Customers Crave Authenticity. Show Off Your Real Brand With Handwritten Notes.
Forget about transactions. Today’s consumers expect more than an emotionless give-and-take with brands. Instead, they want — and increasingly demand — a relationship built around authenticity.
This desire for genuine connections between buyers and businesses has changed the playing field. Stackla research shows that 86% of people choose brands on the basis of perceived authenticity. Consequently, large corporations with impressive recognition but without authentic leanings are seeing shoppers take their money elsewhere. Even though the sentiment toward authentic touchpoints is strongest among Millennials and members of Generation Z, 81% of all customers point to trust as a deciding factor when shopping.
Of course, this raises a natural question: What are some of the most effective ways for a company to increase its public reputation as an authentic brand? There are plenty of potential solutions, yet one remains clear and surprisingly simple to implement: Send handwritten notes to customers.
Hardly Peanuts: The Power of a Handwritten Card
Working for a relationship-building brand like Hallmark, I’ve experienced the power of developing connections with customers. I once received a message on our social media account from a parent. She mentioned her child loved Snoopy. Well, we had tons of Snoopy products.
Inspired by the chance to connect with a customer in a fun way, I wrote her a personal note in a Snoopy notecard (signed by our whole team) and accompanied it with some of our items. Lo and behold, my action spurred a correspondence that continued for years. To this day, I still have drawings from her child hanging in my office.
My experience shows how a single handwritten note can humanize a brand and forge a brand-customer bond. There’s just something about the imperfections of handwriting that inspires pure human emotion and connection. Our customer knew that someone on our team took the time to read her social media message and respond, not only online but also in an extremely personalized way.
Think about the last time you received a handwritten greeting card or note in the mail. It no doubt had personality. It was also probably a surprise to receive it. Most people get only 10 handwritten pieces of mail annually. That means if you take the time to write customized notes to your customers, your mail will stand out in a big way.
Remember: Most of us get junk mail that’s typewritten and maybe a touch impersonal. It doesn’t evoke authenticity because it’s something ordinary and transactional.
Handwritten cards make strong statements. Perhaps that’s why our Hallmark Business Connections clients have reported up to 22% in direct mail performance improvement over their other kinds of mailed media and double the revenue, too! Clients know that you’ve taken a few moments out of your day to dash off a few lines. Texts, DMs, and emails may suffice in some circumstances, but when you want to make an authentic impact, you can’t deny that handwritten notes sit in a class all their own.
Handwriting Woes? There’s a Custom Solution for That.
Of course, many companies that want to empower their people to send handwritten cards to express thoughtfulness, kindness, apologies, thanks, and sympathies to customers worry about the handwriting itself. Not everyone has a beautiful or readable signature. Perhaps that’s another reason that people often lean into technology — it’s both speedy and consistent. It’s not authentic, though.
The good news is that Hallmark Business Connections has developed a collection of realistic handwriting fonts as well as proprietary fonts. If you’d rather have individualized fonts made based on an individual’s handwriting, Hallmark can make that happen, too. In some cases, companies have worked with us to develop an exclusive handwriting for the whole corporation. That way, your team members can send out authentic cards that feature digital typography constructed to mimic real handwriting. The result are notes that prompt the emotional engagement your consumers need in order to build trust in your brand.
Authenticity matters to consumers, but it isn’t as hard to achieve as you might assume. Start by reviewing your workflows and customer experience journeys. You may just find some wonderful opportunities for your employees to send memorable notes with personalized handwriting to prospects and customers.
Want to learn more about the value and ROI of sending corporate greeting cards as part of your life event marketing? Download our whitepaper today.