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Postage is the most expensive part of the Direct Mail process, responsible for up to 75% of the cost. Here is all the latest news, information and tariffs to help you get the most from your postage budget.

There are a number of ways of getting the most from your postage budget including DSA alternatives. For help on how to access their tariff or for a free postage audit please email us at postalhelp

Free Postal Audit

To save you money, we offer a free independent audit on postage. This looks at your mailing requirements and advises you on the best solutions including using alternative postage products, and the likely savings you will achieve.


New postage prices for 2018

Postage prices for Royal Mail Retail and Downstream Access (DSA)/Network Operators have increased from 2nd January 2018.

Royal Mail Retail

  • Royal Mail Advertising Mail has increased on average by 2.9%
  • Royal Mail Business Mail has increased on average 4.6%
  • Response Services has increased on average by 4.0%
  • International Tracked and Signature Services has decreased on average by 3.1%
  • International Mixed mail has increased on average by 4.3%
  • International Letters has increased on average by 0.6%
  • International Large Letters has increased on average by 2.4%
  • International Parcels has increased on average by 1.1%
  • International Response Services has increased on average by 1.0%

Please note actual price changes are dependent on your posting profile. The price change indicators above are based on the Royal Mail average profile.

All of Royal Mail’s pricing information can be found via the link below:

DSA/ Network Operators

  • Royal Mail Access charges for letters and large letters transactional mail have increased by 4.9% for Mailmark services and 6.9% for other services
  • Increases for Advertising Mail are less
  • Royal Mail Wholesale has increased some of the discounts for Advertising Mail
  • For Mailmark the discounts are
    • Advertising Mail 5.896p for Letters
    • Advertising Mail 9.131p for Large Letters up to 100g
    • Advertising Mail 9.59p for Large Letters 101g - 250g
  • The Advertising Mail discount is now dependant on the service you use. It was 5.147p an item for all Letter services in 2017. But now the following discounts apply
  Service   Discounts from 2018(p)  
  Mailmark Letters      5.896
  70 OCR Letters   6.100
  70 Letters   6.199
  1400 Letters   6.169
  • Advertising Mail non Mailmark prices are increasing by 3 and 3.4%
  • Across the board, the price difference between Business Mail and Advertising Mail has increased against 2017 prices.

*Please note some DSA have increased their operational costs for collecting, sorting and delivering mail to Royal Mail.

  • General Large Letters, A3 Parcels and Parcels Access Charges change in April 2018

All carriers (Royal Mail Retail and DSA/Network Operators)

  • CBC has been withdrawn as a service
  • Responsible/Sustainable Mail Entry and Intermediate prices will remain at 0.5p and 1.0p less than the Advertising Mail price.
  • The discount for presenting pre-sorted mail in trays has increased
    • From 0.6p per item to 0.7p for a Large Letter (for Business Mail and Ad Mail, not General Mail).
    • From 0.25p per item to 0.27p for Letter
  • Some Mailmark adjustment charges have changed

Machinable Large Letter

  • Machinable Large letters can now be sent using Unwrapped spec. Mailmark and OCR now available for unwrapped. You can download a copy of the User Guide from

New Unsorted Option - barcode savings

From 27th March 2017 Royal Mail introduced a new option for unsorted jobs. By printing a simple barcode to ‘bring efficiencies and ensure bills are accurate’

  • You could save 2p per item by printing a barcode on the envelopes
  • There will be only one size for the new PPI design
  • This option will be available for:
    • Standard Business Mail
    • Standard Ad Mail
    • 1st and 2nd Class
    • STL, BPL, CLN


For more information and to register your interest please visit

‘Send more for less’ – new option for catalogues/brochures

Customers that post catalogues or brochures may be interested in the weight bands introduced with 2016 Royal Mail Advertising Mail prices as the Catalogue option. They came into effect from 4th January 2016 for use in the Advertising Mail Catalogue Trial. They include five weight bands between 100g – 150g for both Letter and Large Letter format items. This, in effect, reduces the price increases for catalogues over 100g.

The Advertising Mail Catalogue Trial started on 4th January 2016 and ran until 17th March 2017.

Digital Stamp

Digital Stamp Indicia is becoming a permanent option both for Royal Mail Wholesale & Retail customers from 3rd May 2016, subject to terms and conditions.

This option is available for Mailmark mailings only

You have a choice of using one of three digital stamp designs shown below. Whichever one you choose, you will need to apply either

  • the carriers Royal Mail Wholesale Access Licence Number assigned to them under their Access Contract to the artwork you create (to replace the C1 12345 number shown in the images below) or
  • the Royal Mail licence number, with HQ prefix relevant to the customer OBA account you use for the mailing



ROYAL MAIL WHOLESALE: For more details please visit

ROYAL MAIL RETAIL: For more details please visit

GI Solutions group are an accredited print provider.

Royal Mail Wholesale and Retail ‘Scheme for Growth’ promotion

Royal Mail has introduced a postage credit scheme which offers lower prices for customers who use mail to grow their business. The scheme rewards senders that grow their advertising mail volumes over a 12 month period.

It has been open to applications since 29 April 2016.

How does it work?

  • The scheme is to encourage the growth of direct mail
  • The scheme offers credits to advertisers of between 2.5p-10.5p per item on all incremental advertising mail posted during a 12 month period
  • The incremental volume posted must be in addition to the volume posted during the previous 12 months
  • The minimum volume for the incremental is 250,000

Who is eligible to use the scheme?

  • Anyone who is intending to post at least 250,000 incremental mail items in the 12 month incentive period
  • The incremental volume can either be Letter or Large Letter

The incremental volume has to be posted either using the Advertising or Responsible Mail services AND Mailmark*

You can find all details on the RM website:

Royal Mail and Royal Mail Wholesale offer many incentives to make your campaigns work harder. See how you can save money on your existing or new mailings.

  Sustainable Mail™

One of the best ways to achieve postage savings is to meet Royal Mail criteria for Sustainable Mail™. This shows that the impact on the environment has been considered when designing and producing the piece. There are two levels:

Entry level receives a price discount of 1.7% per item on a letter format
Intermediate criteria receive 3.9% on a letter format

Sustainable Mail™ tariffs are achieved when:

  • Mail items are made from responsibly sourced materials
  • All paper elements of the pack are recyclable
  • Recycling messages have been used
  • Data should be suppressed against the Mail Preference Service (MPS)
  • 90% data must meet Royal Mail’s Postcode Address File (PAF®)
  • Envelope windows must be recyclable

To qualify for the additional 0.4 pence price discount under the intermediate level, further standards include:

  • Suppliers should have certified environmental management systems
  • The use of at least one commercially available deceased file and goneaway file
  • Opt Out instructions must be included
  • Returned goneaways must be suppressed
  • 50% of finishes must be water-based
  • 95% data must meet Royal Mail’s Postcode Address File (PAF)



Sustainable Mail update

As part of our continued product development Royal Mail have been reviewing the specification for Sustainable Advertising Mail. In recent years the range and type of materials that can be recycled at the ‘curb side’ by councils around the country has increased. They remain committed to reducing the impact of Direct Mail on the environment and will continue to look at how to improve your environmental products. As such Royal Mail can now accept mail that uses brown cardboard and brown paper.