The marketing power of thank you


From a simple acknowledgement to a heartfelt expression of gratitude, a thank you can carry great weight in our everyday lives, and it can speak volumes about your brand.

I’ve spent much of the last couple of months feeling humbled by the kindness of others in business and, at the same time, deeply disappointed by, what shall I call it…the opposite. 

We had a mini flood at home this weekend. The extraordinarily helpful guys from C F Reese thanked us for our business as they left, after they were the ones who had rescued us from even deeper damp carnage. 

No need to thank us, I thought, we are (or the insurance company is!) paying you after all. But irrespective of their unquestionable expertise and level of service, it will be the thank you that makes us call them when we need a plumber next. No question. Whether or not their gratitude was delivered with intent, it is marketing investment that worked. 

Intentional or not, authenticity is a major factor in whether the thank yous will hit home with marketing purpose. We see this a lot these days in emails or digital updates from online ordering. Overdo the depth of feeling in your thanks and it will seem fake. Repeat it too frequently and it will wash over us.

Discount schemes and loyalty programs are, to many brands, their regular way of saying thank you for your business. Yes, we all know that it’s really a cunning plan to tie us in and get us to spend more. But done well, this messaging can build emotional connection that turns into true advocacy, creating vocal ambassadors for your brand, not simply valued repeat custom. 

Not all loyalty schemes are created equal though, are they. If I need to spend a grand to get a measly amount off and it’s going to take me two years to get there, I’m likely to give up long before the finish line. Make it an achievable target, but obviously one that your business can still afford, I’ll be breaking into a sprint to get to there. 

Online retail systems can now work out so much about us that their ability to tailor offers to our buying or browsing habits is, let’s face it, getting spooky. I appreciate the cleverness of the algorithm and that the retailers bother to ask it to target me that way. However, targeted is exactly how I feel sometimes. Shot at by a faceless line of software code. 

I can hear the computers talking to each other: “There’s that Vicki Jones again. She always searches for cobalt blue. Spam her socials and inbox with blue options with a discount code until she surrenders. Only needs to be 10% – she’s a shoo-in.”

It gets a bit much sometimes, doesn’t it.  Call me old school, but the small gestures can sometimes have just as much impact as a financial incentive, even in these times when we’re watching our spending. 

A delivery from a fledgling NZ business arrived at our house recently with a handwritten thank you note, and little sweet treat included. It cost them little but time but, of course, my 21-year-old ‘grammed the life out of it. She spread the word. Friends bought more stuff. Job done. 

I imagine that, eventually, small business will get so busy that they won’t have time to write hand-written messages but, if they continue with the same authentic sentiment, I can picture them putting in a printed thank you or something creative to keep the theme. You could tell it was genuine, and you’d hope that that kind of thoughtfulness doesn’t get eroded too easily.

Amid the digital bedlam, the genuine art of gratitude stands as a beacon of connection. From heartfelt sincerity to unexpected charm, these gestures defy those cunning algorithms. Whether it be a handwritten note or the tempting discount, a sincere thank you transcends transaction. Amid data-driven tactics, the simple ‘thank you’ creates genuine customer-brand relationships.


About Author

Vicki Jones

Vicki is the marketing manager at Waikato software specialist Company-X.