Mailmark – How to Save on Postage
If you’re serious about direct mail marketing, you need to know about Mailmark, Royal Mail’s tailor-made franking solution for saving on postage costs for big mail campaigns. There’s no doubt about it – Mailmark is the most cost effective way to send bulk mail.
What is Mailmark?
First there were stamps, then there were postcodes and now there’s Mailmark, Royal Mail’s latest and most efficient franking service for high volume direct mail.
Mailmark uses barcodes printed on each letter, leaflet and mailshot you put in the post. Each barcode contains everything Royal Mail needs to know, including the sender details, mail type and destination. Royal Mail can process the mail automatically and know exactly what to charge you, and in return you get a discount on your postage.
The barcode is scanned by Royal Mail as your mail moves through the mail system, and you have online access to the location of your mail and when it will be delivered. See Royal Mail’s Mailmark introductory video for more information on how it works.
What do Mailmark barcodes look like?
Mailmark barcodes come in different forms according to the type of mailing you are sending. We can advise you on what your mail will look like with Mailmark barcodes, so you’ll know in advance what your customers will receive.
Numerous studies have show that barcodes don’t prevent people from opening your mail (some companies used to worry that mail with mailings with barcodes looked impersonal), and in return for using them you save money on your direct mail campaigns. A ‘win win’ all round.
How much does bulk mail cost?
Different postage rates apply to different mail services (eg Royal Mail Advertising Mail), and in today’s competitive marketplace there are a good number of different mail providers, known as downstream access providers (DSA). In other words, you need to get a solid quote for the postage costs of your direct mail campaign.
The key things that will affect your costs are:
- How many people are you mailing?
- What is the size of the mailing piece?
- Is your data properly sorted and deduped?
- Which mail delivery provider are you using – Royal Mail or another service?
Get in touch with us to find out more about the cost of your mailing.
Who can use Mailmark?
To take advantage of Mailmark, you need to register an account and supply your mailing material and address data to the standards required by Royal Mail. Address data should be 95% accurate, mailpack dimensions have to be within Royal Mail guidelines and the Mailmark barcode needs to meet Royal Mail standards for machine legibility.
That might sound daunting, but Mailing Expert can help make sure your mailing meets the required standards.
Mailmark can be used regardless of which mail delivery company you use – whether it’s Royal Mail or another DSA such as Whistl, OnePost, Secured Mail or UK Mail. All providers ultimately work with Royal Mail on getting your post through your customers’ letterboxes. Downstream access providers will pick up your mail, distribute it to their depots around the country, and then deliver to local Royal Mail offices which are responsible for ‘final mile’ delivery.
How do I get further discounts?
All direct mail campaigns need to be based on up-to-date, accurate data. The better the data, the more eligible you are for savings.
What is Royal Mail PAF?
Royal Mail PAF (Postcode Address File) contains all 29 million addresses in the UK, shared across 1.8 million postcodes. It’s at the heart of the way mail is delivered.
Best practice for mail campaigns is to run your address data against the PAF to see if it contains errors. If the errors are not corrected the mail won’t be delivered. One of the advantages of Mailmark is that you won’t be charged for mail which is not delivered. The Mailmark process will only issue barcodes for correctly addressed mail and you’ll be charged for those.
To qualify for discounts, your data also needs to be sorted into postcodes or zones (known as mailsort) to help postage companies distribute it to the right depots. It’s a further hurdle to jump over, but with the right mailing business in your corner it can be a seamless process.
Is Mailmark right for your business?
Do you use direct mail with names and addresses for marketing to your client base? Or to find new customers? Do you send out thousands of mailing pieces at a time? Are you focused on keeping costs down to improve the ROI of your campaigns? If the answer is ‘yes’ to all of those questions, the chances are Mailmark is for you.
One last thing: you can use Mailmark reporting information for up-to-date details on when your mail will be delivered. So you can plan for extra resources in stores, at events, in the office or on the phone to accommodate all the extra business your high impact direct mail is going to generate! Mailmark really does hit the mark!