ß BUSINESS REPLY Envelopes Explained | Royal Mail

BUSINESS REPLY Envelopes Explained

Printed Business Reply DL Envelopes Trade Printing Animation
Royal Mail LICENCE PRICE

Royal Mail POSTAGE PRICES

Busn Reply PRINTING PRICES
General questions about Business Reply envelopes

PRINTED Business Reply Envelopes are a postal "Response Services" product in the UK by the Royal Mail Business Reply 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.


What do Business Reply Envelopes look like graphic

Business Reply envelopes are the professional way for UK companies to pay for their customer's postage costs in correspondence back to them and thus saving them money and less hassle looking for a handy stamp. Trade Printing UK can print these professionally with your company's details and company logo (after you first apply for a Business Reply STANDARD or PLUS postal licence in the UK from Royal Mail), under Royal Mail's layout guidelines. We are probably the leading envelope printing specialists (with Business Reply Envelopes printed FROM £45 including FREE DELIVERY) within the UK printing industry.

The public frequently ask — can you put a first class stamp on a Business Reply envelope?

NO. Royal Mail sorting machinery has NO way to understand that you've stuck a stamp on a Business Reply envelope. The company will still be charged. People mistakenly do this for charity envelopes thinking they'll save the charity money, when all they've done is waste a stamp.


Do I need a stamp for Business Reply Plus?

NO. It's already paid for.

Do I need a stamp for Business Reply Standard?

NO. It's already paid for.

Which envelopes don't need a stamp?

Business Reply Standard, Business Reply Plus, Freepost Standard, Freepost Plus and PPI Prepaid — all are licensed from Royal Mail in the UK

What do Business Reply Plus Envelopes look like graphic

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

When you apply for your Business Reply 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 Business Reply 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 prefer to create professional envelope artwork for Business Reply and Freepost products for you, to keep ultimate creative control. Just supply your 12-digit licence number and Address block and we can do the rest.


Business Reply is a business postal service provided by the Royal Mail in the UK, whereby a person can send post without affixing a stamp, and the recipient pays the postage charge once your mail is delivered. Thus, NO you don't put a stamp on a Business Reply envelope. So the Royal Mail will deliver your letter and invoice the company from the responses they get back.

You'll need to apply to the Royal Mail to purchase either a 'Business Reply STANDARD' or 'Business Reply 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.

What does Business Reply envelope look like?

This new generation of Business Reply Standard envelope is printed pre-addressed on your envelope in a format that looks like a Business Reply Plus address, without the addition of the word "Plus" in the top Left

What do Business Reply Envelopes look like graphic


Here is a Business Reply address example, from the Business Reply Standard variant:

Your Company Name
Your Address Line
Your Address Line
Your POSTTOWN in CAPS
Your POSTCODE in CAPS

Business Reply Envelopes comparison

This new generation of Business Reply Plus envelope is printed pre-addressed on your envelope in a format that looks like a Business Reply Standard address, however it has the addition of the word "Plus" in the top Left

What do Business Reply Plus Envelopes look like graphic


Here is a Business Reply address example, from the Business Reply Plus variant:

Your Company Name
Your Address Line
Your Address Line
Your POSTTOWN in CAPS
Your POSTCODE in CAPS

Printed Business Reply Envelopes comparison

The only real difference between Business Reply STANDARD and Business Reply PLUS in the UK is the addition of the word "Plus" in the first line of the address block. Everything else, including the 1st or 2nd Class indicia in the top right is identical.


What do Freepost Plus Envelopes look like graphic
HD video guide on how to order BUSINESS REPLY ENVELOPES in the UK Video guide showing how to order Business Reply Envelopes

Business Reply STANDARD Envelopes give the most scope to UK businesses for envelope sizes allowing you to use either 1st or 2nd Class services etc.

What do Business Reply Envelopes look like graphic


Business Reply 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 7p OFF per item) over the Business Reply Standard envelopes but the maximum postage weight is only 100g.

What do Business Reply Plus Envelopes look like graphic

We can produce your printed envelopes from either our premium Peel & Seal or Self-seal product ranges for either the Business Reply STANDARD or PLUS licence formats. Peel & Seal is the most popular variant of the two flap types.

Business Reply Plus licensed (only in DL and C5 sizes) envelopes give you the bonus of an extra postage cost discount (currently 7p OFF DISCOUNT per item) over the Business Reply Standard envelopes but the maximum weight is only 100g.

You then pay a single price per Business Reply 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.

Royal Mail Business Reply Licence Costs & Logistics

There is also an annual Business Reply licence fee (also called a "Response Services Licence") that has to be prepaid to Royal Mail which is currently £99.50 + VAT per year, plus additional licences at £58 + VAT for your other (over 10) branches.

Royal Mail's latest 2020 Response Services Rate Card is here.

After you have your licence from the Royal Mail, you then pay a price per single response [i.e. you pay Royal Mail directly — on a monthly account basis — for EACH returned Business Reply envelope a customer sends you back] for all items up to 100g (e.g. under the PLUS licences for DL + C5 "Letter" sizes — 1st Class: 55p; 2nd Class: 39.3p; under the STANDARD licences for DL + C5 "Letter" sizes — 1st Class: 62p; 2nd Class: 47p; "Large Letter"such as C4 and above are more expensive [up to 100g weight] e.g. C4 1st class: 84p; 2nd Class: 70p because they are hand sorted by humans) and of course this depends whether you use a Royal Mail 1st Class or 2nd Class Indicia mark on your customised Business Reply envelopes.

Business Reply envelopes are delivered within the standard UK postal network just like any other stamped or prepaid PPI mail, and not treated any differently.

How long does Business Reply take to deliver to be delivered by the Royal Mail within the UK?

Royal Mail aim to deliver all 1st Class Business Reply envelopes within 1 working day including Saturdays within the UK, after your customers post them back to you. They are delivered via your normal postman from Monday to Saturday.

2nd Class Business Reply envelopes are delivered within 3 working days including Saturdays within the UK, after your customers post them back to you. They are also delivered via your normal postman from Monday to Saturday.

To CONTACT the Royal Mail licensing team in their Barnsley office telephone: 03457 950950 — then Press '2', 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.) Otherwise E-MAIL the Royal Mail response services licensing team in Barnsley: HERE


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 create your professional artwork with our own professional envelope templates, designed specifically for Royal Mail's Business Reply products. Once created, we would E-mail you back a high-resolution PDF which you subsequently send on to the Royal Mail's Response Services' account team in Barnsley to approve. There's always a bit of hassle with that bit, but we can guide you through this.




Printed Business Reply DL Envelopes Trade Printing Animation
Printed Busn. Reply Envelopes
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From an over-printing perspective, we normally produce your printed Business Reply envelopes via our now standard, premium 120gsm Peel & Seal product ranges (the highest quality in the UK print industry for this sector!) for quantities ranging from 250 — 5000; over 5000 quantity and you have the option to use our 100gsm self-seal envelope product on either the 'Business Reply STANDARD' or 'Business Reply PLUS' licence formats.


Once your professional artwork has been signed off by Royal Mail's Account team in Barnsley, TradePrintingUK aim to physically print and despatch them from our factory within 3-4 working days, then they're shipped FREE on the 2 working day service from DPD. So you should receive them from us, by the 6th working day — at the latest — after you pay for your printed envelopes.

SUMMARY CHECKLIST to buy printed Business Reply Envelopes:

Firstly, Apply to Royal Mail for either a 'Business Reply Standard' or 'Business Reply Plus' Licence Number (can take a week or more sometimes!). Once Royal Mail have sent the new alpha Business Reply 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 a 'Business Reply STANDARD' or 'Business Reply PLUS' service you have the licence for? There is a difference! [see above]
  • "Plus" can only be used up to 100g weight.
  • Do you want 1st Class or 2nd Class indicia printed on the Business Reply Envelopes?
  • We will then create your professional artwork, and E-mail you a PDF proof that you send back to their Account team in Barnsley.
  • 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 or Debit Cards / BACS via Proforma Invoice/ Paypal if you wish).
  • We can then proceed to production. TradePrintingUK aim to physically print and despatch them from our factory within 3-4 working days, then they're shipped FREE on the 2 working day service from DPD.

To CONTACT the Royal Mail Business Reply team in their Barnsley office on Telephone or E-mail

To summarise again, you can CONTACT the Royal Mail 'Business Reply' Licensing team in their Barnsley office Phone: 03457 950950 — then Press '1', then hold, then Press '4', then Press '2' — this will get you speaking to an actual person! (Lines are open 8am to 5pm — Monday to Friday.), or E-mail the Royal Mail 'Business Reply' Licensing team in Barnsley with this E-mail address: HERE