British Gas has become the first major brand to use Royal Mail’s new Mailmark barcode tracking system, which provides reports on where individual pieces of mail are at up to five different points in the mailing process.
The scheme, which is designed to give a higher level of reassurance that mail has been delivered, is now being rolled out to other large-scale direct mailers. British Gas sends nearly 100 million mailshots a year.
Currently both Communisis and Opus Trust Marketing have worked on successful Mailmark mailings, while many software houses, including the Software Bureau, are also offering the solutions. Royal Mail’s aim is to have 80-90% of machineable mail part of the Mailmark system by the end of 2016.
Mailmark does not add to cost of postage for Royal Mail business, advertising or bulk mail products.
Royal Mail head of business development Charles Nielson said: “If you’re a customer with high revenue items you want to make sure they’ve been delivered. If you send us 20,000 and we only see 19,000, you might want to know which 1,000 we haven’t seen and Mailmark gives you the chance to do that. Whereas before we could only say there were 1,000 missing.”
However, Nielson did concede that the key challenge facing mailing houses was repurposing layouts to include the Mailmark barcodes. He added: “If you’re a small mailing house I think it’s pretty straight forward; if you’re a big mailing house with legacy systems then perhaps it’s a little bit more complicated. Large transactional mailers have been using these systems for many years and changes aren’t necessarily easy.”
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