Royal Mail has embarked on a major offensive to woo big brands to its Mailmark tracking service – which provides detailed reports on individual pieces of mail – and claims up to 30 household names will be signed up within weeks.
By its own admission, take-up of the service has been slower than anticipated, with many companies held back by the logistics of switching to the new system. Royal Mail has also had to initiate a major recruitment drive to attract big data specialists to work on the scheme in-house.
But it has now introduced a number of incentives to kick-start adoption. These include offering mailing houses up to £50,000 towards the cost of upgrading their operations as well as discounts – of up to 5% by 2017 – on postal rates for those in the scheme.
Royal Mail is also pushing the fact that by using Mailmark, companies can cut back on so-called reversion charges if mailshots fail to go through the company’s new sorting machinery.
Under the current regime, Royal Mail can fine firms – or even send back the entire mail run – if any of the mailings jam. But under Mailmark there is greater flexibility to fix any problems as it gives clients the opportunity to download corrections.
A row over reversions came to a head in late 2012 after it emerged Royal Mail had generated £12m in income from fines, forcing industry body the DMA to broker a deal between mailing houses and the postal operator.
Speaking exclusively to DecisionMarketing, Royal Mail head of business development for consumer and network access Charles Neilson said: “We have now got our team of analysts in place and are helping mailing houses with the associated costs of installing the right systems.
“We expect to have 20 or 30 household names signed up within weeks. Many are testing Mailmark so that they can take advantage of the proportionate adjustment in price, being introduced from January.”
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