2) Thanks in a box. There is no better time to say thanks than in the box a product is shipped in. A simple note is not expensive, but be sure it is one of the first things a new customer sees. Be creative with your format; it can be on a note card, a thank-you card enclosed in a special envelope, a bounce-back catalog with a wrap around it or a strategically placed sticker.
3) Thank-you mailing. First time customers immediately are placed into the mail stream but should be tagged for a special message. Whether it’s a catalog or solo mailing, create a version that says, “We appreciate you as a first-time customer.” The more relevant the better. For instance, if you are a gift cataloger, why not say, “Thanks for trusting us with your important gift!” This does not have to be an expensive versioning. A simple black plate change will work as long as it’s in a prominent location.
4) A special offer. This will work as long as it definitely appears as special. An inconsequential offer may seem like a bribe. While this is a proven technique that improves retention, test different offers to see what resonates with first-time buyers.
5) Personalized follow-up phone call or note. If the amount spent reaches a pre-determined threshold, special efforts need to be made to express your gratitude. A big risk deserves a big thanks. This is a technique that can— and should—be used for your best customers, as well.
Thank Customers ... Again and Again
While thanking new customers is important, never take existing customers for granted. Create a thank-you program that changes and evolves, so the method in which you say thanks does not become redundant or stale over time. A few suggestions include:
6) Recognize customers’ birthdays. HoneyBaked Ham learned the value of this when it sent a birthday card and a certificate for a free cake to its best customers. Not only did customers appreciate it (this was expressed through letters and phone calls), recipients who redeemed their certificates spent enough additional dollars to pay for the mailing!