How to Write A Letter or Email to A Pen Pal

In an era of globalization and digital connectivity, the world seems much smaller. This is an improvement in some ways as it allows for easier contact between people worldwide. You don’t need to travel to different countries to connect with individuals from diverse cultures and backgrounds.

Now, all you need to do is write a quick message or email and you can reach out to almost anyone. Composing a letter to a pen pal offers a unique opportunity to forge meaningful connections across geographical boundaries, transcending the limitations of time and space. However, you have to remember that no matter where you are, there is still common etiquette that you must follow to avoid offending your pen pal.

That is where we listed some things you should remember when composing your email or letter.

Explain How You Found Them

No matter where you are from, receiving a message from a stranger is unusual and a bit disturbing. That is why you should first explain how you found them and their details. This can help ease them into the situation and even facilitate some conversation if you both come from a mutual-interest server like a subreddit or Facebook group.

Aside from details about how you found them, it’s also a good idea to explain why you contacted them. Tell them if there was anything that got their attention.

Don’t Overdo It

If this is your first conversation with them, then it’s best to start short and sweet. Some people like to explain their entire backstory and that’s fine if it’s someone you’re familiar with or at least see in real life. With a pen pal, it’s weird to receive an email with your life story, at least that early on.

If you do write a letter, keep it casual for the moment. There will be time to reveal more about yourself later after becoming familiar with each other.

Focus On What You Have in Common

The best way to get a conversation with someone you just met is by talking about what you have in common. Before you write to them, try looking over their profile or seeing where they met them and if that gives clues to their interest.

If you met them online, a quick look at the profile you found them could tell you a lot. Just remember not to overdo it and look over their entire online presence. And when you do reach out, casually mention it by saying something like “Hey I notice you like this thing.”

Ask About Where They Live

The biggest opportunity that comes with making a pen pal is it allows you to learn more about different cultures and places. You can ask them what it’s like to live there, what kind of food they have, and what the weather is.

Meanwhile, you can share more about your place and explain what things are like there and what might sound different to them. This offers the opportunity to bond over the similarities and differences between your experiences.

Remember not to go too personal right away. You can ask about the general location where they live like their country and city. Don’t ask for a specific address unless they say they are comfortable with it.

Ask Them Some Questions

Make sure to ask your new pen pal questions about their lives too in every letter. Ask them about how they are doing and take an interest in their life to depend on your bond. Just talking about your life might seem selfish and make it harder for your friend to respond.

They are probably just as eager to learn more about you as you are about them, so these questions are the perfect opportunity for that.

One thing that might spice up the conversation between you and your friend is a vintage letter. They might get a laugh out of seeing the traditional letter you sent them. If you want to try writing a letter, you can test it out here.

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