Every once in a while, amid the sea of electronic blips, someone surprises me by mailing a handwritten note or card. In the past 90 days, I think this has happened half a dozen times, which is pretty much a record. Not since I had a relationship with a pen pal in the 8th grade have I seen so many genuine pieces of communication (not bills or ads) in my mailbox.
Those who mailed me these memorable and personal notes and cards were clients and people I’d met at networking events, and the proprietor of a B&B where I’d stayed recently. Is this a trend? If so, I like it.
This love of handwritten communication runs in the family. One of my daughters was delighted to receive a lovely note from the officer at the bank where she’d just opened an account: “Mom, we had a nice conversation, she asked me about my trip to Europe, and then she sent me this note card. Look!” You can bet that my daughter’s opinion of TD Bank is much higher than that of her former institution, which (to my knowledge) didn’t follow up by post after she closed her account.
So the lesson for us as communicators and marketers is clear: pick up a pen, get some decent cards or stationery, and take the time to write a sentiment in your own hand. In particular, a handwritten note of thanks will really set you apart. (Now I need to work on my horrible penmanship, made worse by my reliance on a keyboard.)