Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Business Cards and Thank You Notes

I once read somewhere - and I can't remember which book or author, unfortunately - that including your business card with a thank you note you send someone is not a wise thing to do. I always thought this was a little far-fetched. Why not put that little piece of marketing in there? What's the harm, really? 

Over the past few months I've received several thank you notes from other wedding professionals, some with business cards included and some without. Turns out that author was right: the notes that included the business cards felt less valuable and disingenuous. They didn't carry the same weight because they came with the unspoken message of "I am only sending you this thank you note so I can put my business card and company information in front of you one last time".  Unfortunately, whether that was the sender's intent or not doesn't really matter; it's still the way it came across.

Next time you send a thank you card or just a hand-written note in general, omit your business card.  Say thank you simply to say thank you.  No "what's in it for me" or strings attached.

15 comments:

Stylish Events said...

It's good to learn that I have been doing it right -even unaware of this-.

I had no idea people put their business cards in Thank you notes and now that I think about, it does change the perception of the thoughtfulness.

julianne smith said...

interesting, never thought of it this way. thanks for sharing! so what happens if your business info is on your stationary already? is that considered similar to sending your business card?

Pamela Parker said...

Wow!! I never looked at the business card included quite that way before and I'm pretty sure I always include one. When I take the time to write a thank you its heartfelt,so the business cards will be left out from now on. Thanks Liene!

Lisa Schneider said...

Absolutely agree! A thank you note should be sent for the sole purpose of saying thank you. Most people will remember that you took the time to say thank you and that makes more of an impression than a business card ever could.

Jennifer Taylor said...

What a great post, I was about to write some Thank You cards and would have added my business card, just because that is what I receive from others. I do agree that by adding a card, does change the "tone" of the card.

Event Girl said...

I know what you're saying - it seems to imply 'Send business my way!', when the whole point is to just say thank you.
Bit of a mixed message.

I tend to use branded stationary, so they always know who it came from.

Sara G said...

I learned this too! Had new business cards printed and sent one to my friend who was dying to see it, so I included it in mail I was sending over to her, which happened to be a thank you note. A friend overheard she received a business card in her mail, and expressed how tacky it was that it was with a thank you card. This was not my point to promote myself to a friend who wanted to see my card, and my friend actually loved getting it, but other people's perception is their reality. Best to leave it out!!

Robin Preston said...

That is an interesting take. I usually include it because I sign my thank you notes informally with just my first name and I'm not using cards that reference my company. When you go to networking events with bunches of people I think that people wouldn't recognize my name right off the bat.

Cassandra Santor said...

What a great photo! Bravo on updating your new site/name... keep the posts coming.
All the best,
Cassandra.

Juliet said...

I agree. I've received thank you notes with plenty of business cards and they just clutter my office. I'm guilty of this as well but I've stopped this practice recently. Does the same apply for cute note cards that are custom designed and has my web address on the bottom in small font?

Liene Stevens said...

I think branded/custom stationery is different than including a business card. I've received notes on that sort of stationery and it still comes across genuine. I don't know why, but the psychological difference is there.

sweetchicevents said...

oh dear, I have been doing this all along. But now I totally see your point! Time to invest in some pretty custom stationery!! Thanks for the tip, Liene!

Juliet said...

I had custom note cards designed by Laura Hooper back in April that I use. It says "A note from Juliet" in calligraphy and then blank space for my handwritten note. The bottom includes my website in small print. I'm really happy with them!

Jane said...

Again, what can I say. Thank you for this tidbit. Makes so much sense.

Jane

Michael Chansley said...

Good advice!