In today’s fast-paced world, handwritten mail has become a lost art, overtaken by emails and text messages. Technology has allowed processes to become automated and save time, but is effective?

According to the USPS, over the past decade, the number of first-class mail items sent through the postal service has dropped by more than 50 percent. What’s ironic is that nearly 70% of mail recipients say that a handwritten letter in their mailbox would mean more to them than a text, tweet, or social media message.

Imagine receiving a stack of mail. Most of the pieces are envelopes with typed font, likely bills or sales offerings. But just one in the pile is handwritten and personally addressed! It stands out among the stack of ordinary mail and calls to be opened.

As business owners prepare to say their “thank yous” after the holiday gift-giving season, they should consider sending a handwritten thank you card in lieu of an email or text message. Doing so can make a big impact.

In a world where digital communication is the norm, handwritten mail can not only make someone smile but it can also be a powerful marketing tactic. Many business owners do not realize just how powerful offline communication can be.

Keeping in touch with customers the old-fashioned way is memorable because it is more personal. With over 200-billion emails being sent each day, a handwritten note stands out and causes the received to have a stronger connection to the sender.

Why? It takes more time to write and draft a handwritten thank you note than it does to send an email or text message…and the readers knows that. Knowing that extra time was spent thinking of them makes a big impact.

According to Help Scout, 70% of buying experiences are based on how a customer feels. When customers feel that they are appreciated and cared about, they are more likely to do business with that company and promote their products and services. So, sending handwritten letters and making customers feel good can actually lead to more loyal customers!

A study by Donors Choose even found that first time donors who received a handwritten thank you note were 38% more likely to give another donation.

In the digital world, writing handwritten letters may not come naturally and make require a little practice. To get started, consider using personalized cards that have the business branding, such as a logo on the back. When drafting a handwritten thank you, consider the tone of the message and decide whether it will be formal or informal. Use black ink, which is considered the most professional of the ink colors, and construct a message that is short and sweet (about a paragraph in length). Make it personal by adding an anecdote or inside joke and be sure to mention the reason for your note.

Sending a handwritten thank you note that is professional, personal and memorable is of little cost to the business but can benefit big!

Expressing gratitude is not just good for business — it’s good on an individual level too! Studies show that people who regularly express gratitude feel happier and healthier, so send thank yous and send them often, and don’t forget to thank customers in person, too!

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