Letter Writing: A Brief History

In the past, letter writing was an incredibly important method for communication between two people, especially those who lived far from one another. With its interesting and vast history, letter writing may happen less and less, but its presence in the marketplace will last well into the future.

What Should I Write?

In 1862, Victor Hugo wrote the shortest letter ever seen through history to his publisher, enquiring about sales of his new book. What did he write? Well, he simply wrote the punctuation mark ‘?’, to which his publisher replied ‘!’. As simple as this may seem, this letter exchange became an iconic part of our communication history. In most cases, this extreme minimal approach probably isn’t encouraged, but messages that are concise and direct are often those that are best received. Stick to your topic, while keeping things personal. The person on the other side will thank you.

How Should I Write It?

As with any text form, there are certain conventions that come along with letter writing. During the 1800s, good letter writing skills were a sign that you’d been brought up well, and were taught to be not only polite and courteous, but also interesting. Rules that governed letter writing back then included ensuring your handwriting was neat and legible; making use of sophisticated language; and folding the letter neatly once finished. It’s funny how things like this haven’t changed- when writing letters today, letters that read well, are legible and follow the correct text conventions stand out.

How Should I Send It?

In the Persian Empire, letters were sent through a relay system of horses that travelled up to 160 kilometres a day. So the horses weren’t exhausted through the process, messengers would change horses at key points throughout their route. By the 12th century, messenger pigeons were used in Baghdad. Because of their innate homing abilities, pigeons made an ideal choice for sending messages and letters across countries and oceans. But luckily, today we have Australia Post! Place your letter into an envelope, label the front with the destination address, and the back with the origin address, and place it into your local postal box or Australia Post outlet.

Letter writing may be rarer in the digital age, but it’s a rather charming way to send and receive messages. Something to consider before you send that email!

Direct Mail Solutions are a company that know the benefits of mail, with over 15 years of experience in mail marketing communications.

Choosing the Right Type of Direct Mail for a Business

Direct mail is an incredibly diverse marketing channel which can be utilized by virtually every business model to establish both a strong market presence and build up a loyal customer base. That being said, it’s important to select a direct mail format that aligns with the promotional requirements, budget and scope of your enterprise. Here is a breakdown of the most common types of direct mail and the business models they’re best suited to.


This is the most basic format of direct mail marketing. This budget friendly format can be used by almost every type of business to inform and promote goods and services. Additionally, the option to personalise the letter by addressing it to the recipient is a simple but effective way to make them feel valued. Letters tend to work best when they are used to accompany brochures, catalogues, and coupons/discount vouchers.


This format is a cost-effective and aesthetically pleasing way to garner interest in your business. Simple, compact and striking, the diminutive proportions of a postcard can make a big impact if they are properly utilized. Postcards have long been used as collectable mementos and using them in a commercial context is an ingenious way to increase the visibility of your business. Choose a witty or aesthetically pleasing image to print on the front and chances are, it will end up on the fridge or pin-board of the recipient. This option is ideal for small businesses on a budget as well as those within creative industries such as visual design.


Coupon mailers

Everyone likes a bargain and coupon mailers are a great solution for start-up businesses looking to establish a client base in a competitive industry. Modern consumers are willing to switch between service providers and retailers provided the right incentive is there and there are few things more enticing than the prospect of saving money.


The psychology of packages is a powerful one. The potential of the unknown, coupled with the possibility of a free gift almost guarantees that recipients will open a promotional package if you send it to them. However, due to the significantly more expensive nature of sending promotional packages, this option is only really suited to companies wishing to target a select few customers or more significant direct mail marketing budgets.


For large businesses selling a wide variety of products, catalogues can be used very effectively to visually advertise individual products as well as upcoming promotions or sales. With their bright colours and innumerable product listings, a catalogue has something that will appeal to every consumer. Direct Mail Solutions’ catalogue distribution services make it easy and convenient to use catalogues to showcase your products and services to your target audience.


This format tends to suit enterprises who are advertising costlier products and services. Brochures give you space to inform the potential consumer about the advantages of paying a premium for your goods. The higher quality printing and paper involved in manufacturing these are more of an investment, but they are also more likely to catch the reader’s eye and impart an impression of quality.

If you would like some expert advice on the best direct mail format for your needs and audience, speak to our friendly team today on 1800 70 6245 or email us at sales@directmailsolutions.com.au.