Did you know automated thank you notes were a thing? I’d heard rumor that there was a business that would print and mail them for you. I was not prepared for what I found out.
Turns out, there’s a whole industry that has sprung up around doing small batch mailings for you. Without your ever having to handle a postcard or mess with stamps.
Here’s the one that hit my radar recently that got me thinking:
A Low-Cost Option: MailChimp Postcards Beta
Mailchimp is a great freemium email marketing tool. It is easy to set up, easy to use, and has great design templates. And now, if you have people’s mailing addresses in there, you can send postcard campaigns right to their mailboxes – not just email.
The pricing is right: at least during this beta, they’re only 45¢ each, printing and postage included! Nonprofit discounts don’t apply at this point, but that’s still crazy cheap.
It gets even better: the major church management software (ChMS) platforms now have available integrations with MailChimp. If your team has been faithfully using your ChMS to keep people’s contact info, you can sync it right over to MailChimp.
Your guest followup process/workflow in your ChMS probably already has email, text, phone call and/or personal notes included. Now you can send automated thank you notes with just a couple of clicks. Boom – done!
This is an especially great idea for children’s ministry followup. What kid doesn’t love getting mail addressed to them?
Want even more automation power from MailChimp? Tie all of this together into their now free drip campaign feature. Your guests can get a cadence of emails and postcards automatically for weeks after their first visit. And with my email-to-sms hack, you might even be able to include automated text reminders as well.
Handwritten Automated Thank You Notes
Want an even more personal touch? I found no shortage of vendors that will create and mail notes for you that use simulated (or even actual) handwriting:
With a quick export/import from your ChMS to the mailing service, this could still be relatively easy to pull off.
Of course, these are more expensive, ranging anywhere from about $1.50/ea for postcards to $10/ea for a handwritten, folded letter in a hand-addressed envelope.
Other Uses for Automated Thank You Notes
These cards could say anything and not just ‘thank you’. Here’s a marketing maxim I think is smart: “Advertise to your own customers first.” So why not use automated mailings to an internal mailing list for:
- Christmas & Easter invitations
- Grand Opening and anniversary invitations
- Community service opportunity invitations
- Youth or children’s event invitations or reminders
- Church plant fundraising appeal letters (but not as a postcard)
There’s cost to all of this, but the time trade off makes it very attractive. And if your guest followup notes sometimes don’t get mailed because the manual process is such a drudgery, automated thank you notes could save the day.