Don’t Be A Turkey: 20 Ways Marketers Can Say Thank You

Thanksgiving 2014Thanksgiving is more than a big turkey-focused meal with all of the trimmings and non-stop holiday sales. Nor is it the envy-inducing social media images portraying how great your cooking looks.

Rather, Thanksgiving is a time to look inward to truly appreciate those people in our lives that give us love, support and camaraderie. Oftentimes we don’t let them know how much we care about them.

Thank you are the 2 words that you can never say often enough. Not in the empty I-don’t-care way but rather with love and heartfelt warmth. My recent visit to North Carolina where almost every female regardless of age is called ma’am hit this lesson home.

The key: It’s the small things like “thank you” and “I care about you” that matter most.

20 Ways to thank the people who matter most to your business

Here are 20 easy-to-implement ways to thank the people who matter most to your business. They’re broken into the 5 special categories of people in our business lives.Thanksgiving 2014


Regardless of whether your business focuses on consumers or other businesses, these are the people who buy from us. Whether it’s a once-a-year gift or regular purchases, these people contribute to your bottom line. (Here are 100 ways to celebrate customers.)

  1. Just smile. Understand that they may be just as stressed as you are and a smile can bring out the best in them. Starbucks actually trains its employees regarding how to deal with a wide range of emotional responses.
  2. Give them a break. Since the holidays are stressful for everyone, put out some coffee and cookies. Trader Joes and Costco excel at this.
  3. Create a children’s area. If you’ve got the space, designate an area for children. Take a page form the bookstores and hold a children’s reading so parents can shop.
  4. Offer them a treat. Customers tend to shop for everyone else during this period. Why not give them a discount coupon for January to jumpstart your sales.


We often take our employees for granted. After all, we’re paying them, right? But it’s important to remember that employees are people with lives and feelings beyond the work that they do for you.

  1. Bring in coffee or pizza. Breaking bread is a global symbol of friendship. Especially if this is your busiest season, do something special to recognize your workers. It can be as simple as a round of coffee from your local coffee shop or pizza. It has the added benefit of keeping them going during your busy time.
  2. Let their family members stop by for cake and treats. Show that you appreciate the important people in their lives during a quiet period in your work hours.
  3. Recognize your employees. Putting their photos up on a public bulletin board or in a company email is a great way to reward your employees.


These are the people you work with. They include your co-workers, bosses, peers at other firms and former employees. Many of us forget about them until we need a favor or a recommendation.

  1. Use this time to reach out and reconnect. Don’t just send a preformatted email from LinkedIn. We all know the difference between a real note, regardless of channel, and a fill-in-the-blank email. Don’t forget to ask if they need help.
  2. Schedule time to get together. For some people, the holidays represent a slow period. Use this time to get together for lunch, coffee or drinks. Nothing beats face-to-face meetings.
  3. Reach out and say hello. While this may seem old fashioned, pick up the phone and call. This is particularly important if you’re physically distant.
  4. Craft a personal recommendation for them on LinkedIn. Have you had bosses, employees or peers that have done special work for you? Put in a good word for them where the world can see it.

Social media colleagues and followers

These are the people and friends you know through social media. Some of them you may only recognize via their tiny little photo or avatar. (For a laugh, check out these 12 social media turkeys.)

  1. Provide guest posts. It’s the time of year when people, especially small business owners and solopreneurs are time crunched. Lend them a hand by offering a quality post.
  2. Share their content. Every content creator wants social media love. Give it to the people you admire. Make it personal with your commentary. Peg Fitzpatrick makes other people look good when curating their content.
  3. Comment on their content. Get in the habit of commenting on great content when you read it. Don’t fill your comment with links back to your own stuff. This is a no-no.
  4. Reach out to them via email or phone. Make your communications more personal. Use the opportunity to build the relationship further. The #UsGuys are great at this.

Business audience

These are the people on your email list and housefile to give you their attention. This precious gift of time helps you to expand your base and transform leads into customers.

  1. Ask them what they need. While this may sound obvious it’s not. I picked this tip up from Derek Halpern of Social Triggers who uses his email subscription thank you email to ask about readers’ pain points.
  2. Hold a Google Hangout so you and your audience can interact in real time. Be the answer man for your customers and followers.
  3. Host a meet-n-greet at your retail establishment, a local bar or coffee shop. This works well if you’ve got a local following. You can use Meetup or Evite to help manage the communications.
  4. Offer special content. Give your readers an ebook or other type of content that helps or entertains them.
  5. Make them an offer they can’t refuse. Since these people consume your content, they may be willing to purchase from you. Understand that you probably won’t get more than a 2% response rate and probably less than that.

The bottom line: Thanksgiving means taking the time to let the people who matter most to your business know that you care.

It’s about giving something of yourself and showing your gratitude in the form of something personal.

Remember to thank the people who matter most to your business!

To that end, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you my readers from the bottom of my heart. Your readership means the world to me.

Thank you for your time.

Happy thanksgiving to those of you who celebrate.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies. You can find Heidi on , Facebook and .

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