I was conducting some on-the-ground research by visiting physician offices recently. As I walked through one I discovered the most powerful marketing media of all time. Drum roll…It is a personal, hand-written note. On every bulletin board were posted the hand-written notes and cards from patients and managers. No emails were posted, only the hand-written cards.
I believe there are many times that hand-written notes to a target audience would achieve higher results than email messages. The problem is the response is usually, “but it is so easy and cheap to send email.” I don’t remember the words “easy and cheap” being key determining factors in media mix or effective strategies. Imagine you are trying to invite 1,000 people to a special event and you sell something of high value, would “easy and cheap” fit? Or would it make sense to hire 25 high school girls (generally girls have better penmanship than boys) to hand-write the invitations or offers?
Imagine one of the A/B effective tests you do with your next postcard is this: A) Use the printer sprayed-on name (with that personal code above the name) and B) Use hand-written names with a little note off one of the bullet points and an arrow drawn on it. Which one do you think would pull better?
You may have a file like me of notes and correspondence you’ve received. I’ve heard some call it the feel-good file. It’s a place where you can retreat and remember that you really do a great job. But I’ve noticed most of what I’ve saved are hand-written notes and cards—and not one email. The less people hand-write and send email, the more powerful the handwritten word will become as a marketing tool to convey the personal sentiment.