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The lost art of letter writing

It’s been called ‘slow communication’, labelled as ‘snail mail’ and even considered ‘far too formal in this modern society’. Nonsense. The art of letter writing may well be almost lost, but just like those activists fighting for the protection of the rhino (well sort of), here we are, single-handedly fighting for the revival of the letter.

When was the last time you got an email that had you sobbing on the sofa like a sad dejected teenager? Ok so that might not be the best analogy to use, but what we’re trying to say is that with letters follows emotion. No matter how heart-warming the message, and how lovingly crafted the prose, the volume of emails we get in our inbox each day often mean many of those digital messages are merely background noise.

A handwritten letter however, sends a powerful memo, especially when it’s from a business. Take Dan Taylor, founder of the Giving Card, a discount card programme that lets you save money whilst supporting your chosen charity. Shortly after the launch of his company, Dan decided to hire a calligrapher and send out 100 handwritten letters to CEOs on his behalf, to capture their attention. The results were overwhelmingly positive for what was essentially in his words ‘a cold contact’. Many applauded at the surprise and delight of receiving a handwritten letter in an age of electronically generated emails, whilst others enthused over the beautiful handwriting, which led them to read the letter and further encouraged them to respond. This seemingly small act has helped Dan’s company standalone from the crowd and has, to this day, inspired one of his brands guiding principles ‘the pen is often mightier than the e-mail!’

With Dan’s story in mind, how could letter writing work well for your business? Well, how about a follow-up note. Send a card after meeting for the first time and you’ll stand out as someone who goes beyond the norm, because it’s not a standard gesture. Or even a thank you letter. Take the time to show you’re grateful for your customers’ loyalty or recent purchases, and in turn they’ll appreciate the time you took to pen your thanks. It’s all about the element of surprise, and whilst a branded birthday card is nice, the handwritten note you receive out of the blue is far more poignant than one received in the later months of December.

To put it simply, physical objects forge deeper neural connections and so readers (potential customers) will undoubtedly feel some sort of bond with your business. It’s human nature. 

 

What are your thoughts on getting more personal with letters? Let us know with a comment below! 

Comments

Nice Article...
Bryony Bishop
02 Oct 2017 09:35
There's little better than receiving a hand written letter in the post!
Su Mwamba
03 Oct 2017 04:29
I include a short handwritten note (on a small card printed with one of my designs) with every order I send out. I think it's important to remind the buyer that there is a real person involved with their transaction who genuinely appreciates their custom and cares that their order reaches them safely. In a world where online shoppers are deluged with auto-confirmations and notifications I do think the personal touch - however small - makes a difference.
Jack
03 Oct 2017 08:45
it's so true, 'e' greetings aren't a patch on good ol' fashioned snail mail cards and letters
Daisy
31 Oct 2017 19:17
Hand written is always best. I still send handwritten postcards to friends and family when I'm away.
Su Mwamba - I love your idea of including a handwritten note with each order - a real personal touch.
TL
16 Nov 2017 12:41
I agree with everyone, hand-written means so much more

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