Mailing House Council â December news | DMA

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Mailing House Council â December news

Council rebrand
Over the last 6 months, we’ve taken a long, hard look at ourselves as a Council. Mail, as a direct marketing channel, didn’t fade into obscurity like many expected – quite the opposite in fact. However, the Mailing House Council was perhaps in danger of doing so. We have therefore decided to repurpose the Council so that it may better serve DMA Members and the wider industry. We will communicate how we propose to achieve this, over the next few months.

One of the more notable changes is that the Council will no longer be called the ‘Mailing House Council’. Just like when you’re in a band, choosing the band name is always the hardest part, so we haven’t as yet agreed what the new name will be, but it will be something that obviously reflects mail as a channel, along with the 3 key principles that now guide us – promotion; practice; preservation.

Tariff changes
If you use Advertising or Transactional Mail, then you’re probably aware of Royal Mail’s threat to withdraw the Customer Barcode (CBC) product. If you’re not, then don’t panic – yet! This went out for consultation to the industry, to which Royal Mail has now responded. Their letter has confirmed that:

They have withdrawn their proposals for no new CBC contracts from January 2016. They accept that they cannot identify ‘new’ contracts through 3rd parties so have dropped this completely.

They have extended the date for withdrawal of CBC products by 12 months to January 2018

OCR would remain ‘for the foreseeable future’

Perhaps predictably the biggest reaction to the Tariff changes themselves has been that the much touted 5% differential between CBC and Mailmark has not materialised. Many large users asked Royal Mail for a price differential so that they could prepare their business cases to justify the investment required to migrate to Mailmark as quickly as possible. As a result Royal Mail stated early in 2015 that the differential would be 5% although this was later modified to “up to 5%” in August. You may be aware that this differential will now, in fact, only be 1.5% (with a further 1.5% possible in 6 months’ time).

Many of the large mail users feel they have been misled and some of the larger mailing houses are also upset that they have been persuading their customers to adopt Mailmark as quickly as possible to achieve savings that won’t be delivered.

The DMA will be submitting a full response to Royal Mail’s tariff changes, with particular emphasis as to why the purported 5% differential has not been honoured. If you have your own views on the matter, then we’d love to hear from you. Please contact:

For those who are unaware, Royal Mail trialled the use of a ‘digital stamp’ to replace the traditional Postage Paid Impressions (PPI) that are currently in use. The digital stamp looks like a normal stamp, albeit one that has been printed directly into the envelope. The results thus far have been very encouraging, so much so that Royal Mail Wholesale are “minded” to extend the digital stamp trial to the end of February and will be confirming this in the next few weeks.

There is a request that when the digital stamp is launched as a product that the range of stamp designs is widened to include the ‘Machin’ design i.e. the classic Queens Head stamp.

Royal Mail’s MarketReach has invested in sophisticated eye tracking research that they are making available to customers to improve the design of their envelopes and mailings. It can predict how long the recipient will spend looking at different areas and how, by moving the messages around, you can potentially increase the amount of time your prospect or customer spends looking at the key messages.

They’re offering a service for advertisers and agencies to send through a PDF of the creative, or an existing pack and will report back on its effectiveness, along recommendations for improvement. If you are interested in finding out more, then please get in touch:

Likewise, if there is anything in this post that you would like more information on, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Finally, may we take the opportunity to wish you all a very merry Xmas and a happy and prosperous New Year!

All the best

Kerry Holden
Chair, Mailing Council

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