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The Pen is Mightier Than the Email

Letters Are Unique!

Today, I received well over 100 messages in my inbox. I must be important! I must be an often thought of person!

I mean, who else has hundreds of messages delivered to them daily? I thought my ears were burning. But am I really that special?

Of course not, I would be silly to think that I was special because I received a ton of emails. Who doesn’t? Do you know how many hand-written letters I’ve received today? Zero.

I haven’t received a hand-written letter in months, but I do know how much more special you feel when someone actually writes you a letter.

Imagine how your customers or readers might feel if you sent them a hand-written letter!

Earning Customers With Letters

How can you use this concept to earn you more money? It’s pretty straight-forward, write a personal letter, put it into an envelope, and mail it.

The chances are in your favor that your customer or reader will be blown away by the personal touch. It doesn’t have to be a long, in-depth, epic, but a short and simple thank you.

Be sure to mention something personal in the letter so it demonstrates that you aren’t just sitting at a desk, or have a team of people writing the same thing over-and-over. While that step isn’t necessary, it will enhance the effect of the letter.

How Do I Get Addresses?

For customers, that is probably far easier as you usually have that information available to you, but how do you get a reader’s address? Asking is out of the question, unless you’ve got an excellent reason. There were a couple things that I could think of:

  • Sell a physical item.
  • Give away a physical item.
  • Have a print newsletter that is already mailed out.

There are other ways to obtain addresses, such as strategic internet searching, but that begins to get creepy, and may actually startle your readers. Use one of the above methods, or another legitimate method that you can think of to get addresses. You may even want to mention the method in the letter so they aren’t left wondering.

What Reasons Do I Have?

Besides winning over repeat business from your customers, here are some other reasons I can think of:

  • New customers because of word-of-mouth.
  • To make up for a mistake that was made (especially if it involved money!).
  • Opportunity to get to know your customers better.
  • Enhanced Reputation.
  • It isn’t expensive.
  • It’ll make you feel good inside.

Is this a time intensive project? Yes, it can be. Maybe you should reserve it for your better customers, or the customers that got a bad experience. Opportunity costs aside, this is an extremely inexpensive way to try and retain a customer, or enhance a customer relationship.

You can try to do this half-heartedly by printing a letter and signing it, but it’s never had the same effect for me.

Why Does This Work?

We get thousands of messages every year. These emails are often not targeted well, and personalization is limited to an auto-inserted first name in the salutation.

To put it plainly, the reason this is successful is because people aren’t dumb. Everyone values their own time highly, and they understand that you do too. For you to sit down and write out a letter, they see the opportunity cost (whether they know that term or not) that you’ve invested into it.

Anytime I get a handwritten letter, I’m amazed. It’s like I’ve never seen one before, and that is just because it is so rare. When people feel like a certain amount of time was set aside specifically for them, they feel special. You can monetize this reaction, and build loyalty with a simple pen-and-paper.

What about you?

  • Have you ever received a handwritten letter from a company? What was your reaction?
  • Have you ever written a letter to a customer or reader? What was their reaction?
  • What other ideas do you have for obtaining addresses without being creepy?

Image: graur codrin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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