The Power of Personal Communication: Why and When I Use Handwritten Notes
By Ramon Ray
A few weeks ago, I received two handwritten thank you notes. Before I opened them, I smiled. As I opened them, I smiled more. Then as I read the short message of thanks, I smiled even more.
Handwritten notes are one of the best ways to say “thank you” or to communicate a personal message to someone.
Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and email are the overwhelming communication tools of choice. These tools are wonderful — wonderful at generating noise, distraction and clutter.
A handwritten note breaks through the clutter. A handwritten note says “pay attention to me”
My friend Michael Katz, a marketer in Boston, said it best: A handwritten note conveys that the sender took the time to think about you and the time to send you the note. It’s the things that convey time, thought, care and personalization that mean so much.
We’re in an attention deficit world. Those of us who leverage the power of handwritten communication will be perceived as caring more for our clients, being more concerned for our employees, and as giving more thought to those who are the recipients of our handwritten notes.
What are the best occasions to send a handwritten note for business?
Any occasion that’s meaningful to the potential recipient is a reason to send a handwritten note.
- Professional achievements
- Professionals anniversaries
- Saying thanks for anything
- Special occasions … and more
I use Uber quite often, and while they’ve never sent me a handwritten note, they frequently send me personal updates on how many trips I’ve taken, my ratings and other things.
My favorite airline sends me a nice letter every year, thanking me for being a customer and includes a few perks.
These are all moments of delight and endear me to use the services of these brands over and over again.
Now imagine your customers, or your clients receiving a note from you in the mail. It will give them a reason to smile and reinforce your brand in their minds.
In short, just about any and every reason, is a reason to send someone a note. That someone could be a new customer, a long time customer, an employee, a new vendor — just about anyone.
Scaling Handwritten Notes Using Technology
I used to have an entire box of paper note cards that I would use to send handwritten notes. This worked for a while, but then I got more clients and overall MORE people to thank, so I needed a system I could use to still communicate personally, but to do it faster and smarter.
Services, like Bond.co enable me to leverage the power of technology and a handwritten note.
I can send one note to one person, send a few different notes to many people, or any combination thereof.
What matters most? The joy the recipient feels by receiving a note in the mail, and seeing human handwriting and a personal message.
Whether the process is aided by technology or not, the end result is the same.
As your business grows, I would encourage you to consider how you can connect your customer support and customer service systems to “handwriting note” systems. For example, let’s imagine that every new customer got a note saying “welcome”. What if on the anniversary of being a customer, someone received a note from you with a “P.S. Enter code “WeLoveMike” for a $10 credit.”
See how the power of a handwritten note can scale and be used to delight and bring additional revenue to your business?
Everyone likes to feel special. Everyone likes to feel that they are the only one. Using handwritten notes you can bring this feeling of appreciation and value to every one of your customers, vendors, employees and others. Here are three tips for personalizing your notes:
- First, always use a person’s first name. Names are important.
- Second be specific about why they are getting a note from you. Happy anniversary on your first purchase or Happy Birthday, etc.
- Third, be personable and human. Lose the stuffy corporate lingo that you might be tempted to use and just chill. Write a short note, like you would to a friend. Be professional, but be real.
Remember the two cards I talked about? Both were from people who were thanking me for giving them an amazing experience at an event I had done.
Dozens of people thanked me for the event, dozens of people emailed me and posted on Facebook and Twitter. However, I’ll never forget the two people who sent me a handwritten note.
If you want to be memorable, always remembered and fondly thought of — use a handwritten note.
Ramon Ray is an entrepreneur, best selling author and global speaker. He’s publisher of Smart Hustle Magazine, and writes about technology and small business at smallbiztechnology.com. He is passionate about helping small business entrepreneurs grow their businesses. Ramon’s third book is the Amazon.com bestseller, “Facebook Guide to Small Business Marketing.” He interviewed President Obama in the President’s first live Google Hangout.