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Referrals: Writing a thank you letter that gets you more referrals

Referrals: Writing a Letter that gets you More Referrals

By Jeffrey Dobkin

Article Summary: What’s the best way to get more referral business? It’s by writing a “Thank-you!” letter.

See the bottom of this article to get a FREE copy of the “Thank you!” for your referral letter we use around here!

Here’s how it works: First, you get a referral. I know – I’m as surprised as you are, but sometimes it happens!

Someone liked you… and somewhere down the line they passed-on some good words to a new customer or prospect… who calls you.

The Plan: Encourage customers and friends to refer you again and again!
How?  Send them a “Thank You for your referral!” letter.

Jeff Dobkin at Baseball Game

Jeffrey Dobkin at the game.

Here’s what happens: First, your “Thank you!” letter elevates you from the silent majority — you know – the masses of people who never bothered to express their appreciation for receiving a referral.  Your simple letter of acknowledgement definitely gets you noticed!

This single letter, “Thank you for your referral!”, places you well above 99.9% of other people who have received a referral and never even said thanks, let alone wrote a nice letter.

Here’s how to get even more business from writing a “Thank you for your referral” letter:

But first, kindly note – a phone call to thank someone is not the same. Calling is fine, and it’s appreciated.  But when you hang up the phone, you cease to exist.

A phone call just doesn’t have the impact of a thank you letter. Whatever you said on the phone fades into yesterday like the evening sun.

But a letter?
A real ink on paper, oh-my-God you took the time to write it letter?
You placed it in an envelope, found a stamp and mailed it letter?  Wow.

Yes, that kind of special thank you letter has time to sit on the recipient’s desk as a lasting remembrance of your appreciation. A phone call just doesn’t compare to the visual lasting goodwill generated by an appreciative letter.

The Most Valuable Letter

“Thanks for your referral!” is the single most valuable letter you can write…

“Thank you for your kind referral. I appreciate the privilege to be of service
to your colleague. I don’t take referrals lightly – or for granted – and assure you
I will always provide good value…”

Continue and conclude, “Thank you so much for your referral and your trust.”

See how powerful this “thank you” letter becomes?

A referral is the highest level of trust a client or friend can show.

It’s the leap of faith that you’ll perform exceptionally well for someone else, even when completely out of view. The person who recommends you puts his or her own name and reputation on the line for you. Does it deserve a thank you letter? Yes! But wait, there’s more.

Why is your “Thank you” letter so, so effective at getting you more business?  First, it makes the person receiving it feel comfortable with their recommendation of you.  They now know you’re going to do the best job you possibly can for the person to whom they recommended you.  It serves as a ready reference of your great work and spirit.

They know you’re going to lean over backwards to look good, and to make them look good for offering their referral.

You can’t make them feel this good about referring someone with an advertisement, a brochure or a phone call… but it’s easy to do with a well placed well written and well timed letter of thanks.

With a personal letter of thanks it’s easy to convince someone who has referred you
that you really do appreciate the trust they’ve placed in you, your firm, your products and your services.

You can make them feel, well, like they should refer more people to you… all the time!

Because you absolutely appreciate it!  And you’ll absolutely do the best job you can.

And therein lies the beauty, the value, and the monetary worth in the most valuable letter you can write: the “Thank you for your referral!” letter. The recipient will remember it, and when the opportunity comes up again, they’ll continue to refer more people to you.

Part II  ·  Writing Thank you Letters

The “Thank you for your referral letter!”  The best advertising ever,  for under 50¢

You’ve heard word-of-mouth advertising is the best (and the cheapest) form of advertising?

Not quite.  A  “Thank you for your referral” letter is better.

Why?  It’s a combination of both word of mouth advertising, plus it has built-in longevity.

It’s how you make referrals happen again and again. And get new business again and again.

Your letter can sit on a desk to be viewed, admired and re-read.

In fact, the longer it sits on a person’s desk, the better it works over time.

Word of mouth is fast and forgetful.  A letter is permanent.

So now this “Thank you for your referral” letter has become the least costly AND the most effective piece you can write for getting additional referrals, bar none. Least costly? AND most effective? Hummm…

Writing the Letter

Since the “Thanks for your kind referral” letter has now become the most effective piece of advertising you can create, it’s no longer in the “I’ll just dash off this letter in 10 minutes” category. It becomes an art form, a personal ad in the form and style of a letter. You have the opportunity to make it a great one.

Write a well written and nicely designed letter. Something that will sit on their desk for a while – and make the reader smile every time he or she looks at it.

Once you have written and designed a great thank you for your referral letter, feel free to modify it, personalize it and use it again and again over time.

Might as well do it right the first time.  Spend the extra few hours fine tuning the writing AND the design (the often forgotten other part of the letter).  Thats what I did.  My own letter is short and crisp.  It builds trust, and is a sincere letter of thanks.  All in about 100 words.  You can get a free copy of our own referral letter on request.  No strings, you don’t have a join a mailing list and we won’t spam you.  We won’t sell your name to anyone.  Promise.

Sending a Hard-Working Gift

Insurance Sales Letters Photo

All kinds of Letters written by Jeffrey Dobkin

What does my office do for people who refer direct marketing consulting or copywriting clients to us?

We send them a Cross Pen.

And of course a wonderful letter with this gift that says thank you so much for your kind referral and your trust.  The gift is truly for their benefit.  It’s a great pen, I’ve used a camo colored cross pen for years, and it’s still my favorite.

We have THEIR name engraved on the pen. I figure the only person who wants a pen with my name on it is… me!  I’m pretty sure they remember where they got it!

The letter sent with the pen is where we get the benefit.  It’s a beautiful letter that they’ll also remember for years.

By the time we ship a new personalized Cross pen to them, and of course our own personal letter of thanks, it costs us about $35.  Everyone I’ve ever spoken with has remembered this gift – and who sent it – for years!

Is it worth it?  You tell me: the person who received the kind referral about us trusts us immediately because he or she received the personal recommendation of our firm from a friend.  You can’t really buy that level of trust, you have to earn it.  Marketing doesn’t get any better than that: building trust with a small gift and a sincere letter.

If we do any work for the new client, our copywriting and market-consulting fees range from… well, we get our $35 back pretty quickly. Many clients stay with us for years.

We don’t convert all the prospects referred to us into actual rent-paying customers.  And that’s OK!

Some don’t need our level of marketing skills, or our brand of direct marketing sales letters – or direct selling sales material. Some aren’t ready to launch products or expand their business  just yet; and some are just tire kicking and fishing.  That’s fine.  I’m good with all that.

We still send an engraved pen to the referral source with a nice letter of thanks all the same. They did their part, and I appreciate it.  Sincerely.

Funny, the more “thank you for your referral” letters we send, the more referrals we seem to get from our referral sources. Which we really do appreciate.

If you’d like to get more business, write an exceptional “Thank you for your referral!” letter, and keep it at-the-ready – to personalize and send to customers and friends (with our without a small gift) if and when they give you a referral. Hey, it could happen…

You can’t buy that kind of advertising – that goodwill or trust, or those kind referrals – at any price. Or can you?

Jeff Dobkin will now take your questions. Email Jeffrey Here: Jeff at Dobkin dot com.  No, seriously… call or write him with questions.


Jeffrey Dobkin on Motorcycle

Jeffrey Dobkin, still rides…

Dobkin is a speaker (blah blah blah, yip yip yip) and a marketing consultant (marketing plans, pr, market strategy, plan analysis: audits and review, media review) who happens to be an amazing writer (corporate literature, articles, brochures, ads, collateral, annual reports, technical material), specializing in direct-selling print and web (DR Ads, catalogs, TV scripts, web copy) and direct marketing material (letters, direct mail, mailing packages brochures, catalogs, web copy and did I mention post cards?)

Dobkin is also pretty darn good at analyzing marketing campaigns, catalogs, analyzing ads and direct mail packages. He has written over 250 articles and 5 books on direct marketing. He can be reached at 610-642-1000.

Poke around at for additional direct marketing articles and poke fun at more of Jeff’s fun-filled, typo-prone and grammatically-challenged writing.  Don’t forget to buy Jeffrey’s Books and audios – he needs the money!   Click Here: Bookstore to see what’s available!  Just kidding – you don’t have to buy his books and audios.  Just send the money.

More articles:  How to write highly responsive sales letters  ·  Article Home Page

Creative Samples of Dobkin’s work  ·  Sample Insurance Sales Letter · 63 Marketing Audit Questions · Invention

FREE: Thank you for your referral letter!
If you’d like to have a copy of the “Thank you for your referral” letter we use around here, please email us.  It’s pretty formal, but you can modify it for your own personal use.  Mention this article and Jeffrey will send you a free copy.  No spam is involved and we don’t ever sell our mailing list.  In fact, we don’t even mail to our own mailing list ourselves – turns out it’s a lot of work.  You deserve our letter just for reading down to here.  Thanks.  Jeff at Dobkin dot com goes right to his desktop.