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Custom Freepost Printed Envelopes A quick HD video guide on how to order FREEPOST Envelopes from Trade Printing UK


Freepost Envelopes - An Overview and explanation of how to use printed Freepost envelopes

Click on the menu on the left for Envelope prices

Printed Freepost Envelopes are a postal "Response Services" product in the UK by the Royal Mail Freepost Standard Pre-printed Envelopes, and are used to encourage customers to reply to you or your company without your customer having to pay the Royal Mail's postage cost at their end. You'll pay it for them. Freepost envelopes are the professional way to do it and can be printed by Trade Printing UK (after you first apply for a Freepost Standard or Plus UK postal licence from Royal Mail) with your company's details and company logo, under Royal Mail's layout guidelines. We are probably the leading envelope printing specialists within the UK printing industry for these types of cheap, printed Freepost envelopes.

Comparison between Business Reply Standard and Business Reply Plus Envelope artworkWhat's the difference between 'Freepost Standard' envelopes and 'Freepost Plus' envelopes?

Freepost Standard Envelopes give the most scope to UK businesses for envelope sizes allowing you to use either 1st or 2nd Class services etc., plus your customers can also use their own envelopes and HAND-WRITE your Freepost address on them.

Freepost Plus envelopes though MUST be a pre-printed item such as printed envelopes, and thus the Royal Mail give you the bonus of an extra postage cost discount (currently 6p OFF per item) over the Freepost Standard envelopes but the maximum weight is only 100g.

We can produce your printed envelopes from either our self-seal or peel & seal product ranges for either the Freepost Standard or Plus licence formats.

What do Freepost STANDARD Envelopes look like?

This new generation of Freepost envelope is printed on your envelope in a format that looks like:

Your Company Name
Your Address Line

See here for an example. And further FAQs at Royal Mail's own site are listed here

And What do Freepost PLUS Envelopes look like in comparison to Freepost STANDARD?

This new generation of Freepost Plus envelope is printed on your envelope in a format that looks like:

Freepost Plus RRCA-HGEL-BJRZ
Your Company Name
Your Address Line

See here for an example. And further FAQs at Royal Mail's own site are listed here

I want Freepost Envelopes now - Explain how would I get them in the UK?

Well, firstly you'll need to apply to the Royal Mail to purchase either a 'Freepost Standard' or 'Freepost Plus' alpha Free post licence number (e.g. AAAA-BBBB-CCCC). You only pay for the responses (either pre-printed envelopes or hand-written by your customer within their own envelope) that are sent back to you rather than buying the postage costs up-front.

1st & 2nd Class Indicia for Freepost Envelope products by Royal MailThere is also an annual licence fee that has to be prepaid to Royal Mail which is currently £94 + VAT per year.

To CONTACT the Royal Mail licensing team in their Glasgow office Phone: 08457 950950 - then Press '1', then hold, then Press '4', then Press '2' - this will get you speaking to an actual person! (Lines are open 8.00am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday.)

You then pay a single price per Freepost response for all items up to 100g and of course this depends whether you use a 1st Class or 2nd Class Indicia mark on your envelope.

Once you have that licence number, you can place your order with Trade Printing UK to actually print the envelopes professionally for you. We would then draw up your professional artwork with our own professional envelope templates designed specifically for Royal Mail's Freepost products, then E-mail you back a high-resolution PDF which you subsequently send on to the Royal Mail's Response Services account team in Glasgow to approve. There's always a bit of hassle with that bit, but we can guide you through this.

Do Freepost Envelopes need a stamp?

Not in the traditional sense, but they can use the Business Reply Envelopes' 1st Class or 2nd Class Indicia in the top right of the artwork. See picture above.

Royal Mail's own on-line Artwork Generator is massively flawed

When you apply for your Freepost licence you will see that the Royal Mail have their own Artwork Generator on their website, however this has contained a few very serious programming flaws for a long time (which we've pointed out to them on numerous occasions to no avail and to date their web developers have NOT fixed yet) in that the artwork produced is low-resolution (plus a colour problem) and NOT suitable for commercial printing. This is why we've developed our own professional artwork Envelope templates to give perfect control of your Freepost envelope's artwork to the Royal Mail's stringent guidelines and standards.

We've produced thousands of these successfully for clients and never encountered a problem. We stand over everything we do.

The Royal Mail's Artwork Generator gives you the option to add your company logo to the prepaid envelope but the problem there is that also doesn't handle any other graphic formats but GIF (which is ridiculous as that's only intended for website use), Jpeg, or Tiff (in a very limited way). Files have to be limited to 500k as well.

The Royal Mail Artwork Generator takes no account whatsoever for high-end professional formats such as vector EPS files, nor does it understand the difference between Grayscale, RGB, CMYK, Pantone, spot colour inks or any other important printing industry colour gamuts; a massive fundamental flaw that Royal Mail has made no attempt to fix, nor understand the needs of commercial printing companies. It has frustrated us and others in the industry for a long time and basically, it's a complete mess and we're not backward about saying it!

Thus, Trade Printing UK will NOT accept any "Royal Mail Artwork Generator" PDF files as they are wholly unacceptable for commercial UK envelope printing. We will create your professional envelope artwork for you.

How quickly are printed Freepost envelopes delivered within the UK? How quickly do you print them?

Royal Mail aim to deliver all 1st Class freepost envelopes within ONE working day including Saturdays; and all 2nd Class free post envelopes within THREE working days including Saturdays within the UK, after your customers post them back to you. They are delivered via your normal postman from Monday to Saturday.

Once your professional artwork has been signed off by Royal Mail's Account team in Glasgow, Trade Printing UK aim to physically print and despatch them within 5-6 working days via Parcelforce, so you should receive them from us, printed and in your hand, by the 8th working day - at the latest - after you pay for your printed envelopes.

Out-dated Freepost Service from Royal MailBut I have an old-style alphanumeric Freepost envelope licence number - can I use that?

The old Response Service Free post Licence No. type (e.g. LON123) is now obsolete and you'll need to contact your Royal Mail Account Manager to update it to a current Free post Standard or Free post Plus licence (that you now have to incorporate into the address block, and replace the old indicia [postage mark] with the new type using either 1st Class or 2nd Class variant for your printed Free post Envelopes).

You can contact the Royal Mail licensing team in their Glasgow office Phone: 08457 950950 - then Press '1', then hold, then Press '4', then Press '2' - this will get you speaking to an actual person! (Lines are open 8.00am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday.)

What type of flap can I use? 90gsm Self-Seal or 120gsm Peel & Seal?

From an over-printing perspective, we normally produce your printed Freepost envelopes via our now standard, premium 120gsm peel & seal product ranges (the highest quality in the UK print industr for this sector!) for quantities ranging from 250 - 5000; over this and you have the option to use our 90gsm self-seal envelope product on either the 'Business Reply Standard' or 'Business Reply Plus' licence formats.

FREE Delivery, artwork, PDF proof

SUMMARY CHECKLIST to buy printed Freepost Envelopes:

Firstly, Apply to Royal Mail for either a Freepost Standard or Free post Plus Licence Number (can take a week or more sometimes!). Once Royal Mail have sent the new alpha Freepost Licence Number and your Address Block back to you, then come back to us and choose...

  • Which Size of Printed Envelope do you require?
    DL, C5 or C4?
  • Is it their 'Free post Standard' or 'Free post Plus' service you have the licence for?
  • "Plus" can only be used up to 100g weight.
  • Do you want 1st Class or 2nd Class indicia printed on the printed Envelopes?
  • We will then create your professional artwork, and E-mail you a PDF proof that you send back to their Account team in Glasgow
  • Once the envelope design is approved by them (we'll talk you through that nightmare via E-mail), you E-mail us back to sign-off
  • Then phone us on 028 9084 1234 with your payment details
    (we accept Credit Cards / BACS)
  • We can then proceed to production. Turnaround is normally 6-8 working days after that. We ship FREE via Parcelforce
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