SHUT DOWN THE COMPUTER. TURN OFF THE cellphone. Disconnect the fax machine. If you want to send a message that’s sure to be well received, write a note.
Notes are ideal networking tools as they establish one-on-one contact between you and receivers. It may seem old-fashioned, but the simple gift of a handwritten note is still a prized communication in today’s electronic world. Recipients often keep and remember handwritten notes, while emails are usually read and deleted. It only takes a moment to write a couple of sentences to someone special, but the benefits can last a lifetime.
Keep note cards with your company name and logo on hand to express simple kindness at any time. The cards don’t have to be fancy; just representative of your image. Classic paper colors, such as white, off-white or gray, combined with coordinating envelopes are always appropriate. You may even want to include monograms or name and address blocks on personal note cards.
If your organization distributes other print communications such as newsletters or brochures, you may want note cards that coordinate with these materials to use as more personal follow-up pieces. Keeping the overall look and feel of all of your company’s print communications consistent, including note cards, also enhances brand recognition.
The goal with notes is to keep them simple. Be brief and clear, and use an appropriate tone for your relationship with the recipient. Write as if you are speaking in-person, and of course pay attention to neatness and spelling. You could send a handwritten note or card to:
• Recognize a supplier or partner who came through for you during a tough time. Writing a few short sentences and “thank you” is effective.
• Remember a loyal client. A brief note can turn into many more years of valued business.
• Recognize a colleague. A personal card shows true appreciation and can mean even more than a public accolade.
• Acknowledge newspaper or magazine mentions. Include a copy of the article when available.
• Follow up with a meeting or event.
• Say “thank you” for a job inter-view, business referral or recent reorder.
• Acknowledge business associates’ special occasions, such as staff anniversaries, birthdays or weddings.
Sometimes “no reason” is reason enough. Sending a little something “just because” is what makes the art of note writing unique. It can even be as simple as remembering peoples’ hobbies or interests and passing along interesting information. Spending just a few minutes writing a short note on nice stationery can lead to a lifelong business relationship. Contact your print communications professional for creative suggestions on a design for your company’s note cards and envelopes, and make each note count.
Joyce DeLong is a long-time member of NYS Women, Inc., past president of the Buffalo Niagara Chapter, and the owner of Allegra Marketing Print Mail in Cheektowaga. She’s been helping businesses develop print communications and promotional tools for over 30 years. Contact her at [email protected] or 716-634-5966.