When you were a kid, did your parents ever make you write handwritten "Thank You" notes after receiving presents for a birthday or holiday? Mine sure did!In today's world, many parents would probably be fine with their kid expressing their gratitude by typing up a note in the form of an email or text message, or simply even making a nice phone call...digital channels are the norm for communicating today and there's nothing wrong with that!
While digital communication has removed many hassles for us, there seems to be a human element missing when technology is consistently relied on to deliver the message.
Sure, hearing someone's voice on the phone is about as raw and authentic as it gets, but delivering information isn't the same as communicating.
There are more variables to communication that can enhance the value of it.
The Perceived Value of Communication
For instance, think of receiving an e-card versus handwritten card. The perceived value of the handwritten card is much higher because we subconsciously think of the time and effort it took to create it.
The same goes for material items as well such as a gifts. We often tend to associate tangible items to have a higher perceived value, due to emotional connections and other sentimental value it may hold.
Millward Brown conducted a study on this (Using Neuroscience to Understand the Role of Direct Mail) and confirmed that physical materials evoke more emotions and leave a deeper footprint in the brain than digital content.
Tactile objects are simply more "real" to our brains. Think about books for instance. Almost all are available digitally, but most people prefer reading the physical hardcopy.
This is one of the reasons why handwritten cards are one of the most thoughtful and genuine ways to reach people...yet they can stimulate more than just our sense of touch.
Visually, we take into consideration the handwriting of the person who delivered the card as well. Seeing the handwriting of the person who sent the message adds another layer to the value.
Handwriting in itself is almost like a visual representation of someone's personality. Hollywood paints this for us in many movies, when a character reads a handwritten card in their head, and the voiceover always defaults to the voice of the person who sent it.
For this reason, many of us memorable handwritten cards because they are a visual reminder of how a person was trying to communicate with them.
The power of handwritten notes and personalization is still relevant in many ways, especially in a digital world. Below are facts driven by data behind why handwriting is still relevant for communication.
Some Data Behind Handwriting
A New York Post article from 2018, Millennials are keeping handwriting alive, discusses a survey in which the results find millennials to be much more fond of handwritten notes than those in their fifties.
The survey found nearly 87% of millennials value handwritten notes more than alternative forms of communication.
Yet it also reported a decline in people writing by hand, with a third saying they hadn't received a handwritten note in over a year, and 15% saying it's been over five years since they've received one.
Clearly, digital communication has taken over for the majority of us...perhaps we have become accustomed to this and therefor it no longer stands out.
60% of respondents said they would like to receive more handwritten notes than they currently do and 61% reported that receiving a handwritten note from a company would make them view that company more favorably.
Leveraging handwritten cards for business use is highly underutilized, but can be a significant differentiator.
Personal Experiences are Critical for Success
At this point, it's pretty much common sense that unique and personal experiences are highly effective in the world of sales and marketing. And many are using these techniques as well...according to Forbes, over 80% of B2B companies now have account-based programs in play.
When 80% of consumers are doing their own research before buying, companies need to be on-top of their game to execute accordingly.
Even when it comes to things like web design...a DemandGen report stated that 70% of buyers have indicated that a vendor’s website was the most influential channel in making a purchase decision.
Knowing your ideal customer is the best place to start when looking to acquire new business. Get to know that profile and get confident in your ability to identify those who would be the best fit for your product (we wrote a whole other post on ICPs, you can check it out here).
Yet when it comes to engaging with prospects and leads, competition on digital channels can be fierce. Here's some concepts to start leveraging handwritten content that will be effective in targeting your ideal customer profiles.
Using Handwritten Notes in Sales and Marketing
Let's be real. Enterprise companies aren't paying sales reps to sit around and crank out hundreds of handwritten letters.
Yet, as an organization or business continues to grow, the sales cycle perhaps becomes more complex with buying committees and consultants. As a matter of fact, according to The Challenger Sale, the average number of stakeholder in a B2B deal is 6.7.
Building trust and establishing relationships within the target account is where handwritten notes can shine. To create a great first impression, personalized messaging in letter or notecard format can seriously ramp up your top-of-funnel prospecting.
Ron Ameln couldn't have said it better in his LinkedIn article:
"People won’t forget your handwritten letter...A two-line, largely unreadable scrawl beats a page and a half spit out by the laser printer or even an email message."
Keep your message short and to the point like you would with an email. Write in a way that makes the message sound like it comes from you, and not another automated email template.
Automate Your Own Handwriting with Postal's AI Technology
Another truthful note: writing letters aren't fun. Some say it even hurts their hand or wrist over time. This is why built a feature into our product that lets you send letters in your handwriting, without having to write anything.
In Postal's Enterprise subscription, we provide the feature of custom AI handwriting, so you can automate the sending of letters and notecards written in your personal freehand font.
We compare personalization and automation like two polar magnets pushing against each other.
Yet this feature pushes the two closer together. Now you have the option to automate your own personal handwriting, and send these notes from the CRM or Sales Automation tool your company uses.
For the options under the Enterprise subscription, we still offer AI handwriting fonts, but limited to those of employees on the Postal team.
Check them out here!
At the end of the day, using handwriting (AI or not) will catch more eyes. It's as simple as that.Yet to maximize your investment, it's up to you to ensure your messaging is on point. Remember, delivering information isn't the same thing as communicating.
Get more value out of your message by leveraging handwriting!