Nobody (and no business) should underestimate the power of a good thank you note. It is a very simple yet effective way to show your customers that you care about them and value their business. And we don’t mean typing the words “thank you” so that your customer might quickly scan it on a screen. We’re talking about taking the time to send a beautifully crafted mail piece that your customers can find in their mailbox and hold in their hands. After all, what feels more special—opening a thoughtful note or checking email?

Thank you notes are also important for businesses (especially small businesses) because they double as a marketing opportunity, a means of making sure your logo, branding, and message are getting in front of potential or repeat customers. Making customers feel valued and keeping your business top of mind? Talk about a win-win.

Here are some occasions businesses might capitalize on to send their customers thank you notes:

After a customer makes a visit

A great time to send customers a thank you note in the mail is when they’ve taken the time to come into one of your stores to learn more about your business or to discuss what they’re looking to purchase. Send a note that thanks them for their time and encourages them to reach out if they have any additional questions. There’s a chance that your thoughtful thank you note might be the differentiator that helps you win the business over your competitors.

After a customer makes a purchase

It’s standard for businesses to send some kind of confirmation letter or email once a purchase has been made. However, there’s a big difference between sending a confirmation letter and sending a thank you letter; one is simply confirming information while the other is expressing gratitude. Since gratitude and thankfulness are both positive emotions, it’s no surprise that sending thank you notes will help customers view your business in a positive light. And research shows that people tend to make purchases from businesses that they view as actively caring about their customers.

During a special time of year

While the very act of sending your customers a thank you note demonstrates that your company values its customers, there’s something to be said for spelling it out: “We value you as a customer!” Consider sending a postcard or letter around a special time of year for your business, whether it’s around your company’s anniversary or even around the holiday season, to thank customers for their continued patronage and support. Not only will you be making your customers feel good (Who doesn’t like being thanked?), but you’ll also be re-engaging with leads that have gone cold and inspiring past customers to become repeat customers.