We all probably still receive more physical mail than we care for. And we most certainly get a lot of form letters from our financial institutions and our local and national government.

Most of those letters are not very good. Either because the are sprinkled in legalese or because no communications person has paid attention to what the letter actually says. That’s a shame, and a missed opportunity.

In a world where most communication is done online you could argue that print matters less. I propose it matters more. All physical mail gets opened (certainly if from bank or government), not all email does. So the opportunity is there for a better crafted piece of communication having a greater impact.

How refreshing would it be if the letters were written in a personal style (it’s 2016, mail merging is easy and easy to make appear clever and personal), if it had levity to it, and if it didn’t always try to sell us something/announce higher cost for existing services?

Good form letters is an art. It’s not something you do ‘overnight’, but with a thorough knowledge of your target audience, a bit of analytics, and a healthy dose of Ockham’s razor, you can get pretty far.

So the next time you need to choose between creating a campaign, revise website copy or look at your collateral and mail item, I suggest you consider revising your physical form letters. Customers will notice and it will return more than you invest.

Originally published on Worry-Free Writing