Hand-written Letters

March 17, 2014

in Leadership, Marketing, Personal Improvement, Sales

Last week I received an unexpected and flattering hand-written note in the mail to my home from another Atlanta entrepreneur. It was touching.

He could have said the same things by email or told me them in person. In fact, he has said nice things to me before over email and in person. He’s genuinely nice.

But he chose to even take it a step further and send that hand-written note. In addition to being impressed by the hand-written note, two other things stood out to me:

  • It arrived on a little card that carried his company name. It was clearly a card he had ordered for the specific purpose of sending hand-written notes. I thought to myself that he must have a habit of writing nice notes. That’s impressive.
  • The compliment in the note was sincere and substantive. He quoted something I had said verbatim and said how it had been meaningful to him. It wasn’t a fake I-wanna-be-nice-so-you-do-something-for-me type of letter.

I’m going to buy a stack of that stationary myself now and start sending notes. I’m inspired. Now I just need to learn his trick to finding people’s addresses!

On occasion, I have received other hand-written notes from service providers or other professionals. I always enjoy receiving them, especially when they are sincere. It’s part of doing things that don’t scale.

Do you ever send hand-written notes? What are your thoughts on hand-written notes?


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  • BarrettBrooks

    John, again, great stuff. I love handwritten letters — both writing them and receiving them. In a world where everyone is so fickle with their attention due to constant content and information coming our way, a handwritten letter goes a long way.

    Receiving a letter like this is one of the great pleasures in life. Although it takes marginally more effort than an email, it creates exponentially more affinity in my opinion. I gained a mentor in college who preaches about being, “different, better, and special.” If there is one way to quite simply be different, better, and special as compared to the masses, it is to write sincere, authentic handwritten notes as often as possible. Intention is everything, but if that’s in place I think this is a winning strategy.

    PS: I have stationary with my name embossed at the top from Crane & Co. It’s not cheap, but I believe it adds to the experience of receiving the note to know that it’s not some throwaway notecard that I could care less about. Every note is meaningful and comes on a card that shows forethought and intention…

    PPS: I make a habit of sending a followup email to anyone who doesn’t have their address on their card, “in case I ever need to drop them a quick token of appreciation.” Even better if they have an assistant who can pass that along. Would love to know what tactics you try in order to get addresses.

    • melonakos

      Thanks again Barrett for the nice comment. Good to know about the stationary from Crane & Co… I’ll have to check that out. I don’t have any tactics yet, but as I develop some, I’ll post them!

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