Today, brands are trying to one-up each other in order to attract more customers. The thing is, reaching a new audience is not much of a problem these days, with available marketing and lead generation solutions.
True brand strength lies in the ability to retain existing customers. Afterall, it is 6 times more expensive to gain a new client than retain an existing one.
Modern customers feel personalization of the user experience (online and offline) is a great way to build loyalty. 44% of consumers say that they will likely become repeat buyers after a personalized shopping experience with a particular company . They want to feel special and appreciated. And in today’s digital world, there’s no better way for a brand to take a huge step in this direction than to utilize handwritten notes.
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How to use the power of handwritten notes for customer retention
Add meaning to the brand-client relationship
Most of us have moved far away from using pens for our correspondence. The speed, ease and cost of electronic communication is just too appealing. This doesn’t mean that people don’t value handwritten messages anymore. If anything, they value them more than ever. They are unique.
Receiving a handwritten thank you note, for example, is highly personal and unique. It also provides plenty of room for proving just how special and valuable this particular customer is for the brand. Handwritten notes are an expression of time and focus. After all, you have to focus to sit down and write a note, and you have to invest five minutes or more to do it. In today’s go-go society, this time is highly valued.
That said, sending handwritten notes should never follow the same old pattern that feels like a typical email sales pitch.
Instead of writing something generic like “Dear valued customer”, please make it personal and use the customer’s name. Mention their purchases and relay your hopes when it comes to their satisfaction with the purchase.
If the brand image allows it, don’t hesitate to add little drawings and emojis. This is how customers can experience actual surprise and appreciation, and feel more than happy to return to your website/store for the next shopping spree.
Appreciate long-term customers
Retaining recent customers by sending handwritten cards is great, but it’s extremely important to keep the focus on the long-term customers as well. They are the true supporters of your business and they have continued to support you time and time again.
Even so, with so many choices available for consumers nowadays, those long-term customers could easily switch their loyalty to a different brand. This is precisely why a personal incentive and sign of appreciation for their loyalty in the form of a handwritten note can keep them returning to your products/services for many years to come.
Keep thanking your customers
Brands can use handwritten notes in many different ways to relay a plethora of messages. This can trigger a chain of events that would turn new customers into loyal ones. For instance, when they receive custom handwritten thank you notes for their purchase, people are bound to share their excitement with their friends and family. They might even talk about this on their social media and tag the brand in their posts.
Thanks to this seemingly simple act, brands can expect another flow of new customers, all referred by the ones who already received a handwritten message. Again, a new opportunity arises to send handwritten notes as a token of gratitude for word-of-mouth recommendation and so on, efficiently strengthening the relationship with the customer base.
Utilize celebratory occasions
What better time to make your customers feel special and work on your customer retention strategy than during important dates such as the holidays and their birthdays?
Every celebration is an ideal opportunity to show that your customers are not just a number for you.
Think about your brand and your niche; you might have even more chances for sending personalized handwritten letters to your customers, such as wedding and business anniversaries, for example.
It’s true that writing a handwritten note to a huge customer pool during the holidays may prove a bit difficult, but fortunately, you can always make the most out of a handwritten card service. And this particular handwritten strategy works the best when it comes to relatively regular customers of yours, not just one-time shoppers.
Get in touch with lapsed customers
While big celebrations and occasions are great for showing your appreciation to returning customers, it’s also crucial to reconnect with your lapsed customers. In this case, sending an email or newsletter probably won’t work. But a personal approach might.
Use a handwriting service to send personal and unique messages to your lapsed customer inquiring about their well-being and wishing them all the best. Mention that you’ve noticed their absence and explain that you miss and value them. Include a tempting incentive as well, such as a discount code or a gift voucher to prompt them to action again. One of our large clients uses this strategy and sees coupon redemption rates five times greater than normal!
Always apologize after making a mistake
Customer satisfaction is the most important thing for modern-day businesses, especially in the age of social media. It might seem unfair, but even just one negative review online can damage your business.
It’s almost certain that you’ll have some mishap at one point or another. You might experience errors with shipping or customer information, order delays, faulty products and so on.
Regardless of the mistake, the best thing you can do for your brand is to apologize in a sincere and personal manner.
A more general issue might be resolved with posting on social media but if the problem was isolated affecting a specific customer, make sure to send them a heartfelt and handwritten apology letter. This will have a much bigger impact compared to sending an email or even a phone call.
Stay away from the hard sell
Nowadays, consumers are used to various forms of hard sells. Digital marketing has come a long way and it truly is an amazing tool to attract new customers, strengthen your online presence and push your brand. But this is precisely why your handwritten notes should feel genuine and appreciative without hyping your products/services.
While handwritten notes are a great marketing strategy, the focus should only be on the customers and not your brand. The point is to make them feel valued and appreciated so that they decide to trust you over and over again on their own. Generating more sales may be the end goal, but the purpose of the handwritten letters should be customer retention.
Things to keep in mind with handwritten notes
Penmanship holds very little importance
Beautiful handwriting is definitely an added bonus but the truth is that the majority of people won’t really care about penmanship; the charm and value of handwritten notes lie in the imperfection of handwriting. The fact that someone took the time to write them something by hand has a much greater impact and meaning compared to the actual handwriting style.
Of course, if you really wish to go all out with every single aspect of the note, penmanship included, you can always rely on a professional handwritten letters service such as Handwrytten. You can also use other services to allow you to sell your notes.
Spelling and grammar should be perfect
Contrary to the matter of penmanship, spelling and grammar leave no room for mistakes. Regardless of how nice, exciting and charming getting a handwritten note is, customers will find your brand rather unprofessional if the message has spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. This can also lower the sincerity and genuine feel of your note as it may appear rushed and disinterested.
If you decide to take up this task, make sure that you write slowly and carefully. Feel free to practice beforehand, and maybe even type the content of the note first to get the benefits of the spell and grammar checker before you start to write. You should always have a solid idea of what your note should say; never write directly on the card off the top of your head.
Keep the tone friendly and conversational
Corporate correspondence with colleagues, business contacts and other brands may require a formal tone but that’s not the case with handwritten notes you wish to send to your customers. The whole point of this particular customer retention strategy is to show the human and personal side of your brand.
In order for the customers to feel truly appreciated and valued, the impression they have while reading should be a note from a real person, warm and personal; not salesy, and not business-like, all cold and sterile. Use simple words, colloquialisms and casual speech.
Short and sweet is the best combo
You’re not writing an essay. There’s no need for your handwritten notes to be too long. Lengthy notes don’t actually have the same impact like the shorter and concise ones do.
Of course, the note shouldn’t be too short either. This is not a Twitter post you’re writing. You also risk creating an impression that you’re obviously sending a handwritten note just for marketing purposes while trying to cut corners as much as possible.
Ideally, keep the length of your message between three and seven sentences.
In the era of typing, receiving a handwritten note can be a meaningful and heartwarming experience.
Regardless of how much technology and digitalization get incorporated into our daily lives, people will always feel nostalgic and emotional for things that show effort and personality.
No one denies the power of digital marketing, but when it comes to customer retention, it’s the unique, sweet and warm touch of the handwritten note that can make a world of difference.