Don’t say thanks before someone does something!

I was sent a piece of mail during the week from a charity that I had supported before. I thought it was going to be a lovely update mailing on what impact my donation had made. Why did I think that? Well there was a massive thank you on the outside of the envelope.

I was really disappointed then to find the envelope contained not an update, or anything thanking me, instead in contained tickets for me to sell.

To be honest I dont mind selling the tickets, I know it works for them and I know they are a good charity. But it kind of annoyed me that they would say thanks before I agreed to do the selling. It seemed to be making a presumption that I was going to do this work for them.

I think they are right to use the outside of the envelope to encourage me to open the mailing, but in this instance I think they used the space really badly and actually were kind of sneaky in how they got me to continue to engage with them. it certainly didnt leave me with a “warm and fuzzy” feeling about them.

What do you think? Am I being unfair?


7 thoughts on “Don’t say thanks before someone does something!

  1. I don’t think it’s fair at all – depending on my commitment to the charity I actually think something that presumptive might make me reconsider whether to become involved or not. Selling tickets, particularly in the current economy, is a big ask and I think aside from any ‘sneakiness’, the assumption of your willingness to sell them implicitly undermines the value of your time.

    • Hi Aisling, thanks for the comment, I am sure the letter asked me would I mind selling, but to be honest I didnt even get that far. As soon as the tickets fell out of the packet and was left cold by the mailing. Shame, its a great charity that sent the mailing

  2. Yes, that’s a bit tacky, isn’t it?

    I wonder if it will work for other donors? I wonder if the charity split tested against a less presumptuous version? If I’m ever considering running something as risky as this approach sounds, but have good reason to believe it might work, I always recommend testing it. The other reason that’s a good idea is that a 50:50 split test reduces the risk if it really does turn people off. At least the other half of your mailing stands a better chance of generating income!

  3. I think thanking people is very important – and I don’t think we do it enough – in fact many charities are prone to send requests for more, without actually acknowledging and thanking people for what they already do. So on one level saying ‘thank you’ before someone does something else is what I advocate based on the fact by supporting they already are doing something that warrants acknowledgement.

    However, In saying that -in this instance it sounds as though the use of the ‘thank you’ in this piece was misplaced and whether it was meant to, mislead you into thinking you were receiving something that you didn’t – creating dissonance straight away – compounded by the additional ask and assumption.

    So no I don’t think you are being unfair at all and would agree that the use of Thank you seriously backfired.

    • Hi Amanda, thanks, glad Im you think Im not being unfair. I agree thanking people is so important and we dont do it enough (or all that well).

  4. oh my God…
    its true… saying gratitude is only afforded to someone who did something

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