Prepaid Envelopes vs Franked Mail

Prepaid Envelopes vs Franked Mail

If you want to minimise the hassle of sending out large volumes of mail, there are a few options available to you. It is certainly not necessary for you to waste precious man-hours attaching individual stamps to hundreds of envelopes, or to have to put on extra members of staff who might be more usefully employed on another task. In order to save businesses time and money, Royal Mail sells packages of prepaid envelopes that don’t need to have stamps attached to them.

The other alternative, of course, is to use a franking machine. The option that best suits you or your business depends largely on how much mail you need to send out, and how often. For the benefit of anyone who is considering using either prepaid envelopes or a franking machine, here is a comparison of the two methods, focussing on price, efficiency and convenience.

The pros and cons of using prepaid envelopes

If you know how many letters you will need to send, and exactly what will go in each of the envelopes, you might well consider buying a specific amount of prepaid envelopes. What they offer is a simple and effective means of dealing with a single mailout. If you are a lone operator, or a very small business that does not usually send out mail but on this occasion needs to do a mailout, perhaps as a one-off promotion, then it may be worth getting a package of prepaid envelopes.

However, using prepaid envelopes means that you have no flexibility in what you send and there is little advantage to using them as opposed to individual stamps when it comes to costs. At present, you can buy 100 1st class prepaid envelopes from Royal Mail for £72.00 [including VAT], whereas the same number of 1st class stamps will cost £63.00. Whilst you are also getting 100 self-sealing envelopes, compared to the saving you can make with a franking machine, the cost advantages of using prepaid envelopes are negligible. It also means that you will only be able to use those envelopes for letters of that specific size and weight. Any differently sized item of mail, or one that is over 100 g in weight, will have to be put in a different envelope.

The advantages of using a franking machine

If we compare prepaid envelopes with franking machines, it becomes immediately obvious that in terms of cost per item, speed, efficiency and convenience, there are considerable advantages to using franked mail. Most significantly, franked mail is far cheaper than stamps or prepaid envelopes on an item to item basis. Whereas 100 1st class prepaid envelopes cost £72.50, the same number of franked items can be sent at a cost of just £52.00 excluding the price of the envelopes.

Furthermore, with a franking machine that has an integrated scale, each item is weighed and priced accordingly. There is no chance of paying too much, or too little, on any item. Large mailouts and individual packages can all be dealt with swiftly and accurately. Another benefit that franking machines can provide is that envelopes can be branded with your company’s logo and marketing message, giving every item you send a professional and attractive appearance – something that could never be achieved with prepaid envelopes.

To find out how much your business could save, request tailored quotes and compare franking machines.

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