On Comfy Pants and Building Loyalty

True confession: I have become obsessed with comfy pants. What does this revelation have to do with our work in Advancement? For me, it yielded an “aha” moment about offering thanks and building loyalty.

Let me elaborate.

As virtual meetings became a more necessary form of communication one year ago this week, and with webcams squarely focused on our upper halves, I proceeded to expand my wardrobe with something more comfortable than dress pants. That is, until my wife got tired of seeing my in sweatpants every day!

This kicked off a search for something that felt like sweatpants but looked more stylish. After sampling many pairs, sending some back, and adding some to my rotation, one stood out. Partly because of the combination of comfort and style offered. But mostly because of the way I was noticed and treated.

Upon my first purchase from this company, I received the standard order confirmation email. But the next day I received something different…an email from the owner of the company, thanking me for my purchase. This, alone, set them apart.

I felt so good about the product (they really were comfy and stylish!) and the way I was treated, that I ordered again. And here is the message I received after the second purchase:

To recap, I searched for an organization that offered something that matched my objective (comfy pants that were stylish). I made some purchases and sampled several different products. Among those I sampled, one noticed me. One told me how much they appreciated my support. One offered timely and personal thanks. One noticed I made a second purchase. One created a loyal customer.

If a start-up jeans company can make me feel this good and build this kind of loyalty, we can surely do the same. Right?

All it takes is a simple message of thanks that is about your donor, not about how great you are (“You just made our day!”).

And an acknowledgment that we noticed them (“Nothing feels better than knowing you’d trust us with your business once again!”).

Can you make these tweaks to your donor thank you process? They are small and subtle, but they just might create even more loyalty among your donors.


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