Why showing gratitude in your marketing efforts matters

We should be gracious each and every day, but last week on World Gratitude Day or International Day of Peace it became more apparent as to why evoking kindness matters. While the International Day of Peace isn’t a marketing opportunity, it can act as a reminder for marketers as to why including thank you’s within marketing campaigns won’t go unnoticed by consumers.

We all have experienced a form of gratitude whether it’s at work, from a family member or after a great performance in the game. A thank you is ultimately a form of praise and it evokes emotion making  us feel good.  And, it’s proven that positive emotions (like feeling gratitude) broaden your mind, enabling you to become more open to options that propel you to engage in particular behaviors and often result in the formation of new relationships, shared Barbara Frederickson, professor of UNC Chapel Hill.

Brands should use this same principle in their marketing efforts to connect with consumers and engage them with their brand.

Let’s look at some key ways to show a little gratitude. A simple thank you can:

  • Add the human element to emails: Marketers are able to convey their humanity by sharing thanks in an email. For example, not for profit organizations share with donors how their contributions helped to make a difference (whether it was to improve someone’s quality of life, support a new medical initiative or feed a family in need). It enables the consumer to make a connection with the outcome of their action, leaving them inspired to do more. Additionally, thank you’s add personalization, removing the ‘robotic tone’ email can sometime display.
  • Perform well in subject lines: When scrolling through the inbox, a ‘shout out of thanks’ is certainly something that catches a consumers’ eye. Subject lines including a form of gratitude achieve increased open and click rates. Including thank you emails as part of your campaign strategy drives engagement.
  • Increase read rate: When sifting through your daily mail received from your physical mailbox, do you prioritize your open with a thank you note from a friend or a bill? – My guess would be the thank you note as you’re anticipating the positive things he/she has included in the letter. An email example I always like to share in regards to the positive effect a thank you can have on the read rate is the former Obama vs. Romney campaign. In the Barack Obama and Mitt Romney campaigns, thank you emails resulted in a 464% lift in read rate for the Obama campaign and 832% for Romney. (Return Path)

As with any email strategy or tactic you should test the impact the inclusion of the thank you has on engagement. And, it’s important to know when (and how) to use thank you emails.  Timing is everything.