What Royal Mail services can be used through your franking machine?
My Mailing Room have been supplying franking machines and mailing equipment for over 20 years. We have over 100 years combined industry experience and we created this post to help anyone using a Franking machine or for any business looking to buy a Franking machine.
In this article you will learn what Royal Mail services you can use. This includes First Class, Second Class, SignedFor, Special and International- but it will also explain the different services so that you can choose one that offers the best value for your business.
We are very often asked can we send Recorded Delivery items through our franking machine? Or can I send a parcel to another country using my franking machine? This is mostly by people looking at buying a franking machine or by people who are using a franking machine for the first time. The good news is that the answer is yes!
Using a Mailmark franking machine means you have access to hundreds of Royal Mail services- you can turn your place of business into your very own Post Office! Your franking machine should now have a built-in set of scales and be connected to the internet, and the products and prices are preloaded on the machine and automatically updated. You just need to place your item on the scale, select the service from the menu and your machine will display the price. If you are happy with this then feed through an envelope or print a label and your item of mail is ready to send.
While it is very easy for us to say you can use all these services, what service you want is probably more important. For this reason, we are going to tell you more about the most popular Royal Mail services, and the services we get asked about most often.
If you are not yet using a Mailmark franking machine, then there are restrictions to the number of services available to you. If you have any questions regarding the services available please speak to your franking machine provider.
Sending letters and parcels within the UK
First Class mail
This service can be used to send Letters, Large Letters, Small Parcels and Medium Parcels up to 20kg. The Royal Mail aims to deliver these items to the recipients next day (excluding Sunday and Bank Holidays).
Second Class mail
This is one of the most popular services for businesses. Second Class offers great value if you are using a franking machine because the cost per Letter is around 30% lower than First Class. Second Class mail is normally delivered within 3 working days and you can also send Letters, Large Letters, Small Parcels and Medium Parcels up to 20kg.
Useful tip - If you are sending more than 250 First Class or Second Class items then Royal Mail considers this a bulk mailing and there is another service you can use called Business Mail Advance. Please visit our Volume Related Discounts (VRD) page to learn more.
SignedFor is a service that you add to either the First Class or Second Class product and costs either £1 or £1.10 depending if you are sending a Letter or a parcel. If sending a First Class SignedFor item, it should arrive next working day and SignedFor Second Class will arrive within 3 working days. Your business should use this service if you want reassurance and proof that your post arrived at its destination as the Royal Mail will not deliver the item without a signature. Once delivered the proof of delivery can be found by visiting https://www.royalmail.com/track-your-item#/.
IMPORTANT - When sending an item SignedFor you must affix a SignedFor label including barcode to the item and add an entry into the SignedFor Posting Book (more information on ordering the labels and books can be found in our How to order Royal Mail Stationery article) as the Royal Mail needs to record this item entering the postal system.
Special Delivery is Royal Mail’s guaranteed and timed service. You should use this service if you want to guarantee that your item arrives next day before 9am or before 1pm. You can also select their Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm with Saturday Guarantee service if you want your post to arrive on a Saturday morning. There are additional options for compensation of up to £2500 if your item is lost or damaged. Similar to SignedFor the Royal Mail will also not deliver the item without a signature and the proof of delivery can be found by visiting https://www.royalmail.com/track-your-item#/.
IMPORTANT – The Royal Mail needs to record this item entering the postal system so when sending an item Special Delivery you must affix a Special Delivery label including the barcode, to the item, and add an entry into the Special Delivery (silver) book. The Royal Mail then keeps the top copy.
The cost displayed on your franking machine for Special Delivery items include VAT, and the VAT amount is recorded. The collection of this data creates a VAT invoice that will be automatically posted to you meaning you can claim back this VAT if you are VAT registered. If you are not using a Smart or Mailmark franking machine, then you will not be able to use this service as older franking machines are unable to collect this information.
Sending an item Special Delivery costs considerably more than SignedFor so if you are purely looking for proof of delivery then SignedFor may be a better option for you.
Sending mail outside the UK
In addition to sending mail within the UK, you also have a wide range of services available when sending mail or parcels abroad. The services are split into 3 groups and there are different prices to send your post to Europe, World Zone 1 or World Zone 2.
Please also remember to use Airmail stickers or write “BY AIR MAIL” onto the top left corner of the front of the item you are posting. There are also additional restrictions for sending some items overseas and we would recommend checking www.royalmail.com/international for more information about this.
International Standard is a great service for sending letters and parcels. You can send a letter from £1.15, Large letters from £3.25 and Small Parcels from £5 using your franking machine. Although this is a reliable service this does not offer you any tracking or a proof of delivery.
Using International Tracked you can also send Letters and Small Parcels, but this service includes full end-to-end tracking. Confirmation of delivery can be found online using a Royal Mail tracking number. This service is only available in some countries so please check Royal Mail’s listing.
IMPORTANT – To track the item the Royal Mail needs to record this item entering the postal system so when sending an item International Tracked you must affix a P6522 label including the barcode to the item and add an entry into the Special Delivery (silver) book.
Very similar to SignedFor when sending an item within the UK, International Signed means that a signature will be taken when your Letter or Small Parcel is delivered. This service doesn’t include online tracking, but the proof of delivery can be found online using the Royal Mail tracking number.
IMPORTANT – The Royal Mail needs to record this item entering the postal system so when sending an item International Tracked you must affix a P4723 label including the barcode to the item and add an entry into the Special Delivery (silver) book. There are some restrictions to countries where you can use this service so please check Royal Mail’s complete listing before posting.
International Tracked and Signed
This service is for Letters and Small Parcels and offers online tracking and a signature will be collected when your item of post is delivered. This is the most expensive service from Royal Mail for international postage but it does give you full tracking, proof of delivery and compensation.
IMPORTANT – The same as the other Royal Mail signed/tracked services, your item needs to be recorded as it enters the Royal Mail’s system so when sending an item International Tracked and Signed you must affix a P6696 label including the barcode to the item, and add an entry into the Special Delivery (silver) book. There are some restrictions to countries where you can use this service so please check Royal Mail’s complete listing before posting.
This is a very short list of available services so please be assured that your franking machine can do much more. If you have any questions about sending postage through your franking machine then please get in touch.
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