In Phoenix, Arizona, 175 robots write approximately 15,000 to 20,000 cards per day. The penmanship may be automated, but it's meant to look like your average person's handwriting.
The company Handwrytten is writing cards on behalf of people all over the country. CEO and founder David Wachs says the holiday season is super busy.
"Businesses are feeling a little desperate to keep their customers and to reach out in meaningful ways to keep their attention," Wachs said.
Wachs says Handwrytten mixes an old-fashioned practice with innovative technology to lure in customers while inflation is still high. Real estate agent Ben Graham, who's dealing with the fluctuating housing market, says he's sent out nearly 1,000 notes this year.
"The last two years, essentially, I was just answering my phone and that's what it felt like to be a real estate agent at that time," Graham said. "Answer my phone, negotiate contracts, it was great. Now, today's market is different. We have to do a lot more outbound contacting."
Graham says he's been writing handwritten notes since he started his business, but now, he's automating that process.
"My business coach said, 'Hey, you know, old school tactic, right? Handwritten notes,'" Graham said. "Well, my handwriting sucks for one, and two, it just is super time-consuming, and I'd find myself writing similar messages over and over again."
Dan LeMoine who runs Re:vitalize Weight Loss and Wellness says he also engages with his clients through handwritten letters written on behalf of the company.
"I think one of the tactics that we're taking and one of the ways that we do business is if we can increase our relationships with people and deepen those relationships, we trust that the finances and the kind of the business side of things will take care of itself," LeMoine said.
A happy accident became proof the tactic worked when they sent a note out to everyone who had come into the office. That included people who originally said they didn't want to enroll in the program.
"More folks came back and said, 'OK, I am ready,'" LeMoine said. "And I think that in part had to do with this nice personal touch of, 'Oh, wow, even though I said no, these guys sent me a nice little letter.'"
It's a bit ironic, considering the goal of handwritten notes is to have a personal touch and these cards are physically written by a robot. However, Wachs says, he still thinks the kind gesture can go a long way.
"I think people will still believe, you know, they at least did something different to get my attention," Wachs said. "So, while it might not be an actual handwritten note, they went out of their way to send me this card that looks handwritten and perhaps it included a gift card to Starbucks or some other small memento in it to really make it stand out."