Delight Your Donors With A Handwritten Note

When was the last time you received a personalized handwritten letter in the mail? According to recent statistics, it’s pretty rare. Based on data from the Postal Regulatory Commission, the average American receives only ten pieces of personal mail per year. We (the royal we) just don’t send mail that much anymore.

So when anyone gets a handwritten note, it is by definition extraordinary. Why not take advantage of this fact to delight your target audience? Why send an email or a generic piece of direct mail when you can send something remarkable? Let’s talk about how this can work for you.

If you are a nonprofit organization, charity or political party, a handwritten note will leave a memorable impression and help you stand out in a sea of generic ad pieces. Let’s take a quick look at why handwritten mail has such a positive impact on our clients.

Handwritten Fundraising Letters Get Read

Fundraisers know that no matter how strong a written piece is, it might as well not get sent at all if it doesn’t get open or read. Why don’t generic pieces work? Simple. Mailboxes today are filled with a steady stream of junk, bills and notices from the tax collector you’d probably like to avoid. Not exactly an occasion your donors look forward to each day. Let’s face it: most pieces end up going directly into the recycling bin.

But the numbers around handwritten notes are clear: they get read. Email marketing has an average open rate of 22%. Not bad, but when you compare that to handwritten mail – which enjoys an open rate of 99% – the advantages are clear.

And when you think about it, it makes sense. It’s hard for new donors or even major donors who give regularly to ignore an envelope with their name and address handwritten on the front.

Nonprofits and Charities Can Showcase Their Creativity

There is nothing that says donor communications needs to be boring. This is a big advantage that handwritten mail has over generic email or SMS messages. A handwritten card is the perfect creative platform to showcase your organization’s personality or that of your executive director, board member or other staff you’d like to highlight in your next fundraising piece.

Here at Postalgia, we encourage clients to get creative with every element of a handwritten piece. They can choose the type of paper or card or even select the type of handwriting and ink colour! No other form of communication is as rich in detail and personality as handwritten notes. You and your team can really put your stamp on it – figuratively and literally.

Handwritten Thank You Letters Are Powerful

One of the many reasons why handwritten notes are so powerful is that the recipient intuitively knows that putting a note in the mail takes much more effort than sending an email or text message. Because everyone at one point in their lives has taken the time to write a letter, put it in an envelope, find an address, throw on a stamp and toss it in a mailbox: they instinctively know the effort that goes into putting something in the mail.

After all, donor relations is all about creating a personal relationship between the organization and the prospective donor. Showing a donor they are worth your time and effort illustrates how important they are without saying it directly.

Combined with personalization (adding a donor’s name, fundraising campaign they donated to, the amount given, who referred them, etc), a handwritten note will make your donors feel seen and appreciated, in turn making them feel good. These personalized notes can and should be a key aspect of your donor outreach efforts.

Adding a personal touch by sending your audience a handwritten piece will go a long way to strengthening donor retention and expanding your donor base.

In fact, there are many unique opportunities to incorporate handwritten mail into every part of your fundraising strategy. To give you some ideas, here are a few that we recommend to the organizations we work with:

A personalized thank-you note to a first-time donor from the executive director;

  • A year-end personal note from the desk of the Board Chair;
  • A handwritten note thanking the donor for an online donation;
  • A note to a lapsed donor highlighting your organization’s accomplishments since the last time they gave;

By taking the time to send handwritten mail at every opportunity, you will stand out as an organization that went the extra mile to show some gratitude.

Get Started Today

If you want to make an impact and a positive impression with your donors, add a handwritten note to your next fundraising campaign. It will help you stand out in a sea of generic solicitation pieces, and it is sure to have a positive impact on your donors.

If you want some additional tips, click here for suggestions on how to make small donors feel important or reach out to our team to help you create a customized plan that works for you.

Want to level up your direct mail? Contact us.

9 Ways To Use Thank-You Cards as a Marketing Tool

We all understand the importance of making a good first impression. But too often, we forget to create a clear and memorable conclusion at the end of an interaction with a customer. It’s important for small business owners to understand that a customer’s experience at the end of a transaction lingers in their mind for days or even weeks after the transaction is completed.

To ensure a positive, memorable end to an interaction with your business, you want to end things on a high note. The best way to do that is by saying thank you. A sincere thank you will demonstrate that the transaction mattered to you and that you care about your customers as people.

If you aren’t sure where to start, then this article is for you. In addition to outlining the benefits of thank-you letters to your business, we list out nine suggestions for when and how you can thank your customers, regardless of the type of business you are in (e-commerce, retail, service) or the customers you serve (online, in-person, project or retainer clients).

What are the Benefits of Sending Thank-You Notes?

First and foremost, everyone appreciates being thanked. Offering sincere gratitude to others encourages positive relationships, strengthens the customer relationship and creates a base of loyal customers. After all, wouldn’t you prefer to give your business to someone who took the time to thank you for doing business with them?

A handwritten thank-you card is a great, personalized way to express gratitude. Wherever possible, infuse the process of thanking customers into company culture so that you never miss an opportunity to write and send them at every appropriate touchpoint with your valued customers.

If you are looking for specific examples, read our post about how the marketing team at tech accessory company HEX wrote 13,000 customer thank-you letters, which helped them build customer loyalty.

When Should a Business Send Thank-You Cards?

There are a variety of opportunities to use thank-you cards in business – we’ve listed nine as a start. Give some thought to your sales or service process, looking for natural places to offer thanks while creating an excellent customer experience. Regardless of what you discover, consider embracing as many opportunities to thank customers as possible.

Now that you understand how thank-you notes can help with marketing, here are nine ways to use thank you cards to get more business:

Thank you for meeting with us

      1. . The occasion could be a pitch, lunch, catching up, or some other meeting. Even if it doesn’t immediately lead to new business, networking is always a good idea. It’s even more powerful when you follow up with a thank-you.

Thank you for considering our organization.

      1. Regardless of whether you land the business, you should still thank others for their time. Try something like: “We understand that we aren’t the right at this time, but we appreciate your consideration. We want to stay in contact with you with the hope we can find a way to work together sometime in the future.”

Thank you for the opportunity.

      1. After you’ve been selected as the service provider, send a note to your new clients thanking them for choosing you and remind them that you’re just an email, text or call away if they need you or have any questions.

Thank you for your business.

      1. For projects that are short-term or for simple product purchases, send a thank-you note. They can be short and sweet: acknowledge that the customer made their first purchase on your website or stopped in to pick something up. You can also thank them once the project is completed. Adding some details about the purchase or the project will make your customers feel special.

Thank you for the continued work.

      1. If you have consistently been working with a client or customer for a year, send them a note to thank them for the continuing opportunity to serve.

Thank you for being a trusted vendor.

      1. All the businesses that make your business run (bookkeeping, for example) deserve recognition for their efforts. Thank them. Tell them that you appreciate what they do for you.

Thank you for sending a referral.

      1. If somebody likes your products or services, they will tell others. If they do, you should thank them. After all, word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful forms of marketing.

Thank you for providing a testimonial.

      1. If you have a customer or client who loves your company enough to tell others, you should thank them for their endorsement of your services or products.

Thank you for all you do.

    1. Not every thank-you needs to be directed to someone outside of your company. Thanking employees can go a long way toward improving morale in your organization.

Best Practices For How To Write A Thank-You Note

Now that you have several reasons to send a handwritten note, let’s turn our attention to things to keep in mind when you are creating a process to send out great thank-you notes to customers, vendors or others you have a business relationship with.

Handwritten Cards Are Best

Ok, we’re pretty biased here, but it’s because we truly believe in the power of the handwritten note – so much so we built Postalgia around it. You can see how our process works here. While it may seem easier to send a thank-you email, a handwritten, mailed thank-you note is far more powerful.

Whether you work with a service provider do it yourself, handwrite as much of the inside as possible, but at a minimum write out the recipient’s name and your signature. The whole point is to build good relationships. Use a personal touch in order to do that.

Create Templates

Over time, you’re likely to find yourself writing similarly worded thank-you cards, depending on the context. You will want to note where there is repetition and look for ways to save time.
For example, you can create a thank-you template for a new customer where all you need to do is insert the customer’s name and purchase. Rather than coming up with something completely new for every thank-you card you send out, you can rely on a template response.

Thank-You Notes Should Look Unique

This isn’t your typical business correspondence, so don’t treat a thank-you note the same way you would invoices, reports or receipts. Make sure your thank-you stands out and it is more likely to be opened and read.

Choose a unique envelope and make sure the address is handwritten. You can work with us to chose the envelope, handwriting style and card stock, or you can do it yourself. Either way, the effort you put in to create a unique note will get noticed.

Send Thank-You Notes Promptly and Consistently

No matter how busy you are, it’s important to send a thank-you card as soon as possible after a transaction, event or other notable occasions. If you are prompt, the gesture will more likely seem sincere. If you wait too long, it will come across as an afterthought.

Establish a system to make it easy

The more you plan out and automate the process, the better. You want the process of creating the perfect thank-you at every step. It may initially take some time and effort to create a process that works seamlessly with your operation, but that initial investment in automation will pay off in speed and efficiency down the road.

Leave sales out of it

It’s tempting to include the “next big thing” in any customer correspondence, but while offering thanks is not the right time. Sending thanks is good for building customer relationships, not for sales – at least in the immediate term. The one exception is a customer appreciation event or letting them know about something they might value, like a webinar or interesting blog post on something related to their purchase or service.

Be sincere

When penning your thank-you message, you want to make sure your words are sincere and heartfelt. From the salutation to the sign-off, giving the right impression is key. Remember, the entire point of this process is to deepen customer relationships and maintain customer retention.

You will want your message of thanks to connect directly back to the transaction, including specific details where appropriate. A note that looks like a generic form letter will have less of an impact. And don’t hesitate to let the unique personality of your organization (or you) shine.

Start Thanking Your Customers Today

You now have everything you need to start deepening your relationship with your customers. By making thank-you notes a priority, you will add an important personal touch to your interactions and stand out from your competitors.

Please reach out to our team if you’d like to automate the process of sending out thank-you notes at scale.

Want to level up your direct mail? Contact us.

How One Company Built A Business With Thank You Notes

You know that feeling when you receive a handwritten thank you note in the mail? It’s like an instant boost of happiness and appreciation for someone who took their time to send you something. Well, one company has taken those feelings and turned them into a business model.

Here at Postalgia, we just love case studies. They aren’t merely a theory on what will work; they are tangible and replicable. We know that handwritten notes work to build customer relationships: we see results with our clients every day. But it’s always nice to see a success story unrelated to the work we do.

And we have a good one for you.

After launching in 2010, a tech accessory company called HEX took a different approach to compete with big players like Michael Kors and Nordstrom. With every customer purchase, they included a handwritten note:


Photo via cdransf/Instagram

Every employee played a part. Day after day, they wrote out these thank you notes and popped them into the package before being shipped to the customer. All told, they sent out 13,000 thank you notes.

And HEX isn’t the only successful business using thank you note to grow their customer base. When they first started, tech platform Wufoo had team members send out handwritten personalized notes to thank customers for using their form creation service.

And it wasn’t just the marketing team – even developers were part of the effort. The note was written on fun thank you cards – some even with googly eyes – which perfectly fit Wufoo’s brand.

Of course, sending a thank you note to every customer is a commitment. And we wouldn’t suggest sending 13,000 thank-you notes by hand when there are friendly robots that can do that for you and shops with an incredible team to help make it happen.

But the power of a sincere, handwritten thank-you note is the big takeaway. HEX, Wufoo and thousands of companies like them have leveraged a mix of gratitude, customer appreciation and personalization to create something memorable for their audience.

And how do we know that? Because their customers are sharing these notes. HEX and Wufoo customers were so impressed that they posted pictures of the notes, which spread the word about both companies without each company even being involved. The effort paid dividends beyond just that one customer.

Still not convinced? Challenge accepted.

Check out our blog, where we share 5 reasons why handwritten notes are powerful and 12 ways to use handwritten notes in your sales funnel.

Custom, personalized thank you notes can take your business to the next level. And now is the perfect time to get started. Click here to learn how.

Want to level up your direct mail? Contact us.