For direct mailers it looks like 2022 is starting off on a positive note as Royal Mail confirms that it is extending all of its existing mail incentives until the end of the year. This includes the Mailmark Economy incentive which was launched last July and gives mail users the opportunity to sell more to their target audience by sending incremental advertising mail, responsible mail and partially address mail with a discount of up to 30 per cent on economy rates.

Additionally, the operator has announced that from this week it is implementing an improved 14.5 per cent Mailmark Economy incentive rate for partially addressed mail, increasing from 9.3 per cent offered last year.

In more good news, Royal Mail is also planning to launch two new incentives later in the year. This includes a New User Incentive for brands that have not used direct mail before, designed to rapidly upweight the number of new users into the channel. The second initiative, likely to be launched in July, will be for Programmatic Mail. This incentive will help to prove the concept of this type of mail. Royal Mail is currently in consultation with the industry and as soon as we have more information, we will let all our customers know.

Royal Mail incentives proved very popular last year with 235 applications being approved resulting in £4.5 million in postage credits that could be offset against postage costs. The way that organisations can opt to receive their earned postage credits is also changing. In addition to being able to have them paid directly into their Royal Mail account, or in the form of a voucher, mail customers will now also be able to nominate the Royal Mail account of their mail service provider to receive the credits.

As we all know direct mail continues to be an extremely effective communication tool (particularly when well targeted!) and is proving to be increasingly relevant for consumers in these challenging times. It is therefore positive to see Royal Mail continue to promote the channel and make it more accessible to brands both large and small.