How Can You Guarantee Your Letter Will Be Opened and Read? co-found, Mark Bullock, explains how to stand out with the handwritten thank you note.Nothing beats the written word to get attention.

If someone refers a potential client, it is certainly not unthinkable to send an email or pick up the phone and say, “Thank you.” It’s personal, and shows the referral is appreciated. But how many people actually send a thank you note?

Sending a handwritten note isn’t very time-consuming or particularly difficult to do, but it does require a bit more than typing out an email. It’s not the standard anymore, so it stands out and differentiates the sender from the rest.

If you are going to send a mailing of some kind to someone, and you want it opened, handwrite the address, etc. – on the envelope. To the recipient it’s almost impossible not to open. It doesn’t matter if the contents are printed, perceived as junk mail and discarded, not taken seriously or set to the side, a handwritten envelope will get opened.

Even if a gatekeeper screens the mail, they will open it. And if it includes a handwritten note introducing a person or business, it is far more likely to get read, and receive attention.

Handwriting a note doesn’t have to be a lost art. In fact it is very much appreciated, and is a means by which of ensuring a message gets consumed – may that message be an expression of gratitude, or an introduction, or most anything else.

If incorporating handwriting into a campaign with dozens or hundreds or thousands of mailings, get an intern, a college student, or someone with good handwriting, and who is willing to work for peanuts, to complete the task.

However, I don’t recommend outsourcing a thank-you note to a client, but even then, there is nothing saying a secretary or assistant couldn’t write something out and then have it signed by you. Alternately, use a cursive font that looks nice and is still professional, but still include some handwriting somewhere, either in:

  • your signature, and/or
  • the greeting or salutation; and/or
  • a handwritten sentence or 2 on an included sticky note.

Keep it simple. Obviously you don’t need to invest the time to write out a full 8.5” x 11” note on college-ruled paper in handwriting.

In this world of email and texting and video and all the other electronic means we have of communicating, and the difficulty in getting someone on the phone sometimes, a handwritten note will always get a person’s attention.

What success have you had in using handwriting to grab someone’s attention?

Making Sense of Google+ Profiles and Pages to Best Promote Your Business-Related Articles Mark Bullock
Telephone: (631) 754-0800


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2 Responses to How Can You Guarantee Your Letter Will Be Opened and Read?

  • avatar
    Daniel Burns says:

    Thanks for this good suggestion, Mark. I make it a practice to send a handwritten thank you note for every referral I receive, be it a former client or a COI and have had many people comment on how nice it was to receive it. In fact, one of my former clients has said that he is trying to fill a wall in his house with my notes.

  • I fully agree! I recently did a charitable event and hand wrote a note to all of my contributors. The idea was to send a show of my gratitude for their time or money. Each note included a personal description of the event and a summary of what was raised by my donor group. The result was that I created a group of people who admired the style and ‘class’ and would be return donors or advocates for me in the future. The written word is not dead!

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