How not to thank your customers

Sometimes being a human is tough. Getting through the day with a enough sleep. Scrounging food that you can get excited about. Executing grand ideas at work. Navigating the difficult social norms and communication methods of human interaction. 

But sometimes being a human and creating social connection with others isn’t  that tough. For instance, if you want to thank your customers. Here’s a great way to do it: 

“Customer: Thank you for being a customer”

Here’s a way to do it really well: 

“Customer: Thank you for being a customer. Here’s a token of our appreciation for all the business you’ve given us. You’re fantastic.”

Here’s a method to avoid: 

At, we greatly appreciate your business. But rather than just say “thank you”, we’d like to extend a unique offer to you and your friends. Send your friends and family a special offer ($100 value) and when they sign up and complete the 4 week trial, you can earn $20 FREE POSTAGE!

Just forward this email to your friends, when they sign up using the “Try It Now” button below, they will receive a valuable $100 offer and if they complete their trial you will earn $20 free postage!


Seriously… what? “But rather than just say ‘thank you’… nope. Fail. You’ve already put me on edge. Then rather than thank me, you’re going to offer me a way to do your job for you and find new customers and I’ll get a cut of that work? Gee… thank you. 

Thank your customers. Then stop talking. Save your asks for another conversation. Or at least don’t ever say “rather than just saying ‘thank you’…”

I’ve been a long time customer of (years at this point). I’m printing stamps specifically for Christmas cards tonight. Having a better sense of their customers, here’s a message that would have worked on me: 

Hey Jake! It’s holiday card season, and we know postage can add up for all those cards. As a thank you for being a part of the family, we wanted to make it easier to connect with your own family this holiday season. We’ve put $5 (enough for 10 free stamps) in your account. 

If you think that someone in your circle of friends and family might want to join our family too, drop them this discount code and they’ll get the same credit. Nothing like being the hero at the holidays!

They would still have been able to communicate the same marketing message, but they would have come across vastly more genuine. I would have connected with them much more deeply as a group/company made up of individuals interested in their customers, not their own year-end bottom line.