So you finally invested on a franking machine. You might think that franking is easy. Just put your mail into the machine and voila, you’ve got franked mail. Wrong! The Royal Mail has standards that every business using a franking machine should know and apply to their process. Here we give you the basics.
1. You must have a Mail Franking Licence. This means that you need to familiarize yourself and comply with the terms of Royal Mail Scheme for Franking Letters and Parcels 2008 and follow the rules in preparing your mails. You will be suppliers with a licence from your franking machine supplier.
2. Set your machine. Always do a test print. Set your machine to £0.00. This will ensure your machine has enough ink. If your mail has marks that cannot be read, your mail might be delayed or surcharged. You will be able to claim back mistakes in franked printing, but there is a 15% charge, so you want to make sure you are getting this right.
3. Set the correct price, time and date before you start printing. Always double check. many machines will do this automatically, but it is still worth checking to make sure the machine is correctly synchronised.
4. If you have envelopes and packets of different sizes, shapes and colours, you can frank these by using labels to give a clear and legible mark. Again, illegible marks can cause you problems. You can get labels from your franking machine supplier or a variety of places online. It is worth shopping round for franking machine labels and ink, since prices can vary greatly.
5. Always include a return address on your envelopes. It can be a part of your franked mark or on the back of your mail. Ask your Franking Supplier about the latest specifications on return addresses or ‘slogan blocks’. Incorrect mail can be delayed or returned to you.
6. Always use red ink for franking marks unless you are using Cleanmail® products which should be blue. Marks must be clear, complete and printed on the top right-hand corner of your mail.
7. Items can be franked in advance to avoid missed collections. Just set the next day’s date on your machine.
8. Remember that you cannot use a franking mark to prepay return mail to your company. Mail must be postmarked with the date it is posted or collected on as part of the presentation requirements of Royal Mail.
A franking machine can save you up to 40% on your postage fees. There are many different types depending on your business needs. Go to Compare Franking Machine to find the right franking machine for your business.
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