You emailed? Try a letter next time
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
Yes, I got your email yesterday.
I get everyone's email, at least that's the way it seems with 300 messages a day. That includes low mortgage rates, sex from Russian women who are lonely, free money from the prime minister of Nigeria, Viagra stores, a whole barrage of messages in Spanish and now in alphabets I can't decipher.
Yes, I'm sure I received the email from you, but just refresh me — what was it about?
Isn't it the same on your computer? Thousands of pieces of information showing up in electronically-charged ions every day? When do you get free time to read it all? Answer: You don't.
So, here's the problem: Computer overload, too much information. Everyone is taking precise aim right at my monitor. Frankly, I'm out of computer screen time. Until I figure out a way to get my computer into the bathroom, it's likely to stay that way.
But there's good news, too. You don't have to send everything by email.
You can send your prospects, clients and customers a letter. Remember them? Letters are always well received and nice letters are really, really well received.
Email = Ugh, not another one! How fast can get it off my screen?
Letter = Hey, I got a letter!
Admit it — you like to get letters, too. Nice letters can sit on your desk, you can read and reread them at your leisure and smile.
Sure, email is great if you need to supply a fast quote by the end of the day. It's an emergency vehicle. But if it's that important, your brief email should be followed up by a real letter. Yea, a real USPS-delivered letter.
Emails, websites, searches and results — everything on the Web is a victim of your limited time of staring at it on your computer screen. And after the briefest of looks, it's gone from your screen, gone from sight — out of sight out of mind.
But a letter? A real letter? Wow. I can send you a letter, and it can sit on your desk for days (or around here, weeks or months). All the while reminding you how much I care about you as a client and a friend.
It reminds you I took the trouble to sit down and compose it. I actually wrote something intelligent out — in proper English, using capitals, no typos — found an envelope and a stamp, addressed it and finally charged down to the post office to send it to you. Yes, it was that important.
When you get right down to it, an email is a brief note that is always a nanosecond away from the delete button. A letter is a permanent work of passion: writing and art wrapped into an air of permanence.
Help the ailing post office out and write a letter. It's something that can stick around forever. The only time an email does that is when you've said something you shouldn't have.
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