Why Snail Mail Will Speed Up Your Business Growth

By sending ten personal notes a day, you can write your way to the top -- and experience incredible business growth.

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Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor
Founder and Chairman of Buffini & Company
5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Personal notes are powerful. In an interview I watched years ago with George Bush Sr., the former U.S. president shared the one thing he’s done in his life that's made him the most successful: writing personal notes.

At the time of that interview, George Bush Sr. had written ten personal notes a day to anybody who came to mind for 25 years in a row. Right then and there, I decided to do the same thing. I began writing personal notes of gratitude every day, and I'm still writing 30 years later! This action has taken me the least amount of time and cost the least amount of money — and contributed to my success in a big way. 

Snail mail is more popular than ever 

Despite what you may have heard, snail mail is not going out of style. In fact, quite the opposite. A survey by the United States Postal Service showed that in 2020, during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, one in six people were sending more mail to friends and family than ever before. The truth is, in this digital-first world, personal notes are a great way to authentically connect with others. Who doesn’t love to get a handwritten note in the mail? It's such a refreshing change from the impersonal junk mail and bills! There’s something really special about receiving a personalized letter that’s been written specifically for you. It creates an instant connection and a positive reaction that’s priceless. It takes just minutes to compose, but a handwritten note can leave a positive impression that lasts for years and can help you form more meaningful relationships, the foundation of every strong business.

Related: Book of the Week: 'The Direct Mail Revolution'

The power of a personal note 

As a young boy in Ireland, I was an avid fan of the American space program. Years later, as a successful speaker and businessman in America, I dreamed of having Neil Armstrong as a guest at my Buffini & Company MasterMind Summit™.  At that time, the legendary astronaut wasn’t doing many public engagements, so I decided to launch a letter-writing campaign to get his attention. I wrote him a note, explaining how much I appreciated his work and how I knew he would impact my audience with his insights and experience. When I got no response, I wrote to him again, and then again  and then again! I lost count of the notes I wrote, but, to cut a long story short, Neil finally got in touch to ask me if he agreed to appear at MasterMind would I stop writing to him! More than 5,000 people attended that extraordinary event to hear him speak, and I know it’s an occasion they will never forget. To this day, it is one of the highlights of my career  and it all happened because of the power of the personal note.  

Make it automatic  

To truly reap the benefits of writing personal notes, it must become a part of your daily routine. Like brushing your teeth, sending these notes should be automatic.  

  • Commit to writing notes every day. At Buffini & Company, we send nearly 1 million notes a year to our valued clients. We provide our staff with a variety of free cards for any occassion so that reaching out remains accessible and simple.  
  • Start with a goal. Start with ten personal notes a day. As motivation, leave ten notecards on your keyboard each night. Then, in the morning, before you even switch on your device, write notes to business associates, past customers or prospective clients. You could even include a gift card for coffee.

Related: Why Writing a Thank-You Note Should Be as Automatic as Brushing Your Teeth

A note-writing formula that never fails 

Sometimes people are nervous to put pen to paper because they don’t know what to say. Here’s a tried-and-tested formula I use to help me craft a customized, heartfelt note every time.

  • Close your eyes and visualize the person.
  • Identify his or her needs. Is he or she experiencing tough times or maybe celebrating a happy occasion?  
  • Think about his or her personal experience. Has he or she recently gotten a new pet or does he or she have kids graduating college, perhaps?
  • Focus on his or her passions and past times  what teams does he or she support? 
  • Ask yourself, “How can I make this person’s day?”
  • Keep it short and sweet. There’s no need to write a novel!

Related: How to Write an Unforgettable Thank-You Note

Writing personal notes has contributed more to my achievements than anything else I’ve done in my career. I’ve cultivated lifelong friendships and connections, increased my credibility and profile, and grown my database, all because of the simple power of the personal note. If you want to speed up your business growth, deepen your relationships and expand your influence, try snail mail this year. 

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