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Last year, Royal Mail introduced new franking machine technology that replaces the familiar 'town and crown' die with a two-dimensional barcode containing information unique to each mail piece.
The barcodes printed by Mailmark franking machines enable Royal Mail to identify and track individual items of mail as they go through its mail centres and distribution network, bringing greater efficiency to its operations and facilitating the development of new mailing products and servicesGuaranteed cheapest channelTo encourage customers to switch to new generation devices, Royal Mail guarantees that Mailmark will always be the cheapest option for sending first and second class letters and large letters.From March 30th, when new Royal Mail pricing comes into effect, it will be 33% cheaper to send a second class letter with a Mailmark frank than a stamp (36p vs 54p); a first class letter will be 19% cheaper (51p vs. 63p).Mailmark also costs less than older franking machines. From March 30th, the price differential will be as much as 8% in the case of a second class frank.Since Mailmark was introduced, around 20% of Neopost customers have upgraded their franking machines to take advantage of the lower tariffs. This means that four out of five franking machines users are still paying more for postage than they need to.Yet, upgrading to Mailmark is easy, and you don't necessarily have to buy a new franking machine. Neopost can modify some existing models relatively inexpensively.A better experienceMailmark users don't only enjoy lower mailing costs. The information contained in the barcode means that Royal Mail can offer new services and lift some of the usage restrictions that applied when the only information available to it was what was printed in the frank i.e. the postal town, date of postage, amount paid and the franking machine die number.Flexibility and convenience. Unlike traditional franks, the Mailmark frank does not include a printed postal town. This means you can take franked mail to any Post Office or mail centre, not just your local one, as users of traditional franking machines must do.Not having to take franked mail to a specific location may sound like a minor benefit, but the flexibility and convenience it offers is a real benefit, especially for smaller organisations that don't have dedicated mailing staff or defined processes. It also overcomes the inconvenience faced by some City Centre organisations of not being able to use a Post Office or post box across the street simply because it is in a different post code.New products and services. With traditional franking machines, every piece of franked mail has to include the day's date. By removing this restriction on some products, Mailmark allows Royal Mail to offer a broader range of postal products, including its new Prepay Business Reply service. For the first time, franking machine users can print envelopes with a reply paid frank that they can include in mailings for customers and prospects to return free of charge.Future-proof. Prepay Business Reply is the first of many services that Royal Mail plans to launch for Mailmark devices. The ability to identify and track each item of mail printed with a Mailmark barcode gives Royal Mail scope to introduce a variety of new services. By upgrading to Mailmark, you will be able to benefit from new products as soon as they are launched.Royal Mail continues to support non-Mailmark franking machines, so existing franking machine users don't have to upgrade to the new generation devices. However, those that do can look forward to more and more benefits and lower costs.To find out about upgrading your franking machine, please click here Neopost Limited has produced a new white paper called “Cut the cost of sending and receiving customer communications”. This white paper explains how organisations can save money on their transactional and marketing communications. To download click here
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