The best way to send business mail: stamps, franking, pre-paid envelopes or online postage?

The best way to send business mail: stamps, franking, pre-paid envelopes or online postage?

There are numerous ways of sending letters via Royal Mail including stamps, franking your letters and parcels, buying pre-paid envelopes or printing online postage labels. So let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each of the many ways to send business mail.


Everyone knows stamps. You queue up in the post office or buy them online and affix them to your letters or parcels. Especially with individuals that send mail infrequently, stamps are very popular because they can be bought and used easily. Still, they are comparably expensive to purchase and require additional processing. When sending a few letters a year, one does not mind queuing up and affixing the stamps to letters but for larger organisations with mail outgoing every day, this process is inefficient. Spending time attaching single stamps to each letter is just a waste of man-hours.

Pre-paid envelopes

In order to save businesses time and money, Royal Mail sells pre-paid envelopes that do not require any stamp to be attached. While the process of attaching stamps is eliminated, pre-paid envelopes offer no costs advantage over stamps. At present, Royal Mail sells 100 1st class prepaid envelopes for £72. Buying 100 envelopes and 1st class stamps from the Royal Mail online shop would actually save you £1.60. Besides the cost disadvantage, pre-paid envelopes provide you with no flexibility. Any differently sized item of mail, or one that is over 100g in weight, will have to be put in a different envelope.

Online postage

Online postage allows you to send letters or parcels with Royal Mail’s easy-to-use online postage service. Using your computer, you buy postage online and print it directly on the envelope. As it is paid as needed, no upfront payment is required. However, this requires you to process every letter separately, which, again, is highly inefficient. Besides, no cost savings can be achieved as the prices for online postage are the same as for stamps.

Franking machines

Franking machines allow you to print customisable labels onto your mail. Similar to online postage, you print the postage yourself. The key difference is that the machine does so automatically and with little human input. Recharging the machine can also be done online, not separately for every envelope but as a bulk payment. This makes the process of franking mail highly efficient. Besides, franking mail can be done at discounts. From 29 March 2016, you can save 20% and 33% on franked 1st and 2nd class letters respectively. Finally, franking machines help you to convey a professional image by allowing you to print marketing messages along with the postage.

Your optimal way to send business mail

Please find more about franking machines and the benefits of franking for your business on With our simple, straightforward and free service, we can provide you with quotes from the leading franking machine suppliers that match your business’s requirements.

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