Handwritten notes are magic

This is a guest post from Drew McLellan, CEO and Top Dog at McLellan Marketing Group. See the original post this is adapted from and more like it on his blog.

Front of thank you noteAs I was speaking to a college class one night, and our conversation reminded me of this marketing tip. Handwritten notes are practically unheard of today. Everyone fires off an e-mail or texts a quick thought. But for someone to sit down and take the time to actually write a thank you note (or any sort of note) is an almost forgotten art.

Which is why it is so noticeable and memorable.

The photos to the right are a thank you note that I received nine months ago from a developer at Wufoo. (Wufoo is an awesome online tool that lets you create interactive, HTML-based forms on the fly). We’ve been a happy and loyal customer for a few years now.

Anyway — for no special reason and on no special occasion, I get this homemade handwritten card from Chris, one of the Wufoo developers.

Let’s look at this “high end” card. He took thick construction paper and put a dinosaur sticker on the front. Then, with a pen, he created the “Thanks” on the front and wrote me a quick note on the back. He thanked us for our business and said that they valued our trust in them.

I still have the note.

Back of thank you noteIt sits on my desk. I get tons of e-mails and other electronic forms of communications. None of them are displayed on my desk.

Handwritten says you went out of your way. Handwritten says you have good manners, handwritten says it really mattered to you.

Handwritten notes are brilliant marketing. What if you wrote one thank you note a week to a customer, employee, or vendor?

I think you’ll be stunned at the response. Try it and let me know.


About Drew McLellan

Wall Street Journal calls Drew McLellan’s blog, DrewsMarketingMinute.com, "one of the ten blogs every entrepreneur should read." His passion is helping clients discover their story so they can create authentic love affairs with their customers. He's also an author, national speaker, and has owned his own marketing agency in the Midwest since 1995.

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  1. Cameron Elkin

    Tried it, at scale. It works! But the costs involved and manpower needed make it fairly prohibitive. But the social play and goodwill we received was great. While not as easily measurable I still considered our first project a success and the minimum break even. The real results will bear themselves as we compare to a test group to see if it helps with the elusive idea of “customer retention” – hey they $10 gift card in each note didn’t hurt either. Thanks for your post! We are always scratching for ideas to retain customers and stand out from the pack looking forward to more cool ideas. Thanks,


  2. Drew McLellan


    Glad it worked. You’re right — it’s labor intensive so you probably can’t crank them out like a factory. I also think if you sent them to the same audience too often, it would diminish the results.


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