5 times your business should opt for snail mail (rather than email)

For most businesses, almost everything can be done online, from connecting with clients to networking over LinkedIn. But there are some instances when online communication simply doesn't make sense – even in the tech-oriented world we live in today. Snail mail may be slower, but in my experience, there are certainly some times when it's the more appropriate option. Read on for five clear instances your business should opt for traditional mail rather than email:

1. To reach out to prospective clients
In some ways, the popularity of emails can actually be a boon to those who choose to use snail mail. For instance, when you're reaching out to high-level executives or prospective clients, a piece of mail on your company's stationery that looks like business correspondence may reach their desk (and their attention) much faster than an email – especially if your email gets stuck in a spam folder or is one of the thousands their inbox is inundated with. Traditional mail is a great way to introduce yourself to someone. After the first letter, they'll recognize your name when it appears in their inbox during your future correspondence.

2. To show appreciation for current clients
Sending thank you cards to your valued customers is an excellent way to show your appreciation and has the added benefit of being a memorable gesture that can make your business stand out. They're even better if the note is written by someone at the company who the client worked with personally! Plus, a snail mail card gives companies the chance to include gift cards, certificates or coupons that may draw past customers back in.

3. For holiday cards
Sending business holiday cards to customers and employees is still a widely used practice. Everybody appreciates receiving holiday cards, and they're another valuable way for companies to show gratitude to both their employees and any customers they served throughout the year. Plus, emailed holiday cards don't have the same charm and are a bit less personal.

4. To promote your business
Because it's so easy for companies to purchase targeted address lists that can help them reach a very specific demographic, there's no reason they shouldn't utilize that opportunity to market their business effectively. Mailed advertisements should contain a very specific call to action, like sending potential customers to their website to use a coupon code, for instance. They can also be used to complement email and other online marketing campaigns as a way to stay as visible as possible. Contacting prospective customers through several avenues will ensure they read at least one of your messages.

5. For sending sympathy cards
If employees or clients who you know on a personal level experience a loss, health problem or other personal issue, sympathy cards may be appropriate. If you do decide to send a sympathy card, though, it should absolutely be handwritten and sent by mail. Feel free to also give the person a call or pair the card with a bouquet of flowers or another gift, but use proper etiquette and send them via traditional mail.