Why DON'T you WRITE me?

Friday August 5, 2016 12:48pm by Barry Stevens

This song (by Simon & Garfunkel) came on the radio when I was driving to the office this morning.

It reminded me how unusual it is today to receive a letter. As Paul Simon’s lyrics convey, a letter’s arrival is always welcomed. So much more, I think, than an email – that’s partly because so few business letters are written these days.

Based on our observation of communications from our clients, a simple letter is almost never used as a marketing or sales communication tool. And yet, they can have so much more impact than an email alone. As I say, they are generally welcomed – ask yourself how you feel when a letter arrives on your desk. And, since a letter is such a rarity these days, the contents are more likely to be read and the message is more likely to register with the audience.

You might think it odd that I would appear to be suggesting that email and telephone are not valuable communication tools – I’m not suggesting that at all. We go to enormous trouble to gather emails and direct dials for everyone on i-4business precisely because they are so valuable.

I am simply suggesting that including an introductory letter in the mix can help you achieve the impact you seek by enhancing the message you are delivering and increasing the receptivity and the retention within your audience.

My heartfelt advice is that the letter be simple and personal – i.e. not a glossy flyer – just a one/two-page letter on standard letterhead. It should be signed personally. Also, I believe that the name and address on the envelope should be printed directly onto the envelope – it simply looks more inviting and, desperately importantly, it is far more personal than using window envelopes or labels.

I know it’s far more time-consuming to send a letter. I also appreciate that it’s more costly. But, if you consider the upside of engaging with a key decision-maker and the total lifetime value it could represent, I would put it to you that it’s worth it.

If nothing else, surely it’s worth the trouble to reach those you can’t reach by email – those who’ve opted out or for whom you have no email address. It’s also worth the trouble for those you have emailed repeatedly without response.

To make life easier, there are also, of course, organisations that can take care of the logistics for you if you use it on a grand scale.

I would, though, suggest that you start small – why not try it for a few key individuals and learn how to make it work for you? You can always scale it up once you’ve developed what you feel is the right style and the process to go with it.

We pay the same attention to ensuring that we have the correct mailing address for every contact on i-4business precisely so that you can be successful with this approach.

Please do give it a go – I’ll welcome your feedback and I’m more than happy to discuss this approach in more detail.