6 Handwritten Direct Mail Ideas to Impress Customers

 


Sure, you could send more email blasts. You could put together another round of direct mail pamphlets to stuff in your customers’ mailboxes – ultimately stuffing them in your customers’ trash cans. Or, you can do something a little different. You can do something unique that will help you stand out from the rest. Don’t stick with unimaginative sales techniques out of habit. Instead, try some of these handwritten direct mail ideas to impress your customers.

 

handwritten direct mail, mail, direct mail, letters, impress customers

1. Holiday Gifts

A handwritten holiday card is sure to impress. Now, add a gift and you’ll WOW the pants off of ’em!  The gift doesn’t have to be extravagant. A gift card is an easy way to show appreciation. Maybe some chocolates from a great chocolatier near your office? How about digital photo frames for their desks so they can display pictures of friends and family?

Use Case: Send a $5 Coffee Shop Gift Card for National Coffee Day (September)

Beat the holiday gift rush by sending something in September (or any time of the year for that matter)! A gift card is simple because it fits right inside your letter. Plus, who doesn’t love free coffee?!

handwritten direct mail, mail, direct mail, letters, impress customers

 

Letter Template:

Hey Nick,

I know you’ve been busy doing great things at Smith and Co.! Take a little time out to enjoy a latte. Or, get your quick caffeine fix with espresso before getting back to work. Either way, enjoy some coffee on me. You deserve it.

Cheers,

Rodney Ellinbreck

 

 

2. Asking for Referrals

Don’t be shy! Ahandwritten direct mail, mail, direct mail, letters, impress customerssk for referrals. If you’ve done a good job, your client won’t hesitate from passing along your contact info or giving you some names.

Asking for referrals in person or on the phone works well. You can work it into conversation. For example, when someone thanks you or gives you a compliment, go ahead and say “Thanks! I’m happy you feel that way. Is there anyone else you think could benefit from working with me?”

But, if you didn’t get a direct answer from them or if you forgot to ask, you can reach out through mail. An email isn’t a great choice for referral requests because it doesn’t take any effort on your part. Use a handwritten letter instead. When you do a great job AND you show you care by taking the time on a personal letter, your clients will feel even more impelled to give you that referral.

Read more about this here: Get More Referrals by Asking

Use Case: Send Handwritten Letter Thanking Your Client AND Asking for Referrals.

You’ll start out showing your gratitude. Then, you’ll slip in the referral request. And, you should assure them that their referrals will  have positive experiences too.

Letter Template:

Eloise,

I want to thank you again for your business. Working with you was such a pleasure. I’m glad we set you up with our software to make your life a little easier.

If you know anyone else who could benefit from working with me, I’d appreciate you passing along my name. I’ll make sure they have an experience as good as yours.

Reach out if you need anything.

Best,

Lucinda Backus

P.S. I included a few business cards as well.

 

3. Reactivating “Dead” Leads

Haven’t heard from Jim in awhile? Did Karen stop responding weeks ago? Can’t seem to get in touch with Martin? Consider sending them a handwritten letter.

Some people are turned off by constant voicemails and a steady stream of incoming emails. A handwritten note is a great alternative because it shows you still care, but it isn’t overly aggressive.

Use Case: Provide Helpful Information to Leads You Lost Early

If you lost a lead early in the funnel, they might just need more information. Create awareness with helpful info. Consider sending valuable stats or printing and including interesting articles from which they might benefit.

Letter Template:

Anna,

I saw this article and thought you might find it interesting. It gives some helpful information on financial planning in your 30’s and 40’s.

If you want more information, feel free to give me a call (555-555-5555) or send an email to ken@calit.com. I’m happy to help.

-Ken Calit

 

4. Prospecting

Finding new leads…it’s an essential component of any successful sales strategy. You can use referrals, host events or seminars, reach out via email or direct mail OR you can cold call. However, cold calling can be a daunting, even frightening, task.

How can you make cold calling a little easier and more successful? Well, Drew Hendricks, a contributor to Forbes.com, suggests turning cold calls into “warm calls”:

“…[Y]ou can use LinkedIn, or any other means of networking with prospects, to make an introduction. It could be a brief email to introduce yourself and your company, which also mentions that you’ll be calling in a couple of days. By doing this, you’ve already broken the ice and have already established a connection with your prospect.”

Use Case: Pre-Call Touch to Target List of Prospects

How many times have you sent prospecting emails but received zero responses? You can assume those emails were left unopened or went right into the trash.

Maybe you’ve had the experience of leaving voicemail after voicemail to never have your calls returned.

Handwritten handwritten direct mail, mail, direct mail, letters, impress customersTry something different. Try sending a handwritten letter as a pre-call touch. You’ll start your relationship off right by showing effort. You’ll have a chance to introduce yourself and what you have to offer.

You can even mention that you’ll be giving them a call in the next few days. This way, the prospect will be much more likely to answer your expected call . They’ll know it’s coming and they won’t be taken off guard.

Letter Template:

Hey Matthew,

I came across your company and thought you could benefit from working with TruSaaS, Inc. I’m looking forward to learning more about Reith & Partners Advertising and how we can help you be even more successful.

I’ll give you a call later this week and we can chat more. In the meantime, feel free to check out trusaas.com.

Best,

Corbin White

Read more about a positive experience Dave Kahle, speaker and author, had in Pre-Call Touch: Creative Way to Make Prospecting Appointments

 

5. Event/Conference Invites

We expect wedding invites to be handwritten. We expect it because we’re personal guests, and we want the bride and groom to show some effort. We want to feel special.

The same concept can work for business events and conferences too! Handwritten event invites make the invitee feel special…and I’ll say it again, we all want to feel special.

Use Case: Personalize Invite With A Short Handwritten Message Asking to Meet

If you can swing it, add a handwritten component to the actual invite message.

Even if you can’t handwrite the whole thing, MAKE SURE the envelope is hand-addressed. Nothing says “your attendance doesn’t really matter to me” like a computer printed envelope.

 

Letter Template:

Directly on the invite, you can add something like this:

Hey Lou, looking forward to seeing you there. Between sessions, let’s get together to chat. Call or text (555) 555-5555 and we can meet up.

– Rasin Subhi Naser

 

6. Shipping Swag

handwritten direct mail, mail, direct mail, letters, impress customers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

People love handwritten letters. People love swag. So, why not put them together for a doubly dynamic duo.

Use Case: Send a T-Shirt to New Customers After a Purchase.

Do you want to show customer appreciation AND get free advertising? Send a t-shirt to new customers.

Don’t have awesome t-shirts to showcase your company brand? Check out Startup Threads! MailLift and Startup Threads will work together to get your t-shirt sent out WITH a handwritten letter. With personalization AND wearable swag they’ll actually want to wear, you’ll delight your customers for sure!

 Letter Template:

Hey Sara,

Thanks for your purchase!  We know you’ll love your new office furniture! In fact, you’ll love it so much you’ll probably wear this t-shirt every day just to spread the word.

Ok…you can wash it once in awhile.

Thanks!

The Wood Bold Furniture Team

And one more time, 6 use cases in 30 seconds:

 

Trends in Direct Mail: Solid State Shipping

FullSizeRender.jpg copyUpdated: February 12th, 2016

What are the new trends in Direct Mail?

Solid State Shipping

Solid state shipping is the practice of sending dimensional marketing collateral through the postal mail with no packaging or envelope. The message and postage stamps are applied directly to the solid state object shipped.

Want to solid state ship a Ping Pong paddle?

Write your message, return address and shipping address on the paddle, and take it to the post office where it will be weighed, and then stamped.

No packaging necessary! No packaging means you don’t have to worry about open rates. This is one of the cutting edge trends in direct mail 2016 for increasing cold connecting and adding unique touches for your marketing demand generation.

Benefits & Research on Solid State Shipping

The statistics backing sending dimensional objects through the mail for demand generation and increasing response rates are compelling:       

Research from Baylor University shows that dimensional mail has 20 times the penetrating power and boosts demand generation by as much as 75% over flat direct mail.

According to the Direct Marketing Association’s Response Rate Report of 2009: Dimensional mail averaged the highest overall response rate, at 5.49 percent, of any direct response medium.

Marketing Campaigns for 2016

Along with each marketing/demand generation campaign are sources to purchase recommended solid state marketing item, pre written copy prepared for you as a template, and price estimates for each campaign.

Prospecting with a ‘Message in a Bottle’

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You built a solid list of prospects and email isn’t enough. Maybe you’ve already tired direct mail. Since people rarely follow call to actions in standard direct mail, how would the right segment respond to a message in a bottle?

Here’s where to buy shippable bottles for this campaign at $3.41 per bottle (shipped).

Prospecting Template

934,434,834 to 1

Those are the odds you’ll find a message in a bottle washed up on shore. Those are also the odds of finding a traditional service provider whose key focus is customer happiness. {{company}} is untraditional. No hidden fees, no cancellation cost, and local 24/7 customer support.

{{first.name}}, call me at my personal cell at {{rep.phone}} for a free week trial.

– {{rep.name}}


Reactivating Dead Leads with Handwriting on Boomerangs

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Granite Medsystems reactivated 47% of their dead leads from a reactivation campaign placed with MailLift. With a high average customer lifetime value, they rave about their handwritten reactivation campaign’s success.

We’re going to replicate their success, using boomerangs! It may seem unusual to send a boomerang through the mail, but sometimes unusual is just the unique touch you need when the lead or opportunity is not responding.

Here’s where you can buy cheap bulk boomerangs at $2.92 per boomerang (shipped). MailLift also offers this service for a flat rate. Click here to contact us.

Reactivating Dead Leads Template

Hey {{first.name}},

We talked a few weeks back about {their.goal} and how my team at {{company}} can assist, but I have not heard back from you. Here’s to hoping you’ll be like the boomerang! Yeah boomerangs leave, but they always come back.

Call me at{{rep.phone}} to chat!

Converting Prospects to Workshop Attendees with Coconutsenhanced-23690-1396192283-1

Alpha Graphics got a 20% conversion to in-person workshop by doing what? Sending coconuts.

Alpha Graphics reached out to 200 “high value” prospects hoping to see a 20% response rate of which they planned to sell on a workshop. They offered a chance to win one of two gift cards ($150 and $50) if they respond to the coconut mailer.

The coconut campaign had a response rate of 46% of which 41 prospects attended the workshop. They also reported increased new revenue by 25% over the next six months.

The price varies between $8-$17 shipped depending on distance, weight and coconut type.

Converting Prospects to Attendee Template

 Hey Bonnie!

Put on your Hula Skirt and pour yourself a Pina Colda; We want to hear from you! We’ve put together a year-end survey to get feedback from AlphaGraphics’s most valuable customers (You) Here’s your personalized link! Alphagraphics.com/BonnieSurvey

– Nick

Bonus: 6 Marketing Ideas

 
Solid State Shipping Services

Utilizing trends in direct mail takes work. To outsource this to a company that over a 1,000 business trust, visit MailLift.com or contact us via email.

Need Some Last Minute Holiday Marketing Ideas?

holiday marketing ideas, holiday marketing campaigns, holiday marketing campaign ideas,

Your Turn

There are many effective last minute holiday marketing ideas. It’s important to utilize holiday marketing even if it is last minute. What are some of the creative last minute holiday marketing ideas you have seen? Tell me @MailLift.

How To Write Handwritten Notes Like Richard Branson

handwritten notes, thank you notes, richard branson

Handwritten letters are making a comeback and  it’s here to stay. Just last week Richard Branson wrote about why you should write thank you notes.

Small and large businesses like iContact and Grasshopper are sending it to their customers. Even large companies, whose leads are worth over $1 million each, are using handwritten letters to boost their sales opportunities.

But the hardest part is figuring out what to write in these notes; how to make it personal yet impactful.

These 14 essential quotes on handwritten notes will get you started. Don’t worry it’s simple and easy to apply.

Basics of Good Handwritten Letters

“Letters are something from you. It’s a different kind of intention than writing an e-mail.”

Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves aside, this is pretty good advice. When we send handwritten letters, we write them as if we are writing an email. But they are more like a gift. Think about it, receiving letters has a similar reaction to receiving a gift — it makes people curious. And a good letter is cherished just as much as a gift. In short…

“All a good letter has to do is make you feel special.”

— Animal Crossing: Wild World (Nintendo video game) written by Takayuki Ikkaku, Arisa Hosaka, and Toshihiro Kawabata

So, why would you send a “Thank you for your time” type of letter. It’s like gifting your spouse a pair of white socks in a pretty little box. You are just opening the door to disappointment.

People might not necessarily remember what exactly you said in your note, but they will definitely remember how you made them feel. So…

“Making the extra effort to say thanks in a genuine, personal manner goes a long way. It is pleasurable to do, and it encourages more of the same good behavior.”

Richard Branson

And it’s true. Studies show that writing your thank you’s boosts happiness, and lowers boredom and negative feelings. It does not take much to write one and makes both the sender and the receiver happy.

Alright, so you see what a good handwritten letter looks should look like. Now, here are the fundamentals of writing a good note.

 

Elements of Good Handwritten Letters

handwritten notes, thank you notes

“I consider it a good rule for letter-writing to leave unmentioned what the recipient already knows, and instead tell him something new.”

Sigmund Freud

As simple as this sounds, this is the hardest to do and it the most common mistake we make when writing a handwritten note.

Handwritten notes should build on your previous conversation. It should move your relationship forward or strengthen it. I

“Now everybody who knows anything at all knows perfectly well that even a business letter does not deserve the paper on which it is written unless it contains at least one significant phrase that is worth waking up in the night to remember and think about.”

Eleanor Hallowell Abbot

Okay, not literally. But it goes back to the same point as making someone feel special. Special does not always mean romantic. A business letter or note should contain statements that are thought provoking. That’s what makes it memorable. So, if you don’t have a phrase that is worth waking up at night, here are couple ways to check if your letter is worth mailing,

“Letters have to pass two tests before they can be classed as good: they must express the personality both of the writer and of the recipient.”

E.M.Forster

This is the basis of every letter. It is personal communication focussed on just the two of you, unlike your twitter or facebook updates. So, make sure the letter reads like you and does not seem like it can be written anybody. Make the most of it because this is one time they are not going to be distracted by emails or other conversations.

A good way to make sure the letter reads like you is to forget about grammar because…

“Grammar is the grave of letters.”

Elbert Hubbard

Notes and letters are supposed to be personable. Trying to stick to grammar rules is going to make your letters sound stiff and unrelatable. If it’s any consolation, there is no grammar police to come arrest you.

So, keep the tone conversational.

Humans Written Is Better Than Robot

 

 

“Normally, I can tell the fake, printed-font “handwriting” of a marketing missive from ten paces away. That stuff looks barely more human than Comic Sans, and it’s printed in laser toner instead of ink from a pen. Handwriting, it seems, is the next Turing Test.”

— Clive Thompson

 

Effects of Good Handwritten Letters

“Sending a handwritten letter is becoming such an anomaly. It’s disappearing. My mom is the only one who still writes me letters. And there’s something visceral about opening a letter — I see her on the page. I see her in her handwriting.”

Steve Carell

This is the difference between a handwritten letter and any other form of communication. Anything typed will look the same barring any differences in fonts. Whereas in a handwritten note, apart from the content, handwriting, texture and colors say so much about a person sending the letter.

 “While it may seem old school to have a live telephone conversation, meet in person, or send a handwritten note, sometimes they are the best forms of communication and the only way people (your clients, reporters, etc.) may ever get to really know and ultimately trust you”

— Jessica Kleiman and Meryl Weinsaft Cooper, Authors of Be Your Own Best Publicist

People like feeling and sensing physical objects. For example, people believe a brand of water is safe to drink because their caps clicked when opened they bottle. Try it yourself, jot down all the things that made your feel pleasant or unpleasant based on how something sounded, looked or felt in your hands. It’s surprising how many decisions we make just based on our sensory perceptions.

James Beshara, CEO and co-founder of Crowdtilt (crowd funding for groups of friends), understood this really well. He wanted to have a real world touch with his customers. So, he sent out 1000 handwritten letters to their first 1000 campaign administrators on their site. This gave customers a lot of trust and faith in them, even when things went wrong with their service. Like Beshara says, if you wait for something to go wrong with your service to make that first personal contact with your customer, you have already lost.

“A handwritten note is worth more than a $100 gift card but probably not more than a $200 gift card.”

Ross McCammon

Handwritten note makes all other forms of appreciation personal. They are motivating in a work place especially if they are having a bad day. You can give extra bonuses and all the perks, but nothing builds trust and engagement like a note of appreciation.

Notes can make perks go much farther. They can have a direct impact on your revenues. Best Buy found that a 0.1 percent increase in employee engagement increased $100,000 in operating income of each store per year.

 

Start (Small) By Sending These Handwritten Notes

“Tell someone what a huge difference he or she made in your life. Reading your note will make a huge difference in that person’s life—and in your relationship.”

— Jeff Haden

People inspire you every day. You might not know them personally, but you are definitely learning and making life changing decisions when you read someone’s articles or when you talk to them on twitter or facebook. It’s good to get inspired, but it’s easy to forget about building relationships with those who inspire you. Letting them know how they made a difference is great to way to start and they love hearing about it.

Go ahead and send them a thank you note. Be specific in how they made a difference and what you are going to do next. Then when you have followed through, send them a note again. Thank them and tell them more about the results it brought you. Close the loop. People like helping who will actually follow through and take action. If you want to build relationships or even want them to be your mentor, then keep them updated.

You should do the same for your employees and team members. Appreciate and thank them, but be specific because…

“It’s one thing to say, “I appreciate what you did today. Thanks a lot.” That’s a soap-bubble comment. Pretty while it lasts, but gone in seconds. It’s general and vague. When you thank them for something specific, that’s Velcro. That’s a thanks they remember because it sticks. You hook your gratitude to something the employee did. For instance, an employee just handled a difficult phone call with a customer really well. Thank them for that specific activity.”

— Joey Faucette

You are probably struggling to find time getting work done, but it is just as important to recognize each team member. Douglas Conant, wrote about 30,000 handwritten notes to his employees throughout his 10 years as a CEO at Campbell. That means he paid attention to each individual’s personal contributions. A pat on the back does more than just feel good. It builds trust and is an invaluable tool.

And if you are in sales or manage clients, here is a creative way to use handwritten notes.

“A handwritten note may not be the best way to arrange a meeting or confirm that a parcel arrived, but it can be surprising more efficient than phone tag for a lot of messages.”

— Margaret Shepherd, Author of The Art of the Handwritten Note.

because…

“Staying top of mind has a direct correlation to the number of opportunities you get from your network.”

— Patrick Ewers

So, if there is one habit you should build, then make it this: Write one handwritten thank you note every day. If you already write handwritten notes, tell me why you write them.

You have come this far, that means you read the whole article. Here is a video of more ideas to ponder:

 

 

If you liked this post, you might like: 6 Unique Use Cases & Templates for Direct Mail.

Top 5 Products To Convert More Leads

ProfilesIO, sales leads,In his TED Talk, Ernesto Sirolli narrates a story about how his nonprofit went to Zambia to solve the great Zambian agricultural problem. It seemed like Zambia couldn’t grow any produce on their land.

Ernesto and his team flung every resource they had, even recruiting and paying locals to grow fat, plump tomatoes that rivaled the Italian crops. They proved it could be done and they couldn’t have been prouder!

That is, until a huge herd of fat hippos helped themselves to the Zambians plump tomato harvest. The Zambians, knowing that the Hippos have always and will always eat the tomatoes or any other tasty crop, looked surprised when Ernesto asked why they never mentioned the Hippo problem. They replied, “You never asked why (they weren’t growing crops).”

We have all experienced times like these when were so focused on making the numbers, reaching the quota and solving our interpretation of a prospect’s problem, that we forgot to find out what the prospect’s problem really is. The only way you would know is if you were really listening before talking. In other words, if you have researched your prospects well.

With that in mind, here are 5 powerful tools that will help you research, qualify and convert your sales leads quickly.

Who is your prospect? — Profiles.io

email-jousha-baer

Before you call your sales leads, you usually take the time to look them up on linkedin, twitter and whatever other social sites you can think of. You do as much research as possible to find out more about the lead.

You know if you call quicker, your chances of qualifying the lead becomes enormously large but you also need to spend time researching your prospects.

So, MailLift decided to find a solution to this catch 22 and created ProfilesIO. It cuts out all the time you waste researching your prospects by giving all this information by email, text and hipchat.

Within 60 seconds of a sign up on your site, you will see your prospect’s:

  1. Social profile score
  2. Topics of Influence
  3. Professional connections.
  4. All their social profiles and much more.

You can then email your customers by selecting the templates from inside your email notification right away. If you don’t call leads within 5 minutes, the odds of qualifying a lead drops 21 times after 30 minutes. So having all this information handy, makes it easy to qualify leads quickly and more accurately.

What is your prospect interested in?— ToutApp, Signals and Yesware

We all want to know if our prospects engage with our emails and the sales documents we send. We want as much information about the lead as possible throughout the sales cycle. ToutApp is a great tool for lead intelligence. Once you email to your leads, you can use ToutApp to tell you when your prospects opens the email, what links and documents they clicked on and when they are on your site all in real time.

As Mark Roberge, Chief Revenue Officer of the HubSpot Inbound Sales Division said in his blog about lead intelligence, and ToutApp makes it very easy to gather all the relevant information.

“It’s important to know what content they engaged with on your site, what pages on the site they view, and if they checked out content and pricing information.”

If you just want a simple tool with few bells and whistles, you can use Yesware or Signals for tracking and email clicks for free. Both are really good based on your needs. Yesware allows you to set reminders, schedule emails. They also have plans that let’s you track your team’s email metrics and measure their performance. On the other hand, Signals can notify you when your prospects clicks on your links and visits your website in real time (just like ToutApp) for a very small fee.

Read more about ToutApp vs Yesware and how to use Signals for prospecting, account management and, managing your pipeline and vendors.

Where has your prospect been? — HubSpot’s Prospect Tracking Tool

ProfilesIO, HubSpot, convert leads to sales,

This is a very powerful part of HubSpot’s offering. It helps you find out which companies have been visiting your site, how many times and what pages have they looked at to let you gauge their interest. The magical thing about this is it works even if they are just visitors and haven’t filled out any forms on your website. It will also let you see how many people from each company have visited your site and the campaigns they responded to. Once they fill out a form or a sign up, you will then be able to see the prospect’s names from the companies too.

If a visitor uses your site’s search, you will get all keywords they used to find information. Very cool and important information given missing keyword data from google analytics tools. Besides this gives you keywords and phrases used specifically by the users in the industry you are targeting. You can the tie this information to your buying cycle to create the right messaging for the right prospects. Learn what more can HubSpot’s prospect tracking tool can do for you.

What is your prospect doing right now? — Customer.io

If you wish you could send your website visitors email campaigns in real time, then CustomerIO is for you. This may not be a tool for prospecting inbound leads like ProfilesIO but it is very useful if you want to use email and drip marketing to convert visitors or upsell to your current customers. They allow you to automatically send email campaigns to visitors based on actions they take or don’t take on your site — all in real time. You can then easily track conversions from these emails on your website. Of course this means you can track opens/clicks and also get a full picture of your consumer activity on your site. Get Customer.io for free.

How much have you talked to your prospects? — Close.io

crm, closeio, profilesio,
User Adoption is Key By Oliver Widder

This is a CRM with a twist. It does lot of the data entry for you saving a lot of time and keeping your records updated. Close.io automatically tracks your offline and email activities with your prospects. You can see a timeline associated with each lead, shows any calls you or a member of your team made, calls received, voice calls and you can also make a call from within the app using VOIP. This way you don’t waste time or put off logging important information in your CRM.

As is the case with most sales calls, your prospects tell you about symptoms rather than their problems. These tools will give you the power to walk into any sales call and ask questions to diagnose the real problem — all in real time. Response time and matching your product to their problem are two keys to converting more leads.

These are the tools we like here at MailLift. If you liked this post, you might like: 6 Unique Use Cases & Templates for Direct Mail.