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Mailmark® Information

What is Mailmark®?

Mailmark® is a new service provided by Royal Mail which offers web-based reporting from an online analytics dashboard – showing detailed batch level reporting on:

  • Predicted delivery
  • Volume
  • Performance
  • Error level reporting
It has been designed for high volume, high quality machine readable mail. It is most suitable for organisations producing large quantities of letters (or large letters) each year. It is intended to replace the current CBC barcode by December 2016.  This is achieved by applying a barcode to the mail item and uploading an electronic manifest declaring all mail items to be despatched.

Who is Mailmark® available to?

Mailmark® is available to both Retail and Wholesale customers.

Retail – The Mailmark® option is available with machine- readable Business, Advertising and Publishing Mail, Low and non-sorted options. It is not available for non-machine-readable, high sort, international or business mail advanced options.

Wholesale – The Mailmark® option is available for machine-readable Access 70, General Mail, Business Mail, Advertising Mail and Responsible Mail. It is not available with non-machine-readable or Access 1400 sortation.

How do I get involved in Mailmark®?

Before being able to send any mail via Mailmark® customers need to:

  • Register as a participant with Royal Mail, this means that you will become part of the supply chain. You can request this directly with Royal Mail or speak to your mailing house who can kick off the process on your behalf.
  • Obtain a Supply Chain ID (SCID) – this is a unique number relevant to the participants within the supply chain and arranged by Royal Mail. Usually the Mailing house will request this information. The supply chain is represented within the Mailmark® barcode. The supply chain is made up of the following participants, if any of these change a new SCID must be used:
    • Mail Originator
    • Mailing House
    • Carrier
    • Bill Payer
  • Ensure that the account number being used for the Mailing has the correct Mailmark® service attributed to it.

How does the Mailmark® barcode look?

Royal Mail offer different types of Mailmark® barcode – 2D data matrix and 4 state. The 2D barcode is by far the most common option. The barcode size and shape differs depending on which option you choose:

Mailmark barcodes

  • The module width of these 2D barcodes can range from 0.5mm to 0.7mm in increments of 0.5mm. The higher the module width the bigger the barcode will become.  It is worth checking with your Mailing House the output resolution of their printers as in some cases a larger module size will be used to ensure good pass grade for machine readability.
  • The barcode can be positional both vertically and horizontally but must be parallel to the edge of the mail-piece.  

Barcode placement criteria (in relation to the artwork)

  • Ensure the outer is eligible for Mailmark®, you can check this with Royal Mail
  • Placement of the barcode should not be:
    1.  Within 15mm of the short edges
    2.  Within 18mm of the long edge furthest from indicia
    3.  Within ‘tag’ code mark
    4.  Within ‘route’ code mark
  • Barcode must have clear zone applied around all edges.

What goes into the barcode?

The Mailmark® information takes up the first 45 characters in any of the barcode types used.  The information is broken down into the following bits of information, all of which are explained in the Barcode Specification document provided by Royal Mail. Follow the link for details®-barcode-definition-document-June-2014-v3-2.pdf

Barcode descriptions

Why is Item- ID important?

The item ID is crucial to the success of the reporting. The item ID’s must NOT be duplicated across the supply chain. This means that if you have two campaigns under the same supply chain, you cannot start the item ID at number 1 in each case.

How does Mailmark® look on my product?

The Mailmark® barcode can be positioned either vertically or horizontally in the window. For GI specifically, the Type 29 barcode is favoured. Horizontal positioning works best with our enclosing process and reduces the number of machine spoils.

The Mailing House must ensure that there are valid clear zones around the barcode (actual tolerance specified by Royal Mail + additional for production process). Full barcode details can be obtained by Royal Mail.  Some examples of address positioning below:

Vertical Mailmark® barcode      
Verical barcode  
Horizontal Mailmark® barcode
Horizontal barcode

What are the cost benefits to Mailmark®?

For 2014/15 the cost of Mailmark® equals the current Barcode/CBC pricing. Mailmark® will be 1% cheaper than CBC in 2015 and an additional 5% cheaper from 2016.

What are the reporting benefits to Mailmark®?

  • Daily web based reporting:
    • Predicted Delivery
    • Batch level information
    • Item level detail on:
      • Not machined items
      • Items that fail specification
  • New metrics to support and integrate mail with other communications channels
  • Visibility of supply chain performance
  • Rapid identification of problems

GI preferred code & process

  • Preferred barcode – Type 29 (70 characters total)
    • 45 characters used by Mailmark® information
    • 25 characters used by GI audit information
    • No spare characters available
  • Rectangular shape fits easier within address window, if enclosed at GI will be required to be positioned horizontally within the window to avoid excessive spoilage as a result of machine constraints.
  • Item declaration – GI will declare item data & despatch. Note this may be different for some DSA processes.
  • For 100% Mailing – GI will reconcile spoils and despatch on a separate eManifest.

Can I send GI pre-Mailsorted data?

Yes, GI will be able to manage Mailmark® with pre-mailsorted files?

Can I send GI unsorted pre-composed PDF files?

Yes, GI can work with you to discuss how this will be managed.

Can I send GI pre-sorted, pre-composed PDF files, including Mailmark® barcode?

Yes, GI will print the job as normal but this would not be handled as a Mailmark® job for GI. EManifest creation and submission has to be done by the client, unless an audit/index file is supplied. Please contact Clare Bishop for details.

What clients should again be wary of is the size of the barcode that needs to be printed in relation to the resolution of the printer’s production machines. Please discuss this with GI to ensure that your barcode will ready when it gets despatched into Royal Mail.