When everyone zigs, you zag.  It’s what the greatest companies and marketers make a habit of doing.

I’m old enough to remember running down to my college computer lab with excitement to see if I had an email.  It was awesome.  The black screen with white text on it was a thing to be get excited about.  It was the experience more than the actual message.  It was memorable.

Everyday companies talk about the consumer experience and how being memorable and entertaining while delivering the value your product or service offers is where the magic happens.

But we rarely see it in our everyday encounters with companies.

We get emails galore.  Email updates, email follow-ups, email newsletters and so forth.  Then there’s the communications on Facebook, the Tweets and the Pinning.  You hear the words “more connected” and “engaging” tossed around to a point where people begin to think they’re missing something if they don’t run with the herd.

Last week I received a communication device from a company that did what no other social media platform would have been able to do and they really got my attention.  Not the kind of attention where I’m amused by that new viral video, but the kind where I felt connected and appreciated on a personal level.

So what was it?

It was a simple handwritten postcard.

Here’s the best part: Aweber, an email firm, sent it to me.  Awesome.

Last week I made a call into Aweber with some questions regarding the combination of lead nurturing campaigns I was developing.  The customer service was great and I got the help I needed.  What happened next was unexpected.  It was memorable.

I received a postcard from the Aweber rep.  The postcard had their logo on one side and on the other side it was a hand written note from the customer service member I spoke with letting me know if I needed anything else, he was there to help.

Aweber Postcard

Holy shit!  I’m writing an article because I received a handwritten postcard in the mail.  This would have been laughable 10 years ago.

Would I be writing an article if they emailed me a survey or a personalize email, or even a personal video from the rep.  The answer is no.

But receiving a physical, simple handwritten postcard in that old wood and plastic box at the end of my driveway!  Wow.

It got my attention in a meaningful way, which is very difficult to do in today’s overabundance of digital communication, unless of course you decide to zig while everyone else zags.

So what can you do?  Start by looking at your marketing and sales process.  Are there simple, cost effective spots you can fill with more personal engagement?  Try to fill those gaps with some creativity and watch your customer’s jaws drop at even the most basic forms of gratitude and engagement.

Are there things in your industry that have become so common that everyone chases after it as if they need are falling behind by not doing the same things?  Maybe you should completely go the other direction and give yourself an opportunity to stand out.  Yes, it’s a risk at times, but done with some thought it could really pay off big.

Thank you Aweber for the experience, the irony and the foresight to realize even though you’re in the business of helping make communication easier through email, there’s something special about that personalized touch of a handwritten note that we simply cannot explain!