Want to reach customers through Direct Mail, but concerned about its environmental impact? With Sustainable® Advertising Mail you can keep your environmental credentials intact, make the most of this highly versatile and targeted medium, and save money too.
- Use Sustainable® Advertising Mail and demonstrate to your customers that you care.
- Sustainable® Advertising Mail is based on PAS 2020, the standard developed by the direct marketing industry to reduce the environmental impact of campaigns.
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What are the benefits of using Sustainable Advertising Mail™?
By making your direct mail activity environmentally friendly, you will not only be reducing waste, increasing recycling rates and have high levels of targeting, but you will also save money on your mailings as well. In addition, being seen by the recipients as acting in a way that reduces the environmental impact of your business’s advertising will have a beneficial impact on your brand.
If you’re serious about making your direct marketing activity more responsible, then you need to look closely at the two levels available in our Sustainable® Advertising Mail specification and at whether you are able to meet the standard required.
We will guide you in the preparation of mail to have the least environmental impact. Both Entry Level and Intermediate Level options provide a discount on the standard Sustainable® Advertising Mail prices.
- At Entry Level, you need to apply data cleansing techniques to ensure a high level of targeting, use sustainable materials, processes and suppliers - and ensure your direct mail pieces are suitable for collection by local authorities’ kerbside recycling
- At Intermediate Level, you’ll need to meet additional targeting, sustainability and recycling requirements.
Sustainable® Advertising Mail is the right choice for your business if you:
- are using direct mail but want to ensure your mailings have a low environmental impact
- are posting at least 4,000 letters or 1,000 large letters per mailing
- can meet the Entry Level or Intermediate Level specifications and qualify for a discount on the standard Advertising Mail™ price
- want the flexibility to choose when your items are delivered – 1st Class, 2nd Class or Economy.
You can tailor Sustainable® Advertising Mail to meet your needs by choosing from the following options:
- Letter or large letter format
- 1st Class, 2nd Class or Economy delivery speeds
- a range of options to prepare and present your mail.
Format Dimensions Weight limit Examples Letter Up to 240mm x
165mm x 5mm
Up to 100g Direct mail
letter folded in
Large letter Up to 353mm x 250mm x
Up to 750g Direct mail
Large letter if
Up to 345mm x 245mm x
Up to 750g Direct mail
If you choose to sort your mail, you have additional options:
- 1st Class - next working day
- 2nd Class - delivery aim within two working days after the day of posting
- Economy - delivery aim within four working days after the day of posting
- Economy Deferred - we will deliver the items within four working days after a date you determine.
The minimum number of items per mailing is 4,000 letters or 1,000 large letters, if you sort your mail.
You can use Sustainable® Advertising Mail for the main part only of an Advertising Mail™ with Multistage option campaign. For details, see Advertising Mail™.
Preparing and presenting your mail
With Sustainable® Advertising Mail you have the option to give your mail to us to process and deliver – or, if you choose, to make your mail machine-readable or sort to save money.
At least 90% of items must be fully and accurately addressed and postcoded. The postcode must be consistent with the address compared to Royal Mail’s PAF.
If you are using the Barcode option (Letters only) you also need to ensure that you meet the minimum DPS accuracy level of 90%
For Intermediate Level you must ensure that at least 95% of items are fully and accurately addressed and postcoded in accordance with Royal Mail’s PAF.
Want to find out more about these options?
Sorting your mail
Save money by sorting your mail and making sure your addresses are accurate. There are two levels of sortation:
- Low Sort option, if your mail is machine-readable
- High Sort option, which doesn’t require you to make your mail machine-readable.
Types of mail containers to use
Depending on the type of mail you send, you could use one of the following containers:
- ALPS (auto-levelling packet sleeved York).
Find out more about mail containers.
For more information about all of our Sustainable® Advertising Mail options, refer to the Sustainable® Advertising Mail chapter of the user guide which can be found on our Royal Mail Technical website.
Sustainable® Advertising Mail can help you save money. Prices represent a fixed discount on the cost of regular Advertising Mail™. First, take a look at what you have to do to meet the necessary requirements, get started - and begin to see the benefits of a more sustainable approach to your marketing.
To use Sustainable® Advertising Mail you'll need to have an account with Royal Mail and meet a few important criteria. These include assuring us that your mailing is a largely uniform message to all addressees and that your data meets our specifications. We’ll want to see a sample of your mail piece together with a copy of your sales order.
We'll make getting started easy. With a standard option from 1,000+ items and no sorting or address preparation necessary, you can be set up in no time. However, if you can sort your mail, you'll be able to choose from highly competitive discounted options too.
Need to set up an account?
If you don’t already have an account, you can contact our Business Centre on 08457 950 950 (lines are open 8.00am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday).
Many of our customers have Account Managers
If your business has a Royal Mail Account Manager, contact yours and find out more about how Sustainable® Advertising Mail can work for you.
Already have an account?
If you already have an account, contact a member of our business team on 08457 950 950*. They will tell you how to add the Sustainable® Advertising Mail options you want. It will speed things up if you can have your Royal Mail account number to hand when you ring us.
Once you have decided which Sustainable® Advertising Mail options meets your requirements; you've read and agreed the terms and conditions and our sales team have set you up with a unique reference, you can log in to your Online Business Account (OBA), locate your reference number - and get started on your mailing.
There are two levels in our specification: Entry Level and Intermediate Level. Both of these provide a discount from the standard Advertising Mail prices. Sustainable® Advertising Mail prices are set as a further discount of the base Advertising Mail™ prices.
- At Entry Level, you need to use data techniques to ensure a high level of targeting, use sustainable materials, processes and suppliers and ensure your direct mail pieces are capable of being recycled.
- With Intermediate Level, you need to meet additional targeting, sustainability and recycling requirements.
Speak to your Royal Mail account manager and you’ll also find more information about getting started in our user guide which can be found on our Royal Mail Technical website
- Will the Advertising Standards Board of Finance (ASBOF) levy be included within the item postage price?
- Does my business need to be accredited in advance before it can post Sustainable Advertising Mail™?
- Is there a sustainable version of Business Mail?
- Do I have to meet the requirements of Advertising Mail before I can post Sustainable Advertising Mail™?
- How will Royal Mail check that I am meeting all the requirements of Sustainable Advertising Mail™?
- How difficult is it to meet the Sustainable Advertising Mail™ specification?
- How often will the requirements for Sustainable Advertising Mail™ change?
Search help for more answers...
Will the Advertising Standards Board of Finance (ASBOF) levy be included within the item postage price?
This will not be shown separately on the Royal Mail invoice, but it will be included within the item postage price that you pay. The ASBOF levy is voluntary and its value is passed to the ASBOF by us at the end of each financial year quarter. Find out more on the Advertising Mail pricing page on the Royal Mail Wholesale website and in our Terms and Conditions.Back to top
Does my business need to be accredited in advance before it can post Sustainable Advertising Mail™?
The elements of both the Entry Level and Intermediate Level Sustainable Advertising Mail specification which cannot be easily determined by inspection of an item will be subject to audit by us. Therefore before posting Sustainable Advertising Mail for the first time, you must agree to allow a compliance audit of your supply chain and mailing processes by us as required by the specifications of either Entry Level or Intermediate level Sustainable Mail.Back to top
Is there a sustainable version of Business Mail?
The ‘Sustainable’ concept was developed and introduced specifically for direct mail and to help meet environmental targets set within the direct marketing industry. There is no equivalent provision for ordinary business or transactional mail.Back to top
Do I have to meet the requirements of Advertising Mail before I can post Sustainable Advertising Mail™?
If you are able to meet the requirements of Sustainable Advertising Mail™, then you will automatically be meeting our Advertising Mail™ requirements. This is because the advertising content definitions are the same as are the data targeting requirements. For this reason, Sustainable Advertising Mail™ prices are set as a further discount of the base Advertising Mail™ prices.Back to top
How will Royal Mail check that I am meeting all the requirements of Sustainable Advertising Mail™?
When you post a Sustainable Advertising Mail™ mailing, we will undertake a visual check. In addition to this, you will be required to provide a seed item to us. After this, Royal Mail reserves the right to undertake regular audits to ensure you meet the specifications. This may mean you will be asked to provide details of suppliers and materials used and processes employed during the production process.Back to top
How difficult is it to meet the Sustainable Advertising Mail™ specification?
At first sight, the requirements for Sustainable Advertising Mail™ entry and intermediate levels may appear daunting. However, if you are using a mailing house and other suppliers, you will find that most of these will already be meeting many of the requirements - as indeed your own business may be if it has environmental policies and procedures in place.Back to top
How often will the requirements for Sustainable Advertising Mail™ change?
Because Sustainable Advertising Mail™ is based on the industry standard PAS 2020, then if PAS 2020 changes we will also change our specification. Any changes are likely to be infrequent and would be made with adequate advance notice.Back to top