Why handwritten notes are so powerful – and seven ways you can use them in business

Find out why, in today’s digital world, handwritten notes are so powerful – and seven ways you can use them in business.

Over time, so much of our lives has moved online, and our primary ways of communicating have continued to evolve. We can now talk to our friends, family and colleagues over text, instant messaging, social media and much more – without ever having to step away from the screen.

But, while this new form of communication has its benefits, there’s something that’s dying out in its wake: the act and art of hand writing.

Letters have been swapped for a swift text, while postcards are increasingly being replaced with photos and captions sent from our smartphones. And yet, there is one form of handwitten communication that shows no signs of moving fully online just yet: greeting cards.

In a recent survey by packaging retailers Rajapack, 77% of people said that they still prefer a traditional greeting card over an electronic message.

In this same study, created in collaboration with linguistic expert Philip Seargeant, they looked at how beneficial this traditional form of writing is, and why we should keep it going for the sake of our social communications. Here’s what they found.

The words will probably be more meaningful

These days, electronic communication has replaced handwritten communication for a great number of situations, particularly those where speed, reach, cost and flexibility are primary issues.

But at what cost? When our fingers can type out messages quicker, it seems, than our brains can keep up (not to mention when there’s multiple people involved), are we truly putting conscious thought into what we say?

Writing by hand requires our complete attention, as well as employing all of our senses. This means we’re forced to stop and think about what we actually want to say. In fact, 47% of respondents in the study said that they send greetings cards because they feel it’s more personal and thoughtful than a digital message.

Handwritten messages are also more considered. The act of sitting down, picking up your pen, reflecting on the recipient of the message and putting down those thoughts on paper could mean that your message is more compassionate and meaningful. 

It lets someone know they are special

Part of the popularity of greeting cards now could simply be down to the fact that they aren’t electronic. Given how ubiquitous social media is, a physical card with a hand written message has a sense of being more special.

When it comes to a digital message, it’s no secret that you can whizz something over at the speed of light. You can copy and paste, you can use the “send all” function –  or even predictive messaging – to convey a ‘Happy Birthday’ or a ‘Good Luck’. 

So, you may be more likely to make your receiver smile if they see your handwritten message in a card instead. Handwriting is still seen as a sign of autheticity and immediacy, and ultimately tells the receiver that you’re thinking of them in times of celebration or difficulty.

It’s something that is tangible

The fact that handwritten messages have permanence and a physical quality to them is also important.

In today’s world, where most of our communications disappear into a black hole of data, a handwritten greeting card can be stashed away in a memory box or kept as a memento. It’s a deliberate act of preservation that holds far more significance than an electronic message. 

So, perhaps the next time you start to send your friend a text, you might want to consider if a handwritten greeting card might be the way to go instead. After all, it can benefit both you and your recipient: you get a chance to collect your thoughts while making your recipient smile and giving them something to hold on to. Surely that’s worth the extra effort?

Seven ways you can use handwritten notes in your business

So, how can you leverage the power of handwritten notes in business? Here are seven quick ideas for you:

  1. Send a handwritten thank you card to clients.
  2. If you’re sending products to customers, include a handwritten thank you note – even if it’s just writing on the invoice.
  3. When sending a quote for a big freelance project, send a copy by post with handwritten letter.
  4. If a customer makes a complaint, reply with a handwritten explanation or apology.
  5. Send birthday cards, and congratulations cards for milestones (weddings, births etc) to valued customers and clients.
  6. Send handwritten Christmas or New Year cards.
  7. Print your own branded cards to use.

Photo by David Iskander