By Guest Blogger:

Julie Ray, Client Services Director

Advanced Direct Mail


Postage is one of the single biggest costs for any membership mailing. There are a staggering 146 different ways you can post a letter and so understanding the various options takes a lot of time and patience.

We’ve compiled a list of 4 things we consider when choosing postage specifically for our membership clients:

What are you posting?

This may seem like an obvious, however, the format of your mailing piece will determine the postage category can use.  This could be a newsletter, magazine, membership card or catalogue?

Firstly, we look at the size and weight of the piece you are planning to send as this will govern the price bracket they fall into.

We now consider sustainable admail and publishing mail.  Admail can be used when selling from the page ie catalogues.  Publishing mail is specifically for sending large volumes of magazines, journals and newsletters. However, it can only be used for large letter publications (C4) and its not always the answer.

We will look at incentives and discounts that can be applied to your mailing.  These are currently running at 15% – so certainly worth a good look.

Finally, the decision Royal Mail or downstream access?

Client Case Study – for one client moving their members magazine away from publishing mail and using a 2 – 3 day service with down stream access was the solution.  Cost saving achieved, timescales reduced – win win!!

How Will You Package Your Mail?

The material you use to wrap your mail has an impact on postage price. The cheapest option is naked (unwrapped) but does not usually work for membership mailings as they tend to carry a significant number of inserts.

Polywrapping tends to be the most popular option, with envelopes appearing to be the most expensive. However, choosing envelopes will give you an additional sustainable discount therefore it may become the more cost effective solution.  An added complexity for you to consider is bioplastic wrap – this is made from potato starch and 100% compostable. This is more expensive that but certainly cuts down on single use plastics.

Client Case Study – By changing our client’s monthly members magazine from C5 polywrapping to C5 envelope, and taking advantage of the relevant sustainable discounts, we made them an annual saving of £90k.

Your Timescale?

What day of the week do you want your mailing to land and would you like to stagger the release of your mailing?  All things to consider.  Choosing the right mailing solution can significantly improve your members experience as well as reducing your costs.

Client Case Study – where door drop on Friday was critical we moved from Royal Mail Economy to a less expensive down-stream access service making a good saving, increasing traceability and enjoying reported up lift in membership response rates.

What Is Your Postal History?

All mailing providers offer a variety of discounts depending on your mailing history. For example, Royal Mail offer first time mailers 15% off their first 3 mailings. They also offer discounts on increased and repeat business. However, this is complex – we consider all options for every mailing with care.

Client Case Study – in one extreme case the savings that we achieve for a large membership organisation on the postage are greater than the cost of our services!

For more information, please contact either

Julie Ray ([email protected]) or Jo Lucas ([email protected]) 01384 215790


Advanced Direct Mail is a mailing house, providing comprehensive direct mail solutions for many of the UK’s largest membership organisations. In addition, they are able to offer truly independent advice, utilising their relationships with the UK mailing providers, and understanding of all prices, options and discounts on offer.