When it comes to old school business practices, one that really stands out to me is the use of the good old fashioned United States Postal Service. Most of the mail that people receive these days is junk mail, at least I know that is the case for me–and that makes handwritten, personal mail stand out so much more. It has always felt good to get something personal in the mail, but I think that rings true more now than ever.
Maybe you’re wondering when it would be appropriate to send something in the mail on behalf of your business. Let’s go old school to answer that question. Here are some occasions that would lend themselves quite nicely to a handwritten note:
- You’ve just signed on with a client (a welcome note)
- You find out that a client referred you to someone else (a thank you note)
- ”It’s the Holiday season” (a Holiday card)
- Random (just a note to say how much you appreciate the business relationship)
That is just a handful of reasons to write a note to a client. Now compare the impact of a handwritten note in any of the above scenarios to an email that said the same thing. In my opinion, the handwritten note would have a much greater impact and would make a much more lasting impression than the email any day of the week. Chances are, the person might open the email and spend all of 20 seconds reading it over, and then they would forget about it. But getting something in the mail is a sensory experience. You’re sifting through your pile of junk when you see a nice little envelope with the handwriting of an actual human being on it. It has your name on it, spelled correctly. You carefully open the envelope, take out the note that is inside, and read it. Some people might throw it in the trash right away, but a lot of people would probably keep it on their desk for a little while, and would likely show it to someone else in their office. The tangibility of it, the personal, humanness of it, is almost shocking today’s world. It’s a pleasant surprise that people won’t soon forget.
The value of a handwritten note being delivered via snail mail is one that all businesses should consider, but I think it’s even more effective for companies that provide technology-related/internet-related products or services. Because the nature of what they are providing is not tangible, the human side of things is very important to emphasize with clients to remind them that they are working with real people that care about them on a personal level.
This is a perfect example of when old school business can be used to set apart a company from the rest of the pack. Now embrace it. Walk or drive down to the post office, buy yourself some stamps, and write a note or two. Put them in your mailbox. And smile, because you just went old school, and your business will surely reap the benefits down the road. I can guarantee it.