09 May A Concern for Direct Mail Printers and Customers? Royal Mail Price changes 9th May 2011.
As we’ve discussed several times on Printing Brain, Direct Mail can be a very effective channel to communicating with your customers and driving sales from them.
However, in the UK, the main deliverer of Direct Mail, Royal Mail, are increasing prices from today by up to 15% for some classes of mail. All of which has passed on a large degree of uncertainty to direct mail printers and customers alike.
As an example, this means that for a letter up to 100 grams and over 4000 units, the postage price will rise from 16.5p to 17.5p per unit. For a large letter up to 100 grams and over 1000 units this will rise from 23p to 25p per unit.
So on the surface, the mailing costs, which constitute the lion’s share of any direct mailing campaign, are going to increase costs, meaning that your direct mail campaign has to work that bit harder to generate a positive return on investment.
Cost Mitigation/Reduction Strategies
However, it’s becoming clear that there are ways to mitigate these costs. As part of the changes, Royal Mail have a new product called Advertising Mail that qualifies for a discount depending on volume. To qualify, the mailing must be advertising a product, meaning all mail order catalogues qualify, although transactional items such as bills do not.
It is still as important as ever to ensure your mailing data is clean and to analyse sorting patterns to benefit from mailsort discounts – ensuring most of your mailing is done as a direct and not as a residue.
There are processes which the mailer has to go through, for example you must get your ‘Advertising’ mailer approved by the Royal Mail, though it’s worth noting that approval can have a knock-on with the printing of your mailings as codes will change.
There is extra work to be done to navigate the systems, but there are also discounts to be found. And working with the new system and focusing on strategic analysis of your data, for most direct mail campaigns, it looks like the changes can be minimised.
Use the contact form to the left if you require any assistance from a consultant on any of these matters. Or for more information on Direct Mail, see our Direct Mail article library.