November 19, 2009, 11:37 AM — E-mail and social networks have replaced paper snail mail, right? Wrong! Sometimes you should or must send letters. You'd like to communicate with that Luddite parent or grandparent. Sometimes antiquated institutions, such as book publishers or the government, require paper mail. Or maybe you're traveling abroad, and need to communicate with someone in the US, and either can't trust, or don't have time to wait for, local mail service.
[ See also: What kind of digital nomad are you? ]
A service called Snailmailr might be your solution. For 99 cents, they'll take the electronic note you type on their web site, print it, stuff it into an envelope and mail it anywhere in the world. (That price covers the first two pages. Additional pages cost 25 cents per page, with a maximum of 20 pages. If you want your envelope to not have the Snailmailr logo on the front, you pay another 10 cents per letter.)
Here's the best bit. You can upload Word files, pictures, PDF files, PowerPoint files and other full-color documents, and Snailmailr will print them and mail them at no extra charge. So you can send a letter to grandma, and embed photographs of the kids in the letter.
I think 99 cents is a great price, too. It covers the cost of the stamp, which is 44 cents, as well as the stationery, ink, gas to drive to the post office and so on.
The convenience of sending via Snailmailr is helped by the use of Amazon.com for payment. Just enter in your Amazon.com username and password, and the company will use the default credit card you have on file.
It's green, too. Snailmailr uses recycled-paper envelopes and paper.