Once seen as a childhood chore, thank you cards (and handwritten letters) may be one of the few things we can all do to save the world.
I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid, my parents made me write thank you cards. After every birthday and holiday, each friend and relative received a handwritten note acknowledging their gift or letter. I wrote how much I appreciated their effort and thoughtfulness and how much I liked the gift. If they sent money, I wrote what I was saving it for and how I planned to spend it.
And although I was grateful for each gift and each person, sitting at the kitchen table writing notes was not high on my list of fun things to do. At times, it felt like a chore, other times a punishment.
Little did I realize how technology would change how we communicate and what a unique and thoughtful gesture thank you cards would become.
In an AYTM.com blog post Thank You Notes Survey: Paper Notes Considered More Meaningful, December 29, 2014, Anne Pilon reports that “72% of respondents think that paper thank you notes are more meaningful than electronic ones.”
Much like you, I receive most of my correspondence by email, black type against a white background. It’s faster and cheaper. Plus, I don’t have to struggle to understand the sender’s handwriting. But, I think most people would agree that it does lack a certain amount of warmth.
A handwritten thank you note strengthens a genuine bond and link between two people. It means that someone took the time to sit, pick up a pen or pencil, concentrate on you, and think about how to express their gratitude. Someone, who like you, has a hectic, busy life filled with work, friends, and maybe a family.
Continuing the lesson my parents taught me, I use thank you notes in my business. An act that once felt so time-consuming and ordinary is now extraordinary.
Thank you notes make me memorable. When I write to thank my clients for allowing me to work on their projects, I find that it makes my business stand out and creates a positive, lasting impression.
I also use my thank you notes to continue my branding. My company name, logo, and contact information are all featured on my custom-designed cards. (Before I could budget for custom notes, however, I did purchase a box of thank you cards from my local Target and insert my business card. Remember: taking time to do something is better than nothing)
Notes don’t need to be eloquent or lengthy. They only need to be handwritten by you, if possible.
Thank You notes are personal. They take time, effort and strengthen the bond we have with each other. The contents of the cards are concealed, not mined, and used to teach AI. So in comparison, it’s a small gesture that could save the world.