Mail Fulfilment Services

Choosing the right mail fulfilment services for your project will be influenced, but also limited, by many variables:-

  • the type of product being mailed
  • is it a domestic or international mailing?
  • the volume being mailed
  • timescales
  • budget

The initial unwrapped (or packed weight) of your item may effect how you choose to mail it. The type of wrapping you use will affect the overall weight of your mailing, which in turn may affect the cost of mailing, especially if the mailing is close to a mailing weight or size boundary.

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.

The four main mail fulfilment options

There are four main fulfilment options: wrapping in poly-wrap, naked mailings (no outer to protect the mailed item), stuffing into envelopes or the latest option to come to market, 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 can currently offer it and is fairly expensive to use, so 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 offers a waterproof and durable option and can be visually exciting as the contents are displayed. Poly-wrap is light weight, starting from around 2 grams for an A4 poly-wrap compared to 10 grams for an envelope, so it can reduce weight which in turn can reduce mailing costs. Poly-wrap can be printed on, addresses, text, logos and mailing barcodes so address inserts are not always required. Poly-wrapping is fast, some machines can wrap around 12,000 items per hour so it can handle large direct marketing fulfilment projects but also 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 a paper option and often chosen when the content is sensitive and requires confidentiality. Mailing addresses can be printed along with logos and other information in a range or fonts and colours. Hand or machine insertion is available and up to 20 additional inserts can be included depending on the machine configuration. 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. Envelopes may not offer the same durability as poly-wrap as they can get crushed or torn in the mail, especially if they get damp which can affect the quality of the contents.

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