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.

Get A Sample

Want to level up your direct mail? Contact us.

Tips for Effective Storytelling for Nonprofits

INTRODUCTION

Nonprofit storytelling is an essential skill to have to maintain a successful nonprofit organization. Storytelling informs your donors about how their donations are being spent and who their donations affect.

This article provides 4 essential tips to effective storytelling. You will learn how and why it is important to be intentional, how to evoke emotion and empathy, how to initiate connections, and the importance of saying thank you to your donors through storytelling.

 

1. BE INTENTIONAL

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Organization is key to effective storytelling. The first thing you want to do is create a plan for the story you want to tell. Begin by setting your goals on what you want to communicate with your audience. Next figure out the Who, What, Where, When, Why , and How of your story. Once you have a proper outline figured out, you will find it much easier to tell the story.

Be intentional about how much detail you share by keeping content short and attention grabbing. Try to only include important facts that are vital to the story. Good storytelling keeps the audience interested by finding a suitable balance between the story’s length, timing, and authentic content.

 

 

2. EVOKE EMOTION AND EMPATHY

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Keeping in mind that it is important to be intentional with the details you share, choose specific facts to build your story that will evoke emotion and empathy. Your aim is to help your donors feel personally connected to the cause, and you can do that by using the names and photos of those in your story. Videos are also a great tool in effective storytelling because it quickly visualizes and humanizes the story.

There are many ways to evoke emotion and empathy in storytelling, and this short article provides 4 examples of effective nonprofit storytelling.

 

 

3. INITIATE CONNECTIONS

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A key element of effective nonprofit storytelling is initiating connections between the story and the audience. Once the story has been told and donors become emotionally invested, you can connect them even further by explaining how their donations impact the cause. Let your audience know specifically where donations go and how they are used.

This is where you can point out how change will happen and why it matters. To compliment your story, visual aids can be a helpful tool that highlight these facts. Many Nonprofits use infographics as an effective storytelling tool. Infographics can be displayed on a variety of mediums from social media platforms to printed media.

 

 

4. CLOSE  WITH A MEANINGFUL ‘THANK YOU’

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Don’t forget about gratitude! Always remember to appreciate your donors and say thank you. Acknowledging the efforts of your donors is another key element specific to effective nonprofit storytelling. A good thank you has the ability to seal the connection your story made and builds personal relationships with donors to increase donor loyalty.

 

 

CONCLUSION

To review, always begin with a plan where you organize your facts of Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How. It is important to be intentional in your storytelling to maintain the interest and attention of viewers. Evoke emotion and empathy by providing specific details about those in the story. Things like names, photos, and videos allow donors to see the story at a personal level. Create connections between the viewer and story by explaining how donations directly affect the cause. Infographics are a great tool to put a focus on this information. Perhaps the most important element of effective nonprofit storytelling is wrapping things up with a thank you. Acknowledgment goes a long way!

 

BONUS TIP

Consistency is key! Make sure to update your donors often about how their donations are impacting the cause. Monthly impact reports, newsletters, and handwritten notes are great tools that can be personalized and sent directly to your donors. Storytelling is only one way to Increase Donor Loyalty with our Best Practices.

Want to level up your direct mail? Contact us.

Increase Donor Loyalty With Our Best Practices

One of the advantages that nonprofit organizations have is that often donors are looking for authentic personal connections with the nonprofit. Donors want to feel connected, like they are a part of something bigger, and feel like they belong.

As a nonprofit, one of the best ways to increase donor loyalty is by showing up. These days virtually can be almost as effective as in person. Donor loyalty is driven by human connection, which means personalizing your communications with them will ensure that your donors reach out to you again in the future.

This article will discuss how to increase donor loyalty by utilizing these 8 tools.

Challenges With Donor Loyalty Today

Put yourself in the shoes of your donors. You have finally selected a nonprofit organization whose mission and values align closely with your own. To begin, you choose to donate $100 to them. While your contribution may not be a massive donation, it’s still a significant contribution to the cause.

A week goes by following your donation, and you’ve received no response from the organization. Another week goes by, and still, there has been no response. You’re disappointed in the organization at first, but eventually, you simply forget about the whole thing.

While you may have forgotten about the whole ordeal, the critical thing to remember is that you will never give again.

Don’t let your nonprofit organization follow this path. Here are the top 8 ways to increase donor loyalty with our best practices!

Top 8 Ways to Increase Donor Loyalty

Even though nonprofits have notoriously stringent budgets, you’ll be happy to know that it doesn’t take much money to increase donor loyalty. Here are the top 8 ways to increase donor loyalty with our practices.

1. Connect With Your Donors Regularly
As previously mentioned, the primary method to increase donor loyalty is by staying connected. By regularly engaging with your donors, you are helping to build upon the emotional connection between them and your organization.

Some of the ways you can stay on top of your connections include:

Building a website
Updating your website weekly
Sending out newsletters
Provide video content
Post engaging content on social media

You should take the time to research your donor demographic’s preferred method of communication and hone in on developing those areas of your marketing efforts. And remember, don’t just post boring things. Find ways to engage directly with donors and personalize your efforts as much as possible.

2. Donor-Stewardship
Donor-stewardship is the process of building a relationship with your donors after they make a gift. The main aim of stewarding your donors is to encourage them to donate again. Creating a relationship with your donors will make them feel loyal and increase future fundraising.

Keep in mind the donor pyramid and varying levels of engagement within it. The different levels within the donor pyramid include:

-Occasional donors, volunteers, and event participants
-Annual and recurring donors
-Major gift donors
-Planned gift donors

3. Offer Opportunities for Your Donors to Get More Involved
Remember that your donors can contribute to your efforts more than simply donating money. Always have opportunities for your donors to get more involved with your organization, even if they don’t have the funds to donate at this time.

Here are a few different ways you can get your donors more involved with your organization:

  1. Set up a donor advisory board
  2. Ask donors to like and share social media posts
  3. Host new donor onboarding sessions
  4. Organize informal focus groups
  5. Send out surveys to donors
  6. Create a group chat on social media

4. Thank Donors in a Personal Way
It doesn’t matter what the size of the donation is. Any contributions your donor makes towards your cause should always be thanked. Believe it or not, thank-you mail can make or break a relationship with a donor.

While it can be challenging at times, writing thank-you notes to donors is a great way to show them that you appreciate them. Luckily, with the help of services like Postalgia, you can get the job done quickly and easily.

Postalgia will pen your individualized donor thank you notes on your letterhead with high-quality card stock, taking care of all details, including the address verification, postage, and mailing.

Many of us have grown accustomed to receiving countless messages by email, social media, and text every day that these days, a handwritten note is rare. Therefore, sending a handwritten thank-you card or letter makes your organization stand out and instantly creates a unique and personal connection with the recipient.

Penned by robots but remarkably human, our handwritten letters, notes, or cards to your stakeholders are written using genuine ink. We’ll print and mail these personalized handwritten donor thank-you notes for you for the ultimate convenience.

5. Develop Trust
Another surefire way to increase donor loyalty is by developing trust. To help promote confidence in and amongst your organization, consider interacting with donors face-to-face. There are plenty of different ways to help build trust in your organization. Some ideas might include:

-Hosting an in-person event for supporters
-Hosting a virtual event
-Invite donors to tour your offices
-Ask donors to join your team for a hike

6. Get as Personal as Possible
The perfect world for the nonprofit organization allows you to have a one-on-one relationship with every donor. Unfortunately, that’s not the most realistic expectation for most nonprofits.

Still, you can personalize your content as much as possible by tracking and measuring all of your interactions with donors. Some critical information you should constantly be tracking includes:

-Motivating factors
-Donor demographics or segments
-Preferred communication channels
-How new donors are driven to your organization

7. Remember It’s About Relationships, Not Donations
Instead of focusing your efforts on more donations, change your mindset to instead increase donor loyalty. Rather than funds being the ultimate end goal, you want to view your relationship with donors as an opportunity to make a more significant impact in the long run.

The more you have a two-way relationship with your donors, the more invested they will be in the growth and success of your organization.

8. Create a Donor Loyalty Program
Although you want to thank all contributions to your cause consciously, significant donors need to be thanked with a bit of extra care. Create a donor loyalty program to help maintain the momentum of your top supporters. Ideas for programs might include:

-Branded gifts
-Networking opportunities
-Special tickets to events
-Member-only events
-Exclusive member-only newsletters

Conclusion
The best ways to increase donor loyalty are linked to personalizing the experience. Getting to know your donors, what they like, and what you can do to maintain your relationship with them are critical components of the donor-stewardship.

After all, it’s about PEOPLE. There’s more to building donor loyalty than the basics, of course, but if you start doing these 8 things, you’ll be off to a good start.

Postalgia can help you deliver that personalized touch by creating physical media such as newsletters and fundraising campaigns and also produce beautifully handwritten personalized thank you letters to donors at scale.

Want to level up your direct mail? Contact us.

Finding Your Next Major Donor is as Easy as 1,2,3…4,5,6

Whether you’re running a venture-backed Startup company, a Fortune 500 telecom giant, or a mission-driven non-profit organization, you need more resources – usually cash – to build your team, grow your reach, and scale whatever it is that your organization does best.

In the context of charities, foundations, and philanthropic organizations, if you were to ask anyone who works in a fundraising capacity what their top goals are for the month, the quarter, or the year, they might answer that they are working on stewardship, donor engagement, transitioning one-time donors to monthly donation programs, or acquiring new donors, but it all boils down to one thing: Money coming in.

That boils down to a few different elements of your broader fundraising strategy:

Acquisition – How are you acquiring new donors who have never given before?
Solicitation – What is your approach to raising money from current donors?
Monthly Giving – Are you turning your one-time donors into monthly donors?
Reactivation – How are you reactivating lapsed donors?
Legacy Giving – Do you have a program that allows your donors to make an impact after they’ve passed on?
Major Giving – Can you move donors into higher and higher giving brackets?
Stewardship – How do you keep donors connected so that they stay donors?

Many fundraisers correctly focus heavily on soliciting existing donors – after all, the most likely source of new charitable dollars is past givers who are already connected to and inspired by the mission of your organization.

But donor churn – your donors deciding to stop giving to your organization – is an inevitability, not a hypothetical. Excellent organizations may experience lower levels of donor churn than the industry standard, but with The Association of Fundraising Professionals Fundraising Effectiveness Project pegging 2020 retention rates at 43.6%, that means that you can expect to keep fewer than half of your donors year over year if you run a typical fundraising operation.

Of course, the longer a donor is with your organization, the less likely they are to stop giving (hence the importance of monthly giving programs and stewardship), and a big chunk of the almost 57% of donors that didn’t come back in 2020 were first-time donors themselves (more than 80% of first time donors made one gift and never returned).

But that doesn’t change the fact that you need to replace the donors that you’re losing every year with fresh, new additions to your donor base.

So, without further ado, here are 6 tips to growing your new donor base:

1. Survey your current donors

Before you embark on an involved, time-consuming, and/or expensive process of attracting new donors through what you assume is the way to do so, it is worth asking your existing donors a few simple questions:

How did you hear about our charity, non-profit org, or foundation?
How long after did you donate?
Did you have any involvement with the organization before donating?
Why did you decide to donate to our organization?
Were you asked? If so, by whom? How? Through what channel?
What was the process like when you gave your first gift?

If you have candid conversations with some of your best donors, at different giving levels, ages, and years of involvement, you’ll find strong patterns start to emerge.

If your charitable organization is like most, you’ll find that many of your donors have a personal connection to your organization, had involvement with the organization before giving, give for similar reasons, and were asked to give in similar ways.

This crucial first step will give you a good idea of where to look for new donors, and help you in the next step as well…

2. Create a donor profile for digital advertising

Once the patterns in your donor stories have begun to emerge, you should be able to create a donor profile.

A donor profile could include demographic, geographic, ethnic, religious, professional and income information, all of which can be used to target acquisition campaigns.

For example, if you are fundraising for a children’s hospital in the downtown area of a major metropolitan city, you may discover from your donors that they are mostly suburban parents of 2 or more children, working as professionals (dentists, lawyers, accountants, etc…).

3. Create issues or opportunities-based campaigns

One of the most important things that you will learn from talking to your existing donors is what moved them to donate in the first place.

Deciding to give money is a big step for many people. Chances are that for every donor you have, you have thousands if not tens of thousands of people who support your mission in non-financial ways, even if just quietly and privately in their own minds.

You’re probably asking yourself what good that does you – a non-profit organization with mouths to feed and a mission to undertake.

But today’s donors are yesterday’s activists who were the day before’s volunteers who were themselves quiet supporters the day before that. As the proverb goes, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

In this case, it’s very difficult to fundraise from anonymous supporters that you don’t know exist, but approaching strangers and asking them for money is likely to get more doors closed in your face than not.

Asking for small expressions of support, however – like “sign this petition” or “click to email your congressman” are not big asks. What they do, however, is help you build a list of people who are supporters of your cause, and may one day financially contribute to your philanthropic endeavors. You now have the names, email addresses, and possibly addresses and phone numbers of people who support your organization enough to put up their hands and self-identify. That list is worth its proverbial weight in gold.

4. Turn stakeholders into activists

Speaking of building lists, chances are that many of your donors had interactions with your organization as non-donors before they ever cut a check.

If you’re fundraising for a school, certainly your alumni are a great place to start; but what about their parents and grandparents? If you’re a hospital foundation, studies show that over 80% of grateful patients feel good about donating to the hospital at which they received treatment, to say nothing of their relieved and grateful families.

The people that you helped are not the only stakeholders in your community.

Congregants, community members, teachers, and volunteers of all types often go on to become amongst the most prolific and involved donors in any charitable organization.

5. Create volunteer opportunities, community events, and open houses.

That’s why creating volunteer opportunities is one of the most powerful long-term acquisition strategies that you can pursue. Nothing binds a supporter to a nonprofit organization’s mission like giving their time and energy to the cause.

Ironically, giving in this way makes donors and supporters more invested than receiving does.

Bringing people together through volunteerism, showing off the good work that your organization does, and creating community through causes that people are passionate about takes a lot of work, but the result is that you will attract people who are much more mission-driven, much less transactional, and much less likely to leave after giving once.

These mission-driven people will make up the beating heart of your donor base. They are exactly who you want to make up the core of your organization, and you’ll wish that you could clone them.

6. Have your current donors bring a friend

The next best thing, however, is to have them bring like-minded friends, family members, and colleagues along for the ride.

A lot of fundraisers are afraid to ask their donors for anything other than money; their mentality is that if the donors have already given to the organization, the last thing that you want to do is impose on them in a way that risks alienating them by making them feel put upon.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Your donors are along for the ride for a reason. They are the most passionate believers in the work that you are doing, and nothing makes them feel better than having more opportunities to help in ways that don’t make them feel like they are only viewed by you as a source of more and more money.

Giving them opportunities to bring in friends – especially to community-building events – would be welcomed by your donors as a new and unique way to contribute.

And just like that, your fundraising list just got bigger.

Putting it all together

Suppose you’re fundraising for a  hospital foundation. You speak to your current donors and see patterns start to emerge. You learn that most of your donors are parents with young children, living in one of the suburbs of your city, working as young professionals. You find out that they donated because they’re passionate about combating childhood cancer, something in which your hospital excels. You learn that many of them were asked to donate after being solicited by an existing patient – a loved one, friend, or colleague. Now you have a donor profile.

You use that information to create a targeted digital campaign. The message: a former patient asks parents to please sign a petition calling on the state government to invest more in combating and treating cancers that affect children. For every signature, a major donor will donate a dollar to your hospital foundation.

You collect supporters through that campaign, and add them to your existing lists of stakeholders (which you may have at the ready, or may need to build). In addition to fundraising off of this large, curated list in future direct mail and digital campaigns, you also advertise volunteer opportunities: “Come volunteer with kids in the cancer ward.“

New faces turn up to your volunteer opportunities. You send out a direct mail piece to all existing donors, inviting them to come to a community event to raise money for a state of the art pediatric cancer treatment center, and to bring a friend, because every dollar given by a new donor will be matched by a major gifts donor.

Somewhere on your list, whether it’s one of the petition-signers who now receives your community newsletter, a new volunteer who is moved by the hopeful faces of smiling children, or someone whose colleague brought them to a fundraising gala for the first time to have their first donation matched, is your next million-dollar lifetime donor, just waiting to shake your hand and to thank you for giving them the opportunity to change lives and make a difference.

Want to level up your direct mail? Contact us.

Top 6 Non Profit Marketing Ideas

It is crucial for marketing and communications professionals to have a marketing plan, even if the budget is low. Marketing plans set goals, develop tools for communication, define the mission, and generate an effective strategy for approaching and engaging donors.

Nonprofits often have limited marketing funds, but no matter the budget size, good and strategic marketing is the most effective way to increase awareness and raise funds.

Challenges with Nonprofit Marketing Ideas Today

The biggest hurdle for nonprofit marketing ideas today is that most believe that a large budget is necessary to be effective. While having a marketing budget is important, much can be done with a small budget.

Here are the top 6 nonprofit marketing ideas that will help boost your marketing footprint today!

Top 6 Nonprofit Marketing Ideas

A giant marketing budget is not necessary in order to be effective. For nonprofits, this concept is especially true. Here are the top 6 nonprofit marketing ideas.

 

1. Build a Website and Update it Weeklyunnamed (13)

Your website is your first impression to donors, volunteers, employees, and supporters. It provides information about your cause and purpose, as well as statistics and stories.

Maintaining a weekly blog on your website will help keep your audience engaged with your nonprofit’s news and success stories. Fresh weekly content also increases your relevance to search engines and brings in new visitors which is the best low cost way to increase awareness and find new donors.

2. Send Out Newsletters

Donors always like to know what’s new in your nonprofit. Thankfully, you can share nice and exciting content, your monthly successes, numbers, etc., by sending out newsletters. A very convenient way to create a newsletter is to draw much of the content from your weekly blog content.

This can be done via email, or for increased engagement, Postalgia can print and mail your newsletters directly to your donors.

 

3.  Engage Your Audience with Video Content

Videos are visually stimulating and dynamic. They can boost your audience engagement because they can be educational, emotional, and easy to share. As a nonprofit, you can make testimonial videos. Building trust is the key to donations.

Content marketing is all about building trust and long-term relationships. Provide people with exciting and valuable information instead of selling to them.

Additionally, Google loves videos. Videos boost the time spent by site visitors. The longer the site has been online, the greater the trust it gains from search engines and the more relevant it appears to search engines. Video-embedded websites are 53 times more likely to appear first in Google searches.

 

A cool app to make easy videos is Vidyard.

 

4. Have a Social Media Marketing Budget

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Promoting posts on social media is an often overlooked yet effective way to increase your views without breaking the bank. No matter the size of your organization, it can be helpful to designate a specific amount to promote your cause on social media. Your presence on the Internet will be established, and you will reach a broader audience. You can acquire 1,000 views for under $10 on most social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube). When a  post gains a bit more traction with an account’s followers it is a good sign that it will be worthwhile to boost views with a small post promotion.

 

5. Post Engaging Content on Social Media

 

Your organization can use all its social media channels to raise awareness for upcoming events and raise funds for your cause. Increase social media shares by posting visual content such as video, images and breaking news. Posts visual representations of data tend to be more virally shared than text alone. You can also create contests or polls that allow your followers to vote.

A regular schedule of events gives supporters something to look forward to consistently, so their involvement remains high. In addition to bringing new people into your organization, events are also opportunities to introduce them to your cause.

 

6. Thank Your Donors in a Creative and Original Way

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Thank-you mail can make or break a relationship with a donor? Writing thank-you notes to donors is a great way to show them that you appreciate them, but it can be challenging.

By using some sample thank-you donation letters or a service like Postalgia, you can get the job done quickly and easily. We will pen your individualized donor thank you notes on your letterhead with high quality card stock. We take care of the address verification, postage, and mailing.

Show sincere appreciation and leave a good impression next time by saying thank you to donors, volunteers, and suppliers with a thoughtful, handwritten message. Penned by robots but remarkably human, our handwritten letters, notes, or cards to your stakeholders are written using genuine ink. We’ll print and mail these personalized handwritten donor thank-you notes for you for ultimate convenience.

What’s more original than a handwritten letter? These days, a handwritten note is rare because many of us have grown accustomed to receiving countless messages by email, social media, and text every day. A handwritten thank-you card or letter not only stands out but also instantly creates a unique and personal connection with the recipient.

Show your appreciation with handwritten donor thank-you notes.

 

Conclusion

The best nonprofit marketing ideas boil down to having a plan in place regardless of the budget size. Getting to know your donors, what they like, and what they would like to see is key to growing your marketing reach.

Want to level up your direct mail? Contact us.

The Benefit of Thanking Your Customers

Gratitude. It’s such a simple word to say. In reality, it has so much meaning. And it means different things to different people. It can even anchor your business strategy. One thing about gratitude, though, is that it takes practice. The more you practice offering thanks to those you interact with, the happier and better satisfied you (and the recipient) become. That’s good for your business – and you.

Showing gratitude to others is one way you can make them feel appreciated, which is something that offers surprising rewards if you’re willing to initiate. In fact, the art of thanking others can be what sets you apart and builds loyalty among customers, donors, and employees alike. Here’s what you need to know about thanking others, the psychology behind it, and how to maximize its value for your business.

How You Benefit From Gratitude

Gratitude isn’t just about your customers, it can offer big benefits for you. Thanking someone is a small thing that breeds enormous results. The more frequently you practice thanking others, the more thankful you feel about your own life, at least according to Harvard Medical School.

As you take on a grateful mindset, you’ll begin feeling thankful for more and more things. If you have trouble verbalizing gratitude, you might begin by creating a gratitude journal or writing thank-you cards to people in your circle. The more you practice these actions, the easier it will be to offer your thanks to your customers and tell people around you that you are thankful for them.

In business, this isn’t only for customer appreciation. You can show appreciation for employees or even individuals (even vendors) who have given their money, time, and talent to support your business.

Psychology Of A Thank You

Thanking your customers will make a huge difference to your bottom line if you leverage the power of expressing gratitude. in addition to the personal benefits that practicing gratitude and thanking others offer, you’ll enjoy the benefit of more loyal customers.

Why? One big factor is that offering and receiving thanks is actually less common than you’d think. According to a recent study published in Psychological Science, most people underestimate the value of saying thank you – so they don’t do it.

Researchers discovered that when people thank someone, they underestimate the positive sentiments that their statement of appreciation elicits. That might explain why some individuals don’t express their gratitude more frequently.

In several experiments, participants picked someone who positively influenced them and anticipated how the recipient would react to receiving a letter of thanks. The researchers sent letters to the recipients of the thank-you letter and asked them to evaluate the individual thanking them.

According to the survey results, those expressing gratitude significantly underestimated how positively the recipient would rate them. They notably underestimated the competency rating, indicating that looking silly or inept might be a significant barrier to expressing thanks.

What Does Cultivating Gratitude Mean for Businesses?

“Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.” – Aesop.

When you thank your customers, employees, and others you come in contact with, it makes them FEEL good. If you do it consistently, those good feelings become something they associate with you and your business. They will seek out those experiences over interactions with other people because of how your company makes them feel.

In other words, it creates loyalty.

People will often turn down higher-paying jobs if they feel appreciated and valued in their current jobs. The same holds for customers. They will drive out of their way and across town to do business with a shop or store that makes them feel appreciated rather than going to one nearby that does not.

Even with e-commerce businesses, customers will return time and again to websites that make them feel appreciated rather than going to those that make them feel like a nameless, faceless number instead of a valued customer. The way you make people feel matters. Thanking them is a crucial method for making them feel valued and appreciated by you and your business.

Practicing Gratitude in Business

When you make people associated with your business feel appreciated, they will be much more loyal to your business than those who do not. This means expressing gratitude is an incredible way to build loyalty for your business.

Here are a few ideas on how to make your customers feel appreciated:

  • Add bonus items or small extras to packages when delivering items.
  • Offer free products or samples to customers.
  • Start a loyalty program that provides discounted or free items with repeat purchases.
  • Provide discounts on future purchases.
  • Offer employee appreciation benefits.
  • Spotlight customers, employees, etc. in weekly newsletters or social posts.

Another easy way to express gratitude is with a handwritten thank-you card. It may seem like a simple gesture, but it makes an impression on your audience. In fact, a handwritten thank-you note carries far more weight than you may realize because:

  • People don’t deliberately say thanks all that often.
  • A handwritten thank-you card is more likely to stand out in the mail.
  • Handwritten cards are more likely to be read and remembered.
  • The fact that someone wrote the information makes gratitude appear more authentic.
  • It’s an easy method to show customer appreciation. And we can make it even easier for you.

Because you practice gratitude, show appreciation, and give thanks, you continue to enjoy the mental health and physical benefits that being grateful provides. Plus, you enjoy the benefits of loyalty from your customers and employees. It’s a real win for businesses and individuals from all walks of life.

Of course, you can thank your customers and employees in many ways. But the most important thing is to actually thank them. More importantly, show them you are grateful for their business and be thankful for things each day as they happen. Do this consistently enough, and over time you will enjoy greater customer loyalty as your business grows.

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How to Make a Thank-You Note More Memorable

Thank-you cards are a straightforward concept: they convey gratitude for a kind deed, statement, or gift. For the writer, the formality of a handwritten thank you might be overwhelming. Many individuals underestimate the impact of a handwritten thank-you note. With so many new forms of communication, it seems like a hassle to do anything more than send an email, text message or phone call.

A handwritten thank you note, on the other hand, conveys far more. It says that you took the time to sit down and say thanks to those who did something that helped you out. A handwritten thank-you card is the perfect way to express gratitude to someone, regardless of the context.

We understand that many individuals struggle with deciding what to put in a thank-you note. Many folks think that the wording must be flawless before it is signed, sealed, and sent, which might lead to procrastination on the part of the writer. However, a poorly-worded letter brimming with sincere passion is preferable to one that was never written in the first place.

We know that people often struggle with what to put in a thank-you card. In an attempt to make the process of writing personal notes easier, we’ve compiled a short list of instructions to make sure you get it right with your thank-you note – even if you use a service to write them at scale.

Use a Friendly Tone

As previously said, writing a thank-you note creates a more personal connection with your recipient than sending an email or text. However, if you use the wrong tone, you can harm the relationship you are trying to create.

If you write in a formal manner, you run the risk of creating separation between yourself and your customer. Instead, try and maintain a friendly and approachable tone. Forget about formalities, even if you’re writing on behalf of a company or to a business contact. Consider how you would express yourself if the receiver were present and conversing with you in person. Use ordinary turns of phrase rather than overly complicated or advanced jargon simply because it sounds impressive.

Remember to be genuine. Even if you maintain your tongue firmly in cheek in your note, humour might get lost in the written word. If you don’t know the receiver well, forgo humour and communicate from the heart. Don’t go overboard, since gushing might come across as insincere; but write with genuine thanks.

Maintain a Positive Approach

Some gestures, no matter how noble the intent, might fall flat at times. You know you should thank them for what they’ve done for you, but something didn’t seem quite right. For example, the customer wasn’t all that polite, or a donor gave less than you had hoped. Perhaps an employee or volunteer worked extra hours, but you did not receive the desired outcome. A thank-you note is not the appropriate venue for conveying what went wrong. Instead, concentrate on what you liked about the gesture.

For what it’s worth, there may never be a good time to express your displeasure with the gesture. It is frequently preferable to think long game and maintain excellent relationships as a result. Criticize individuals for their efforts, and they will be less willing to volunteer for you in the future.

Leave Out Any Sales Pitch

The purpose of a thank-you message is to express your thanks. Refrain from turning your message into a sales pitch. When drafting thank-you cards for professional objectives, this step might be quite challenging. We know that communicating with customers is often about marketing or promoting, but you’re better off resisting the urge.

When you include any kind of a sales pitch in your thank-you card, it contradicts your original goal and makes your note appear disingenuous. Sales pitches should be reserved for marketing campaigns. They have no place in thank-you notes or cards.

Mention Specifics

To personalise each thank-you card, it is critical that you include precise information in your expression of gratitude. Do you want to say what this individual has done to deserve this gratitude? You want to personalize their acts as much as possible, to avoid your thank-you coming off as generic or cookie-cutter in nature. Mention a specific transaction or the circumstance. Reference as many details as possible and why they are important. It is rewarding to know that someone appreciates you.

Remember: the impact they had may not be apparent to them, so it is critical you get specific so they can connect the dots. Examples of how to add detail include: “You really went above and beyond during our latest fundraising drive” or “I appreciate you referring XXXXX to me.”

End Your Note Warmly

Make sure the way you conclude your thank-you note makes a good impression. Your closing remarks should be friendly and personal. Both “Warmest regards” and “With gratitude” are safe bets. Try “With love,” or “Love and appreciation” if you’re extremely close to the recipient. If you’re communicating in a religious context, “God bless you” or “Blessings” may be appropriate.

Reduce the number of official sign-offs to a bare minimum. While “With Regards” and “Yours Truly” are appropriate business letter closings, they will seem cold and uncaring on a thank-you note.

Write Your Thank-You Note Today

Your thank-you note should be short, sweet and sincere. Long messages sound like a burden to read and might seem insincere. Don’t write lengthy stories in these notes; simply convey your gratitude without fanfare or fuss.

After all, the purpose of a thank-you note is to express your gratitude. Keep your message short and personalized, limit the sales pitch if at all possible, use specific and clear details, end with a warm sign off. If you keep these proven approaches in mind, before you know it you will be a total pro when it comes to writing thank-you notes.

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Fanmail Friday: Getting Attention With Custom Letters

Every day at Postalgia, we help clients engage their target audience by creating handwritten, personalized letters at scale. We have a fundamental belief that to stand out from the steady stream of impersonal digital correspondence, nothing beats a handwritten letter mailed in an envelope.

But we also like to have fun. So when our rockstar social media manager EmMa came up with a brilliant idea to do both, we knew it was worth doing.

Enter Fan Mail Fridays.

The concept was fairly simple: one of our Postalgia team members would choose a celebrity they admire, then write a letter to them telling them why. After the team member dictated the letter, we would then use our proprietary technology to write out a handwritten letter to that celebrity.

As the name suggests, every Friday EmMa creates a short video about the letter, including an interview with the team member. We would then post the video to our social media channels, tagging the celebrity in the process.

The results were amazing. Not only did our followers enjoy the videos, the the famous recipients took notice of our team’s fanmail.

The former captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Darcy Tucker, responded to Leor’s letter about how he loved watching Tucker play by sharing the letter on his Instagram story feed:

 

A letter from one of our amazing software developers, Chris, was liked by GRAMMY-nominated electronic music producer Haywyre:

 

Motivational speaker Spencer West responded with a comment to our teammate Stuti’s letter of appreciation to Mr. West:

 

And Kim’s Convenience star (and X-Wing pilot) Paul Sun-Hyung Lee liked Abbie’s letter thanking him for being an inspiration and a role model. Mr. Lee also took the time to comment back:

 

Despite being constantly tagged by fans every day, many of the celebrities that received these letters took the time to respond.

Why? Because handwritten letters get noticed. We see it time and again with our non-profit, small business and charitable clients. In a crowded field of impersonal electronic messages, a handwritten letter stands out.

Handwritten letters may take a little more planning and effort (less so when you have robots helping you), but the upside is huge.
Our FanMail Friday is just one example. Imagine what impact you can have on your audience.

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7 Most Common Business Thank You Note Mistakes

It’s common knowledge that a thank-you note is an essential part of business etiquette, but believe it or not, there are many ways to do it wrong. As we have written about here and here, there is nothing more effective than a handwritten thank you card when it comes to winning new clients and increasing sales in your business. And in today’s digital age, sending a printed note is even more important.

However, many business owners don’t take advantage of this key business practice to the degree that they should. There are many reasons for this that we will discuss in this article, but today I want to focus on the most common business thank-you note mistakes.

While we are big fans of thank-you notes as a general rule, misunderstandings over proper etiquette and even when to send a card can weaken or even harm customer relationships. To avoid the seven most common thank-you note mistakes, read on.

Not sending the note soon enough

The sooner your company sends a note after any transaction or touchpoint, the more likely it will be read and remembered by the person who received it. It might seem like a small thing, but in today’s busy world where people get hundreds or thousands of emails every day (and forget most of them), this simple step can make all the difference.

If your company is in the habit of sending thank you notes more than 72 hours after every job or transaction, chances are that many recipients will forget who sent it and why. The sooner a personalized note arrives, the higher its impact – especially if they received hundreds of other generic emails, text messages and memes in between.

Sending a generic note without any personalization or connection
We get it. A form letter is easy to replicate and send out. Just print and mail. If that’s all the company is doing with a thank-you note, it may not cut it. Sure, a form letter might work for the first few customers who receive it, but after that, recipients will see it for what it is: an automated gesture to boost your business’s sales without any genuine care or connection behind it.

Instead, make sure your thank-you note is tailored to the individual. Personalization will inspire a response and have recipients seeing your business as an interested party in their lives, not a faceless vendor sending out blank cards for marketing purposes. Include as many details as you can, including the customer’s name, a mention of the product or service and the date of the transaction.

Making The Thank-You Note All About You

The intended purpose of a thank-you note is to make customers feel appreciated, especially if you already provided an exceptional product or level of service. However, what you want to avoid is making them feel like they are getting an advertisement from your business.

That means the focus of the thank-you note should remain squarely on the customer, not on your company. Sure, you should acknowledge the importance of your products and services – indirectly. But a thank-you note is not an opportunity to brag about what makes your company great.

Instead, think of this: if someone did something nice for you (e.g., bought a product or service from you), would you want that person to talk about him or herself the whole time? Probably not. The same is true for thank-you notes: make sure they focus on the customer and their needs, not you.

Going On Too Long

When it comes to thank-you notes, less is more. You want to keep your thank-you note short and sweet – preferably less than 200 words. Long paragraphs and multiple pages are too much, even for a wonderful customer. If you feel that you want to say more than you have room for in your note, that’s okay. Just send a shorter thank-you note and explain that there will be more follow up in the future.

Remember that every touchpoint creates an opportunity to strengthen (or weaken) the impression your customer has of your company – and you. So make sure that every word of your thank-you note is carefully chosen and adds value in some way.

Not Saying Anything Of Value

This is related to the last point. When you are sending a thank-you note, you should still be doing it for a reason. A good thank-you note can communicate a lot in few words. Use this as an opportunity to communicate what is important to you: trust, quality, originality, customer experience or meaning – to name a few areas.

This is an opportunity to express the values you hold dear and the beliefs you stand behind. If you’re not saying anything of value, then your customers probably aren’t getting anything out of reading your notes.

Writing An Email Instead Of A Handwritten Note

I doubt you are surprised that the team behind Postalgia would recommend handwritten notes. But admitted bias aside, there is value to sending your customers a physical, handwritten piece of mail.

There is a sense of appreciation and care that can just come through in the touch, feel and use of an actual thank-you note. It’s tactile. It feels good to receive it. It takes effort to send it. It’s memorable.

While email is generic and unremarkable, handwritten notes are the opposite. So if you have the time and ability to send a thank-you note in person, then your customers will appreciate it. Not only does this show that you care – which is what a thank-you note is all about – but also that you took the time to put effort into their appreciation of your business.

Forgetting to send out thank-you notes altogether

Lastly, one of the big mistakes is not sending out customer thank-you notes at all. This is a big no-no. Your customers deserve to know that their business means something to you.

If it just slips your mind, then make sure you get on top of things as soon as possible, preferably within 72 hours of the customer interaction, as per tip number one. And don’t tell yourself that they “won’t care”. They will.

Instead, think of the thank-you note as an opportunity. With just a few words, you can express gratitude for their business and all the ways it truly matters to you. Be genuine, be brief, and be grateful. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, just focus on what’s important: your customers’ happiness.

Wrapping Up

Sending thank-you notes is a powerful tool for deepening your relationship with your customers. But it is important to do it right. By avoiding these seven mistakes, you can help ensure that you get the most out of this important activity.

Of course, the most important step is resolving to include thank-you notes as a key part of your sales process. Are there any other examples of common mistakes that you see small businesses make when writing their thank-you notes? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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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.

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