The Devil (and Second Gift) is in the Details
In the forward to his classic work, “The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It,” author Michael Gerber says of great businesses:
“The only way [for small businesses] to reach something higher is to focus their attention on the multitude of seemingly insignificant, unimportant and boring things that make up every business. … Those mundane and tedious little things that, when done exactly right, with the right kind of attention and intention, form in their aggregate a distinctive essence, an evanescent quality that distinguishes every great business you’ve ever done business with from its more mediocre counterparts. … Yes, the simple truth about the greatest businesspeople I have known is that they have a genuine fascination for the truly astonishing impact little things done exactly right can have on the world.”
And so in our business, it is the little things, the details, that can have a massive impact. This was something that Care Net — a national network of evangelistic, pro-life pregnancy centers — found out when it took a look at its thank-you note policies.
Like most other organizations, we sent out the thank-you receipt letters in a timely fashion, defined as a week or two after the gift arrived. This helped us adhere to the maxim that the quicker a donor receives the thank-you receipt letter, the better the odds are we would achieve the crown jewel — the second gift. And, the strategy, indeed, worked well.
Care Net’s thank-you letters include our standard logo across the top, along with three other donor brands running along the right side of the stationery — two representing monthly donor programs and one representing the high-dollar program. Because of our small donor base, we developed a one-size-fits-all thank-you letter that enabled us to save a few bucks on printing while keeping the donor brands in front of each donor segment.