The Best Gifts Come From the Heart Not the Store: 4 Startups Which Send Meaningful Messages via Mail

By Omar Elorfaly July 14, 2017

Letterboxes are getting hungry. According to the most recent U.S. Postal Service’s annual survey, the average home only received a personal letter once every seven weeks in 2010, down from once every two weeks in 1987.

With the boom in social media and messaging apps like Whatsapp over the last decade, we can only assume that most people are receiving personal mail even less frequently now.

And what a shame that is! In general, modern communication has become very impersonal. A love letter just doesn’t have the same impact when sent with a kissing face emoji on Whatsapp, and if they say being broken up with via text message is the worst, being asked out on Facebook messenger is just as bad.

People generally react better to receiving physical tokens of appreciation on special occasions rather than digital messages that they can swipe away after reading for five seconds. Nowadays, even the most sacred of personal messages like wedding invitations have fallen into the digital abyss after being re-branded as e-invites.

However, thanks to the weird and wonderful world of startups, there are now increasingly inventive ways for us to send personal messages to people we feel strongly about, one way or the other:


Typical greeting cards have become rather uninteresting and thoughtless. Receiving a mass-produced Hallmark Christmas card from your family or friends is usually quickly followed by throwing it on top of a pile of mail or straight into the bin, the day after the special event.

Especially now that cards have even turned digital, they have lost all of their potential for creating special moments.

A group of marine and naval engineers thought of capsizing the market and changing how we view greeting cards by bringing in some 3D magic. We all know the pop up books that we enjoyed as kids, which made stories that little bit more engaging with their moving parts, and that’s exactly what Lovepop offers now.

Greeting cards now can unfold into a 3D shape of your choice, resembling whichever occasion your choice to celebrate out of their impressively wide range, that even includes a Donald  Trump card (Thankfully sold out with no plans for future reproduction).

One application for such a card could be a wedding ring attached to the shape inside one of their romance-themed card for people who really trust the mailman.


While for Generation X and Y handwritten letters are as outdated as sending mail via carrier pidgeon, according to Samara O’Shea, author of For the Love of Letters: A 21st Century Guide to the Art of Letter Writing, a handwritten letter is a token of affection which will really be remembered.

Whether it be a love letter to woo the partner of your dreams, a first day of college note for your children or just a friendly thank you for a client or a friend, handwritten notes offer a more personal, and emotional message than is possible digitally.

Zvi Band, CEO at Contactually

Customer relationship management company, Contactually has partnered with Letter Friend, a company which specializes in hand written cards to provide a unique experience for every customer. Those of us blighted with terrible handwriting need not worry, as users need need merely send Contactually over the text of the note, and the company will send off a beautifully scrawled letter which is sure to touch the heart of any recipient.

“While we are considered a CRM, our core is about the emphasizing the value and importance of relationships,” said Zvi Band, CEO of Contactually.

As simple as it sounds, it will still have a far better impact tapping out an awkward “Happy birthday, dad” via SMS.

Joker Greeting

While anthem cards have been making birthdays annoying for decades, almost guaranteeing your best wishes will be quickly scanned once, before being snapped shut and relegated to the mantelpiece or the bin, Joker greeting have created a cheeky gift which keeps on giving.

The cards are designed to continuing playing their annoying, cheesy music sounds for three hours or more, no matter how many times you press on any part of it. The only way to make them stop is by completely destroying it, and even then Joker greeting offers extra surprises inside like glitter that will spill all over the place.

The cards offer a wide range of the most annoying sounds ever, like crying babies, endless screaming and a surprisingly wide range of never ending songs. On the outside, the card looks totally innocent, much like any audio greeting card with designs that just say ¨Happy birthday¨or ¨Thank you¨ just to perfect the jest.

Ruin Days

While this startup might not be suitable for your partner or mother, if you want to raise a smile with a friend with a great sense of humor, why not send them a birthday or congratulations gift they will never forget! They say laughter is good for the health, so rather than wasting money on a generic card, chocolates and a bottle of wine, mail them something which will keep them giggling (or at least keep you giggling) for weeks to come.

Ruin Days offers various reasons for your recipients to never open a package from you again. From envelopes full of glitter, boxes that will drop sand all over the recipient’s floor, to products that would make you blush. The startup offers utter anonymity, if the customer desires. But where is the fun in that!

So next time you have a special day coming up for a friend — or enemy — put down the smartphone, close the computer, and send them a message which won’t end up in the trash the next day.