Mail Fulfilment Services

If you have a product that needs mailing out then mail fulfilment is another element of print services which needs careful consideration. Your choices are influenced, and also limited, by many variables, for example:-

  • the type of product to mail out
  • the volume being mailed out
  • whether it is just domestic or includes international mailing
  • your timescales
  • your budget
  • what your product weighs

Mail Fulfilment Options

First, it’s important to consider the unwrapped weight of your product. This may effect how you choose to mail it. If your product is close to a mailing weight or size boundary then the type of wrapping you use will affect the overall weight. This, in turn, may affect the overall mailing cost.

There are four main fulfilment options:

  • wrapping in poly-wrap
  • naked mailings (no outer to protect the mailed item)
  • stuffing into envelopes
  • paper wrapping

Paper wrapping is in its infancy and has been developed to be a more environmentally friendly solution to poly-wrap. However, very few companies currently offer it and is fairly expensive. COnsequently, we have not covered it in any detail here.

Getting wrapped

Poly-wrapping is a polythene wrap which can be used for different sized mailings. Even non-standard sized or shaped items can be poly-wrapped. Most poly-wrapping can accommodate A6 brochures to large tabloid newspaper sized mailings with machinable inserts.

It is a waterproof and highly durable option. As the contents are openly displayed it is a great option if you want to excite the recipient! Poly-wrap is light weight, from around 2gm for an A4 poly-wrap compared to 10gm for an envelope, so as a lighter option it can reduce your mailing costs.

Poly-wrap can be printed on, for example addresses, marketing text, logos and mailing barcodes. This means that address inserts are not always required.

Poly-wrapping is fast. Some machines can wrap around 12,000 items per hour. This makes it ideal for large direct marketing fulfilment projects as well as smaller bespoke projects.

Recyclable and degradable poly-wrap is available and takes less time to degrade than standard plastic wrap. New non-plastic wrapping is becoming available and offers a green alternative to paper, but it may not suit every budget.

Stuff it

Envelope enclosing is often chosen when the content is sensitive and requires confidentiality. As a paper option, mailing addresses can be printed along with logos and other information. A range of fonts and colours can be used, in line with any branding.

Envelope insertion can be either be done by hand or machine. Depending on the machine configuration up to 20 additional inserts can be included.

Recycled envelopes are widely available and used envelopes can be recycled with paper recycling. Envelopes are heavier than poly-wrapping, but some Royal Mail mailing discounts can be higher on envelopes than poly-wrap.

A downside to using envelopes is that they may not offer the same durability as poly-wrap. They can get crushed or torn in the mailing process, especially if they get damp which can affect the quality of the contents.

Considering mail fulfilment before you print can influence the choice of printers and mailing house, because in some cases it can all be done in-house. Most of the significant catalogue, magazine and brochure printers offer some form of mail fulfilment, but their expertise is limited to their in-house abilities and their knowledge on postage solutions may not be as comprehensive as it could be.

What next?

This guide is a ‘rule of thumb’ so please contact us to discuss the mail fulfilment services you are looking for so we can advise you on what options will provide the quality and pricing required.

Contact us now for a no obligation quotation, either by call 01323 419701 or email simon@cliffe-enterprise.com.

Feel free to look at our other blog posts on Brochure Printing, Fulfilment, Direct Mailing, Paper, Printing and News