Gifts Today magazine

Give the write impression

Handwritten notes more exciting than online messages says new Clintons research

Sentiments sent by Twitter and Facebook don’t leave a lasting impression - for that you need to send a handwritten message, according to new research by Clintons.

Most people are flooded with online messages but the Bilendi study of 2,001 UK adults for the High Street greetings retailers reveals online messages such as tweets and Facebook messages are viewed as the least exciting medium to receive, closely followed by email correspondence.

The data, released this week shows handwritten notes like greetings cards provoke at least double the level of excitement when compared to other forms of text-based communication such as emails, texts and social media. Online messages fare the worst with 49 per cent of the people asked ranking Tweets and Facebook messages as the least exciting medium to receive.

Written notes also prompt the greatest level of engagement – 53 per cent claimed they are most likely to read handwritten messages in full, rising to 61 per cent for those over 65.

By contrast, the clear majority will scan messages received via social media with only eight per cent likely to read them in full. Printed words appear in second place when it comes to positive impact followed by texts and emails with social channels making the least impact.

Tim Fairs, marketing and ecommerce director at Clintons, said: 'Interestingly, there’s a direct correlation between the ease of sending a message and the impact it has. Texts and tweets are often a button press away yet they are commonplace.

'In a world where email inboxes and mobile devices are brimming with unread messages, a physical handwritten note can leave a significant impression.'

An overall excitement rating and impact rating was calculated by comparing the points awarded to each form of communication. Impact was based upon receiving a positive message in each format and the relative effect on the recipient.

As the graphic shows, handwritten messages cause the greatest satisfaction regardless of gender, with women responding more favourably as 50 per cent said a positive handwritten note makes them feel 'very happy' compared with 30 per cent of men.

A straw poll of UK adults suggests most have stored between 1,000 and 5,000 unread digital messages across email and text inboxes, instant messaging apps and social networks.

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