Everyone likes personalized attention, and it seems that a handwritten note might be worth the time it takes to write. A post at the Neuromarketing blog cites an interesting study discussed by Robert Cialdini in the book Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive. When researchers sent a survey to busy doctors with three different cover letters, and each produced a dramatically different result:
- A printed letter generated a response rate of 36 percent.
- A printed letter with a handwritten message boosted this by one third to 48 percent.
- A printed letter with a handwritten message on a Post-it note pushed the response rate to 75 percent.
“It seems that what is causing the boost is a ‘reciprocity’ effect,” notes Neuromarketing. “The recipient recognizes that the sender apparently put some personal effort into the mailing, and is more likely to reciprocate with some effort of his own.”
Interestingly, the blog notes, responses to the survey with the personalized Post-it note were also more thorough and prompt.
“[T]he effects of personalization and apparent effort on the part of the sender have to be weighed against the desired action,” says Neuromarketing. “[But] making even difficult requests in a more personal manner can’t hurt.”
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