Is a Handwritten Note More Powerful than Email?

Today, most business owners turn to email as the fastest and easiest form of communication with customers. Whether it’s a quick thank-you note to a prospective client or an invite to an upcoming event, email is a great way to reach hundreds, if not thousands, of people all at once.

But this raises the question of whether or not email is truly the best way to stay in touch with your customers. Could a handwritten note be more effective? A handwritten note offers a personal touch, while email can often seem impersonal. Plus, if a customer receives a handwritten note thanking them for their business, don’t you think they’d remember you more than if you’d only sent a quick email?

According to MP Mueller’s article on the New York Times website, he and his colleagues saw great success from sending handwritten notes to clients. He said, “I believe that sending handwritten notes, as either prelude or follow-up to a presentation, helps us establish that our business gives clients the service and attention they deserve — and has helped us win new accounts. Last summer, after a [winning] pitch to a large financial institution in New York, our contacts specifically thanked us for our notes.”

The article went on to quote Amy Ewing, an assistant manager of a store that tried the handwritten note approach. She said, “It’s our only way to compete with some of the bigger places around us. It’s nice to get mail these days — that never happens, you know? To have your name on it, say we remember you, we want to see you again — it’s really effective.”

I spoke with Bryan Laurienti, co-owner of BBB Systems, about his thoughts on written notes vs. email and he said he believes finding the balance between the two is important for any business. “Handwritten notes are an effective and personal way to market to your clients and thank them for their patronage, but email is also an essential marketing tool that shouldn’t be overlooked. Using both mail and email to reach customers will ensure you’re pleasing people who prefer a personal touch and those who would rather get a quick and convenient email.”

Tell us: Do you still send your customers handwritten thank-you notes or do you rely on email for all communication?

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