Making it personal

30.07.12 | Posted in What I'm Loving

Like anyone who’s serious about building relationships, I love a good handwritten note and do my best to send them as often as I can. I’m also fortunate to be on the receiving end of many – from all sorts of people who want to speak at Business Chicks events, or want to be featured in Latte, or just want their product brought to my attention.

The problem is that lots of people are doing it wrong, and therefore wasting the opportunity altogether.

Note from ONJ

Today I got two handwritten pieces of mail. The first was from Olivia Newton-John (let me pick up that name I just dropped on the floor) – it was a letter that one of her representatives had typed up, and she had personally signed it at the bottom. The letter was completely personalised and I could tell it wasn’t templated in any way. Winner.

What made the experience even more impressive was that it came with another note (again very personalised) from her representative saying that Olivia had asked her to pass the first note on to me. Again, it was completely written for me and developed from scratch.

The next piece of mail was from an author who had sent me their latest book. A lovely gesture, but it lost some of its sheen when I got to the handwritten card which may as well have been an advertisement for the book. There was no emotion conveyed or personalisation at all – it was just ‘here’s my book and this is what it is about’.

The best part of a personal note is the message that comes with it. If you go to all the trouble of sending a card or parcel, take the time to make it personal and make it count.


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  1. Keryn

    Great post Emma! So true. It’s this philosophy that is the foundation of my small business. I hope your cards arrived to you safely.

  2. Emma

    The cards were beautiful! In fact, I’ve already used them all up! Time for me to buy some more!!

  3. Bobbi

    Hi Emma,
    Your blog was recommended to me and I’ve thoroughly resonated with the first post I read :)
    Relationship building seems to be a dying art. I was thinking along the same lines the other day when I noticed a family member who once upon a time would have called on my young daughter’s birthday, but this year left a comment on a post on this 13 year old’s Facebook profile. Cheers to those who take the time to build and sustain relationships …
    Have a wonderful day.

  4. Rita

    Emma , I took the time out of my busy day to read “I challenge you”… I love it and I know that we get so caught up with technology that we have become too busy to pick up the phone and find it easier to txt or email… so you have motivated me to hand write a thank you note to my client and actually post it out today!!

    Thank you

  5. Julie Forbes

    Hi Emma – couldn’t have said it better myself – there’s nothing like a hand-written note to make the recipient feel special.

  6. Elaine Batiste

    Thanks for the “I challenge you” and the post Emma. I have always been one to write hand written notes and I still try and send at least 2 a week, especially when the recipient least expects it.I now run a small business selling gorgeous stationery and I often feel like it is just an extension of me!

  7. Dhea

    Yes I totally agree that we use too many mediums that can be deleted ie FB or emails and yes cards too can convey what I call “poopaganda” what initially seems like a lovely message but essentially is asking for business… both a necessary but not in the same card… keep appreciation and gratitude separate and watch what happens when you send out genuine appreciation… Love it

  8. Cheryl Leong

    Hi Emma

    I just wanted to say this email was very timely as I’ve just started a 30 day gratitude challenge to send out a card a day to someone in my life that has touched me in some way along my journey. You’re so spot on when you say it’s so easy to get caught up in the world of email and social media because of it’s convenience but nothing beats receiving a personalised card in good ole snail mail amongst the mountain of bills we receive these days.

    Thanks for sharing and I applaud you for being a fantastic role model not just to your staff but to all business women across Australia.

  9. Emma

    Great work Cheryl! Will you keep me posted on your challenge? And remember – the fact that you’re sending out the card is just the start. It’s the thoughtfulness that goes into the message that really makes it work. All the best!