email marketing best practices thank you emails

Time to Give Thanks via Well-Timed Thank You Emails

What better time to think about all of the things we’re thankful for than Thanksgiving? And as an email marketer, now is the time to give thanks – and consider the ways you express your gratitude – for your subscribers and the actions they take. Remember, with the increasing interactivity between social media and email, never has connecting with the consumer been more important. And adding thank you emails to your email marketing best practices is a surefire way to showcase the human side of your brand.

Just as in real life, there are some easy-to-follow rules for the well-timed thank you note in email marketing. First, make sure you always thank promptly, such as a triggered thank you response following a transaction. Second, express thanks when it’s expected. Thanksgiving is a perfect time to send a thank-you email to your list, as are brand and customer anniversary dates. Third, unexpected thank yous sprinkled throughout your email marketing mix can be a welcome surprise.  Last, personalize your thank you messages. The generic thank you message is as deletable and unremarkable as any poorly crafted, irrelevant email.

When considering how thankful you are for your subscribers (and you should be!), think about utilizing the three following thank-you email types into your email marketing best practices:

1. The Seasonal Thanks

Thanksgiving is typically a time for an email marketing blitz of special offers, holiday deals, and invocations to buy, buy, buy. Which is great: there’s a reason Black Friday and Cyber Monday got their nicknames. People are primed and ready to spend during the holiday season; however, it’s also a really good time to thank your subscribers, without asking anything in return. Alternatively, you could offer a special incentive or discount to express your gratitude for their loyalty. Sending out a special acknowledgment of gratitude will humanize your brand, and set you apart from the rest of the email marketing crowd. Also consider other special times of the year during which thanks are appropriate: how about your anniversary, the anniversary of their relationship with you, their first purchase anniversary, or other holidays honoring special people (like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Veterans Day) and our country (Fourth of July, Martin Luther King Day)?

2. The Immediate Thanks

An immediately triggered thank-you message should be sent upon whatever action your subscriber took, whether it be to answer a survey or purchase a product. Look at this as another email marketing opportunity to reinforce your brand image and message: make it consistent in tone, design, and style with the marketing message that prompted the purchase or action.

Also, consider matching the magnitude of your thanks to the action. For example, if the action is simply to enter an online sweepstakes, a thank you page might be enough. But if someone purchased a high dollar value amount from your company, perhaps their loyalty and high spend could be acknowledged with a significant savings coupon off of their next purchase.

3. The Surprise Thanks

Think about how nice it feels to get an unexpected thank you card from someone. Then think about how often it happens. Not very. Which makes these unexpected thank yous such a delight. Consider integrating a timed thank you email campaign into your email marketing program to reward repeat business and customer loyalty. You could time it to the seasons, creating seasonally appropriate specials offered during each season. Or, to keep the element of surprise even higher, send out thank you emails randomly, or in response to behaviors or actions that may not necessarily warrant a thank you.

When you integrate thank you email messages into your email marketing programs, you won’t be yet another faceless corporation or organization. Instead, you’ll be appreciated for being human!

Published On: November 25th, 2011Categories: Email marketing best practices

About the Author: Sharon

Sharon Ernst from is on a mission to improve the business and marketing writing skills of today’s workforce with her blog, newsletter and online classes. Her newest class on intermediate email copywriting covers 19 tips and techniques non-copywriters can put to use right away for better results. The class has real-life examples and before/after comparisons to make the lessons stick. Find her class at When she’s not busy helping employees, managers and marketers master their writing skills, she and her husband are busy raising pigs, cows, chickens and vegetables on their 20-acre farm.

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