E-mail or Snail Mail?

Executives who attend my seminars on interviewing, business writing, and sales strategies frequently ask this question: Is it best to send follow-up letters by e-mail or snail mail? If you’ve ever asked this question to yourself, read on.

There are pros and cons for using both methods. While e-mail is a cool tool because it’s the quickest and most convenient way to go, this form of communication can be tricky. Your e-mail could get jumbled, delayed, or even lost. And prospective employers might resent your clogging their e-mail queues and decide to delete your message. So if you decide to follow-up online, ask permission first.

Your target can’t delete your letter sent through regular mail. He reads and handles your letter. For this reason, you can make a better impression with snail mail especially if you give your letter a special package that stands out from the pack. I’m talking about the attractive blue land white flat envelope supplied by the Post office for Priority Mail. The cost is fairly low.

Getting back to the question of whether it’s best to use e-mail or snail mail for following-up interview and sales presentations, there’s no best way. But either way, make sure you send a letter or e-mail within three days after you interview or make a sales presentation Protocol requires you do so.

Another way to go is to snail mail your e-mail. Just note above the recipients name and address—also sent by e-mail.

About the Author

RANDY PLACE IS A JOB-FINDING and executive coach, writer on career topics, broadcaster, and host of yourcareerservice.com. For twenty-three years, he helped thousands of employees who had been let go from JPMorgan Chase find jobs. And he coached executives at CBS Television, Pitney Bowes, and major outplacement firms in New York on job-finding techniques, communications skills, and selling strategies. An accomplished seminar leader and speaker, Randy has designed and presented workshops on interviewing, telephoning techniques, job-search writing, and sales training nationwide. Randy's groundbreaking nationally syndicated radio series, Your Career Service, has been heard on over two hundred radio stations across the United States. And his articles on career topics have appeared in the Wall Street Journal's National Business Employment Weekly. A former broadcast journalist in New York, he has also been a commercial spokesperson for an array of national and regional advertisers. In addition, Randy was a sales executive at NBC Radio and the New York City sales manager for syndication at Wolper Productions. He holds a Bachelor's in Sociology and Broadcasting from Syracuse University, and a Master's in Journalism from New York University.