Postage News


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.


Summary of Postage Changes 2014

Royal Mail has announced prices increases for postage from 31st March 2014. These reflect a 2% increase for Advertising Mail; a 3% increase for Unsorted 2nd class; an increase of 0.6% for Low Sort Economy Barcode – trayed and 4-5% increase on average for 1st class. They also include a 3% increase for Business Mail Low Sort Mech in trays; a 2.2% increase for Unsorted OCR/Barcode and the highest increase of 6.1% for non mech 2nd class letter and 6% for High Sort LL.

Royal Mail have also introduced Tray savings of 0.2p for letters and 0.3p for Large Letters. For more information go to Advertising Mail with response is being withdrawn from 31st March 2014 and Advertising Multi-Stage is not being offered to new customers.

Postage percentages 2

Think cost savings:
A cost-saving product that has been introduced is the First Time User incentive for companies not currently using Mail or who have not used Mail for 24 months.

New definition for Business Mail
Definitions for Business Mail have been further defined, and products that do not fall within these definitions would need to be sent Royal Mail 24/48. Business Mail 1st Class and Business Mail will typically contain general correspondence and items of a personalised nature for transactional, contractual or relationship purposes. The basic principle is that items that are goods or packaged for goods (eg jiffy bags) are not permitted.

For wholesale customers, costs and services have been redefined as:

  • Advertising Mail Large Letter
  • Business Mail Large Letter
  • General Large Letter

Mechanised OCR large letters specification has been amended so max pack thickness is now 10mm instead of 25mm.

GI UK Mail:


% Increase
Unsorted Letter Machine Manual 3.15%
Unsorted Letter Machine OCR 3.05%
Unsorted Lg Letter <100g 13.74%
Unsorted Lg Letter 101-250g 14.03%
Mailsort 70 CBC 3.33%
Mailsort 1400 (Direct) letter 4.36%
Mailsort 70 (Residue) letter 3.43%
Mailsort 1400 (Direct) large letter 0-100g         16.53%
Mailsort 70 (Residue) large letter 0-100g 17.05%

Increased tray saving to 0.2p letters/ 0.3p large letters

Increased Advertising Saving to 4.02p per pack

International Product Portfolio:
Products simplified:

  1. Zero Sort
  2. Zone Sort
  3. Country Sort
  4. Max Sort

Response Services

Customers must adopt a new style licence number and a barcode for use on letter and large letter mail prices. The old style alpha numeric licences (e.g. LON1234) will no longer be accepted as compliant with the Response Services Licence terms from 7th November 2013. Only licence numbers in the 12 alpha character format (e.g. AAAA-BBBB-CCCC), together with a barcode will be valid form that date.

Full details can be found on


We have been working with Royal Mail over the last few months as part of the early adopters phase for EIB. EIB or Enterprise Intelligent barcoding is a Royal Mail barcode that allows customers to receive tracking reports on dates and volumes of processed mail. The machines verify the items through the machines against the live data which is provided to them electronically by the mailing house as a manifest.

We are currently working through the intricacies of the specification and then hope to be approaching key clients to come on board with us and trial this product for launch summer 2014.

The initiative will enable businesses to:

  • Improve efficiency and customer service by staffing operations, such as call centres, based on the exact date customers receive statements or business mail
  • More accurately link associated communications activities with delivery of their mail. For example, companies will be able to text or email customers with supporting information on the day their mail is delivered
  • Better monitor the success of marketing mail campaigns with improved insight into customer action as a result of receiving a mailing, whether through web, telephone or postal response

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)