When was the last time you sent a handwritten note to one of your clients? According to the numbers, it’s probably been a long, long time. The Radicati Group estimated that, nationwide, 130 billion email messages were sent per day (as an individual you average 124 per day). That’s two million sent each second. Add to that over 18 billion texts per day (or 32 per person per day) and you begin to see the novelty of a handwritten note in 2020 pretty quickly.
It’s unfortunate that we’re losing this art. The very act of writing by hand slows the mind and forces it into a more contemplative state in which precisely chosen words convey nuances of emotion that could never be captured in a quick “Wassup?” or “lol.” I understand that the barriers for a rebirth of handwritten notes are significant: Postage, stationery cost, the lack of immediacy and the time and care required in its preparation. For me, personally, an additional hurdle is my hen-scratch penmanship.
Nonetheless, nothing expresses respect for another human being like a handwritten letter. Think about it: Will an email message, text message or cell phone call ever be carefully bundled into a memory box and savored for years to come? In a world that thrives on acceleration, the handwritten letter calls us back to a time more deliberate, elegant and gracious.
If you have never handwritten a note before, here are some tips.
- Write something personal
- Check your spelling
- It doesn’t have to be long
- Use nice or creative paper
- Give them an idea or a picture
Remember how you react to email: It can wait. The written letter needs to be read right now.
I encourage you to try something new, like a handwritten note. At the very least, send your mom one today.
Dave Tester is the author of “Dialing Strangers: Overcoming Your Hangups and Producing Cold Calls That Sell.” His new book, Fearless Communication: How to Energize Your Team for Success on the Phone, will be coming this fall.