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• The difference is in the details.
I have a friend who sends out a newsletter and writes a personal note on each one. Now, I try to do the same … and it's not because I have time on my hands either. It's because when I do this, I get a much, much higher response rate. So, whenever possible, whether it's a holiday card or a response for information, keep it personal.
I've talked about this in other articles and I'll emphasize it again:
It's critical to make your correspondence look like it's been touched by a human hand.
Even handwriting your name in the return address portion of an envelope over your company information can really make a difference.
Another way to add the human element is to use a live stamp. I believe that a lot more business-to-business mail would be opened with a live stamp. My assistant always puts my First-Class mail in a separate envelope, because she infers that information bearing a live stamp is important.
Anytime you send a letter, shoot off an e-mail, or even drop a holiday card in the mail, you are making an impression … the point is to do everything possible to make it a good one. My third grade teacher used to say, "When you send something out, it's a reflection of who you are." She was trying to make us write more neatly, but the point is well worth remembering.
So, as you're getting ready to send your holiday cards … pick out a nice pen,
set aside some time and jot down your personal best wishes and regards. Oh, and use your best handwriting.
LOIS K. GELLER, president of Mason & Geller Direct Marketing in New York City, is the author of "RESPONSE! The Complete Guide to Profitable Direct Marketing." She can be reached at (212) 697-4477 or by e-mail at email@example.com.