Update: April 18, 2022 Jesse Stein Jesse has founded, operated and sold multiple Internet-related ventures over the last 20 years. As the founder of Audience.co, he is passionate about combining digital excellence with direct handwritten mail to build lasting customer relationships.

4 W’s of Handwritten Marketing: A Quick Start Guide

In a digital age where so much communication is done through typed text and emails, handwritten letters and cards are a rarity. But there’s something special about receiving a handwritten message- it feels more personal, intimate, and sincere. And that’s why handwritten marketing can be so powerful. It stands out in a world of impersonal electronic messages, and it can help you connect with your customers on a more personal level.

Here are the 4 W’s of handwritten marketing to give you an idea of what you’re getting into!

What is It?

What is Handwritten Marketing?

Handwritten marketing has been around for thousands of years. Somewhere, someone realized that all it took was telling people about something to convince them to come to see what it’s all about.

The written word was enhanced by colors and drawings over the years and the marketing displays attracted even more people. This process grew, changed and spread over many decades until the digital era took the world by storm.

Suddenly you didn’t need to write anything because there was a computer to take care of it. The introduction of digital marketing put a stopper in handwritten marketing but didn’t kill it altogether.

As we all know, trends run in cycles, and since more and more people are now complaining about technology overload, drowning in emails and feeling numb to electronic messaging, handwritten direct mail service is not only rearing its head, it’s blowing away it’s digital counterparts.

We’ll discuss some benefits of handwritten marketing in a bit, but suffice it to say it gets opened, read, and displayed exponentially more than digital options.

Who Uses It?

Who Uses Handwritten Marketing?

Aldus Pius Manutius was a Venetian printer, scholar, and humanist who is credited with the invention of the modern printed book. But he also used handwritten marketing to help his business- and it worked!

Manutius handwritten marketing displays were beautiful, colorful, and persuasive. He would write about new books that were coming out, and then he would personally deliver them to the bookstores. This handwritten marketing strategy was so successful that it helped him become one of the most famous printers of his time. He’s also responsible for publishing the first catalog in 1498 through his company “The Aldine Press”.

Some of the more popular handwritten marketing tactics over the years have been:

  • Catalogs
  • Mail order
  • Letters & handwritten envelopes
  • Postcards

Right now, most businesses are sticking with the digital marketing tactics of the 2010s. The market is wide open for businesses to put pen to paper and get up close and personal with leads, prospects, clients, customers, patients, everyone. There’s no business out there that won’t benefit from handwritten marketing.

When Do You Start?

When Should You Start Handwritten Marketing?

Yesterday! Far too many businesses are hesitant to try something new, like a handwritten mail marketing campaign, but it’s not a new tool – there are just new tools today to do it with. For instance, AI robots holding real pens can write thousands of handwritten notes in a day. No human can compete with that.

More than that, you’re likely wondering who you’re going to send your handwritten marketing to. Businesses like Audience.co, work with clients to generate leads by the hundreds. These are authentic targeted leads, so you don’t have to do the work.

Let’s check out a few statistics about handwritten marketing so you can see just how effective it is in today’s climate of electronic everything. Here are just a few listed by Fundera:

“70% of consumers say direct mail is more personal than online interactions.

54% of consumers say they want direct mail from brands that interest them.

Direct mail open rates can reach up to 90%.

42% of recipients read or scan the direct mail they receive.”

Then there’s the research on direct mail and handwritten mail done by the United States Postal Service:

“56% of respondents say receiving mail is a “real pleasure.”

55% “look forward” to discovering the mail they receive.

67% feel mail is more personal than the Internet.

77% of Millennials say they pay attention to direct mail ads.”

So, heading back to the question of when you should start handwritten marketing – the simple answer is ASAP!

Why Use It?

Why Is Handwritten Marketing so Important?

Handwritten marketing is so important because humans are emotional. You got it – it all comes down to emotion. But what’s interesting is that handwritten marketing can actually turn around a consumer’s attitude toward marketing.

Research published in the Journal of Consumer Marketing suggests customer cynicism is rooted in previous experiences. It’s not because marketers are in their face, it’s because of something they remember. So, using handwritten marketing in a time when everything is digital sparks a new interest. It’s not what the consumer is used to and they have no previous experience, so there’s nothing to be cynical about.

The Journal of Interdisciplinary Research also makes a great point. The research says, “Marketing communication influences, shapes and changes consumer behaviour. And vice versa, changing consumer behaviour makes companies modify their marketing communication by implementing new forms and tools to gain the trust of customers and to influence purchase.” 

To break it down even further, handwritten marketing works because handwritten letters are personal and they connect with customers on an intimate level. They build relationships and rapport that turn to trust which leads to more sales. Things like handwritten notes for marketing spark bonds that grow into friendships and that’s what leads to word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing.

A few more reasons why you need to be using handwritten marketing include:

  • Break through to cold prospects.
  • Follow up after meetings.
  • Motivate prospects to sign contracts.
  • Welcome new customers.
  • Reward high-value customers.
  • Reactivate dormant customers.
  • Celebrate milestones.
  • Give thanks for referrals.
  • Say thanks for a donation.
  • Commend, console & thank employees.
  • Ease the aftermath of a tough meeting.
  • Drive upsells and cross-sells.
  • Share promo codes.
  • Recover abandoned carts.
  • Invite to events and webinars.

Handwritten marketing is a lost art that’s making a comeback. Handwritten marketing offers something digital can never replicate: closeness and personalization. Whether it be handwritten notes for marketing, handwritten invitations to events or handwritten thank-you cards after meetings – this type of marketing always leaves a lasting impression on the customer.

When handwritten marketing is used correctly, it can be more personal and effective than any other type of marketing. So, what are you waiting for? Start handwritten marketing today!

Questions & Answers

Questions & Answers About Handwritten Marketing

  1. Do handwritten notes work for marketing? Compared to email marketing average open rate of 22.7%, handwritten letters enjoy a 90% open rate. You can safely assume that the letter’s recipient will open a handwritten letter that’s been delivered to them.
  2. Why do handwritten notes matter now more than ever? The handwritten also note gives customers the personalized experience they expect. Modern business has trained the customer to expect a tailored experience in the online world, but has largely neglected the offline world. Handwritten notes can fill this gap and can be an invaluable tool for your business.
  3. What are the advantages of handwritten letters over email? One of the real benefits of a handwritten letter is the personal touch it conveys, which comes from the effort to handwrite or type the message. That message on paper says to the recipient, “You are important to me” in a way that an email does not.