How to write the first letter?


A few days ago I wrote a post where to find penpals. Now I would like to give you some advices what to do if you found the relevant one.

If you don’t want to post your advertisement, it means you want to search for new penpals. If you find any, write an introduction message: what’s your name, how old you are and where you’re from. Tell them from where you found their profile (in case you found them on Facebook) or tell them how much you like their profiles (if you find them on pages like Interpals). You don’t need to write a novel to them, leave it for the snail mail! 😉 Of course, if you want to find email penpals only, then you can start with a long message.

It’s kind if you offer to write first. I don’t like when someone is writing to my ad saying they want to be penpals, but they want me to write firstly as they have too many letters in their stock. I usually ask “Would you like to write me firstly or would you like me to start the correspondence?”.

If you’re too lazy to look for other people, or you’re so excited that you want as many penpals as you want, you can publish an advertisement and people will write to your post (mainly in Facebook groups). When you publish your ad, introduce yourself: tell where you’re from, what your age is, what you like doing in your free time… and write your preferences (for example you want to write to people between 20 and 25, you want to write to males only, or you want to have penpals from Europe only, etc.).

When you get messages, agree with your partner whether you or she will write firstly. I usually use the same question I mentioned above. Of course it depends how many messages I got already. (if I agreed with 4 other people in writing the first letter, I’d ask the 5th one to write me firstly).

After you exchange your addresses, you can start writing your introduction letter! Personally I hate writing these letters, because I need to write about some basic information. Usually my 1st letters are the same, and I start enjoying the correspondence when we’re got over on the introduction part. So what I write in my first letter?

  1. I refresh their memory– where we got to know each others, and how happy I am to open a friendship with them
  2. Introduction – I write down my name, my nickname, my age, the country of origin and where I live. I write a few sentences about my homeplace, and who I live with.
  3. I continue with my profession. As I’m a student, I wrote down what I’m studying and what are my future dreams.
  4. Share my hobbies. I usually include how many years I have been exchanging letters, so maybe they will trust in me better.
  5. Introduce my sister
  6. Introduce my pets. Many people like animals! 😉
  7. I express my happiness again, that how much I like to be penpals, my hope to be nice penpals.

This means about 1-2 pages (A/4 paper or 8,5 x 11.5 inch paper, or something like that – I’m not good at the conversion, hahaha), depends on the size of your characters.

Some more advices:

  • Ask questions! It’s nice to ask your penpal (I usually ask the same questions I’m writing about: homeplace, hobbies, profession, siblings, pets, etc.), as correspondence is not all about you.
  • Don’t type your letter, please. Snail mailing is about giving personal letters, so many people prefer getting handwritten letters as well. I already thought about typing my first letters only, but it may give a bad impression. Of course, if someone has a weird handwriting and they offer to type, you can accept. If you want to type, then exchange emails instead.
  • Inform you penpal when you send or receive a letter. I have my own group on Facebook where I can write when I get or send a letter to someone.
  • Don’t ask about the weather in the first question. It’s just weird, and many people don’t like that.

I hope I could give you some insight to snail mailing, and you will have more motivation to start a correspondence with someone! 🙂



5 thoughts on “How to write the first letter?

  1. Pingback: Meet Dóri – the Global Indian blog

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