Who says hand-written thank you notes are a thing of the past? As you can see, I just received a personalized, hand-written, hand addressed thank you card from a new friend, Darrell. I must admit that my pulse quickened a bit when I saw the hand-addressed envelope amidst the junk mail and bills.


I have been a big fan of them for many years for two major reasons:
1) It makes people feel good to see that someone took a few extra minutes to grab a pen and write out the address versus clicking the option to generate a pre-packaged message.
2) Hardly anyone does it any more. In these days of automation, downsizing, global outsourcing, and hard-core cost accounting; postage is often highly regulated and sometimes even questioned. This trend gives a decided advantage to anyone wielding a first class stamp.

I find it ironic that this thank you note comes on the heels of last week’s article about marketing and customer abuse. Part of me wants to think that Darrell read the article, referenced the Sprint customer database, and decided to show me that cell phone companies are not just interested in new customers – they do care about, and reward loyalty.

If that is the case, then kudos to Darrell! He deserves a raise!

I can’t help thinking about how minimally effective the loyalty programs at drug stores and super markets really are at rewarding loyal customers. I know I get lower pricing on specially-marked items throughout the store, but they are the same prices for everyone else with a card. I spend more money on groceries and gasoline than I do on my cell phone, and have been doing so for many years. I wonder what sort of impact these companies could make by just sending out a simple, hand-written, hand-addressed thank you cards. Would that encourage you to remain a loyal customer?

When was the last time you sent such a note through the USPS? What impact did it make for you? I’d love to hear your stories.