Monday, 26 January 2015

Are Hand-Written Cards a Thing of the Past?

The Lost Art of the Hand-Written Card

Email, Facebook, Texting... the internet has all but replaced the well-meaning, thoughtful, handwritten note.

Case in point:  On December 5, 2014 I had only received three Christmas cards; one from my
mother, one from my niece in England, and one from my dear Aunt Rose who never forgets. A few
years ago at that time, I would have had at least a dozen Christmas cards.

My mother taught me very early on that a hand-written note goes a long way. She still writes cards
for every occasion, and sometimes just because. Most of us only receive bills and junk in our
mailbox, so an actual piece of personally addressed mail is exciting! My 5 year old gets so excited
when mail comes with his name on it, and I find myself getting excited along with him. You know that whomever has sent that card, has put in thought and effort, and that is to be appreciated.

I offer a card-writing service as part of my VA package. Why? Because I believe in its value. The
fact is,when you send a hand-written note, it's read, it's enjoyed, it will be remembered, and
some will keep it. Look around your office and you will see a card on someone's desk. Do they
keep the Happy Birthday text and read it again a few weeks later?  Probably not.  I have a special box that I keep meaningful cards that have been sent to me by colleagues, clients, friends & family.  Some I keep because they are hand-made, some are too beautiful to toss, some are funny (the ones from my husband), and some have sentimental value... but all are appreciated by me.

Below are some tips for writing a great card:

1. Put some thought into it! If possible, pick out a card especially for that person. People love
beautiful pictures or meaningful quotes. Find someone who makes cards and get some specially crafted to suit you. A blank card is ok too, as long as it is personalized on the inside.

2. Hand-written!  This personal touch goes a long way. If you are sending a large amount of cards, a signature stamp is acceptable, but try to stay consistent.

3. The envelope is important too! Did you know that a hand-written envelope is almost guaranteed to be opened!! I even have a client who prefers that I choose special commemorative or seasonal stamps for his mail outs.

4. It doesn't have to say a lot, as long as it's legible and meaningful. Sometimes all you need is a
simple "Thank you"  or "Thinking of you" to let your customer know you appreciate them.

When they read it, they will smile, and that makes it worth the effort and the cost of the stamp.

I will also note an amazing service called SendOutCards, a monthly membership program, that makes card sending especially easy and efficient.  Please contact me for more information. 

Michelle Callipari, Virtual Assistant
MSC Business Solutions

(picture below - some of my favourite cards that I have received recently that hold a place of honour on my desk)