New magazine subscription mail service to launch

New magazine subscription mail service to launch

Royal Mail (RM) has announced it is to launch a new magazine subscription mail service to meet the needs of publishers of consumer, business, membership and brand magazines.

As some magazines have been experiencing growth in subscriptions, others struggling with reduced advertising revenue and a tougher retail environment within the digital world.

But feedback from publishers suggests that print remains an important driver of revenue and profit for publishers.

And discussions with customers, publishers and mail producers helped drive the development of a new magazine subscription mail service which will be available from January 2019. Its features include:

Low cost

The new service will be set at a lower price than business mail creating a cost effective service for customers and encouraging publishers to invest in subscription growth. The service is large letter format only and VAT rated at 0%

Performance measurement

Customers must use Mailmark Access 70 to post using the new service. Customers said that quality of service was fundamental. By using barcodes, publishers can see the performance of their mailing items and work with suppliers to identify opportunities to improve performance, whilst using RM’s lowest priced service

Lower minimum entry requirement

Publishers said some of their magazines have low circulation levels and require a low minimum daily entry requirement to post. To provide for this the minimum daily entry requirement is 2,000 items for existing publication titles; or 1,000 items for new publication titles in the first year of circulation by post

Price certainty

Publishers said that they typically sell 12 month term subscriptions and any unforeseen changes to the cost of postage have an impact on the profitability of that subscription. To give customers greater confidence in using mail services for subscriptions, RM will provide 12 months’ notice of any price change affecting this new service only

Editorial content

Subscribers sign up for magazine subscriptions because of the editorial content. To assist publishers with growing their subscriptions, magazines posted using the new service must contain at least 30% editorial content

Publishing incentives

The new service is eligible for use with RM’s publishing incentives which award publishers postage discounts when posting publishing mail. Find out more about RM’s incentives at

Higher tray fill requirement

To reduce the number of containers (trays or bags) in circulation the new services requires a minimum of 10 items in a container. This should save customers time and resource in handling containers throughout the supply chain and should be achievable as customers shall be sorting to Access 70


RM appreciates that the industry is innovating to respond to the concerns around the use of plastic. RM is working with the PPA Sustainability Action Group to help shape a response and will introduce product specifications as they evolve.

Qualification Process

Customers will need to register each magazine title to use the service. So that customers can start posting immediately from January 2019, customers can go through the qualification process before the service starts. From 1st October 2018 customers can send us samples of their publications so that we can check them and approve the publication in readiness for the service launch date of 2nd January 2019.

Testing our Mailmark service

RM is committed to working with customers to ensure they use the Mailmark service to their full benefit. If you have publishers who are new to Mailmark, RM has a test on poly-wrapped large letters running until 30th June 2019. Mailmark is the cheapest service we offer.

Although customers may incur item level non-compliance charges when using the Mailmark service, customers will never pay more than they would pay on an equivalent manual service. RM encourages customers to participate early in the test to make best use of the new service.

SMP members requiring more information are urged to visit: