Back to Basics with the Handwritten Note

3 Steps to Make your Next Note More Personal

It’s easy to be blinded by bright shiny objects as we try and keep up with the constantly changing landscape of social media and online marketing.

Some “guru” is always touting the next big thing and it’s up to you to decide if it’s actually worth your time and attention.

One marketing strategy that has never lost its effectiveness is sending out handwritten note cards to past clients, referral partners, influencers, and potential mortgage/RE clients.

Old Is New Again 

Not too long ago, we all had empty email inboxes, while our mailboxes at home were overflowing.

Nowadays, the reverse is true. According to a study by, the average American worker sends and receives 121 emails per day and that number is expected to grow to 140 by 2018.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t do email marketing, but focusing ONLY on email means you’ll be executing just like your competitors.

Let me ask you… when was the last time you received a handwritten note?

Americans usually only send one or two cards through the mail per year. Birthday’s and Christmas are the normal times you can expect your Aunt Suzy to send you a card. Yet, even those cards are usually a $4 store-bought, with a signature at the bottom.

Think about it… people don’t even personalize the Christmas cards anymore. It says something generic like “Best wishes for the Holiday Season”.

These types of cards don’t really count as handwritten notes.

Anyhow, back to the question — When is the last time you got a handwritten note in the mail?

For many of you, I know it’s been a long time.

Sending handwritten notes has become a lost art in the world of email, text messaging, and social media chats. We have become used to speed, efficiency, and instant gratification, but those forms of communication don’t always create the biggest impact.

Think back to your birthday. What means more to you: Receiving a generic email template from a large company saying “happy birthday” or a birthday card? Going deeper, what about a store bought birthday card versus a blank card that has nothing but personal handwritten sentiments inside?

Again, the handwritten card is going to win every day.  It’s more personal, which makes it more meaningful.

Time Is Everything 

In addition, when we receive a handwritten note, it’s more than just the message inside.  We also know the person took time and energy to make that note possible.  The note itself tells us:

  • First, you thought about me and decided to invest your time to write me a special message.
  • Next, you actually wrote the note. We all think about doing things but that doesn’t mean it happens.
  • Then you located my address, and had a stamp to get it in the mail.

All of the above takes much more time than sending an email… and the recipient knows it.

Continue The Conversation

Sending note cards to your prospects should be a regular part of your marketing and follow up process.


In addition to all we’ve said so far, it also makes the next contact much easier. The person you are sending it to won’t receive many handwritten notes, meaning your piece of mail will stand out from anything else they’ll receive.

Because let’s be honest, your competition isn’t doing this.

And, most likely, you’re not consistently doing it either… (yet.)

3 Best Practices for Handwritten Notes

  1. Use unbranded notecards, or get cards made that are personally branded.Remember, you’re sending a personal note, not a business advertisement. A company logo on the card can send mixed messages and communicate wrong motives. I use these cards from Staples, along with blank white envelopes.
  1. Put that business card back in your desk, not inside the envelope.Again, this is a personalnote. The prospect already knows how to reach you or you wouldn’t have their contact information, right?
  1. Write rightly.Tilt the card a little bit so your hand writing is angling up and to the right. Studies show people who are happy will write slightly upwards and people that are sad will angle their handwriting down. This is a tip I picked up in7 Levels of Communication by Michael J. Maher.

Best –


P.S., which means Post Script, literally means “the one that was written after.” You can use a P.S. at the end of your note for something purposeful, like a call-to-action, or a specific compliment.  It’s a chance for you to set an expectation of what you will be doing next.  You may want to ask them to call you, visit a website, or give them a heads up that you’ll be reaching out to them again at a future time.

P.S. – check out the Handwritten Note Reminder Video