As a tool for expressing real appreciation, extending best wishes, sympathy, congratulations or other sentiments, a personal note remains unsurpassed in its ability to convey rich, genuine thoughts and feelings from the sender to the recipient.
And like a business card, does so at a very low cost, in a very small space, requiring little time or effort to utilize. Like business cards, note cards can be customized to reflect your business and brand, and should always include your contact information. Like the business card, personally-written note cards are items individuals tend to keep.
Why You Should Use Note Cards (aka Thank You Cards)
Despite the number of articles written recommending their use in every area of business from interviews to customer relations, despite the very low monetary or time investment required, and even despite overwhelming evidence of its effectiveness, the personal note is still one of the least utilized forms of business communication. The personal note used to be a standard of society; now it’s something that can set you apart from the competition. Just think about it, a few minutes of your time, some paper, an envelope and a stamp.
A note to thank your most valuable customers, employees, local business owners or even your vendors for their patronage or assistance on a project, to remark on a personal incident in their lives, to extend congratulations for a new baby, sympathy for a lost loved one—you have no way of knowing how important the sentiment will be to the recipient.
Sometimes we behave as though we believe our customers should be thanking us for the products and services we provide (in exchange for money) to them. The reality is, we should be thanking them for their patronage, the first time and every time. Your customers have lots of choices; in fact, they may literally have hundreds of other merchants to choose from when it comes to the same services or products you sell.
What Business Note Cards Should Include
Sure, you could go to the store and pick up some generic thank you notes, but it's not optimal if you want to get the most benefit from them. Like your business cards and all of the other marketing materials you use to promote your business, note cards should be a memorable reflection of your brand.
In addition, keep in mind that note cards sent with personal sentiments are often kept, while envelopes are nearly always thrown away. Make sure your business' name, address, website URL, and phone number are on the back of the card. Your logo could be on the front or the back, depending on how informal and personal you want the look of your note cards to be.
VistaPrint has a number of premade note card designs you can quickly customize and order. Alternatively, for as little as $5 a Fiverr graphic designer would love to create a completely custom and unique card design for your business. Type your search in the box below to find a graphic designer to work with.
How to Use Note Cards to Promote Your Small Business
Once you get the hang of writing a quick note to someone, it won’t seem like a chore. Make it part of your daily routine. It will be uplifting for you to remember the high points of your day, express gratitude or extend encouragement to others.
Beyond just saying ‘thank you,’ here are some of the events that might trigger a note from you to a client, co-worker, vendor, consultant, friend, and so on:
To say goodbye to a customer who is moving away, going off to college or leaving on a military deployment (or to encourage a military spouse or parent)
In sympathy or to say you are thinking of someone due to the death of a loved one, job loss, divorce or separation, etc.
To acknowledge milestones such as birthdays and anniversaries
As a get well / feel better soon, or another card of encouragement, or to encourage someone who simply had a bad day
As a personal invitation to an upcoming event or promotion
Congratulations for major life events such as having a new baby, new job, promotion, new home, new marriage or engagement, graduation, awards, accomplishments, retirement, marathons, significant weight loss or other self-improvement
‘Thinking of you’ or ‘miss you’ notes to clients you have not seen in a while or to those who are visiting your business less frequently than usual
To thank teachers, the principal and other leaders of local schools or district offices, or to congratulate local school sports teams, choirs, bands and scholastic groups for competitive achievements
To thank your event and marketing partners following a campaign, for referrals or on-going cooperative efforts
Included as a note of congratulations to contest or drawing winner/s and to extend a special offer to event attendees or contest participants
Included as a note of congratulations to those who win or buy items you donate to local charity auctions or events
To extend employee-appreciation, compliments or kudos
As a note to city hall, a local politician or civic leader
To communicate with the owners of local businesses
To thank leaders or volunteers of local charity organizations, non-profits, community service, etc. for their work in your community
To thank someone who made your day, or to thank a client for their loyalty or referral
To thank and welcome new customers
For holidays—Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year, Valentine’s Day, etc.
At the point of sale, a bag stuffer note card expressing appreciation for the customer’s patronage can be an inexpensive way to leave an impression with them. Some of the types of information you might include are:
Describe how the money they spend at your business benefits the local community, provides jobs and supports worthy causes
Give them a sneak peek at upcoming promotions
Invite them via a save-the-date for a future event
Direct them to visit your website or ask them to read your blog or subscribe to your newsletters.
Make it your goal to find ways to thank 100% of your customers, 100% of the time. Send thank-you notes to vendors as well as customers. Send thank-you notes to civic leaders who make a difference boosting neighborhood commerce or within the community in general. Give thank-you notes to employees who go beyond the call of duty.
You will be remembered, you will change someone’s day for the better, and you will set yourself apart in a world where people simply don’t take time to say thank you anymore.