8 Often-Overlooked Opportunities To Authentically Thank Your Customers

First impressions are important. We all know that. Marketers spend a great deal of time on improving that first impression. They build beautiful websites, gorgeous campaigns, and pick their words specifically to capture interest that very first time a consumer finds them. But what about after they convert? Are you spending as much time improving […]

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thank-youFirst impressions are important. We all know that. Marketers spend a great deal of time on improving that first impression. They build beautiful websites, gorgeous campaigns, and pick their words specifically to capture interest that very first time a consumer finds them.

But what about after they convert? Are you spending as much time improving your “thank you”?

Today’s consumer expects to be delighted at every step of the customer journey, including — perhaps especially — once they have committed to you in some way (transaction, registration, comment, share, etc.). That is a moment at which you can recognize them, appreciate them, and hopefully build mutual trust between the consumer and the brand.

So how are you saying “thank you”? Where are the opportunities to express authentic gratitude and what are the best ways to leverage them?

Thank You For Signing Up

This is probably the most common opportunity for a brand to say, “Thanks!” The sign-up confirmation message is usually displayed either on-page or in an overlay, and hopefully also reinforced in a follow-up email.

Thank You Signing Up

Canva takes the opportunity to welcome you after you’ve “signed up” and offers beautiful design and resources.

Unfortunately, many marketers go for default layouts, non-conversational language, and minimal design for signup confirmations, because it’s an afterthought. Take this chance to delight your customer. Someone signs up because they want to be a part of what you are building, so you owe them a great first handshake.

Thank You For Sharing

This is a bit more of a manual thank you. Many of our social sharing widgets on site don’t have a “Thank you for sharing!” message, although some do and can be customized. Instead, I encourage you to take time every week to go onto social media and simply thank your customers and fans for sharing. It’s amazing what a long way a simple “thank you” can go.

Tweet at them, jump in on the comments on Facebook, or shoot someone an email and let them know that their share was really helpful in getting the word out. Relationships are based on these authentic touch-points between people, so don’t take their support for granted. Make sure to circle back.

Thank You For Referring

When one of your customers or community members refers a friend to your service or brand, a thank you seems intuitive… but time and time again, brands forget. To advocate on behalf of a brand is a big deal. It’s a public vote in your favor, so you owe these customers not only a thank you, but possibly even more.

You may want to consider rewarding that customer with a gift, coupon, or social shout out. Refer-a-friend widget programs are another option as well as social recruitment campaigns. My company, BigDoor, has a solution that does this, but there are others to check out, too.

Thank You For Shopping

This is the “thank you” that comes to mind traditionally. Of course you are thanking someone when they give you money… right? Right! But how are you thanking them? With a line of copy on the receipt page? That’s not good enough, friends. We need to introduce beautiful design, we need to offer them follow-up information that is useful, and we need to make it all sounds like it comes from a person, not a robot.

We should be testing our on-page “thank you” after purchase as well as our follow-up emails. This moment is more than a confirmation that the exchange has happened; it’s the first few moments of a new type of relationship — the buyer and the brand.

Thank You For Being Part Of Our Community

I love this one. Too many brands overlook the opportunity to say “thank you” to those that are along for the ride. Building a company, building a product, building a service… they are hard things. Building a community is just as hard. It takes dedicated fans to commit time and engage with others.

Thank You Anniversary

Chill sent an anniversary email after I had been part of the community for a year, such a great surprise.

Don’t forget to thank your community often and in very personal ways. Do a community “thank you” email campaign, drop them special gifts or coupons, or send them to a special “We appreciate you” page when they log in.

Thank You For Your Support

It’s important to thank your community members as suggested above… but what about your super fans? Your influencers? The journalist that covered you last month? Chances are good there are about two dozen super fans that are supporting your every move. They tweet your new posts, they give feedback on your products, they review you online, and they boast on your behalf.

You need to be thanking them sincerely and often. This should involve publicly or privately recognizing them and their status as a super fan. Write a post thanking them, fly them out to meet the team, give their profile a special badge, or grant them a certain type of status. Do something that shows them just how special and appreciated they are.

Thank You For Your Feedback — Good & Bad!

Customer feedback is the livelihood of brilliant businesses. The bigger and more utilized your feedback loop, the more successful your company will be. You need to keep a close eye on what they need, what they are liking, what they want to see more of, etc. You may already be doing this — but have you thanked them for this feedback? Many companies have a default lander or overlay thanking a customer for submitting site or product feedback, but you can do more.

Thank them with handwritten cards from your product team, special discounts, or an email that simply says, “We exist because of people like you.” Whether the feedback is positive or critical, it will help you improve your brand and become more successful. Saying “thank you” ensures that feedback will keep coming in, and those customers will know that the time they give you is appreciated.

Thank You For Being You

There is a new bar in customer engagement called “random moments of delight.” Thanking customers, community members, and fans randomly (and in fun ways) can go a long way. It creates a personal relationship between brand and person. It gives the brand a chance to show some personality and really just engage in what I consider to be “karma marketing.”

Marketing Profs Thank You

MarketingProfs sent a random email authentically thanking me for coming along for the ride.

Examples of this type of campaign might include sending an email when it’s a customer’s “anniversary” with you or when they’ve logged in a certain number of times. Or, you could simply create a campaign on some random Tuesday to say, “You’re the bees knees and we wanted to say thank you.”

The above examples are just a few places that you could invest and likely improve the way you are appreciating those keeping your company in business. When you decide to commit resources to this, I think you’ll find it will return in increased customer retention, more customer advocacy, and higher brand loyalty.

If you aren’t quite sure where to start, keep these tips in mind:

  • Be authentic. Thanking someone is a shared experience between two people, or in this case between brand and customer. Make sure it’s real and honest.
  • Make it visual. Add beautiful design to these pages/emails, and innovate on the user experience to make it memorable. Add a video or a collage of real photos for an added visual touch.
  • Make it personal. Get their name to auto-fill in, reference their personal profile and thank them for their specific behaviors. Segment the groups to keep the campaigns as personal as they can be, at scale.
  • Give it humor. A thank you doesn’t have to be serious. Interject fun to keep those moments of delight flowing.
  • Don’t ask for anything — just say thank you. Resist the urge to drop in an upsell or lead capture. Say thank you to say thank you. It’s that simple.

There you have it — a bunch of ways to improve your “thank you.” Hopefully, these suggestions have sparked some excitement, and you’re ready to go improve those thank yous! Let me take this chance to say thank you for reading. (See what I did there?) Best of luck to you!

Contributing authors are invited to create content for MarTech and are chosen for their expertise and contribution to the martech community. Our contributors work under the oversight of the editorial staff and contributions are checked for quality and relevance to our readers. The opinions they express are their own.

About the author

Joanna Lord
Joanna Lord is Chief Marketing Officer of ClassPass, the world's largest fitness marketplace. Prior to that she was the VP of Marketing at Porch, a leading consumer marketplace connecting homeowners and home professionals. Prior to that, she served as Chief Marketing Officer at BigDoor, a loyalty software provider and VP of Growth Marketing at Moz (previously SEOmoz), a leading inbound analytics software. She’s an expert in brand marketing, acquisition models, engagement tactics, and retention marketing that drive business growth. Lord is a global keynote speaker on the future of digital marketing, a tech advisor, as well as a mentor to a variety of tech incubators including Techstars, UpGlobal and Startup Weekend. Lord recently relocated from Seattle, WA where she taught Advanced Digital Marketing at the University of Washington, and was recognized as a Seattle 40 Under 40. She nows live in NYC where she drinks way too much coffee and talks marketing with anyone who is up for it.

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