Are Brands Too Digitized Today and Should there Be a Personal Touch?

by Matt Weik

There’s no denying that our lives have been easier through the advent of the internet. People email each other rather than picking up the phone. We send text messages to neighbors instead of knocking on their front door and speaking with them. In essence, technology and the internet have rewired us to become lazy. That being said, if a brand wants to differentiate themselves from their competition, they should consider some old school tactics and introduce a personal touch to their marketing and customer retention strategy.

Do You Own a Pen and Paper?

To this day, the things that mean the most to me are a handwritten letter from vendors and clients. It’s not often I get thank you’s in this fashion but when I do, they make a lasting impression. It’s so simple to type out an email and fire it off to someone. Or to peck away at your phone to send a text message. But it takes some time to send out a handwritten letter to someone.

This personal touch can go a long way. And the fact that your name and signature are on the handwritten letter means even more. Businesses have admins who handle much of the paperwork and even customer retention. They fire off emails all day long saying thank you for your purchase, thank you for your support, thank you for using our product/service, etc. Sometimes this is even automated from the website checkout and a brand is completely hands off.

But what if someone in the company actually took the little extra time to write a note and mail it out? Yes, that means getting a pen and paper, writing your note, getting an envelope, putting the note in it, licking it shut, putting the address on the front of the envelope, putting a stamp on it, and putting it in the mail. Do you remember that process? It seems so dated yet it’s still extremely effective.

In all seriousness, the recipient of that note will certainly feel special that you took the time to actually send them a handwritten note. It’s an old school type of communication but has a personal touch to it. When you get emails from brands today there is no personal touch. You can create thank you templates, use mail merge, and blast out the same letter (email) to everyone and make it appear personalized by simply inserting merge fields from an Excel list that contains the names of the people you are emailing. Or you can use websites and software like MailChimp to basically do the same thing for you.

From an efficiency standpoint, the email blast is way more efficient. However, that shouldn’t dismiss the fact that brands should also look to utilize some sort of personal touch. This could be through a handwritten letter like I mentioned. It could even be through a phone call where you can actually speak to the person. Personally, I’d recommend using all forms – digital and those with a personal touch.

A Phone Call Can Make You More Money

I feel like I’m giving away all of my secrets here. I probably should have written a book on this whole topic. But let’s think about a phone call for just a second and how this personal touch can actually lead to more sales and revenue each year.

When you get on the phone with someone such as a customer, what do you have the ability to do as compared to an email? You get an immediate response. Emails can go into spam and junk folders. Emails can be skimmed over, unanswered, and deleted. But a phone call where you can get the other person on the line can be extremely productive.

You can ask the customer what they like about their purchase. What do they think of your brand? Would there be anything you could do to improve upon the product or brand? What are their goals? Do they have any questions that you can answer? You get to gain insight and feedback from the discussion. If they mention a certain goal, you can recommend other products to them and even upsell them right there over the phone. But overall, it’s a personal touch with another human being versus being digital.

Have you ever noticed that it’s easier to close a sale when you’re actually speaking with the person on the phone or in person rather than trying to secure an account through email? It’s that personal touch that people enjoy.

Include a Sample

Supplement companies like to give out thousands and thousands of samples at shows. Yet, many make it extremely difficult to try their products any other time. Here’s an idea to combine the personal touch of sending a handwritten note to a customer. When you are writing your note, put in there that you appreciate their support and if they enjoy their purchase, this sample might be of interest to them. Explain the reasons why they would use the product (sample) and that you encourage them to try it for themselves and see what they think.

Again, it’s a personal touch that you’re taking time out of your day to make them feel like you’re paying attention to them and appreciate their business. They will most certainly like the fact that you wrote the letter/note but the free sample can introduce them to another product that you sell which they could add to their next purchase. It makes sense, right?

I encourage you to try something different this year with your business. Look to add a personal touch that will differentiate you from everyone else out there. A personal touch can go a long way and help create brand loyalty in the long-term. Don’t believe me? Try it and see what happens. If I’m wrong, email and tell me it didn’t work in your instance. I’d love to hear your feedback.

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