Take a moment and think about the last time you received a handwritten letter. Was it a month ago? Three months ago? A year? Can you remember one at all?
If you do, it was likely a birthday card, or a greeting card commemorating some other notable event. Penned thank you cards may also pop up occasionally. These are the last bastion of personalized, handwritten mail. Even holiday cards, once a mainstay of the form, have almost entirely transitioned to generic, mass-printed mailers. It would seem that the personally-penned message has reached the end of its road.
To put the situation in context, consider this statistic, noted in a report published by the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission. In 2017, Americans were receiving, on average, only 10 pieces of personal mail per year. The vast lion’s share consisted of junk mail and other advertising, bills, business correspondence, packages, and periodicals.
With so little personal correspondence coming through the mail, is it any wonder that handwritten messages are rare? The handwritten letter is becoming a lost art, and while many lament the loss, this can be a boon for businesses.
When Something is Rare, Its Value Increases
Today, personal correspondence has gone digital. Emails, text messages, and social media posts account for nearly all of our written communications with family and friends. They’re quick and easy to write, require very little effort to draft and cost nothing to send.
Contrast this against a handwritten note. These require a fairly significant investment to create. First, the sender must select a card or some other stationery. Then, without the benefit of autocorrect or undo, they’ll spend minutes or hours hand-crafting their message, placing it in an envelope, and making a trip to the post office to buy a stamp and mail the letter.
Handwritten mail is rare, and the effort required to create it is as well. So when someone makes that effort on your behalf, you truly understand what you mean to them. The perceived value of the letter increases dramatically.
It’s easy to rattle out thank you cards using email or a text message. But this cheapens the meaning. When someone takes the time to handwrite them and then post them through the mail, the depth of appreciation intended conveys more effectively.
Handwritten Letters are More Personal
One email looks the same as every other. A text message is a text message is a text message. But a letter that was written by hand could only come from the sender. This makes the missive far more present and personal.
There’s a warmth that’s conveyed with a hand-penned message. The recipient will know that the note was crafted specifically for them and that the sender cared enough to put some effort into creating it. It’s a personal touch that bridges the distance and delivers the immediacy of the sender’s thoughts. It creates a personal connection as if the writer were speaking to the reader face to face.
Handwritten Notes Get Opened
A recent study mentioned in the Harvard Business Review found that it’s common for business email accounts to receive over 100 emails a day. People rarely have the time to weed through that many emails, so unexpected messages often get missed. Spam filters make this problem even worse.
Junk mail is just as common in physical inboxes. Frequently, mail will get thrown in the bin, unread if it looks even vaguely promotional.
Conversely, hand-addressed, handwritten letters, are unexpected. They cut through the clutter that dominates corporate mailboxes. They pique the recipient’s interest. They get opened. In fact, hand-addressed letters using real ink enjoy a 99% open rate!
Businesses That Send Handwritten Notes Differentiate Themselves from Their Competition
What makes people feel loved and cared for? Research conducted at Claremount Graduate University found that it’s “small gestures in everyday life” that make people feel appreciated.
Businesses want their customers to feel cared for and acknowledged. Something as simple as a handwritten note sent in the place of a generic, mass-printed mailer shows the customer that they’re worthy of the extra effort.
Whether you’re sending thank you cards, announcing a new product or service, making a special offer, or searching for new prospects, sending a handwritten message will create an immediate emotional connection and will go a long way toward distinguishing you in your recipient’s mind.
How You Can Take Advantage of the Value of Handwritten Notes Without the Effort
It should be clear that handwritten notes are a powerful way for businesses to build value into important communications and greatly increase the rates at which these messages are viewed. However, the very thing that makes them valuable — the time and effort involved in their creation — is exactly why businesses avoid them.
It’s unrealistic for an organization looking to send out 100,000 customer appreciation messages to craft them all by hand. The cost in manhours is prohibitive, and the weeks it would take to write them is unrealistic.
It’s far less expensive and dramatically faster to type the message once and then have 100,000 copies printed. Any benefit the business might gain by handwriting these missives is far eclipsed by the efficiency gains using a standard printer.
But what if you could have both?
Simply Noted offers an automated handwriting service that enlists a fleet of handwriting robots to scale your personalized, handwritten notes to any amount required.
Let’s say you’re looking to write a thank you card for business. You can have us scan and recreate your handwriting, or choose from a large selection of handwriting styles. Our robots write out your thank you cards, in real-time, with actual ballpoint pens. To customers, our robot-written cards are indistinguishable from the real thing. We can recreate your signature as well.
Additionally, you can opt to have your note placed inside of a hand-addressed envelope. We can link your mailing lists with our robots to expedite the creation of hand-lettered addresses.
Simply Noted lets you deliver the immediacy and the emotional impact of a handwritten message without the need to handwrite them. Old school meets new school in the best possible way. Leaving a lasting impression with your customers has never been easier.