The pen is mightier than the sword

The digital world we live in is very handy, fast and mostly impersonal. Billions of emails and text messages are sent every day and most of us opt out of real mail if possible, which is cutting such services and the jobs behind them.

What’s also on the decline, however, is that excited feeling we get from finding a postcard, note, card or letter (wow!) in the mailbox. Sure beats that little envelope icon pinging on my desktop. I did a pop survey in a city office and 60% of the staff under 25 had NEVER got a handwritten letter. I felt a little sad for them.

Enter the snail mail entrepreneurs, who have started creative businesses with the common goal of reintroducing the “warm fuzzies” of real mail, licked stamps and occasional papercuts. Here’s some to google:

Touchnote – allows users to create personalised picture post-cards and send them to anyone in the world, anywhere;

Postcrossing – fosters a modern-day pen pal concept where users send a postcard to a complete stranger and receive one from another;

Not-another-bill –subscribers are sent surprise gifts from new and interesting brands, based on their profile.

Some tips: I like to take the time to handwrite a thank you note for someone; it takes moments but impacts enormously on the message. (A friend recently reminded me we only became friends because I did this a decade ago, congratulating them on a milestone.)

My favourite Spicers hotel leaves a different handwritten note on my pillow each stay and you can be sure I return the gesture via Tripadvisor. My son LOVES postcards and his world-travelling G’ma deliberately takes sidetrips to do it, making for amazing anecdotes and fuelling his interest in globetrotting. This festive season consider handwriting your team’s cards again – it will truly set you apart, and nobody needs another animated elf email.

Yes, I do write these myself every week. Please feel welcome to reply to me, I love your feedback. We’ve got more great marketing tips, and you can contact us, at