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The Hand Written Thank You: Worth a Thousand Smiles

They say a picture is worth a thousand words but with news feeds and screens always in my face, I think holding some words in my hand is worth a thousand smiles. 

When was the last time you received a thank-you card in the snail mail –  a real one that was hand-written by the sender? The last thank you card I got was on a Monday from the chair of a committee I sat on after a successful event. The receiving of a card in the mail is the first bit of excitement. It’s not a bill or an advertisement; no one wants anything from you. It’s hand addressed from a friend or colleague, and you tear into it!  I, myself, am a huge fan of greeting cards, anyway, so I get a kick out of what they have to say, but it’s seeing what’s written in ink that always gets me.  It starts with a smile and ends with a laugh, and the feeling stays with you all day! If I had the ability to send somebody a smile and a laugh that sticks throughout an entire Monday, I’d do it weekly.  Well then, let’s!

This is a thing that people put off nowadays because you can easily go to their Facebook page and say, “Thank You for your help.” Your colleague will see that, probably on their lunch break, or even maybe the next day and offer up a “Like.” But did that make them smile to the point of glee? Sure, a smile, if you’re quick witted or included a gif, possibly a laugh or chuckle, but the second they return to their feed, they’re back to that blank stare that resembles the emoji with a straight line for a mouth. No, thanks!

The other put off that people usually have is getting up and going to the store to buy cards, but I’ve got you covered there! You know that place in Target that’s mostly invisible unless you look directly at it? You know, the $1 bins? There are ALWAYS packs of cards in there that say silly things on the outside like "Wowza!" and "Hooray!" or even just a simple “Thank you,” which is the point, after all. Next time you almost miss this section, wander in and grab a few. If this isn't your style, you can always approach a local print shop to have them design branded cardstock for your business for all of your employees to utilize.

My grandma originally turned me on to thank-you notes. Growing up in Iowa, I learned certain etiquette that is especially required of the younger folks toward the older folks. We were expected to send thank-you cards back to all 400 of our family members and parent’s friends that made it to our high school graduation parties, or as we got older, our bridal showers and baby showers, etc.  Especially when I was younger, it was such a chore to sit down to pen all of those thank yous, but I learned through repetition and today, I try to sit down and send a thank you here and there, generally weekly.  I’d like to send more than I get around to doing, but Fridays are typically the day that I like to send. I like to try to get them on a desk or in a mailbox by Monday to offer up that feeling of glee that not even a strong cup of coffee can nail that early in the week. 

No matter what industry you're in or what your job title, sending the gift of a smile in the mail is a great way to make an impression. Like anything, some will value it more than others, but it's such a great habit to get into. If you happen to be big into networking, or if you're a salesperson, it's always a great practice to include your business card or branded cardstock with your thank yous. For more ideas, unique or traditional, on how to make your small business stand out, please be sure to subscribe to our blog, Like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter! 

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