Gratitude as Marketing Messaging

A great holiday marketing strategy for keeping clients engaged and loyal to your brand is to show gratitude. Especially as we approach Thanksgiving in the United States, everyone is thinking not only of overeating, but also giving thanks.

But why show gratitude?

Of you are grateful to have your clients, but do you need to show it? Everyone likes to hear it, even in business. And while you could (and should) say thank you any time of the year, this holiday gives you the perfect excuse to make a big deal about your appreciation. And that appreciation is a perfect fit for your marketing.

Reaching out will help you maintain relationships with your existing clients. But the unexpected positive message will also grow emotional connections and build trust with them. Show your current clients how valuable they are to your business, or send slightly different messages to inactive clients to try and bring them back. Expressing your gratitude isn't going to make them buy more of your services, but it could make it more difficult for them to replace you with a competitor. Businesses don't work with businesses, people work with people.

How you say it

When you do craft your message, the most important rule is to be completely sincere. You don't need to be extra creative or unique, just genuine. Any expression of gratitude that feels fake, forced, or that has an agenda behind it will end up hurting your relationship and your brand.

You can thank them simply for choosing you to provide the services they need (i.e. thanking them for their money). But you can also tap into their own intrinsic sense of pride. Many language services are purchased specifically to help others and those in need (immigrants, LEPs, deaf and HOH, etc.). Thank them for what they do to help others and to make the world better. This way it's not about you, it's about them. You're thanking them for who they are, not just what they do. And this will have a more emotional impact.

How you send it also affects the perception of sincerity. General posts on your social media is impersonal and distanced. It can also seem lazy. Gratitude is personal and always resonates better when it feels like a direct message. Sure, you can call all of your customers, but mailing works just as well. But whether you send snail mail post to them or emails, you must be hyper-personalized. Don't just use their name in the introduction. Mention their company, and the services they buy from you. If you can mention who they help with your services and how, even better. Be specific. Don't sound like you could be talking to any of your clients. It shouldn't be just a hollow thank you. You are thanking them for something specific.

"Just for you!"

You can also take the opportunity to give them something for free as part of your appreciation. This of course works best in email campaigns because they are controllable (and trackable!) in one-to-one communications to your clients and no one else. You can show them financial gratitude with discounts, subscriptions, special offers, or preferential or exclusive access to resources or information.

But your message might actually feel more sincere with simple emotional gratitude. Say thank you to specific key clients on your website, social media, or in other marketing. Give the client's business or your contact there a positive review or an endorsement, such as on LinkedIn. You can send a gift that is not useful, but just nice. You can also mail a handwritten note. Many businesses receive piles of physical greeting cards around Christmas; be memorable by being the only 'Thank You' card they get around Thanksgiving.

Lastly, Thanksgiving means different things to different people. Each culture, community, and even family may have different traditions. As cultural navigators, companies in the language services industry like you should be careful how their messaging could be interpreted by various audiences. Remember that some see the holiday as a reminder of terrible treatment against indigenous peoples. Focus on the ideas of gratitude, or even unity and community togetherness.

The holiday season gives businesses plenty of reasons to reach out and connect with their clients. Just be sure to build emotional connections and trust for stronger relationships. And as we approach this Thanksgiving, gratitude is the best emotion to share.


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