Going analog in a digital world

navigating through a technologically driven society

The convenience of email and texting hasn't dulled the delight of finding personalized, handwritten mail among the day's flyers and bills. Savvy businesses know that customer crave human - to - human contact, and sending snail mail is a brand new old way to make an impression and turn customers into brand champions.

When to Send

"Thank you", "Thinking of you", "Great working with you" - all of these messages will benefit from the personal touch of a note written in your own hand. When your objective is to reinforce a relationship, the act of putting pen to paper will stand out. People will "remember you took the time to pay them a courtesy " says Jennifer Ferro, owner of the Guelph, Ontario - based JF HR Solutions. Ferron writes notes to clients who refer new business her way. Because snail mail involves more thought, it holds more weight than email.

Design Matters

Choose a card that's refrigerator worthy. If it remains on display, the recipient has more time to develop an emotional connection with you, and research shows that emotionally connected customers are more profitable to your business.

If you prefer a corporate look, your logo is a solid choice. For added impact, try dressing it up with a specialty printing process like metallic inks or embossing.

Allyson Foulis, a mortgage broker at The Mortgage Advantage in Victoria, British Columbia, sends out around 200 note cards a year. Her current card has her picture on the back, a way to reinforce her professionalism and trustworthiness.

Timing is everything

Mail your note as soon as possible after the action that warrants the card is done. If you are pressed for time, recruit volunteers to write the notes or type up a letter and add a handwritten note, says Ryan Garnett, head of integrated marketing at Harvey McKinnon Associates, a fundraising agency in Vancouver. "These little touches make a difference and make people feel special.

By Jessica Natale Woollard for Costco Connection November / December 2017