My seven-year old son is never that impressed when I sit down and tell him how important it is to practice his joined-up handwriting. It is a weekly challenge in our household.
I guess I should not be surprised by this, as I continuously bash away on my keyboard and make arrangements with friends through buttons on a screen. Long gone are the days of signing your name to pay for shopping or sending a letter to catch up with someone. We don’t leave a mark which is unique to us like we used to, just a quick tap of the card or swipe of the phone and that’s that.
In the increasingly digital world that we live in, I can forgive my son, and anyone for that matter, for neglecting the value of the good old-fashioned pen and paper. However, since working at Inkpact, my whole perspective has been shifted, as every day I am reminded of the fact that writing a note, in personal and genuine handwriting, undeniably proves you care.
The incredibly powerful message that nine-year old Dexter wrote to Marcus Rashford was amplified because he had clearly taken time to write in his very best handwriting, to tell his hero how much he looks-up to him and how much much he has inspired him to spread kindess. It is impossible not to be moved.
We at Inkpact are obviously avid fans of handwritten letters but not just for friends, family and in Dexter’s case, role models. We believe (actually… we know) that this human connection is key to business success. Through hand-crafted, personalised, hand-written notes we drive sales for global brands and put a smile on their customers' faces. It is all about speaking to each other like humans, forget B2B and B2C. Instead, think Human2Human.
I know it is not rocket science but after the last 18 months of constant change in messages, rules and regulations, sometimes I think it is good to remember what is important. We have been reminded how simple, human connection can easily be created and that loyalty and community is nurtured through that.
Here are my five reasons why as a brand you should be sending more personally penned messages:
1. IT WILL BE OPENED
Email marketing campaigns receive an average open rate of 16% whereas handwritten letters enjoy a staggering 99% open rate. If you received a letter in the post, hand addressed by a real person in real ink, you are not going to push it to the side or throw it in the bin - even if you are not sure who the letter is from, you will open it.
2. STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD
We all know that emails and text messages are the most economical and simple way to communicate but they are devoid of personal touch and genuine sentiment. On a similar note, direct mail only needs to be designed once and then can be printed by the thousands. The unmistakable charm of the handwritten letter, cuts right through the competition and creates that all important emotional connection.
3. PEOPLE LOVE TO TALK
Word of mouth is another great reason to reach for the pen and handwrite to your customers. People love to impress their friends and family or share on social media something they have received that has made them feel special, after all doesn’t everyone love to feel like an influencer?
4. IMPRESS WITH YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Do you collect data which would allow you to send notes a few days ahead of a customer’s birthday, first purchase anniversary or just because. Your customers will be so thrilled you have shown an interest in them, that they will be sure to reward you with their custom. (Also, they actually get the message, instead of missing a £5 birthday voucher which is hidden amongst the 800 other emails in your spam mail).
5. DEMAND THE REAL THING
As you know, there are no robots at Inkpact, just our incredible Scribe Tribe who are authentic to the core. Customers are fed up with being deceived and lied to. Authenticity is key and our Scribe Tribe is about as authentic as it gets, so there is no deception there. It is important to make your customers feel truly appreciated. A genuinely handwritten note from one human to another is definitely going to do that.
Whilst technical communication will undoubtedly advance, I pack my child’s end of year work and I am amazed at what he has done and the stories he has handwritten. Despite home-schooling being such a hideous battle, it (alongside my new job at Inkpact) has reminded me that I do truly believe, picking up a pen and writing is still one of the most powerful and genuine ways to show you care.