Direct Mail Journal

Direct Mail and Marketing Tips

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Mail
(or those who use it)

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Mail

Elspeth Douglas McClelland (1879–1920) was an architect and a member of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) also known as the Women’s Suffrage Movement. In the late 1800’s women did not have the right to vote in countries like the United Kingdom and the United States. The goal of the Suffrage Movement was to win the right to vote for woman using peaceful, and at times, even violent means.

Elspeth is most notorious for her creative efforts to grab attention during Suffrage. In 1909, after unsuccessfully trying to schedule a meeting with the Prime Minister of England, Elspeth, and fellow activist Daisy Solomon, mailed themselves to him. The postal service guidelines had been severely eased to allow people to be “mailed” by express courier. Elspeth and her companion leveraged these new rules to secure a covert audience with the Prime Minister.

Elspeth and Daisy were addressed to “The Right Hon H. H. Asquith, 10 Downing Street, SW” (London). The stamp for this journey cost only 3 cents at the time. A.S. Palmer, a postal boy, transferred the pair to Downing Street, where on-duty police officers permitted them through to number 10. However, a government official arrived and protested the delivery. The official told the delivery boy that the pair cannot be presented and must be returned to sender – “these are dead letters”.

Elspeth and Daisy were taken back to the office of the Women’s Social and Political Union. The delivery arrived at the office of the Prime Minister as planned and the public relations stunt won even greater attention for their cause. An image of this eventful day is in the British museum and the Prime Minister is said to have been “amused” by the occasion.

Based on the efforts of activists like Elspeth, woman made steady progress and won the right to vote in the British colony of New Zealand in 1893. Australia granted this right to non-Aboriginal woman in 1902. Voting rights were extended to woman in most western powers after the First World War. In particular, Canada (1917), Britain and Germany (1918), Austria, the Netherlands (1919) and the United States (1920). It is hard to imagine, but the mail also had a role in this process.

On Thanksgiving we want to say thank you to ALL who have fought so hard for the rights and liberties that we all enjoy today!

Daisy Solomon and Elspeth McClelland with a post boy, police and an
official outside 10 Downing Street, attempting to get themselves delivered as letters

Zairmail ( is the fastest and easiest way to send (real) postal mail. Give us a call anytime at 888.898.0066, we would be happy to help with your direct mail needs.



About the Author

Wilson Zehr is a Direct Mail Industry Expert, Direct Marketing Specialist, and CEO of Cendix (, the leading provider of Web-to-print solutions that increase sales both online and offline. He is also the founder of Zairmail (, the company responsible for many "industry firsts" in direct mail.


Click here to get a free Zairmail Sample Kit with all the information you need to get your direct mail campaigns off the ground!




Sign-up for the Zairmail Newsletter

Receive direct mail tips and insights that can help grow your business, sent right to your inbox.

Sign-up for our email newsletter, and you'll also get a free Zairmail Sample Kit.




Zairmail Direct Mail   1.888.898.0066   503.624.6099

Home     Send Direct Mail     Free Sample Kit     Login

Frequently Asked Questions     Contact Us



© 2003-2022 Cendix Solution. All rights reserved.    Terms and Conditions    Privacy Policy


Zairmail site is secured through GoDaddy SSL Zairmail site is an Authorized Partner with First Data Zairmail is an Authorized Affiliate Merchant with the U.S. Postal Service Zairmail is a Known Shipper with the U.S. Deparment of Transportation Zairmail is PayPal Verified Zairmail is a member of the Direct Marketing Association Zairmail is a member of the Printing Industries of America Association Zairmail is Microsoft Certified Partner Zairmail is a member of the Intel Channel Partner program