If you wait long enough, things tend to cycle around. And while I hope that white belts, white shoes and polyester suits for men never make a comeback, there are some things that seem to have faded away and are now looking new again.
One such thing surfaced in a recent CNN posting that touted the possible resurgence of the handwritten letter. Could letters really be cutting edge again? According to CNN:
E-mail is quick. Texting is convenient. Facebook has photos, videos and games.
But for all the fancy, multimedia modes of communication out there, nothing beats the thrill of opening the mailbox and finding a personal letter, written and addressed just to you.
(For the whole article go to: http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/05/27/letters.irpt/index.html?hpt=C2 )
While the CNN story focuses on personal letters between individuals in an age of email, Twitter, and Skype, one has to wonder whether there isn’t a business application here.
One of the challenges businesses continue to face is how to stand out from the crow with their marketing message. Consumers are bombarded with messages every day. Some businesses set up their Twitter accounts to send out a new message each day—and sometimes multiple times a day. After a while it can all just sound like noise.
Imagine how different it would be to receive a completely personal message, “Written and addressed just to you”? Think that might stand out in someone’s mind?
Let’s be realistic. If you have a large customer base, it’s just not practical to send everybody on your list a personal, handwritten letter. But what if you selected your best customers—the top 10 percent—and sent them a personal letter once a quarter? Chances are you could do a little research and make your letter really personal. You could ask some specific questions about their business. And you could ask them if there is some way you can help them with their business (as opposed to selling them something that would help your business).
If you want to stand out, maybe it’s time to try something old. Think it might work? Shoot me an email and let me know what you think. Or better yet . . . send me a letter!