One day I went to my mailbox at work and there were two business-sized envelopes in there.

The first had a preprinted return address in the upper left corner. My address was typed on an adhesive label. The stamp indicated the letter was part of a bulk mailing.

The second was in a similar envelope. The return address in the upper left corner was handwritten in blue ink, as was my address. The stamp was one that the sender had to apply herself.

Which one do you think I opened first?

Yes, the second one. It was personal. I just knew — based on the personal touches and the time it took to address and stamp the letter — that it was something I wanted to read.

I tore it open.

It was an invitation letter to visit a vendor’s booth at an upcoming conference. It was typed and hand signed in blue ink.

I also opened the other letter — the one that was bulk mailed.

It, too, was an invitation letter to visit a booth at the same conference.

Both were marketing pieces with the same intent — visit their booths at the conference. But one stood out.

Take the extra few minutes to give your mailings, your phone calls, your greetings, a personal touch. It’s effective marketing. People will respond.

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