I’ve seen a funny cartoon doing the rounds on Facebook that shows someone in the 1990s being thrilled to receive an email, while their friend is overwhelmed with a pile of snail mail. Then the same characters are reversed for the 2014 scenario, with the email receiver being disheartened by hundreds of messages and their snail mail counterpart overjoyed to receive one letter.
The reason I’m telling you this little story is to get you to think about how you feel when you receive a printed letter. I don’t mean the bills that you haven’t converted to online billing yet; I mean a handwritten letter or card from a friend.
I have always loved making the daily trip to the mailbox to see if there is something special waiting for me – and when there is my heart leaps with joy.
If you’re anything like me, you take the time to read those words carefully, and you keep this paper communication, rather than deleting it or filing it away in a folder.
Can you translate this to your business communication?
Yes. Letter writing has been replaced by email and social media communication as the easiest way to make contact (I do this as much as the next person).
Writing a good letter has almost become a forgotten way to communicate, so could you use it in your business to make a great impression? I’m not necessarily suggesting you start a direct mail campaign (but this could work for your business); what I’m talking about is sending handwritten letters and cards to clients and prospects.
Here’re some ideas to get you started:
- Send a welcome postcard to new clients
- Thank contacts for referrals with a card, not an email
- Surprise clients with a card on the anniversary of starting work with them, or on their birthday
- Remind existing clients about the products or services your business offers through a letter
- Invite prospects to a coffee meeting with a postcard.
These are just a sample of ways you can go the extra step to make your business communication more personal, but this touch can make them stop and really take notice of what you’re saying. Plus, you might make their heart leap – and that is definitely a good thing.
Do you use letters and handwritten notes in your business? What impact does it have on your business relationships?