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Frequently asked questions about Business Reply Envelopes and Freepost Envelopes

Royal Mail Business Response Envelopes

All you need to know about Royal Mail Business Reply Envelopes and Royal Mail Freepost Envelopes

How do Royal Mail Business Reply and Freepost Envelopes work?

You apply to Royal Mail for a licence number, which we print on a standard white self seal envelope, together with your name and address in a special typeface. You only pay the postage to Royal Mail on envelopes that are actually used, so there is no waste. There is also an annual licence fee, payable to Royal Mail for the use of the service. We also supply UNDERSIZE DL envelopes that fit inside a standard DL envelope. These are perfect for use as the reply element in mailshots as they do not require folding. IMPORTANT If you have not already got a Royal Mail Business Response Licence then ring Royal Mail on 08457 950 950 (Mon-Fri 8am to 6pm) and they will help you set one up. Please ask us for a quote or ring 01902 402693 for a chat or friendly helpful advice.

What is the difference between Business Reply and Freepost Envelopes

Not a lot. The prices are the same and they do the same job. A matter of personal choice really. Business Reply Envelopes are the most popular.

What is the Royal Mail ‘Plus’ Service?

The Royal Mail Business Response Plus Service is available when you buy your licence, which costs the same as a standard licence. It entitles you to a discount on the postage on each envelope used throughout the licence period. However, you cannot use envelopes over C5 size on the plus service, so if you need to use C4 reply envelopes make sure that you choose the Standard licence, not the Plus licence.

How do I pay Royal Mail for the postage?

The print price of the envelopes does not include any postage. When you take out your Royal Mail licence, you also pay a deposit up front for the postage. When this is getting near to being used up, Royal Mail will contact you for another payment. This postage balance does not expire.

Do I need to get the envelope artwork off the Royal Mail website myself?

Best not. Studio have vast experience of creating the finished artwork for Business Response Envelopes and can often spot a potential problem or error. The automated artwork generator on the Royal Mail website does NOT check the information that you key in so potential errors are not spotted. All artwork created for response envelopes has to be submitted to Royal Mail for their approval, even if it was created by their website. The fact that you got it from their website does NOT mean that they have approved it.
The basic rules are:

  • The delivery address shown on the envelope must be EXACTLY the same as on your Royal Mail Licence (the one shown at the bottom of page 2 of your licence – please check this).
  • There must be no abbreviations or punctuation, although Royal mail occasionally will allow abbreviations upon appeal.
  • the Post Town should be in CAPITALS.
  • The County name need not be shown.

Trust the experts. To avoid any delays let the experts create the envelope artwork. We will proof it to you for confirmation, then we submit the final proof direct to Royal Mail for their mandatory approval before we print and deliver to you.

Why is there a choice of adhesive on the envelopes?

Our printed envelopes are available with two types of adhesive – self seal or gummed. The price is the same for either. Self seal have a much shorter shelf life (around 12-18 months) whereas gummed last for around 5 years or so. If your user has only one envelope to return, they will not usually mind a gummed one. You will be offered the choice on the envelope order form.

Can I order just a few envelopes?

Our minimum quantity is just 1000 printed envelopes. You can order any other quantity from us up to many millions. If the quantity that you require is not listed, please message us for a quote.

How long does the envelope printing take?

Once you have your Royal Mail Response licence, our studio will create the original artwork and send you a proof within two working days (often quicker) . Once you accept the proof (having checked it carefully, of course) we will then submit the mandatory proof to Royal Mail and once they pass it (usually 2-3 working days) we will then print the envelopes and despatch them to you within 5-7 working days.

Can you send our bulk mailing out for us?

Yes. are also a specialist mailing house, sending out millions of mailshots each year. We get very special prices on the postage costs from Royal Mail which we pass on to you, so can save you a considerable amount of money on the postage costs, as well as relieving you from the handling of the mailing. We can often send your mail out cheaper than your own staff could do it. May our mailing division quote you on sending out your mailing please? Get in touch now!

Do the envelopes expire or become obsolete?

No. You only pay for the postage as it is used, so if there is a postal increase in the future, the appropriate rate will be charged when the envelope is used. Providing that the envelopes are printed to the latest strict Royal Mail specifications and include your personalised barcode (which we take care of), they will never go out of date. However, the self adhesive gum does eventually dry up, so it is best to only order enough self seal envelopes to last you about 12-18 months. If you want your envelopes to have a longer life, it is safest to order the gummed version (same prices).

What hidden extras are there?

There are NO hidden extras when you order your Royal Mail printed envelopes from . Royal Mail will charge you an annual licence fee, plus a deposit on the postage that you are going to use in future. charge ONLY for printing the envelopes that you order from us. There is NO extra charge for layout, proofing to you and to Royal Mail on your behalf, platemaking or Mainland delivery. The only extra is VAT on the printing prices.

What size should I order?

There are five popular sizes:

  • DL size (110mm x 220mm) is the most popular. This takes a standard A4 letter, folded into three.
  • Undersize DL (102mm x 216mm) These are designed to fit inside a standard DL or C5 envelope or mailing wallet.
  • C5 size (162mm x 229mm) takes an A5 sheet, or an A4 letter folded once.
  • C4 size (324mm x 229mm) takes an A4 sheet unfolded. C4 can only be used for the Business Reply or Freepost STANDARD service. C4 cannot be used with the PLUS service as any size over C5 is not machine sortable so cannot qualify for the discount available to PLUS licence users.

Are the printing prices different for First Class envelopes?

Get in touch for custom quotes.


Don’t just take our word for it…

What our print, mailing house
& direct mail clients say

Helpful… Professional…  Timely…

I have been working with the team for a number of years now and have always find them to provide an incredibly helpful, as well as professional, service. They always manage to assist with our varied requests and turn projects around in a timely fashion to meet our sometimes, fairly tight timescales.

HelenMG Motor Group
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