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Want to increase customer loyalty and retention? Try handwritten notes

Getting personal is a shortcut to your customers’ hearts… and their wallets.

However, the modern customer often sees through automated personalization methods and won’t necessarily respond with a purchase.

Handwritten thank you notes increase customer spending

… Unless you do personalization the old fashioned way.

Ariyh reported an interesting experiment from a South Korean beauty retailer. They sent different types of thank you notes to 1,232 different customers, then tracked the customers’ future spending.

The message with the highest “future spending rate”? A handwritten thank you note.

Let’s look at the numbers: Customers who received a package without a note or a package with a typed-out note spent around $26, while customers who received a handwritten note or even a photocopy of a handwritten note spent $52.

The order value doubled!

Now, before we dig in, there are a few things to consider…

First, this study is based on beauty products. Products like these sell based on emotion, so it’s unclear whether the effect would be the same if you’re selling screwdrivers.

Also, because it was a one-time test, it’s not clear how handwritten notes would affect customer spending once they start expecting handwritten notes.

Here’s what you should do if you want to replicate this experiment at your online store:

  • Write a nice and readable handwritten note – or find someone who can do it for you.
  • Don’t add any discounts or free samples. It contrasts with the warmth of the letter.
  • Photocopy the note in high quality paper so it looks like a carbon copy of the original.
  • If your customers repeat buy from you, freshen the note with new copy.
  • Test out handwritten fonts on your packaging or website.

Handwritten notes seem to work because they add a personal touch in a world where human contact is minimal.

And no matter what you’re selling, adding a genuine human touch can go a long way toward evoking happy emotions – and maybe even opening wallets.