Royal Mail launches MarketReach service to boost direct mail

Royal Mail has launched a new marketing service to provide a full range of solutions to get businesses using the mail to promote themselves. MarketReach brings together a blend of in-house experience and external support to offer assistance to businesses across the value chain.

Using Royal Mail’s planning tool diode and market intelligence, the service will offer everything from planning, data and creative elements of a campaign through to printing, delivery and response evaluation.

Royal Mail said it was chasing more of the UK’s GBP 16bn advertising market with the offering, of which around 11% is currently provided by marketing mail.

The company, which currently makes GBP 1.1bn of its GBP 9.5bn revenue from addressed and unaddressed marketing mail, said it was hitting back within the marketing industry, which it said was becoming increasingly digital-led.

Marketing mail, along with parcels, is a major priority for Royal Mail in continuing to build its profitability as it begins looking for private investment or full privatisation from the end of next year.

With its new MarketReach platform, it is looking to run its direct mail operations along similar lines to a media owner, selling advertising space and helping clients with issues where they do not have the skills.

Frank Schinella, managing director of Royal Mail’s media business, said: “We know that in a competitive environment, getting your message across to customers in a planned, targeted and impactful way is integral to business success.

“Mail is a great way to add a real element to campaigns which are increasingly digital.”

Promoting as proven

Royal Mail’s MarketReach website launches at the end of this month

Royal Mail said it is currently talking to more than 50 companies with hopes of signing them up to the new MarketReach service. A new website is to launch on 31 July.

In promoting the new service, Royal Mail is pushing the “proven” credentials of mail as an advertising channel, citing research from UK consultancy OMD Brand Science suggesting that return on investment for mail campaigns has increased in recent years to more than GBP 3 for every GBP 1 spent, suggesting it “matches that achieved by digital”.

The new MarketReach service is to be run by a 90-strong team within London, advising on various marketing approaches including linking up with test messaging, QR codes and other digital technologies.

It is also offering state-of-the-art technology like micro-thin video screens embedded into print materials, using the VideoPak system from London-based firm Amstore.

External partners are set to include design company Clinic, data service specialist Callcredit and mobile marketing specialists Incentivated.

“We want to help advertisers and agencies by providing the skills and expertise to make it even easier to add mail to their marketing activities,” said Schinella.

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