thank you cardA thank you card arrived today in my mail, signed by someone I had never heard of. Turns out she is part of my local library’s summer reading program, just one of the programs the library notes it is able to run thanks to me and other donors to their literacy efforts. “Ella” carefully printed out why she loves the program: “It’s good for my brain to read.”

What a terrific follow-up marketing piece.

I can think of a few marketers who caused the opposite reaction and missed an opportunity, although I won’t name names:

  • My cellphone provider: A three-year contract was coming to an end. In the weeks leading up to the anniversary date, I noticed an increase in call-centre calls (identifiable by call display; I did not answer them, and the callers did not leave a message). I was thinking about switching providers for a few reasons, but I would have been open to talking with the old company. If they were the ones calling, they could have left a message. Or they could have contacted me by mail, noting that the anniversary date was approaching and offering some attractive options to encourage me to stay. No, they did nothing, and I went to a different provider who offered a better package.
  • The local spa:  About a week before my birthday, the local spa sent me a certificate worth $10 off a treatment; a nice gesture. Unfortunately, it had to be used within about a week and I didn’t have time to use it. Here’s what they could have done: contacted my husband, who has bought me certificates there before, and offered him $10 off any certificate he might buy for me for my birthday. They get the sale and the brownie points that go with giving a discount; he gets a deal and brownie points, too; and I get to use the treatment! Sounds like a winner all around.
  • The local wellness centre: Earlier this year, I went through nearly weekly treatments for a sore shoulder. First, it was physiotherapy. Then, I tried acupuncture. The acupuncturist and wellness centre director also tried a cold laser treatment. Nothing really did much, and we discussed “doing nothing” as an option before I agreed to try therapeutic massage. I tried one session but didn’t find it much help either, so opted for doing nothing but continuing the original exercises from the physiotherapist. Still, I found it surprising that no one at the centre contacted me in the months since I’ve been there to ask how the shoulder is, offer a free evaluation of the shoulder or suggest an alternate treatment. But maybe I’m expecting too much.

It’s a good reminder to look around and see if there’s a marketing opportunity your business is missing.