Sometimes there are no marketing shortcuts

I’m a big fan of using old school methods. In fact, the more dependent and hooked people get to the online/app world, the more I retreat the other way.

Like Facebook was great during my college days. Now it’s completely off my phone.

One old-school method I like is the hand-written note. They go a long way, probably because nobody writes them out by hand anymore.

I got the idea from a job hunting book titled “Knock Em Dead”. Before I graduated college, I asked my Dad for tips on how to get a job, and all he did was buy me that book.

And I used to send hand-written notes to hiring managers after every interview. Not like they sealed any deals, but I think that’s just the nature of job interviews.

But still, it’s great to get a hand-written note every once in a while. It’ll make your month.

But onto my main story. Similar to the letters from the cable company that I get every week, I get letters from a window company every now and again.

And it’s a really good idea, except it’s kinda executed poorly.

First, this specific window company will install windows at a house in our neighborhood. After they complete a job, they will mail every house a letter telling everybody they just finished a local job.

And there are great reasons to do this. It demonstrates social proof that other people are buying your product and the timeliness of the sale.

Not to mention, it’s a method that’s completely  offline. The window company is using a marketing channel where their competitors don’t even show up.

The only thing this company messes up on is how the letters look.

They make the letter look like a hand-written note, but you can totally tell it’s printed.

Not only is the writing print, it’s also printed in cursive so I can barely read it.

But the biggest fail is it’s not personal at all. Nobody’s first name is printed on the letter, and it completely removes the biggest strength of a hand-written letter.

When you get a hand-written note, it’s also special because it’s super-scarce. It’s because the note is only meant for an audience of one. You know that none of that note was copy and pasted.

Plus it takes work to write a hand-written note. If you think it doesn’t, try to write a few paragraphs by hand. Also try to make sure they’re legible. It definitely takes some time.

There are some scenarios where you can’t cut corners. As much as something looks like a personal hand-written note, deep down inside, people know what it really is.