How a Handwritten Note Can Get Your Business Noticed


Social media has become a go-to marketing tactic for businesses to reach a broad audience, and develop dialogue with them. In this years Super Bowl, for example, #Hashtags were used by more than half of advertisers to generate audience response to commercials on Twitter. In October 2012, comScore data revealed that Pinterest had cracked the list of the Top 50 websites in the U.S., attracting more than 25 million visitors a month. However, that also means there is a staggering amount of marketing clutter. To get your small business noticed, you need to be a different, and returning to “old school” handwritten notes can be the secret to standing out. Author, columnist and corporate trainer Cindy Zimmermann says the simple (and dying) art form of the handwritten note has gotten her into the White House, and in touch with icons like Michael Jordan. Zimmermann, the founder of Writing in Style, offers these tips to craft a handwritten note that conveys professionalism, and gets your business noticed. 

1. Begin a habitual routine. Writing simple thank you notes doesn’t have to be a time consuming business task, but you must carve out a time each day to do it, to make it a habit you’ll stick to. Stock up on postage so you have no excuses not to drop your letters in the mail right away, and find a comfortable, uncluttered place to write. Zimmermann says the little things matter when it comes to handwritten communication: Invest in a quality pen you love to write with, and find heavy stock stationary that you’re proud to send. Aim to write just two or three notes, at the close of each business day. 

2. Write from your heart. Who you write to doesn’t have to be supported by a business strategy; simply consider those who made an impact on your day, whether it was a particularly helpful executive assistant for one of your vendors, or a customer or local business person who graciously referred you to others. Because handwritten notes are so unexpected, they’re generally not thrown in the garbage, and their meaning resonates to the recipient—provided it’s from your heart. Instead of stating simply “what” inspired the note, expand into the “why.” Sincerely expressing thanks to a person can be among the most impactful long-term business moves you make. 

3. Get to the point. Though handwritten notes add a personal touch, they’re still a form business communication when sent on behalf of your brand. The image you portray in your note with spelling, clarity, and overall appearance represents your brand just as much as your product, service, or logo. Before you start writing, briefly outline what you want to say--and the most concise way to express your thought. Start with “Dear” followed by the person’s first name (and always confirm that you have the correct spelling). Briefly remind the person of your interaction, and then, get to the point. Zimmermann adds that people love to see their name; insert it into the note’s contents where it makes sense. End the letter with “Sincerely,” or “Best Wishes,” and sign your full name, with your business name written underneath. 

4. Be unique. Clever additions to your note can create lasting memories about you and your business. If you sell perfumed soaps for example, scented stationary can make an impact that supports your brand personality. Zimmermann includes a sprig of fresh rosemary from her garden in her letters. Other simple “add-ons” might include a unique stamp that seals the envelope, or even, interesting postage. 
Stephanie Taylor Christensen is a former financial services marketer turned stay at home working mom, yoga instructor and freelance writer covering personal finance, small business,consumer issues, work-life balance and health/wellness topics for ForbesWoman, Minyanville , SheKnows , Mint , Intuit Small Business, Investopedia and several other online properties. She is also the founder of Wellness On Less and Om for Mom prenatal yoga. Stephanie wrote this feature article exclusively for Debbie May.com (www.DebbieMay.com), an organization dedicated to helping small businesses succeed.