Behind every important transaction your business makes, there's a relationship.
But how can you build those relationships—whether it's with a customer, partner, employee, vendor, or potential lead? There are plenty of strategies, but one thing I've seen firsthand is the power of handwritten notes. Especially in a time where digital communication is universal, a handwritten note can change the game.
Getting personal in the digital age
Emails and other forms of digital communication are easy to ignore and often get lost in the digital clutter. With handwritten notes, you can be almost 100% sure your message will be received, opened, and read. (When's the last time you threw away a snail mail greeting card without opening it?)
And handwritten notes work for everyone from first-time customers (they'll definitely remember it and spread the news) to long-term partnerships (they'll go the extra mile for you). Here are just a few times you might send a handwritten note.
Someone sends you a business referral. Show appreciation to your referral source and keep the referrals coming with a handwritten thank-you note.
After a pitch meeting. A handwritten note means you'll be remembered and can be the deciding factor after a pitch meeting.
An employee does a great job. Celebrating when an employee goes the extra mile is great for morale and shows your employees that you appreciate their work.
A client signs or a customer makes a large purchase. A handwritten note can be a small gift and reward for clients and customers. You'll diminish any doubts and signal that you believe in personalized customer service. It may even encourage them to come back and make another large purchase or increase their contract.
A vendor goes above and beyond. Your vendor will remember the appreciation you showed and will continue to do their best job for your business.
Handwritten notes at scale
Of course, you're not going to spend hundreds of hours writing notes to each of your customers and partners—not good for business or for your joints. At my company, Simply Noted, we've developed proprietary technology that creates authentic pen-written notes and letters at scale. You can simply upload a list of names and addresses, type in the text, select a handwriting style, and our machines will do all of the writing for you.
Using tools like Zapier, businesses have even connected their CRMs with our technology to completely automate the process of writing and sending handwritten letters. Because it's automated, it also ensures you'll never have to send an awkward belated message in the event you forget.
Zapier lets you automatically send information from one app to another, helping you reduce manual tasks. Learn more about how Zapier works.
The ROI of a handwritten note
The price of a postage stamp is often less than the cost-per-click, and the return on investment (ROI) of sending a handwritten note can be huge.
When I founded Simply Noted less than three years ago, I turned to my own services to attract my first customers. I used the machines I had developed to create pen-written letters to send to potential prospects, and at the bottom of each letter, it said, "By the way, this was written by a robot."
I sent a few hundred of these letters to prospects and was thrilled by the incredible response I received. Ultimately, I calculated that my return on investment for my initial campaign to generate interest in my new business was 18,566%. That's 18 thousand percent. Since then, I've used the same strategies to continue to grow my business exponentially year-over-year.
I've seen similar success repeated over and over with clients from every imaginable industry. For example, A1 Garage Door Service, a garage door repair and installation business, sent handwritten notes to everyone from customers to vendors to HOA presidents—in doing so, they were able to strengthen the current relationships they had and help new ones prosper. One of their most successful campaigns was sending handwritten holiday cards to their top clients, which received positive feedback and led to additional business opportunities. A1 Garage tells me that they've seen a 10x return on investment on the campaigns they've mailed out and have transformed many one-time customers into lifelong fans.
Small actions lead to big wins
At the end of the day, building a successful business depends on the relationships you build with your partners, customers, and employees. While most people turn to digital communication to efficiently reach their target audience, no digital message can accomplish what a handwritten note can.
Start with a few non-robot-created notes. Once you see the reaction, you'll better understand the value, and you can start sending handwritten notes at scale.
This was a guest post from Rick Elmore, founder and CEO of Simply Noted. Simply Noted has a proprietary technology that puts real pen and ink to paper to scale handwritten communication, helping businesses of all industries stand out from their competition and build meaningful relationships with clients, customers, and employees. Founded in 2018, Simply Noted has grown into a thriving company with clients of various sizes across the country, including in hospitality, real estate, insurance, nonprofit, franchise, B2B, and others. Want to see your work on the Zapier blog? Read our guidelines, and get in touch.