Everything you need to know about Royal Mail franked post

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Everything you need to know about Royal Mail franked post ...

What are the differences between standard franking and franking using Royal Mail?

The main difference? Price. Post franked using Royal Mail is cheaper for businesses than standard franking – especially when sending mail at bulk.

This is because Royal Mail uses what’s called Mailmark – a 2D, machine-readable barcode that’s franked onto mail instead of the traditional ‘crown and die’ – speeding up the franking process significantly and reducing the amount of admin required.

Because the process is faster and more efficient, it’s cheaper for Royal Mail to frank and process items and errors are almost non-existent. 

Mailmark also saves its users time. For example, Royal Mail products and services can automatically be selected using Mailmark-ready franking machines and for those who send high volumes of Mailmark franked mail, a regular business collection can be set up.

You can find out more about Mailmark by reading our blog here.


Is Mailmark right for your business?

If you mail in bulk every week and want to cut your postage costs, benefit from precision mail reporting and automate your franking, the answer is yes.

The size of your business is not important. You could run a start-up or a multi-national corporation. What is important, however, is if you have large volumes of mail to be processed. If you do, Mailmark can be right for your business.

Also, there’s no restriction on minimum or maximum postage using Mailmark – so you don’t need to worry about higher tariffs if you exceed a limit.


Should you purchase or lease a Mailmark-ready franking machine?

This is the 100-point question. Should you purchase or lease a franking machine? Both options have their benefits.

  • Purchasing 

Having full ownership of your Mailmark franking machine eliminates the additional and recurring costs that come with leasing and your franking machine becomes an asset to your business.

No monthly rental payments. No contract ties. Use your franking machine as you like.

It’ll cost more upfront but if you want your franking machine to be part of your business it’s the best way to go.


  • Leasing 

If you want to keep up-to-date with the latest technological developments in the franking space, leasing is definitely the way to go. You might not own the Mailmark franking machine but at any point you can upgrade the machine to a more “modern” solution if you wish and pay a little extra monthly.

The monthly payments you make cover the machine’s maintenance and servicing – the vendor will manage that for you, so you don’t have to – and ongoing support. If you have any issues, you can call the vendor and they’ll send an engineer over as soon as possible.

Also, as you reach the end of your contract, the vendor will offer upgrade paths (if you want to upgrade) or the option to extend your contract, perhaps with some discounts.

Leasing will cost less on a monthly basis but depending on the term it can be more expensive (over time).

For more information, check out our blog on buying or leasing office machines.


What about ongoing expenses?

If you purchase a Mailmark franking machine, you’ll have to purchase the other consumables yourself. This gives you greater control over what consumables you use (whether OEM or third-party) and your budget.

If you lease a Mailmark franking machine, the vendor can recommend consumables and add them onto the monthly payment plan. They’ll source the consumables and send them over to you at regular intervals to ensure you are always stocked.

If you’re considering buying a franking machine – check out our guide on how to  choose the right one for your business.


What are the latest prices for Royal Mail franked post?

Below are the current prices (in tables) for Royal Mail franked post using Mailmark and standard franking prices.

1st and 2nd Class franking princes using Mailmark franking technology

Format Weight up to and including 1st Class 2nd Class
Letter 100g 61p 41p
Large letter 100g 95p 72p
  250g £1.34 £1.03
  500g £1.73 £1.35
  750g £2.44 £1.89


'Signed For' franking price using Mailmark franking 

Format Weight up to and including 1st Class 2nd Class
Letter 100g £1.81 £1.61
Large letter 100g £2.15 £1.92
  250g £2.54 £2.23
  500g £2.93 £2.55
  750g £3.64 £3.09


 Franking prices

Savings for UK delivery with Standard and Mailmark franking 

UK delivery  Mailmark franking prices Standard franking prices
1st Class letters Price from 61p Price from 64p
1st Class small parcel 0 - 1kg Price from £3.48 Price from £3.48
 2nd Class letters Price from 41p Price from 47p
 2nd Class small parcel 0 - 2kg Price from £2.90 Price from £2.90
 Special Delivery Next Day 0 - 100g Price from £6.35 Price from £6.35
 Special Delivery 9am 0 - 100g Price from £17.96 Price from £17.96


Ultimately, if you are looking to reduce the costs of franked post, use Royal Mail’s Mailmark. The cost savings are tremendous if you are sending large volumes of mail on a weekly basis. The difference might seem small to begin with but once you calculate your overall monthly and yearly spend and compare it against standard franking – you’ll see the financial benefits.

Do you know how much your franked mail is costing you right now? If not, download our free eBook How much is your franked mail really costing you?  to see if you’re getting the best value from your franking machine.

How much is your franked mail really costing you? A checklist for ensuring you're getting the best value from your franking machine.

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