Imagine you’re on a stroll on a hot summer day. You see a lemonade stand ahead with an eager-looking kid and think, “I could use a drink.”
You approach the youngster and ask, “how much for a cup of lemonade?” They excitedly respond, “one dollar,” while jumping up to pour you a cup. You stuff a dollar in their jar as they intently fill your cup, making sure not to spill any.
The smile on the kid’s face is contagious as they proudly hand you a full cup. You thank them, and they respond, “Thanks a lot! I hope you like it and you have an awesome day!”
Let’s pause. Why do we stop at lemonade stands? It’s got little to do with store-bought lemonade. We love to see the joy on a child’s face as they make a sale. We do it to see their appreciation and joy.
In this article, we’ll unpack why showing gratitude and appreciation for your customers is a simple but powerful way to build a thriving community of customers. And in a subscription-based business model, this is critical.
Why is showing customer appreciation important?
We get a warm fuzzy feeling when a business genuinely appreciates our support. That feeling makes us loyal customers.
Just as the budding entrepreneur with their lemonade stand, you can inspire the same warm feelings in your customers. It takes minimal effort to express gratitude when you earn a new customer for your subscription business or when an existing customer renews, but it has tremendous benefits.
Here are three compelling reasons to thank your customers.
Increased customer engagement
Consider this consumer study in 2019. 86% of customers were willing to pay more for a better customer experience. How can you make your customer experience better? Start at how each interaction ends. Why the end? Psychology, of course: the peak-end principle in social psychology states that “intense positive or negative moments (the “peaks”) and the final moments of an experience (the “end”) are heavily weighted” in how we remember the events.
We spend so much time thinking about first impressions, but the end, or post-purchase, is what really matters. Sending a personalized thank you in a purchase note, whether handwritten or an email, has a powerful effect on how customers remember you and want to engage with you in the future (more on that in a moment).
Customers are more excited to support you when they see your gratitude. In short, greater customer satisfaction.
Greater customer satisfaction
Think back to the ambitious lemonade stand entrepreneur. Imagine if they spilled lemonade on the cup, making it sticky, or didn’t smile,and didn’t say thank you after you paid, but instead glanced expectantly at the jar labelled “tips.” Would you be a happy customer and come back? No chance.
But that’s not what happened. Their enthusiasm to serve you lemonade made you proud to support them. The genuine joy a business displays, when they send a “thank you for your purchase” note leaves you with a positive impression of the business and its operators.
One of the greatest reasons to always thank customers is the law of reciprocity. Ever wonder why we feel compelled to pay others back when they help us? It’s human nature.
When you send a thank you note to a client or customer, you’re subtly leveraging the law of reciprocity. No loyalty program necessary. Better yet, slide in an inexpensive “gift” with their purchase, and you’ll drive repeat customers. Costco found that by bundling one year of free roadside assistance with the purchase of a GPS system, they surpassed expected sales by 88%.
Take coffee shops as another example. Go into any town, and you’ll find at least one local cafe with a ton of regulars, a clear indicator of long-term customer loyalty. How do they have so many repeat customers? Sure, the coffee needs to be good, and the company name needs to be hip, but what really differentiates them from every other coffee joint in town? It’s displaying genuine gratitude and making everyone feel like a valued customer.
This is supported by a recent study conducted in Indonesia, which found that the biggest driver of loyalty was customer service. Specifically, they found empathy and assurance made customers feel appreciated and seen. So practically speaking, what does this look like? A warm smile, undivided attention, and sincere thanks. That’s how you win loyalty from people who will undoubtedly drive positive word of mouth and bring in even more new subscribers. It’s an easy way to create a more virtuous cycle from something as simple as a few thank you notes.
Ways to thank a customer for a purchase or order
By now, you know it’s important to thank your customers and show sincere gratitude for their support. So let’s move on to another important topic: how you can make gratitude a core part of your customer experience.
Especially in a subscription business context where a single churned customer stings your monthly recurring revenue, thank you notes are an easy task to automate.
Below are six concrete ways to thank your customers while they’re going through your subscription business or online store.
Thank you page
Building a thank you page on your website may take a minute, but it’s a one-and-done deal. Once you build it, you can send every customer there after checkout.
Often, ecommerce websites will include a simple thank you note on a templated page. These are a great starting point, but they lack a personal touch. To truly reap the benefits of customer appreciation, bring your own voice and brand to the forefront of your message.
Adapt an existing thank you message template (a quick Google for ‘thank you note for customer purchase’ might help… or see our examples below) to leave a more personal post-purchase note and let them know how much you appreciate their order or purchase. This would be a great time to share a coupon code too.
Include an image of yourself or your team, so people know who they’re supporting. Add a few sentences explaining who you are, why you do what you do, and what difference you’re trying to make in the world.
It costs nothing and can determine whether someone says, “oh, I got this online,” or “oh, I love this! I got it from [your brand name here]. They [insert what you do and your mission].” The latter is strong word-of-mouth marketing and will lead to long-term, happy customers.
Remember using Microsoft Word in the early 2000s? If you do, you’ll remember Clippy, the original chatbot.
Chatbots have come a long way since then. Drift’s report on conversational marketing found that brand chatbot usage has increased 92% since 2019. It’s the norm to have them now.
But it’s not just a fad. Instabot, a chatbot platform, claims they’ve seen brands generate 33% more leads compared to simple contact forms.
So how can we use chatbots for customer appreciation? Include a chatbot during checkout. Give them the opportunity to ask questions. After a customer’s purchase, or after they get to the thank you page, the chatbot can send a final thank you note.
Not only is this a great way to show appreciation, but it keeps the lines of communication open, so subscribers can continue to engage with your website. This can lead to upsells, cross-sells, or more interest in your business.
Keep in mind that chatbots are a tool. And with any tool for your business, you need to choose wisely. And in a subscription business, the tools you have can make or break your success.
Choose a subscription platform wisely
Running a subscription business isn’t easy. Just managing payments can be a hassle when done manually. What you need is a platform with a subscription-first philosophy that ensures you’re never juggling multiple third-party platforms again.
Platforms like Subbly make managing and growing your subscription business easy. Rather than using a plethora of platforms, tools, and plugins, an all-in-one platform makes it easy to get your website up and running fast and handle your operations with incredible efficiency.
Once you secure your first purchase from a customer, you can turn your customers into loyal fans by having insight into every interaction they’ve had with your business. You’ll see their subscription history, contact info, payments, refunds, and preferences mentioned during their onboarding surveys. When you can see each customer’s journey clearly, it’s easy to identify the best time to insert a quick message saying, “thank you for your purchase.”
A post-purchase email is a great opportunity to authentically connect with customers. Usually, customers ignore marketing emails or briefly glance at them, but post-purchase emails aren’t just basic emails. They have a 62% average open rate which is over 4x higher than other email marketing campaigns.
So instead of sending a generic purchase confirmation, think about how you can start building strong customer relationships. And a quick note — don’t try and push another promo right after a recent purchase. You’ve made a sale; now is where you show gratitude instead of asking for more.
Handwritten thank you card
Handwritten letters blow emails out of the water. They’re more authentic and personal. That’s why average open rates for handwritten letters are 90%, and emails are 17%. Think about it: how many brands really mail their customers? In today’s digital-first marketplace, it’s all email. Now go even further and consider how many handwritten letters are sent from businesses to customers.
The point is that handwritten thank you notes will make you stand out because their creation requires an emotional investment — which will be returned in kind when subscribers open them.
Handwritten letters are a way to tear down the business-consumer relationship and make it a human-human relationship.
Many subscription businesses will include a handwritten thank you note in the box they send to their customers. And in a world where unboxing videos are all the rage, this is a great way to make your unboxing unforgettable.
Conveying genuine gratitude in a handwritten letter is great, but are there other ways to thank your customers after a purchase and keep them returning for more? Of course — freebies.
A Costco free sample. There’s nothing like it. Walking around an aisle while getting groceries and seeing that wonderful, smiling Costco associate in their nylon hairnet is a joy hard to describe. In fact, it made headline news in a small town in Western Canada when Costco brought back their free samples after removing them during the pandemic.
Just as freebies work for Costco, they’ll also work for your subscription business. There are several benefits to offering freebies to customers:
- Anything free creates positive and memorable experiences for customers
- Free samples encourage customers to try the rest of your offering
- Offering freebies breeds customer loyalty (remember the law of reciprocity from earlier ?)
- Customers are more likely to buy more. 73% of customers in a study shared they were more likely to purchase a product after trying a sample.
The best thing is that freebies don’t have to be very expensive. Think about a small addition to something they’ve bought that would add a little more value to their order. The impression it leaves on the customer will outweigh the actual value of the freebie. That’s because they’ll see it as as not just a thank you note, but as a gift too. It’s the thought that counts.
How to write thank you messages
When you write a thank you letter, email, chat bot notification, or social media DM, there are a few key things to include:
- Address subscribers by their first names
- Make it clear why you’re reaching out to them (to express your gratitude)
- Explain why you’re grateful for their order, purchase, or renewal
- Be specific about their particular purchase
- Reiterate your thanks for being a loyal customer
- Sign off the message personally
These are good tips to keep in mind when writing thank you letters, but let’s make it more concrete with some real examples
Best thank you for your purchase templates
Below are several thank you message templates to use within a range of different customer touchpoint contexts with your subscription business.
After a subscriber renews for another year
Renewals are a great time to further strengthen a relationship with happy customers.
I saw that you renewed for another year, and I wanted to reach out and just say thanks. We’ve worked hard to get where we are today, and people like you are the reasons we can keep doing what we love. So thanks.
If there’s ever anything I can do to make your experience with us even better, you can find me here: [email]
A personal email
I was just notified that you renewed for another year. Wow! You’ve supported us for X year(s) now. I don’t know what to say. It’s been a wild ride since we started off, and we couldn’t have done it without your support.
I’d like to reiterate my gratitude on behalf of myself and our entire team. If you ever run into an issue or think of a way we can do better, I’d love to get your feedback. You’ve got my personal email now.
Here’s to another year!
Social media shoutouts
Wow! I was just looking at our customers who’ve renewed their service for another year and [customer name] has been with us for X years! I can’t begin to explain what this means to us — it’s long-term fans like [customer] that keep us going. Thank you, [customer name], we’ll be reaching out personally with a little surprise…
After a subscriber upgrades their plan
Upgrades mean you’re doing something right. Here’s how to say thanks to the customers who want to continue supporting you.
I hope this letter finds you well. I saw that you chose to upgrade your subscription plan with us. I wanted to reach out personally and say thank you. I hope you enjoy all the additional perks — we love to see our offering become an integral part of our subscribers lives, and you’re living proof of that!
If there’s anything we can do to keep growing with you, here’s how you can reach me: [email]
A personal email
I was thrilled when I saw the notification that you upgraded your subscription with us today. Although it’s great to see an upgrade in any context, it’s the significance within our context that really hits home for us: that we’ve succeeded in making you happy enough with your experience that you want to grow your relationship with us.
With that, I wanted to personally reach out and say thank you. It’s customers like you that make it possible for us to continue doing the work we love, year in, year out.
After a subscriber shares an unboxing video
Unboxing videos are a great way to get customers excited about the whole experience of supporting you. They also offer a great opportunity for you to connect with them personally, as well as an excuse for some word of mouth marketing Here’s how to say thanks to customers who share an unboxing video.
I recently came across your unboxing video, and I was overwhelmed with joy to watch you unbox our [insert product]. We put a lot of effort into filling every box with items that will bring you joy. I’m so glad you enjoyed what you received inside. Check inside your next box for a special gift — a small token of thanks from myself and our team!
Thanks for supporting us so we can continue to do what we love,
Social media shoutouts
[name] has brought us a lot of joy today! Watching their unboxing video and seeing their own excitement was contagious. It’s people like [name] that keep us going on the hard days and add wind to our sails on the good days — we were especially happy to see they found the little surprise we hid inside!
There’s no doubt that showing customer appreciation is critical. And in a subscription business, you have to keep customers happy, month after month. But when you have a sincere connection with your supporters, it’s much easier to keep them around, and thank you notes are a great way to achieve this.
If you’re ready to take your subscription business to the next level, get started with Subbly today for free. We’re the all-in-one subscription business platform that makes starting, growing, and managing your business a breeze. Join thousands of other founders achieving new heights with their subscription businesses.
Сontent creator at Subbly