Why even Start-ups love handwritten notes
Real appreciation is the key to customer loyalty
Market researcher Danziger stresses that the combination of handwriting and writing material plays a very special role. Analog distinctiveness within the masses of monotonous, mass printed advertising mail is a very important trigger for the digital native: “The key is offering this generation paper products of high quality that reflect their own individual styles and because of which they feel special.”  The feeling of being appreciated has in turn a noticeable effect on the consumer behavior. Customers who have a real relationship with a brand buy twice as much than people without a personal bond, says Robeson, Senior President of Sales & Marketing at VIPdesk („How Luxury Brands can reinvent the customer experience “).  Also they'd be more faithful to the brand.
Handwritten letters are a key success factor of the “Thank you economy”
Even the smallest gestures can have a big impact. This could be a short, handwritten thank you note. As an example Robeson mentions Silvia Venturini Fendi, Head of Accessories at the renowned luxury label Fendi®. It was her who insisted that the “Peekaboo” handbags (which are produced on request) are delivered with a handwritten thank you note. Another example for a luxury brand that creates positive emotions with handwritten responses is Montblanc®.
But there are also relatively new companies who were able to really take off with the help of the “thank you economy”. On the Forbes blog about the US start-up HEX – a niche ecommerce company with a focus on accessories for high-tech gadgets - Micah Solomon reports on such a company.  The advertising account of such a start-up can't compete with established brands, but still HEX managed to transform a lot of buyers into regular customers by sending out more than 13.000 handwritten thank you notes.
And according to James Beshara, the co-founder of the successful start-up Tilt, the best way of connecting with your customers could be going back in time, going analog again. Tilt provides a crowd funding platform for private events or communities, and managed to be remembered by sending out 1000 handwritten thank you notes. In the video below, Beshara talks about the effect it had, and why he would do it again.
The snapshot method: To stick in the customers memory
Two parts of the customer interaction make customers remember the brand. These are always the beginning (“Hello!) and the end (“Good-bye!”) of the interaction, because at these moments the brain takes a snapshot that will be recalled when remembered in the future. HEX shines at the second snapshot: The customer interaction ended in a memorable way with the help of handwritten thank you notes.
But to make “handwriting” really work as an expression of appreciation, the message needs to meet some conditions:
- 1. Referencing the actual interaction or the reason why you are thankful. Just writing: “We are thankful for having you as a customer.” is too general and not enough.
- 2. The handwritten communication needs to surprise, therefore it shouldn’t be repeated too often.
- 3. Nothing commercial in the same letter.
- 4. The possibility of answering. Ideally, contact info is added by hand.
So...why even digital start-ups love handwritten notes
So how come that start-ups use these methods, although they usually operate online completely? Because as the examples show, online is not enough. Everyone is online all the time, so to stand out, you need to break out of the online world. Another great example for the success that reaching customers offline can bring is the South African online store Yuppiechef.com. Yuppiechef is a popular kitchen accessories e-tailer that was founded in 2006 by two friends, Andrew Smith and Shane Dryden. Yuppiechef has seen a remarkable rise in fortunes, and has become one of South Africa's leading e-commerce stores. Since its founding, Yuppiechef has grwon tremendously. A lot of its growth is owned to the magic of human touch: As the owners of Yuppiechef were so glad about the first order they received, they wrote a heartfelt handwritten note to their first customer, thanking him for supporting the young company. Since the note was a huge hit, they decided to keep on doing this. With handwritten notes, they generated a feeling of excitement that a mass email could never spark.
Marathon instead of sprint: Customer loyalty as the long-term goal
“Most companies don't run a marathon, they are sprinting: They don't think about customer loyalty for the long term, but only set short-term goals”, critises Gary Vaynerchuk, to whom we owe the idea of the “Thank You Economy”.  A hand-written “thank you” that creates positive emotions for the customer can be the first step of the long haul – and that's even possible if you don't have a neat handwriting or lack the time to write all the letters or cards by hand.
Pensaki is the digital private secretary who takes care of the writing for you, so you are always one step ahead of the game. For small and exclusive occasions, professional calligraphers are a great option as well of course. Maybe you know someone directly near you?
 "When I hear people debate the ROI of social media? It makes me remember why so many business fail. Most businesses are not playing the marathon. They're playing the sprint. They're not worried about lifetime value and retention. They're worried about short-term goals." http://www.wikiquotesx.com/quote/gary-vaynerchuk-438589