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Handwritten Mail Gets Opened

Updated: Dec 11, 2022

People are desensitized to full email boxes and boring direct mail.

Most people’s email accounts are a cluttered mess of ads, social media notifications, desperate messages for new sales appointments, various news posts, and great quantities of finely crafted subject lines that haven’t been opened. Yet, one study found 99% of people who received a handwritten direct-mail note or envelope quickly opened the mail.

Woman handwrites by water.
Handwritten addresses and cards help connect for Q4.

That pretty much sums up the situation. While email is great for high-volume digital blasts, the sticking ratio is pretty low as people become desensitized to the messaging and annoyed at always full email boxes. They generally don’t care – unless the email is from a friend or known person, or it represents a current interest that’s being pursued. Ignore. Scroll. Click. Delete.

More enraging, your great marketing might redirect to the spam folder without even getting a glimpse on the main page. Do your emails get a rule to redirect them to the junk folder?

Digital marketing today is not easy, and it’s more about attracting readers than dumping messages into an email box making unsolicited offers. It’s complicated and requires art and science.

Getting a handwritten notice in the mail is easy. Easy to see. Easy to open. Easy to get your message across. That’s why many professionals who depend on generating good sales leads are using handwritten direct-mail services.

They Get Opened

Not only do direct mail pieces get opened, they have impact. A U.S. Postal Service study found that 54% of people surveyed tried a new product or business in a six-month period in 2020 because they received a mailpiece.

Mail is one of the most effective ways to personally connect with customers, according to the 2019 Advertising Effectiveness and Age study.

When the goal is to get a message to someone, a handwritten envelope or greeting card will get through apprehensions or annoyances and deliver the message.

In some regions of the country, handwritten envelopes significantly outperform standard direct mail because of cultural and social sensitivities.

They Make Emotional Connections

A handwritten envelope shows you care enough to write and that for you it’s personal. You care.

You’re not auto-typing to 900 social media friends, some you’ve never met. You’re sending a message to a person with a name.

People want honest communication with other real people. A handwritten approach is a first step in the process. The unstated message is that the person you’re connecting with matters.

They stand out – and so will you

Because they’re unusual, people notice and respond to handwritten envelopes and messages. The unstated message is that someone took the time to personally connect, and, like receiving an invitation or a greeting card, the action triggers an emotional connection that relates back to the sender.

The novelty alone of receiving handwritten communication tickles the brain with newness stimulation. You will stand out as the sender.

It’s classy

The person who takes the time to send a handwritten mailpiece reflects a level of concern and professionalism not often seen in a rushed, get-me-the-sale reality. It’s more about the recipient – the customer – not the offer or the sale. It’s about knowing and meeting the customer’s needs and saying it personally.

Additionally, when you remember a birthday, anniversary, or other life event you might track on your customers, it’s more than an impression, it’s a touch point. It shows you care more about the person than yourself.

It creates surprise

Novelty sparks interest and disrupts brain patterns in positive ways. When you send a reminder or a greeting card, you send something of yourself, and you generate positive experiences that surprise and delight your prospects and customers.

When you surprise and delight prospects and customers with a spontaneous offer of kindness, you usually exceed their expectations and improve your overall brand experience with them.

It isn’t a special promotion or exclusive deal. There is no “catch.” Customers are simply treated to something of value.

Segment your customers into those who buy from you regularly, those who infrequently buy from you, or those who don’t or no longer buy from you. A small random token of gratitude, good wishes, or a simple gift of a greeting can spark a stronger emotional connection to you that may stimulate more relationship and more business.


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