Sending or receiving handwritten notes is quite uncommon these days. With the simplicity and speed of email, texting, direct messaging, and other forms of digital communication, it’s no surprise.
However, if you really want your business or organization to stand out, why do what everyone else is doing? A handwritten note will leave a more positive brand impression than any digital message can.
According to a recent article in Lifehack:
“Research has found up to 100 instant messages can be sent by one person alone each day, with corporate email accounts receiving and sending 100 emails a day. We are so used to receiving this daily wash of words that we devalue the meanings. A handwritten note shows deeper investment as paper, stamps, drafting, and visiting the mailbox indicates costliness in both time and effort—the appreciation is perceived as greater and leaves a lasting impression.”
Not only will you impress your internal and external customers with a handwritten note, it can also make you feel good, too!
“Studies show that people can deliberately cultivate gratitude by literally counting their blessings and writing letters of thanks, for example. This proactive acknowledgement can increase well-being, health, and happiness. Being grateful—and especially the expression of it—is also associated with increased energy, optimism, and empathy.”
Handwritten notes can help you:
- strengthen relationships
- engage your internal (employees) and external customers
- build your brand reputation
- increase business
- stay top of mind
- demonstrate deeper emotions
- stand out
Where to start…
1. Choose Your Cards
Buying generic greeting cards is fine when you’re thanking a relative for a gift. But using custom-printed cards allows you to reinforce your business or nonprofit brand while increasing the wow factor.
There are two options for custom-printed cards. The first is offered by online, mail order card companies. These suppliers have their own designs and layouts and give you choices of messages, card stock, and ink color. Some allow you to upload your own image for the front cover.
Here’s an example of a thank-you card I found at an online supplier:
The other option is to use your own design and layout and custom print your cards. For cost-effectiveness, you may want a generic fold-over card to use for any occasion. Here’s an example of a generic fold-over card my agency produced for a nonprofit association:
The administrator and board members use these for handwritten thank-you’s, congratulations, appreciation, reminders, sympathy, and other needs. It’s a simple, affordable catch-all notecard.
You may also want to consider using custom postcards for the same purpose. In the U.S., postcards with a maximum size of 6” long by 4¼” high by .016” thick cost only 35¢ each to mail first class! Anything larger goes at regular first-class letter rate.
2. Custom Print Your Cards
There are countless online printers, local commercial printers, and print brokers that can work with you to achieve your objectives. Some offer graphic design services for an additional fee.
Prices vary depending on quantity, card weight, one or two-sided printing, card size, varnish/coating treatment, and production time.
3. Handwrite Your Message
If you’re concerned about starting to write and making a mistake, create a draft and then handwrite your card. You don’t need to write an essay. In fact, keep your message simple and brief, heartfelt and genuine.
Your relationship will determine how formal or casual your language should be. As an example, “Sincerely” is formal, while “Always” and “My best wishes” are more casual.
With technology innovating each year, some marketing tactics may seem passé. But don’t discard them because they don’t come with bells and whistles. Some of the traditional methods can have more power and enable you to wow your customers in ways they don’t expect. And, that’s a good thing!