Advice on using Royal Mail Bulk Mail services for maximum postage discounts

Royal Mail Advertising Mail and Business Mail Low Sort and High Sort services.

There are some excellent postal discounts that can be achieved by using Royal Mail Bulk Mail (Mailsort) services.

To achieve sizeable postal discounts, CPM pre-sort mail before presenting to Royal Mail. There are two levels of sortation, known as Low sort and High sort. Mailings sorted to Low Sort level are sorted into 88 selection areas. High Sort mailings are sorted into 1525 selection areas.

Sophisticated software is necessary to assign a selection area to each record in your database. This software also produces the computer planning report and list of selection areas (line listing) as required by Royal Mail. Letters for each selection area are all placed into the same bag or tray for distribution to the correct delivery office. Your mailing house can mail via your own bulk mail account if you have one or will mail via their own account. Payment for postage is usually required prior to despatch as postage costs are passed on at cost.

Choosing the correct Royal Mail Bulk Mail (Mailsort) service

There are two main categories of mail service as follows:

  1. Advertising Mail is used for mailings which promote a product or service.
  2. Business mail is used for other types of communication such as change of address notifications, invoices, statements etc.

There are several different services available within each of these categories as follows:

  • Low Sort OCR – A machine readable service, prepared to stringent Royal Mail guidelines so that it can be read by Royal Mail’s sorting machines.
  • (Available for letters up to 100g and large letters up to 10mm thick and 750g provided that the mailpiece is flexible so pens, plastic cards or stiff drinks mats are not allowed).
  • Low Sort CBC – a barcoded service similar to OCR except that Royal Mail’s machines read a barcode printed on the mail piece by your mailing house.
  • High Sort – a service used for mail pieces which do not meet the requirements of OCR and CBC services.

All of the above services are available with 3 delivery speeds:

  • 1st class is delivered within 1 – 2 days.
  • 2nd class is delivered within 3 days.
  • Economy class is delivered within 4 working days.

Please see pricing below for some of the most popular products

Mailing Quantity Mail Service 1st class 2nd class Economy (4 day)
1 – 999 letters Business Mail (unsorted OCR) 46p 30p n/a
1 – 999 large letters Business Mail 81.8p 64.9p n/a
1000 – 3999 letters Advertising Mail Unsorted 45.4p 27.4p n/a
1000+ Large Letters (under 100g) Advertising Mail Low Sort OCR 58.7p 32.8p 28.3p
4000+ Letters Advertising Mail Low Sort OCR 41.3p 22.2p 19.9p
4000+ Mailing Cards Advertising Mail Low Sort Barcode 42p 22.6p 20.15p






Prices valid for mailings posted after 02/01/17. Royal Mail prices are expected to rise around January 2018.

All postage prices assume that the total package weight is under 100 grammes. Advertising Mail prices assume that the primary purpose of the mailing is advertising. Prices do not apply to bill and statement mailings, magazine subscriptions or other non-advertising communications.

All postage prices are subject to VAT at the current rate. An un-discounted VAT exempt service is available for non-VAT registered organisations. ASBOF levy has been included where applicable.

Barcoded mail services may not be available for Business to Business mailings.

Business Mail and Advertising Mail items must be produced according to strict Royal Mail guidelines. Centreprint Print & Mail are accredited to produce mailings to these guidelines earning you the maximum postal discount available for your mailing.

Volume discounts are available on mailings of more than 10,000 large letters or 20,000 letters.

Our one-stop service covers cost effective design and print, printed envelopes, fulfilment and Royal Mail Bulk Mail disounts (Mailsort). Please see all-in print, direct mail and postage prices on our package deals page.

Centreprint Print & Mail are accredited to produce OCR and Barcode mailings. We are able to ensure that your mail piece meets Royal Mail’s entry criteria for Advertising Mail and Business Mail OCR and Barcode products. Advice is free so why not call us on 01902 402693. Alternatively, why not send an enquiry for advice on the best postal service for your mailing and how to keep your mailing costs as low as possible.

For help and advice on your mailing project please call 01902 402693

or fill in our enquiry form.

Some planning now could save you a lot of money.

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