Is there anything more “old-fashioned” than writing a letter? I remember posting a Tweet a few years back in which I stressed the importance of documenting your file with a letter to the client if the client chooses to act against your advice. I was chided by a few followers who asked what a “letter” was. (In my defense, letters are easily attached to e-mail messages!)
After the virtual laughter died down, I didn’t give the letter vs. e-mail “controversy” any more thought. Recently, I spoke to a lawyer who told me he purposely prepares letters for all client communication unless the question is very brief – a quick confirmation or yes/no answer. His reasoning? E-mail can lend itself to quick, knee-jerk responses that are often regretted after the fact. This lawyer felt that by taking the time to compose a letter he treated matters more thoughtfully and professionally. He often sends letters by e-mail, as a PDF attachment, but felt strongly that the process of composing a letter forced him – in a good way – to treat his client communication more formally. An excellent point, I thought. And clearly it worked best for him.
There is another reason why you might want to consider writing and mailing a letter via the US Postal Service.
In 2010, the Radicati Group estimated that 294 billion e-mails are sent per day. If you’re like me, I suspect you have days when you wish e-mail would just go away. Perhaps there is still a place for a good, old-fashioned letter:
Copyright 2013 Beverly Michaelis