Handwritten Note Best Practices

A handwritten note is one of the most meaningful tools to connect and build deeper relationships because of the personal nature of the note. Personal notes are increasingly rare these days and thus have a significant effect on the recipient. It has power that other touches or types of follow up lack. These suggestions will help you write them more easily so that it becomes nearly effortless.

  • Choose a high quality paper product or monogrammed stationary
  • A personal note should be handwritten…by you
  • Keep it brief and sincere
  • Avoid the use of the pronoun “I”… make the note about the recipient
  • Apply some thoughtfulness to write something relevant and meaningful. Ask yourself, what’s on my heart/mind that I would like to share with this person. Then just say it simply and directly, but do it without being overly sentimental or emotional. The power of the right thought does not need any window dressing. Remember the old adage, “It’s the thought that counts”
  • A timely note has significant impact. If the note precedes or follows an event in the recipient’s life, send the note as close to the date of the event as possible
  • Choose a pen that makes your handwriting look its best. Do you write better using cursive or standard print?
  • Write on scratch paper first…it costs less if you make a mistake
  • If you struggle to write in a straight line or print equally sized letters, try using a straight edge and a piece of lined paper

Handwritten notes should be used when communication is meant to be personal and sincere. Because so few business professionals use handwritten notes, it is also a great way to differentiate yourself from your competition.

Example Handwritten Note Topics

  • Convey thanks or gratitude
  • Thank for a referral or new customer/client
  • Thank for great service
  • Congratulate
  • Follow a first meeting or introduction
  • Share humor or something fun
  • Set up a future meeting, i.e. “Let’s get together”
  • Any personal event, i.e. graduation, promotion, retirement, birthday, wedding, birth, adoption, express condolences
  • Holidays
  • Encouragement or affirmation
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