.
We must also thank…
These marketers have also inspired and educated us in the online marketing space and deserve recognition, appreciation and acknowledgement as well. Each one continues to provide direction and new insights into online marketing strategies that actually produce tangible results and we are grateful for everything they have done and continue to do.
And we can’t leave out…
These experts deserve recognition as well. These are people that are relatively new (to us), but ones that we have started to follow religiously as their contributions have been just as valuable as any we have come across over the years. These marketers represent the next generation of SEOs and we are excited to see how they will continue to help shape our industry.
Saying Thanks is Not Just About Customer Loyalty
We hope that you were able to pull some valuable information and ideas from this post as it was a bit different from the usual content we tend to share here.
We also hope that you can see that saying thanks does not just need to be isolated to your customers.
As a matter of fact, extending these gestures of gratitude to those that are not just your customers can be just as effective at growing your business.
Some other people to remember to keep in mind when showing appreciation are your…
- Employees and team members
- Vendors and partners
- Competitors (yes, even competitors deserve recognition sometimes)
- Family and friends
Integrating a consistent, genuine “thanks” strategy into your online marketing efforts can help you to build your existing relationships and forge new ones. Some added bonuses, when done right, are that these “thank you” efforts can also help to build your SEO through new content, social shares and possible backlinks from those you mention. Not bad for saying a couple simple words, right?
So what are you waiting for?
Start saying thank you more to those that have helped your business by leaving a comment below for the person you want to thank.
And if you want get creative, but need some more guidance, then let us know.
Need help coming up with some creative ways to says thanks to your supporters?