Double The Effectiveness Of Your Correspondence

I was listening to a fascinating new audio book last week while I was on vacation. Called Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive, this book gave me a lot of new ideas about marketing and being more persuasive in general.

One of the techniques in the book really stood out. It turns out that you can double the effectiveness of most written correspondence by adding one little office supply piece to your printed material. This little office item is found in most desk drawers and only costs a few cents at most. The item that I’m talking about is the Post It note.


In research done by Randy Garner, it was found that adding a personalized sticky note to surveys that were printed and mailed, increased the response rate from 34% to a whopping 69%… all from a little yellow note that most of have sitting on our desktops.

The research showed that the more personal the notes were–handwritten, signed, and a thank you attached–the greater the response rate. And another surprising attribute was that respondents sent the surveys back quicker and filled them in more completely than did respondents without the note.

Authors of Yes, Noah J. Goldstein, Steve J. Martin, and Robert B. Cialdini site the power of Reciprocity as the driving force behind the effectiveness of this little piece of sticky paper.

It seems that people are much more responsive when it is perceived that the sender took the time to personalize the message to them.

In your next printed memo to your staff or clients, why not take a few minutes and write a personal message on a bright yellow sticky note and include it on the front page of your document. You might be surprised by the response!

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