Letterboxes, Mailboxes or Post Boxes; What’s in a Name?

Posted on by Dominic Poznanski
Posted in Latest news.

When you browse our website, you’ll notice that we use different terms for the same item. In some cases, we refer to our products as letterboxes, in others mailboxes or post boxes. This isn’t intended to confuse, it simply reflects the different words our customers use. So, let’s investigate!

The Letterbox

When you hear the word letterbox, I’m sure that the image that pops into your head is the rectangular hole in your front door, which is covered by a letter flap. It’s not a box at all. I have to admit, I found that quite confusing when I first moved to the UK!

These through-the-door letterboxes are a feature of most UK homes, providing a convenient way for the postie to deliver letters directly into your home. The issue is, that to prevent cold draughts, stop the flap from banging in the wind and heighten security, brushes and double flaps are installed. This can make it quite a challenge to post anything through! Delivering letters can feel like a battle, where you risk losing a finger.

The letterboxes we sell are boxes, they are installed outside your home and include a secure, dry hold for the mail. It’s easier to post mail into them and no heat is lost from your property in the process. So, if describing our products as letterboxes is confusing, maybe mailboxes is a better term.

The Mailbox

Now, the UK has Royal Mail and there used to be mail trains, but the term mailbox comes from the US. It conjures up images of rural American neighbourhoods, with a boy cycling down the street throwing papers into the front gardens. Maybe, I’ve just watched too many films!

Mailboxes are typically freestanding,  along the lines of the freestanding letterboxes we sell. However, if we use the term mailbox, many customers assume we aren’t a UK-based business. They think we’re some faceless global entity, dropshipping goods.

As a small Buckinghamshire company, that takes pride in responsive and personal customer service, this isn’t the impression we want to make. So should we say that we sell post boxes?

The Post Box

Now, saying post boxes makes sense, however, I bet you are picturing the bright red Royal Mail boxes. These are quite different; rather than a means of receiving letters, they are local collection points for letters and parcels to be sorted for onward delivery. These British icons were first introduced in 1852 and are part of every community.

We do sell some bright red letterboxes, like the Moda Italiana and Europa Maxi, but these are post boxes for houses. Yes, we have used ‘post boxes for houses’ as a way of differentiating our solutions for home use from the public Royal Mail, but is this what you would type into a search engine?

(At this point, I want to say that I’m also curious as to why it is a post box, as two separate words, but not a letter box or mail box, but that’s a discussion for another day!)

What’s in a Word?

The outcome is that we have resorted to mixing it up. We use multiple terms for the same product in the hope that each will help some customers find exactly what they are looking for. Fortunately, our website is full of images as well as words, so when delivered, our products match expectations.

If you have any questions about our letterboxes, just get in touch on 01296 839401. You can speak to a real person, use the term that you prefer and get advice on the best option for your requirements.