Direct mail firms back Royal Mail plan to boost market

mail 2UK direct mail industry body the Strategic Mailing Partnership has hailed the launch of a new programme of Royal Mail incentives, designed to support the growth and retention of the letters market, backing the move to help the sector continue to recover from Covid-19.

Royal Mail is renewing its current incentives for a further 12 months while updated fixed percentage discounts are available once again on different types of mail to amplify the offering.

Two new incentives will also be launched in April next year. The New User Incentive will target high-potential brands which have not previously used direct mail before, while a new incentive for Programmatic Mail will outline clear objectives and controls for that type of activity.

The Mailmark Economy incentive was launched in July and offers up to 30% off for businesses looking to send incremental advertising mail, responsible mail and partially addressed mail volume.

Since the launch, Royal Mail Wholesale has already agreed to support 25 million incremental items. From January 4 2022, the incentive rate for the partially addressed mail service is increasing from 9.3% to 14.5%.

The SMP, which represents more than 150 UK mailing houses, believes that 2021’s incentives were significant. There were 235 applications approved and £4.5m accrued in credits to be offset against postage costs. A number of discounts are continuing to be offered for advertising mail, business mail and publishing mail.

As a professional body which directly looks after the interests of the printing and mailing house industry, SMP sees these incentives as a huge boost for the sector.

SMP chair Judith Donovan CBE said: “These schemes support more cost-effective mail and make it easier to use an efficient method of communication in what are still challenging times. The lasting impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is still affecting trading across numerous sectors and these incentives will go some way to offsetting fundamental costs for businesses across the board.”

Donovan went on to cite the most recent Jicmail data, which found that, during Q3 of 2021, customers are engaging more with their mail, with advertising mail such as door drops, direct mail and business mail driving 9% of people to advertiser websites, as slight increase from 8.7% year on year.

However, she maintains the most striking findings reference the impact direct mail has on driving people to use their smartphone or tablets, with an 11% increase in this activity year on year in Q3 alone and a major 41% increase over the course of the last two years.

Donovan concluded: “It is great news that these incentives are being extended into 2022, as well as the introduction of new ones, as this will continue to boost our members’ activity and see the sector continue to recover. It is still as timely as ever to utilise the power of mail.”

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