300 Seconds: Change Your Receipt Message

I tend to talk about changing receipt messages often because receipts seem to have some staying power with me. Last week I stumbled upon a wallet I hadn’t used in a while. In fact, according to the receipts inside, I hadn’t used it since 2002.

Many of the receipts were printed on thermal paper, so the ink has been gone for a while. But the two I could read brought back such nice memories.

You see, years ago I bought some lantana plants that were identified as ‘perennials’ at the nursery. I treated them as perennials, and, especially after I had to wrestle their 4″ diameter roots out of the ground to fix some drainage issues, I didn’t doubt that they were perennials. But friends and family sure did. I’m still mocked every time I mention missing my ‘perennial’ lantanas.

Yet today, with a receipt clearly marking my ‘perennial’ purchases, I am happy. Because not only do I feel a bit vindicated, I also remember the roasted chilies I bought that weekend, as I was encouraged to do through the message at the bottom of the receipt.

I’m also happy because the other receipt reminded me of two books–Clothesline and Back to the Table–both purchased for my mother. And not only did Watermark Books state they appreciated my business through their receipt message, they circled the printed message in red ink.

These receipts were discovered in my abandoned wallet. And through the years I’ve found many, many more that have served as bookmarks. And when I find these receipts, I always like to look at the date and try to figure out where I was in my life at the time.

Today, take 300 seconds to replace the message on your store receipts. Encourage customers to attend upcoming events; promote a future sale; remind folks about holiday items. Or just say thank you… and mean it. And maybe 14 years from now they’ll find that receipt and remember that amazing day they spent in your store.

Lantana, roasted chilies, and books. Gosh, I miss 2002.

Beth Golay

Beth is a reader, writer, marketer and Books & Whatnot founder. Even though she knows better, she's a sucker for a good book cover and will positively swoon if a book is set in appropriate type. @BethGolay