I got an interesting mailing from the salon where I get my hair cut. It begins “Celadon is now in its tenth year and we would like to thank you for your loyalty to us, now and over the years. As a token of our appreciation we have enclosed a gift for you.”
The gift was two salon gift cards, one to use myself and one to give away to a friend.
What they sent me was not as important as the acknowledgment of my loyalty (although I think they were smart to suggest that I introduce a friend to the place). What’s critical here is the fact that the communication was completely unexpected. Unlike a thank you note that comes in response to a donation or an annual report mailing that comes every year like clockwork, this mailing came out of the blue and delighted me because it was unexpected and because it recognized my special relationship to the salon.
I share this story not only as an example of stewardship done right but to suggest that today consumer expectations are exceedingly high. If a hair salon is doing stewardship this well, what must donors expect of us?
Oops. As I was writing Part I of this post I accidentally hit the “publish” button instead of the “save” button before I had finished my thought. What I meant to add was:
Although the personalized marketing tips I offered aren’t necessarily about charitable planning, but instead are more generally about estate planning, provision of that kind of information can be a real service to your constituents and can open the door to a conversation about charitable planning.