Since I started Pocket Letters and Pocket Letter Pals, certain questions are frequently asked. I already answered some questions in this post: Pocket Letter FAQs, but more have arisen since then. I hope to answer them here. So lets get started!
For more information on Pocket Letters, click here.
What's a Mail Tag?
This is probably the second most asked question. Mail tags are popular in the penpal community. It's a specific set of questions that you ask your penpal. Then when your penpal replies, he or she can answer your Mail Tag and ask you some questions in return. It's like, "TAG! You're it! Answer these questions for me!" Some questions I tend to ask are:
-What are your TOP 5 Favorite movies?
-Best book you read last year?
- Chocolate or Vanilla?
-4 things you do on a lazy day.
These questions can be as creative as you like. Make the questions on the shorter side, and only ask a few. If you're only doing a one-time swap, then Mail Tags aren't practical since you'll only be exchanging once, unless you include your answers to your own questions as well. But it is a good idea if you're planning on swapping Pocket Letters indefinitely. You don't have to include a Mail Tag at all. You can substitute it for a pretty card or you can include literal paper tags for your pal to use in papercrafting instead. It's up to you!
Do I have to decorate each pocket and the backside?
No. Some people use double-sided paper. Others just stuff a pocket with goodies to avoid decorating each pocket. It's up to you. Anything goes!
What do I say in the letter portion if it's just a one-time swap?
If you're doing a one-time swap, then make your letter more of an informal introduction. Here's what I tend to write:
Hello there! Thanks so much for allowing me to be your Pocket Letter Pal. I appreciate it. Here's a little about me. My name is Janette and I live in California with my beloved husband of 6 years. I enjoy papercrafts, snailmail, and planners. When I'm not working or crafting, I like to blog, read books, have lazy , Netflix days with my husband, and go on road trips to San Diego, etc. etc.... Thanks again for swapping with me and I hope your Pocket Letters collection continues to grow.
The letter doesn't have to be long, unless you want it to be.
Do I have to hand-write the letter?
If I was mailed a typed note, my reply will be typed too. If someone took the time to write me a handwritten sentiment (Mall Cop!) then I'll hand-write my reply. It's up to you!
How much is postage to send a letter domestically (within the US) and internationally (worldwide)?
It depends on the weight. If you can make your contents on the flatter side and use lightweight paper, then it should be less than $1 (within the US). If it's bulkier, it may be more. International rates for flat letters (in envelopes no bigger than a 10) are $1.15. If it's heavy and bulky it could be up to $10. It just depends. International shipping is pricey and you'll have to go to the Post Office a few times just to make sure. Once you get the hang of it, then you can just mail your letters from home. Also, in my experience, some postal workers are more lenient than others. Some felt the letters for bulky items and one even made me fill out a customs form for a paperclip being sent internationally. Others don't "feel up your letters" (Haha!) at all. Most postal workers are very polite (they get a bad rep, I think) and will help you with any questions you have. Please check with your local post office for official rates!
Where can I buy pockets?
You can click on the affiliate links on the right hand side of my blog to purchase them or here.
Do I have to send washi? Stickers? Tea? Paperclips? Etc.
No. No. And no again. These are just things I typically send my regular penpals and popular items to send penpals in the general snailmail community. They're lightweight and easy to mail. But they're not required, but oh so fun to receive! As long as you tuck a letter in one of the pockets, you're good. Just fill the pockets with anything you'd like. Here are some Pocket Letter ideas.
If there are any more questions, please feel free to ask them below, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading!
Pocket Letter Pals™ Network: www.pocketletterpals.com
Instagram: @janettelaneblog & @pocketletters
FTC Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.