There is a charming little shop in Chester Virginia named the The Cordial Cricket, owned by a charming woman named Elizabeth Howard.
Elizabeth has taken national card and letter writing month quite serious and is not only trying to inspire her customers to get writing, but her staff too!
I love their National Card and Letter writing campaign…
that includes discounts on cards and letters as well as this huge jar with the offer to stamp and mail any letter during the month of April! Love the idea.
I asked Elizabeth to share what inspired her to celebrate in such a way and how the campaign has affected the staff. I love what she had to say…
The campaign was truly inspired just by the fact that there is an entire month devoted to being National Letter Writing month and the fact that the real basis of our business is paper, correspondence, stationery, invitations, etc. that are all forms of “letter writing” so to speak. We try to encourage folks to use this often neglected form of communication at every opportunity, both to build our business and to inspire others to be more thoughtful and deliberate in their communication. I thought that it would be the perfect month to put our in-stock stationery on sale, which would help people have more of a reason to buy it. Buy offering to mail their letters for free, this served two purposes, one to encourage them to actually use their new and maybe some old stationery they have had stashed away and get it out in the mail to folks and two so that we could actually see the results of the campaign. By taking the letters to the post office for our customers we could see how much participation we were actually getting. The cost of the stamps is just goodwill for our loyal customers as far as we’re concerned.
I have seen the biggest impact of the contest in the way that my staff has participated. We often talk about writing notes to folks in our staff meetings and I have set up a stationery/writing “station” in the back office with lots of stationery, cards, etc. that they can use anytime they would like for no charge to write both personal and business related correspondence. I really try to encourage them to contact customers with handwritten notes whenever they feel there is a good opportunity, rather than just giving them a call or an email, etc. as an incentive, this month they are competing against each other this month for a $25 gift certificate to our store, which they obviously all REALLY want because they are writing notes like crazy now! Go figure what a little shopping money bribe can do! The competition is very tight thus far. We included personal notes, notes to customers and notes that their children write or that they assist their children in writing. We all have young kids around the same age and they are the ages where they need to be learning this skill. I am very proud of their efforts and hope to continue this after the campaign is over, they just don’t know it yet. I want them to just form the habit of doing it, even if it is just when they are here, whatever it takes.
Thought’s from the staff…
“The letter writing campaign at The Cordial Cricket has really increased my awareness of how many opportunities I have to write a note or letter. The campaign couldn’t have come at a better time for my daughters, since they recently attended the Correspondence Etiquette for Kids class at the store. They now get very excited to sit down and write someone a personalized note!” – Jaime
“As a procrastinator, the campaign and contest motivated me to purchase pretty stationery and write all those notes that I have been meaning to write.” – Jennifer
“Our letter writing contest has inspired me to communicate with individuals on a more personal level that I feel we have lost in this technological age.” – Sara