Huh … Tootsie Rolls?

When I recently purchased paints online for a craft project, I expected to get just paints. But, when I opened the package, out fell a printed “Thanks for your order” card and — surprise — some Tootsie Rolls. Sweet … except that I don’t love Tootsie Rolls, getting loose candy during a pandemic concerns me, and the thank-you was, well, generic. So, I just tossed everything in the garbage.

That’s a shame, because I know the vendor was trying to create brand loyalty. And thank-you’s are an important, proven way to win more loyalty, whether you’re a business or a nonprofit. But you need to take the time to do it right.

So, how can you craft a thank-you that will appeal to even people who don’t love Tootsie Rolls? Here are some suggestions:

PERSONALIZE. To start a relationship, a personal message is best. But, if you absolutely don’t have time for it, add a short, handwritten message to your printed card. Something like –

Meryl, I’d love to see what you create with our paints — post on our Facebook page!
Preston Smith, Business Owner. 917-123-1234

Dear Meryl, your donation made our day.
With gratitude,
Brianna Smith, Executive Director. 917-234-4567

INCENTIVIZE. Give people a reason to come back.

Include a coupon or online coupon code with your thank-you note that’s good towards the customer’s next purchase. Or send a free sample – in the case of the paint vendor, it could be a special color paint or brush – as an added bonus.

Be sure to send a sincere note right away. Be specific: Include a contact number and ask the donor to follow you on social media. And … send a regular newsletter with updates on projects donors are making possible.

Yes, times are tough. So, remember, you want to be the organization that comes to mind first — and thank-you’s that personalize and incentivize can definitely help.