The Resurrection Of Handwritten Communication?

As the technology of communication has been enhanced, so has the ability to reach one another exploded.  TV commercials seem arcane compared to sophisticated email campaigns with colorful embedded video.  Printed mail advertisings arrive with simulated handwriting that is meant to convey a personal message.

A couple of months ago I sent out a number of handwritten thank you cards to a group of people who had been clients over the years.  I thought it was a bit old fashioned, but since I enjoy writing by hand it seemed consistent.  The reaction was amazing.  One CEO called me up and invited me to lunch to discuss a new idea that led to a consultation project.  Another sent me an email thanking me for taking time to reach out.  A third asked, “Do people still send letters to one another by mail?”  He was serious.

A handwritten letter or note has power.  Why?

  • As the second CEO indicated, it signifies something extraordinary compared to in boxes and sent mail.  Time is meaningful and when someone sees that you gave up your valuable time to make contact they usually appreciate it.
  • Personal messages have personal value for the receiver, especially in our world of bombardment by spam. Handwritten communication has such importance that we have invented an advertising technology to attempt to copy it, but thankfully we can spot the fake.
  • Handwritten notes touch the memories of a maturing generation that has a strong connection to written cards and letters.  They remember the note of thanks, the card from a relative, and even the letter from a lover.  The feeling is visceral and romantic in many cases.

A well-crafted emessage or electronic document can have an elegance and creativity all its own.  But a handwritten letter can be beautiful, with little doubt about what the emotion and connection between the author and recipient.