Print Week: SMP welcomes Royal Mail initiatives

Print Week: SMP welcomes Royal Mail initiatives

The Strategic Mailing Partnership has welcomed the latest set of Royal Mail initiatives aimed at inspiring and invigorating direct mail in 2021.

Existing incentives are being renewed for a further 12 months, while fixed percentage discounts are being introduced to simplify the offering.

2020’s portfolio of incentives saw 680 applications approved and £9.2m accrued in credits to be offset against postage costs.

These include the Open for Business and Back to Business schemes, which proved popular with companies keen to announce they were still trading or offering a change of services during lockdown.

Back to Business, which was launched in May, gives a preferential rate for customers looking to post a minimum of 50,000 additional mail items per quarter.

Back to Business Extra, which was unveiled in August, is aimed at larger customers who want to send at least 2.5 million extra mail items at an even lower rate.

A number of discounts are offered for advertising mail, business mail and publishing mail and Royal Mail is also seeking to work with wholesale customers and the wider mail industry to promote growth and retention within the letters division.

A first-time user discount will provide a discount for customers who have never used advertising mail or have not done so in the past two years.

Judith Donovan, chair of the SMP, the industry body that represents mailing houses from all areas of the UK, said the schemes “help ensure mail remains a cost-effective method of communication at this challenging time”.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted trading at all levels and these incentives will go some way towards supporting businesses across the board.

“The news that the portfolio is being extended into 2021 will come as a boost for our members as a means of generating work and to help kickstart the economy.”

Donovan also highlighted the Q3 2020 data from JICMail, which found that customers engaged more with direct mail and door drops, and that digital campaigns had been improved as a result of mail being sent out.

The figures showed that, on average, 8.7% of advertising mail such as door drops, direct mail and business mail drove people to advertiser websites – a year-on-year increase of a third. Business mail stays in the home for an average of 9.5 days, followed by 8.4 days for direct mail and 6.4 days for door drops.

“This is clearly a great time to make the most of the power of mail,” Donovan added.