Why Snail Mail's Fading Away (And What We’re Trying to Do About It!)

Remember the days of eagerly waiting for the postal worker to deliver letters from loved ones or friends?

Snail mail was once the backbone of long-distance communication. But times have changed and it's now quietly fading into the background as digital methods take over.

Let's dive into the numbers and explore why this shift is happening (and see at the end of this article what we’re trying to do to stop it!).

Snail Mail In Decline: The Numbers

USPS Snail Mail Decline - abandoned blue mailbox

According to the United States Postal Service (USPS), the volume of first-class mail, including letters and postcards, has been on a steady decline.

Back in 2001, they were delivering around 104.7 billion pieces of mail. Fast forward to 2020, and that number was slashed in half, dropping to about 52.6 billion. That's a significant nosedive, and it happened as the adoption of the smart phone ramped up.

4 Reasons Why Snail Mailings Have Declined

Why has snail mail declined so drastically? While the reasons are pretty obvious, let’s take a closer look…

Speedy Alternatives

Let's face it, waiting days for a letter to reach its destination just doesn't cut it anymore. With emails and texting, we can zap messages across the globe in seconds. The convenience is unbeatable.

Money Talks

The decline in snail mail is not limited to sending personal letters; it’s been in decline in businesses, too. Sending traditional mail can be pricey, especially for businesses trying to reach a wide audience. Email marketing and online newsletters are not only faster but also more cost-effective.


In  a world increasingly aware of its environmental impact, the paper trail left by snail mail is a concern. Going digital means saving trees and reducing our carbon footprint—a win-win situation.

Tech Takeover

With smartphones glued to our hands, accessing emails and messages is a breeze. Traditional mail just can't compete with the convenience of digital communication.

What Lies Ahead For Snail Mail?

While snail mail's decline seems inevitable, it's not all doom and gloom.

There are still moments when a handwritten letter or a carefully packaged parcel carries more weight than a digital message. And postal services aren't giving up without a fight—they're embracing technology to stay relevant.

Here at Fiction Mail, we’re trying to do our part, too! We know that snail mail is never going to make a huge comeback. The alternatives are too fast and convenient.

Fiction Mail - great fiction sent as personalized letters through the mail

But we also know there are a lot of people that miss getting letters in the mail. With Fiction Mail, you can get great fiction sent to you as physical letters.

The letters are from a fictional friend who has an amazing story to tell you, and they’ll send you a weekly letter updating you on their action-packed adventure.

We have a bunch of Fiction Mail Series of letters available. They're great to send to yourself, or as a gift to a friend or family member who misses getting letters in the mail. Help us stop the demise of snail mail and check them out!

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