Thursday, October 31, 2013

MailLift Brings Back Handwritten Marketing Letters

Entrepreneur Brian Curliss used to rent homes by the night. He would handwrite a note for each guest prior to their check-in. Guests not only loved the gesture, but also loved Curliss for it. When Curliss left the company, a mentor asked him what he would have paid for to save him time and/or make him more money. That question led him to start his next venture, MailLift.

Based in Austin, Texas, MailLift is a handwritten letter service for marketers and sales professionals. A tool to build customer relations through emotion connection, MailLift helps boost sales and make life a little more simple. “A handwritten letter is impactful, it has emotion, and it's not spam,” says Curliss.

Each letter is handwritten by a real person in the United States – most of them are retired teachers and artists. Customers create the template message, select the recipients, and customize other details such as the return address and stationery. Small orders typically take one to two business days to complete, while big orders usually require seven business days of lead time. Curliss has every letter and envelope scanned at 300 dpi and verified by at least three sets of eyes before it is sent out. Customers can also opt to see the scan of their letter first. For business accounts, letters cost $8.29 per piece and are written on high-quality stationery.

In an early trial of the service, Granite MedSystems sent handwritten correspondence to potential customers who had ignored all previous sales campaigns. The MailLift letters saw a 35 percent response rate, eight times the average for direct mail.

Recently, MailLift joined the 500 Startups accelerator. The company received $50,000 in funding, and Curliss and CTO Daniel Jurek will be working alongside experts in design, distribution, and business during the four-month program.

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