5 Reasons Why Handwritten Notes Are Powerful

Technology is omnipresent in our lives. We live on our phones, use laptops to do work, and communicate through social media. But there’s an impact that can be made through a handwritten note that simply can’t be created with digital communication.Research shows that up to 100 instant messages can be sent by one person alone each day, with corporate email and text accounts receiving a massive amount of messages each and every day.

We are so used to this daily deluge that we quickly devalue the meaning behind a quick “thank-you” or “hello” in our inboxes. Receiving and reading so many messages can sometimes be overwhelming, and a lot of what is said is quickly forgotten.

It often seems like the world has gone almost entirely paperless – but there are still quite a few instances when it’s best to employ a handwritten letter when communicating with donors or clients.

Still not convinced? Let’s take a look at five compelling reasons why handwritten notes are powerful.

 

I Want to Discuss Postalgia’s Handwritten Note Service

 

1. More personal and thoughtful than emails or text messages

Although emails are quicker, they’re impersonal. When you handwrite a note to someone, it’s more thoughtful than an email and even artful – each letter is unique.

A handwritten personal note is an excellent way to show someone you care about them. The process of writing something down in cursive, then sending that note to another person in physical form prompts the recipient to appreciate the words on the page – and how much thought you put into the interaction.

A handwritten note to say thank you demonstrates a deeper investment than just texting someone or emailing them, which can help to strengthen a personal connection. It takes time, effort and money to buy paper, stamps etc., but the appreciation you receive in return will be greater – if done well.

 

2. Handwritten letters are not deleted

The permanence of handwritten messages is a big advantage. The physical nature makes them a powerful tool – more engaging and easier to read than electronic ones.

In today’s world, where most of our communications disappear into a black hole of our inboxes, we all realize the importance of preserving items that are important. A handwritten card or letter can be stashed away in a memory box or kept as something to remember for years to come – more so than an electronic message that may just stay unread if it isn’t opened right away.

Sure, it is true that handwritten follow-up letters take a lot more effort than email or text messaging, but it is definitely worth the extra effort. Personal notes are more intimate and have a greater impact on your clients.

 

3. Handwritten notes are authentic

Handwritten thank you notes are better at conveying genuine feelings and intentions. Text messages often come with a certain sense of insincerity. The sender can revise their message many times before sending it out for everyone else to see.

The ability to edit text messages can lead them to feel fake and inauthentic. Handwritten letters, however, preserve the true intent of your message without being edited before sending it off.

 

4. Letters (with a stamp) stand out

The handwritten note is fairly rare these days. When people receive a letter or card in the mail, they know it’s important. If you received a hand-addressed letter in the mail, would your first instinct be to throw it straight into the garbage? Unlikely.

The assumption is that whoever sent this particular note took the time (and care) to put what they have to say in writing. So even if the recipient doesn’t initially recognize the sender, they will open up that envelope for sure.

A handwritten note can serve as a powerful reminder of the interaction – a donation, a sale, even a conversation – that prompted the thank-you in the first place. It’s like refreshing your customer’s memory every time they receive a handwritten note.

 

5. Handwritten notes make your organization look professional

Handwritten notes go a long way in making you look like an organized professional. People will be impressed by your attention to detail and the effort that went into sending them something personal, even if it’s a follow-up related to a business transaction.It also takes planning and organization to draft the letter, put it into an envelope and send it off with a stamp. Your customer will know that you took the time and effort to get that letter to them.

You don’t have to pen handwritten notes yourself

Thanks to modern technology, you don’t have to spend your precious time handwriting notes for the same effect. Postalgia’s robots create handwritten pieces at scale for every organization’s size and budget. Customize your messages using your own writing style choice, with what you want to say and how you want to say it. We use genuine ink on paper and your unique design to ensure you stand out.

Let Postalgia write your notes for you!

Postalgia makes it so easy to send off personalized thank you cards with just a few simple steps:

Customize your design

Every aspect of your postcard or note, including the graphics and layout, is unique to you. We can even help create a brand new design if you need one.We print all images on a full-color, digital press. All cards and letters come with custom printing – logos, letterheads, and/or photographs.

See Postalgia’s Handwritten examples HERE

 

Choose your handwriting

Pick the style and ink color that best suits you and helps to convey your message more authentically. But, the customization doesn’t stop there. Choose from one of our dozens of handwriting styles, or write in your own handwriting. We offer handwriting styles ranging from neat to messy, from professional print to artistic script.

To write in your handwriting, all you will need to do is print off and fill out our handwriting capture form and send in a scan or clear photo of the form back to our team.

Craft your message

Personalize your note with the recipient’s name by carefully selecting from nearly limitless options. These messages are then inserted right into your letter.With Postalgia, there is no limit on how many variable fields you can use in your message; personalize the recipient name, the PS, or every single word.

It’s as easy as populating a spreadsheet with your variable fields – just like you would do with any mail merge – and our robots will swap in your variables for you. The result is a flawlessly crafted, personalized message to your recipient.

 

Print envelopes, fold stamps, and mail

We do everything for you – so you can concentrate on building your non-profit!

 

Make handwritten notes your competitive advantage

It’s time to integrate more personal and thoughtful communications with handwritten notes to stand out in a world of unlimited, on-demand communication channels that prioritize convenience over quality.

You can make handwritten notes your competitive advantage in only a few steps. Deepen your relationships and grow your business right now with the help of Postalgia.

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Want to level up your direct mail? Contact us.

Are Handwritten Notes Dead?

In an age where we have lost the art of human interaction and replaced it with a keyboard, few things are as important as sending a handwritten note or letter.

Technology has made sending a “thank-you” easy as pie: all it takes is one click or swipe on our phone screens to send that message…but what does this say about human interaction?

In today’s fast-paced world where technology provides us with everything we need at just the push of a button, have humans become dehumanized by electronic devices?

The lackadaisical act of tapping out something short for someone leaves little room for creativity.

We’ve all received a post-purchase email or marketing message from some company you bought from or interacted with, and the message has been sent to dozens before you. Nothing is surprising or exciting about it at all – not even a notable typo!

This electronic correspondence may be easy and automatic but makes almost no impact on customers’ lives – which is exactly why everyone does it without thinking twice about it.

There was a time when handwritten thank you notes were the norm. Nowadays, it is much easier just to press “send” and be done with it.

I may be old school, but I prefer to send handwritten thank you cards than send an email. A potential client has spent 30-plus minutes of their valuable time with you, or they dropped their hard-earned money on your product. You should be thanking them appropriately.

And it’s not just because I’m biased. The numbers back me up.

Independent research shows that 87% of people trust traditional mail and consider it more believable than a computer-generated letter.

At the same time, online and email marketing scams have become increasingly prevalent during the past few years, so people are less like to open emails, let alone believe what they are saying.
Speaking of deliverability, the clever bots of email providers are getting more and more sophisticated in their spam filtering methods, making it difficult for your digital marketing collateral to reach its target.

Another reason is that few even bother to send a note at all. This is an excellent way to make your company stand out. People will open your letter, and it makes you more memorable in people’s minds.

Again, don’t take my word for it: 90% of mail is opened and read according to research conducted by the Data & Marketing Association. 70% percent of people who received a piece of mail from businesses gave the recipients better impressions about those companies compared with other forms of communication like email which only had 45%.

Handwritten, delivered mail is a wonderfully tangible experience. This is why people love to receive handwritten mail – it reminds recipients of their real-world relationships and gives them something real to hold on to.

Beyond that, when we talk to our clients – across every industry – the story is the same: people who use handwritten notes are almost always at the top of their industry. They have more clients and have deeper bonds with their customers compared to competitors who do not send letters.

Finally, I’m going to climb on my soapbox for a minute. It is always worthwhile if you can do anything to make the business world more friendly and pleasant. And I think we could all use a more human touch these days.

So if you’re looking for a way to get more out of your business, consider using handwritten notes. It’s an easy and affordable strategy that will help grow sales with less effort on your part.
And the next time someone says “handwritten is dead,” their business is probably on life support.

Want to level up your direct mail? Contact us.

The Revenge of Analog

Life is moving online—so why are so many of us going offline? The Revenge of Analog explains why.

If you’re a literary junkie, you know there’s been a quiet civil war raging among the community of book-lovers. At the core of this conflict is a sacred question—would you ever peruse a book using an e-reader? Is a book really a book if it isn’t on paper? On one side are those who appreciate the practicality of their Kindles and Kobos. No wonder why. They make books more affordable, take up less space than shelves, and are easier to travel with.

And the other side of the divide? To them, it isn’t a practical argument. To them, the sanctity of the paper book is spiritual.

Consider comments in this Reddit thread explaining why users prefer paper books:

“I love the feeling of a good book in my hands.”

“There is nothing more satisfying than opening a new book and getting the honour of breaking the spine.”

“Seeing withered spines and taped covers makes me smile, and I like to think the reader is reliving so many memories just from that one book.”

Note the commonalities. “Feeling,” “opening,” “breaking the spine”—these describe the physicality of the book. They say: Nothing compares to the experience of touch. Touch is connected to memory, and especially to good memories. Touch becomes the doorway to the soul.

The sanctity of touch is the theme of David Sax’s 2016 bestseller, The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter. The book explores a contradiction in the digital revolution. At a time when most of life is moving online, more and more consumers are showing a clear preference for analog—or physical—alternatives. Essentially, things they can hold in their hands—and how feeling things makes them better. Where a Google calendar offers efficiency, a paper calendar offers beauty. Where a Facetime call provides convenience, a conversation over coffee creates intimacy. Where digital can feel distant, the physical feels closer—even in the case of a handwritten letter, where the sender can live far away.

Sax chronicles the analog revolution through anecdotes that would make Malcolm Gladwell smile. He opens with the unexpected resurgence of vinyl records. Sales reached half a billion dollars in 2015—the highest level since the late 1980s. Vinyl is an experience of music that feels “heartfelt, raw, and organic,” says Sax. “You watch the record spin, and it’s like you’re sitting around a campfire,” one musician tells him. “It’s hypnotic.” And hypnotism remains a face-to-face art.

Do you think this anti-digital vengeance comes from older demographics pining for simpler times… a Bingo club of “You kids, get off my lawn” consumers? You’d be wrong. Those now dipping their toes in analog grew up bathing in digital products: Millennials and other young consumers. They are driving the success of analog alternatives like old-school Polaroid cameras with built-in printers.

Our favourite part of the analog trend is what it reveals about our enduring love of good old-fashioned paper. For instance, beyond books, Sax raises the hopeful future of magazines:

“The newer magazines that are succeeding today, publications like Kinfolk and Monocle magazines, they’re saying, ‘Okay, we might have a few ads in here, but we’re really not dependent on ads in the way that time and Newsweek and Vanity Fair is. We depend on your subscription dollars. If you like it, you pay for the subscription, you pay for each issue, and it’s going to cost you more than those Sports Illustrated things, and we’re not sending you a football phone. You’re going to pay for this, but you’re going to get something that’s a high quality and that you’ll like and it won’t feel as disposable’. And if enough people think that, then, that’s a business.

In our industry, we at Postalgia see the paper preference at play with the power of direct mail. From the huge plurality of consumers who look forward to checking the mail to the ways direct mail gets better response rates than comparable digital marketing, we see paper’s incomparable capacity to create an emotional connection between you and your stakeholders. Forging a connection in a way that digital marketing hasn’t yet matched.

This is why the paper preference is so powerful. Paper creates relationships. We’ve seen that during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the enormous proliferation of pen pal groups and letter-writing among family members as an antidote to social isolation—and in contrast, how draining the endless Zoom meetings can be.

Nowadays we hear a lot about disruption—and that the only way to be disruptive is digital. Today, the opposite is true. The revolution of analog products is on. This revolution won’t be televised—it will be handwritten on paper you can hold in your hands.

Want to level up your direct mail? Contact us.

These six attributes explain the power of direct mail

Is direct mail dead? It’s the question on marketers’ minds. At the very least, it’s the question they’re Googling: with 167 million results for the search “is direct mail dead?”

So, is it? Let’s just say you shouldn’t wait around for the funeral procession. In 2018 alone, Canada Post delivered nearly 8 billion pieces of mail and parcels—almost 32 million items delivered daily. Direct mail isn’t going anywhere. Its place in the wider toolset of marketing and sales channels may be changing. But its power to build your business isn’t. Here are six reasons why.

1. Direct mail delights

Those of us old enough to remember when we went to Blockbuster Video for our Friday night entertainment will recall when mail was annoying—the inbox spam of the ’90s. And like the movie rental chain, those days are long gone. 41{c5c42d2e0b68f182649ca85478c9eaed180e8fe94e932f32b8af828d359c4a57} of Americans look forward to checking their mail every day, including 36{c5c42d2e0b68f182649ca85478c9eaed180e8fe94e932f32b8af828d359c4a57} of Americans under the age of 30. In turn, a whopping 90{c5c42d2e0b68f182649ca85478c9eaed180e8fe94e932f32b8af828d359c4a57} of Americans look forward to receiving personal letters and cards… something we know a little bit about.

An enormous number of your potential customers, donors, and stakeholders like mail. They really like it.

2. Direct mail sticks around.

Today’s email inboxes are a blast zone of unopened brand newsletters, sales emails, and spam from that one store you visited on vacation once, and foolishly gave your email address for a digital receipt instead of a printed one. Big mistake trying to save the trees there.

Avoid the digital wasteland that is your customers’ spam folder. Direct mail, in contrast, sticks around. Over an 18-month research study, the UK’s Royal Mail service found that:

  • nearly 40{c5c42d2e0b68f182649ca85478c9eaed180e8fe94e932f32b8af828d359c4a57} of consumers have a dedicated display area for mail;
  • that nearly one-quarter of mail is shared among members of a household; and
  • mail remains in the home for anywhere between 17 and 45 days after delivery, leaving multiple opportunities for your message to be seen and re-seen.

A strong direct mail piece – potentially displayed publicly – will catch the eye of multiple occupants in one home and will stick around far longer—unlike an email, always buried by the next email to arrive. This boosts message recall, enhances brand recognition, and means more bang for your marketing buck.

3. Direct mail gets responses.

Sure, email marketing can be cheap—but sometimes, you get what you pay for. Canada Post found that postcard marketing has a response rate of 4.4{c5c42d2e0b68f182649ca85478c9eaed180e8fe94e932f32b8af828d359c4a57}, compared to digital marketing at 0.12{c5c42d2e0b68f182649ca85478c9eaed180e8fe94e932f32b8af828d359c4a57}. That means postcard marketing is 10-30 times more effective.

But why cause a lover’s spat when you can be a matchmaker? Ultimately, email marketing and direct mail are better off together. Canada Post conducted neuromarketing research and concluded that recipients “paid 39{c5c42d2e0b68f182649ca85478c9eaed180e8fe94e932f32b8af828d359c4a57} more attention to integrated direct mail and digital campaigns than to single-media digital campaigns, and consumers had 40{c5c42d2e0b68f182649ca85478c9eaed180e8fe94e932f32b8af828d359c4a57} higher brand recall when direct mail followed email.”

4. Direct mail drives customers to your website.

Let’s go a little deeper into the power of integration. Today’s consumers seamlessly move from offline experiences to online ones. We can catch an ad on a subway car, whip out our phones, and search more about what’s caught our eye.

The United States Postal Service commissioned a study into how direct mail directs traffic to senders’ websites. The results will make you smile. Direct mail and catalog recipients were not only more likely to make an online purchase—they were also more likely to buy more items and spend more money. Catalogues were particularly impactful. The study found a revenue lift of 163{c5c42d2e0b68f182649ca85478c9eaed180e8fe94e932f32b8af828d359c4a57} for websites supported by catalogues, as opposed to those that were not—boosted especially by a greater influence on first-time shoppers, and a discouraging effect on competition shopping.

Direct mail, in this way, can serve as a strong cue for driving a consumer to your digital platforms—a particularly powerful insight for an e-commerce retailer, or other company dependent on-site traffic.

Given this extraordinary website traffic-driving effect, consider one of direct mail’s greatest benefits for retailers…

5. Direct mail can help you control sales fluctuations.

It’s a problem facing many retailers—peaks and troughs over the course of the annual sales cycle. Some are plagued by these fluctuations more than others. For instance, in 2017 many famous American retailers—like GameStop, Best Buy, Kohl’s, and Macy’s—depended on the holiday season alone for more than one-third of their annual revenue. That’s a nail-biting dependency for any business owner, where a bad season can mean downsizing, layoffs, or worse.

Direct mail’s ability to drive consumers to online stores can be strategically leveraged to even out your sales across the year. Consider identifying the period of the year where your sales performance is worst and deploying a direct mail campaign to boost revenue through special discount events and other tactics.

6. Direct mail is emotional.

Put simply: direct mail stimulates all the emotions that can create a lasting, loyal relationship between you and your customers.

That Royal Mail study we mentioned earlier found that more than half of recipients feel more valued after receiving mail, and value something they can touch 24{c5c42d2e0b68f182649ca85478c9eaed180e8fe94e932f32b8af828d359c4a57} more than something they simply see.

We’re no strangers to the emotional punch of handwritten, direct mail here at Postalgia. We’ve written about how direct mail can turn an e-commerce transaction into a real-life relationship, and have also taken a deep dive into the ways expressing gratitude to customers or donors through direct mail can build lasting, loyal, long-term connections with key market demographics. Creating a genuine emotional connection with your brand is a time-tested way to build a business that lasts.

These are only six examples of how direct mail packs a powerful punch for any organization, whether you depend on new leads, donors, customers, or lasting loyalty. And no direct mail is more impactful than handwritten letters produced at scale—an incomparable personal touch for thousands of your stakeholders. Click here to learn how.

Want to level up your direct mail? Contact us.