The postal operator’s Covid-19 'Open for Business' scheme launched on Wednesday (6 May) and will run until the end of the year.
The initiative works by awarding brands that are accepted onto the scheme with 2021 mailing credits.
Judith Donovan, chair of the Strategic Mailing Partnership, described is as a “lifeline” for brands and organisations that have seen their incomes nose-dive as a result of the Covid-19 restrictions.
Eligible businesses will be charged at the current access rate-card price by their providers, and awarded postage credits at the end of the incentive period. The credits will be valid for a year.
“This offer is a lifeline for organisations that need to communicate with their customers,” said Donovan.
“It’s also excellent news for our members. Mailing houses have had to adapt to new ways of working so they can continue to provide essential services such as producing documents for banks, local government and the NHS so hopefully they too will benefit from an increased demand for marketing mail.”
The incentive covers DM, catalogues and brochures, but while one-piece mailers also qualify, postcards do not. Mailing volumes of between 20,000 and 1m are eligible.
Eligible businesses/mailings include:
- Retailers forced to close physical stores and wanting to drive online sales
- Charity fundraising appeals
- Publisher mailings promoting magazine subscriptions
- Future mailings from OOH entertainment businesses, including cinemas, theatres and restaurants looking to rebuild revenues
- Any mailing to support consumers’ physical or mental wellbeing
- Any travel or leisure firm sending mail to drive business
- Mailing to replace a channel that is not effective during the lockdown, such as OOH
- Comms thanking customers for their support during the crisis
You can find the full qualifying criteria here.
The scheme was welcomed by DM producers.
“All incentives are most welcome to help our customers re-establish promoting their products and services throughout this very difficult period,” said Simon Cooper, managing director of The Lettershop Group, which continues to support its customers through the crisis.
“This will certainly help maximise budgets and allow print to cut through the ‘online fatigue’ and stand out with targeted creative formats, returning an overall increase in ROI.”
Coopers words were echoed by Go Inspire Group CEO Patrick Headley.
“I am delighted to see Royal Mail respond to this crisis in a positive way," he said.
“We have a specialist charity business as part of the Go Inspire Group and are only too aware of how this sector has been hit by the Covid virus in terms of donations.”
Go Inspire was part of a consortium that produced 1.5m inserts last month to raise funds for those worst affected by the coronavirus crisis.
Royal Mail has prepared a Powerpoint presentation that mailing houses can personalise for client pitches. It can be downloaded from its Wholesale website.
Separately, Royal Mail has suspended Saturday letter deliveries, but will continue to deliver Special Delivery, Tracked and most other parcels from Monday to Saturday. The postal operator will also continue Saturday collections from businesses, Post Offices and post boxes.