Handwritten > email...

When you’re hoping to get the attention of a company you want to work for, attract a prospective client, or establish a connection with a professional you haven’t yet met, sending an email is a quick way to be completely ignored, forgotten and/or deleted.

Instead, grab paper and an envelope, write a letter, and stick that sh*t in the mail—it’s nearly impossible to receive an honest-to-goodness letter from a fellow human and not at least open and read it.

Sending handwritten notes has led to me meeting people who become great friends, making connections with professionals I never thought I'd be able to talk to, and landing over $600,000 in salary and paid projects. Yes, it takes longer than emailing, but that’s exactly why it gets you such a good response—people appreciate you spending time—it’s art, in its own way.

Of course, even ink can’t save a poorly-worded message. To give yourself the greatest chance of getting a response, I recommend you:

• Make it about them; share why you felt compelled to write, be specific with what you like about their work/company/etc

• Think about why they should care about what you’re saying; “you” should be the first, second or third word in your note

• Be professional, but stay human; write like you’re writing to a family member (a family member you like)

• Remember to include your email address; you may have taken the time to write a letter, but don’t expect your recipient to do the same—although some will, and that's really cool of them

Introducing yourself via written note is a great way to stand out. You’ll be surprised by the response you get, and by how much people tell you they enjoyed receiving a physical correspondence.

Joe Nafziger