I Love Email (But I Love Real Mail More)

You know I love email, right?

I don’t necessarily love all of the spam that hits my inbox or the countless hours I spend reading and replying to email, but I can’t imagine running my business without it.

How would I ever be able to help as many people as I do for such a bargain rate?

And as much as I love email, I love real mail even more.

Envelopes and Paper

The supplies arrive.

Why You Should Rave About Real Mail, Too

Here are three reasons why I’m raving about real mail to my students, members, and private clients, and why you should, too.

1. Real mail is tactile.

Envelopes and postcards are things you can touch. You can cut, tear, and unpack a package (sometimes you can even smell it).

Add a handwritten note and voilà! You’ve enhanced your emotional bond with recipients. This emotional bond can’t be duplicated with email. True?

I can’t think of a single email, regardless of how kind it was, that evoked the same level of emotion as a piece of mail with personal handwriting.

Envelopes and Paper

Opening up the goodies.

2. Real mail distinguishes you from all of the other artists who aren’t using it.

When you send a package, letter, or postcard, you have to address it, stamp it, and put it in a mailbox. It’s so much work that most people don’t do it. How did we ever manage in the past?

Recipients will recognize and appreciate this extra effort.

Everyone uses email. Most people use it poorly. They don’t address people by name or sign their messages. This is a lousy business practice and it’s no way to nurture relationships.

Real mail has the potential to delight. Imagine the expression on recipients’ faces when they poke through their unwanted mail and find a piece with your art on it. ART. In the mail. Cool! Something fun to receive.

3. Real mail endures.

Recipients can keep a letter or postcard in a folder, tack it to a bulletin board, or slap a magnet on it for the refrigerator. They can keep it on top of a busy desk to make them smile.

Some people even frame their mail from artists.

Envelopes and Labels

Preparing a mailing for Art Biz Makeover.

Not so with email. Yes, I’m aware that some people never get around to deleting email, but in the company of several thousand messages in an inbox, your email might as well be in a black hole.

I don’t know about you, but I am quick with the Delete key.

I can easily plow through 300 emails in an hour when I need to. My focus isn’t on responding to the juicy stuff. I’m just trying to get rid of everything that doesn’t absolutely require my attention. I miss hundreds of marketing messages this way, but it’s the only way to remain sane with an overflowing inbox.

Maybe I missed one of your messages while emptying my inbox.

I Hear You

I hear your objections already. Real mail can be expensive. And, for whatever reasons, we think real mail needs to be a little more perfect than email. This means it takes longer to write, print, stamp, and send.

This means you don’t send real mail to everyone on your list. You send it to appropriate geographical regions, VIPs, and for special occasions. All the more reason to segment your list and keep your contacts database updated.

Real mail can make a real difference in your results. If you can only find the love for it.

If you’re loving real mail as much as I do, tweet this or share it on Facebook: “I love real mail because …” and fill in the blank. [ Tweet this and fill in the blank. ]

You can also share your responses in a comment here.

 

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14 comments to I Love Email (But I Love Real Mail More)

  • I was just writing to someone as this came in my inbox! I know how much people appreciate having a hand written card, but I’ve become so used to emailing that I had had to compose my note on the computer and was struggling with writing with a pen…
    Thanks for the article, I am now inspired to follow up a few more overdue notes.

  • I have a pad of special letter writing paper somewhere but it is mostly intact. I love real mail if it’s a letter or package, but the junk mail I can live without. Cards are great. Postcards have potential and I’ve a few I made to send out juat to initiate contact with people.

    I am afraid of wssting them, though.

  • I recently sent out some postcards to some people on my list. I sent one to a person who lives in Australia and had signed up for my newsletter electronically.

    I received a nice email after she got it expressing her surprise that I would even send it to her (that far away) and that she loved my work. It made my day probably just as much as it made hers to get something personal in the mail.

  • I always send out hand written thank you notes for paintings that have sold and have had on several occasions gotten a thank you note back for writing them a thank you note! They tell me they are amazed and delighted that an artist would actually send a personal note. And I save those cards as a reminder of how a painting can touch someone so deeply and it makes ME smile.

  • Hi Alyson! Great post….so motivating! Thank you!

  • We’re writers and we’ve subscribed to your blog for quite a while (we’re just a different type of artist, right?). :)

    This message resonates.

    Occasionally we participate in author “blog hops”, where readers jump from blog to blog to read posts and (in some cases) sign up for giveaways at the various blogs.

    Once the hop is done and a winner is selected, we contact each entrant, and offer to mail a bookmark to the ones who haven’t won the main prize. (The bookmark features the cover of our book, a brief “blurb”, and has our contact info on the back.) The participants are always thrilled.

    We’ve even sent a bookmark to South Korea–a first for us.

    Since we don’t have hundreds of entries (yet) this level of contact is affordable and manageable, and we enjoy it as much as the readers seem to.

    Old-fashioned snail mail–we’re behind your message 100%, Alyson!

  • I just hate those emails from long dormant accounts that I have deleted after closing down the email contact on it…Pinterest is an example!

    Then the hassle of ‘log in to an extinct’ account…six months on I’m still trying to get rid of mail from Pinterest!

    A long tortuous route to an email with Pinterest to talk with a real person…

    Then they claim they’ve sorted it…two days later…another email from Pinterest.

  • I’m old school in a way that I still get a little excited when I go to the mail box. actually getting real mail that is not bills or junk is a really cool feeling.

  • Hi Alyson,
    I hope you agree with me to ask questions whenever I have question related to Email. thank you from Marry Erickson.

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