The Authenticity of Informality

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Consider the following anecdotes…

The other day I called a landscaper who displayed his number on a handwritten sign on the side of the road. I believed he would be inexpensive.

In college I helped a friend start a graphic design and sign business. He went to grocery stores selling professional signs, but they weren’t interested. They stuck with handwritten posters– not because it saved money — but because it made the “sale prices more believable”.

Remember that 90’s direct mail campaign that put a handwritten post-it note on an article with your name on it, that said “Sam…try this. It works!” Tricky, but it must have been effective for a little while or I would’ve have received it from different companies.

Do you look to see if the signature on a business letter or direct mail piece is in real ink?

Do you appreciate handwritten thank you notes?

Did you notice Home Depot price tags are printed in a casual font?

Handwritten messages seem to be more believable. Commercially, they can create a perception of fleeting opportunity or low cost. Are these perceptions you want to portray? Perhaps there are ways you can use informality to improve the authenticity of your message.

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