The better way to sell online

How to creatively thank your customers

Thanking your customers doesn't need to break the bank; but it is worth gold. Genuinely thanking your customers can help solidify your relationships with them, make you memorable and encourage them to buy again.

The key thing is to stay within budget and ask for nothing in return. Asking for reviews, shares and recommendations while saying thank you can sound disingenuous and end up turning customers against you (or make them assume your thank-you is really just further advertising)!

It’s also important not to thank your customers by sending them products or free samples beyond what you can afford: as someone who loves gifting, I can understand the temptation to spoil everyone who supports you. But it’s just not viable. Keep it simple, keep it on budget, ask for nothing in return and be genuine. Your goal here isn’t to go viral: it’s just to show your customers that you care, and that you’re worth buying from again.

That said, here are three affordable, repeatable, creative ways to say thank you which have been proven to resonate with customers.

1. Handwrite a thank you note.

When you buy online it’s easy to forget that you’re buying from a real person. By sending a personalized thank you note with packages you can quickly let customers know that you do exist, and that you care! This is a tactic that can quickly set you apart from mass-selling sites like Amazon by retaining a human touch.

It’s also refreshing. I receive exactly three types of mail on repeat: bills, brochures, and advertisements. Sending a handwritten note can help break that monotony for your customers, and it’s easy to do.

If you really want to shine, follow these three recommendations:

  • Personalize it. Include the customer’s name, reference their order (ie. Enjoy your socks!) and sign off using your own name as well as your business name.
  • Keep it professional. Jokes which might seem harmless to you might offend others, or just not be funny. Keep your tone casual, sign off professionally, and avoid adding in any unnecessary details.
  • Use quality cards. Sticky notes tacked onto your packages might still get the words across, but they won’t send the same message quality or branded cards would. You don’t have to use the most expensive cardstock, but don’t use torn, cheap or flimsy paper.

When you buy online it’s easy to forget that you’re buying from a real person. By sending a personalized thank you note with packages you can quickly let customers know that you do exist, and that you care!

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2. Offer discounts to existing customers.

Offering discounts and coupons to customers who have bought a product can encourage them to become repeat buyers, and let them know that you care about their support.

While offering discounts to everyone can become a disadvantage in the long run (customers who know you offer discounts frequently will learn to wait for them and won’t buy full price products), offering them just to customers who have already bought can be a great incentive.

You could present these discounts either through a thank you email once an order has been confirmed, or as a package insert. Make sure that these seem like a genuine thank you and not just a sales spiel; use wording like ‘for our loyal customers’, ‘welcome to the community' or ‘as a thank you’, ‘exclusive for you!’.

As the cost of obtaining new customers is higher than maintaining existing ones, this method benefits both of you!

3. Show off your customers.

A great way to thank your customers at no cost to you is by sharing their content and images (with explicit permission) on your social media profiles and website. This is called user generated content: content made by customers on social profiles.

It showcases those who buy your products, show that you care about the experiences of your customers, and helps others learn about your products.

It also provides you with great content for your sites!

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Thanking customers doesn’t need to be an expensive affair. Get creative, and don’t be scared of embracing both traditional (letters) and modern (user generated content) methods.

Lena Klein

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