You’re considering one of the biggest purchases of your life and you get – wait for it – an email.
But it’s just like the hundreds of emails you get for everything from drug stores to dental appointment reminders.
If you’re asking someone to make the second biggest purchase of their life (behind housing), shouldn’t you at least take the time to make it personal?
Letters and handwritten cards have greater importance now more than ever. These days, our email boxes can feel flooded with junk mail every day, and missives from companies are sometimes automatically filtered out, if not thrown in the junk mail folder immediately. On the other hand, hard-copy letters are fewer and further between now, and each one gets a little more attention than before.
Everyone gets mail. It’s not just seniors, either, as more and more young people are opting out of the web and focusing on life away from screens, phones, and computers. Using traditional mail is still the best way to contact everyone. Forty-four percent of millennials pick up mail at least six days a week, compared to 60 percent of Gen Xers and 73 percent of Baby Boomers.
Finally, according to the USPS Office of Inspector General, the decline in mail volume may be more nuanced than some realize.
“Take the drop in First-Class Mail (FCM), for instance. FCM decline varies widely by location… For example, in Dallas, the percent of First Class Mail (FCM) volume lost was greater than in Charleston, WV – where it was close to zero. Moreover, the rate of decline is slowing or has even stopped in many of the areas that have lost the most mail volume. Declines in U.S. Postal Service mail volume vary widely across the United States.”
Mail providers and the U.S. Post Office ensure that your letter gets to the mailbox of the person written on the envelope. On the other hand, digital documents can easily bounce back for a number of reasons, from misspelled addresses to full inboxes or out-of-office situations to spam folders.
When you come right down to it, paper mail just means more. The key is feelings. Seventy-five percent of the inspector general’s survey respondents said receiving personal mail “made them feel special.”
Doesn’t it make sense that if you’re asking a person to make the first or second biggest purchase decision of their lives, you should at least take the time to put it in writing?