How to Write an Effective Handwritten Letter

Take a step back for a moment to your High School English classroom. Reminisce on the grammar worksheets, the lessons on  parts of speech and the hours spent learning how to write an A+ essay.

Most writing is fundamentally similar; so, when you are writing a letter, whether to a colleague, client or potential customer, use some of that knowledge you learned as an acne faced, hormonal teen.

But just in case you don’t quite remember the great advice Mrs. K gave you in second hour Composition, we’ve come up with a list of 5 ways  you can improve your writing skills and write more effective handwritten letters.

Here are five things you learned in school about writing but may have forgotten:

1. Write clearly and concisely.

Don’t try to wow your audience with big words and long, wordy sentences. You won’t impress anybody with sentences that don’t make sense or words used out of context. In a letter, you don’t have the opportunity to expand or respond to questions like you might in person, so make sure the reader understands your message the first time. Write shorter sentences, and make sure information is direct to avoid any confusion. Tip 1: Have someone else read through the content you’ve written. Ask them to tell you where they had questions or where something was unclear. Revise the letter to clarify cloudy points. Tip 2: Read it out loud to yourself. Record it and listen to it again. Both of these activities will help you find any confusing statements in your letter.

2. Include an attention grabber!

You already succeeded when the reader opened the envelope! Now, you have to keep your reader hooked. Give him a reason to read past the first sentence or the entire letter will have been in vain. Tip: Begin with a startling fact or a thought-provoking point to pique interest.

3. Be Brief when possible.

You don’t want your reader to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information when he opens the letter.  Why say something in 100 words when you could use 50 to make the same point? Every situation is different and some letters call for more expounded points, but keep in mind brevity can be beautiful. Tip 1: Read through the first draft of your letter and eliminate any unnecessary or redundant information. Extra information only takes away from the important points. Tip 2: You can also use tools to keep your copy concise. Draft your copy Draft and use simplify to help you shorten your long sentences.  Alternatively, use Hemmingway app to highlight long sentences, adverbs, passive voice and hard to read sentences.

4. End with a call to action.

The letter must have a purpose. At the end of the letter, give the reader something to do next. He’s read your letter, he’s heard what you have to say, now what should he do? Call you? Set up a meeting? Go to your website? Order something? Refer someone? Always give your reader a clear next step for action if you want the best return on your letter. Tip: Provide more than one contact option. Some people prefer to call while others prefer email. Including a website they can visit is also a great idea! They may not be ready to contact you quite yet, but at least they know where to learn more.

5. Be yourself!

This letter, like all writing you do, is a reflection of YOU, so don’t be someone you’re not. Let your personality shine, and write in a way that is natural to you. A reader will take notice of a letter that is unique and sincere. Tip: Include something personal. You could add something interesting from your last conversation with the letter recipient. For example, “Last time we talked, we discussed your newest marketing strategy. I’d love to talk about how we could fit into that strategy.”   When using MailLift’s handwritten letter service, you can always ask our content team to look over what you’ve written and give you our feedback. We’re happy to help you write the best possible letter so you get the best possible return.

Further Reading

14 Essential Quotes: How To Write Handwritten Notes Like Richard Branson The 9 Worst Sales Scripts In History Send handwritten letters with MailLift and Wufoo

Author: Abby Hoban

Abby Hoban is a marketing expert who helped dozens of businesses succeed with handwritten letters in their sales and marketing campaigns. Abby consulted for MailLift and will always be part of the MailLift family.