In today's mile-a-minute work environment, we're all racing from one meeting to the next, sending texts and emails as fast as our thumbs can manage. We type nearly every communication we send out. Sometimes we're so busy we even let our voices transcribe our words for us.
Writing with a pen or pencil may become a lost art. Crafting a handwritten letter and dropping it in the mail is so uncommon that we now refer to it as "snail mail." Our mailboxes are filled mostly with bills, solicitations and junk mail. However, receiving a handwritten message is a small gesture that goes a long way. Of course, writing a note by hand takes longer than drafting an email, so why invest the extra time? Let's look at the benefits of letter writing:
1. It isn't asking for anything in return. Most communication we receive these days is looking for something — time, money or some type of commitment. When you receive a handwritten note thanking you for your business, it's a welcome break from the expected. And because there's no expectation of a handwritten note in return, it's not creating a sense of obligation the way a thank-you email might.
2. It shows an investment. A handwritten letter shows a time commitment on your part. Writing and mailing a note takes considerably more effort than an electronic message — and your recipient knows that. Giving someone your time shows that you value your business relationship.
3. It makes you stand out. When your clients head to their mailboxes, they expect to find piles of bills, preprinted flyers and presorted junk mail. A personalized note in a crisp envelope stands apart from the visual clutter. How many of your clients' business partners do you think make an effort to send handwritten messages? Take the custom approach a step further by incorporating calligraphy for an extra special touch.
4. It's not another email. Think of all the emails you receive on a given day. Sorting through all this digital chaos is frustrating and time-consuming. By delivering a physical piece of communication, you're guaranteeing your message will rise above the rest. Get creative with a handwritten note on company letterhead or start crafting with elegant stationery.
5. Gratitude is good. When you write a thank you note, you're expressing appreciation. This practice is not only a pleasant surprise to the recipient, but it benefits you as well. In fact, gratitude has been shown to boost self-esteem, improve mental strength and even help you sleep better.
6. It can increase productivity. Thank you notes aren't just reserved for external clients. Did you know that employees who feel appreciated are up to 20 percent more productive? Give a handwritten note to an employee who has gone above and beyond or has met a company milestone. Your time and efforts will have enduring benefits.
7. It leaves a lasting impression. An email gets deleted in an instant. However, a physical note of appreciation is likely to be kept and displayed. Personalized messaging has a much longer shelf life than an electronic communication and can brighten the recipient's day, time and time again.
With nearly two-thirds of consumer decisions based on how they feel about your company, knowing how to write a handwritten letter can make all the difference in how your customers decide to spend their money. Whatever the reason for creating personalized messages — to build confidence in your brand or to boost employee morale — you're sure to make a positive impact.