Parcels Revenue vs. Letters at Royal Mail: USO Implications?


Royal Mail’s Half Year Results (2020-21) pointed to a possible need for change to the Universal Service.  The Acting Chief Executive of Citizens Advice responded: ”The Universal Service Obligation is a vital safety net that keeps post fair and affordable. Even before the pandemic, six in ten people said they’d feel cut off from society if they couldn’t send or receive post. During these uncertain times, post is increasingly becoming a lifeline for many.”


So as addressed mail volumes decrease, and families continue to spend more time at home, could postal operators take advantage by promoting and investing in their unaddressed mail business, which in turn could help sustain their USO?


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Royal Mail research reveals retailers’ increasing use of unaddressed mail as it becomes more effective


In the UK, more retailers are dropping leaflets on doormats this year as brands try to get an edge on competitors by going beyond digital ads and emails. With more families at home with time on their hands, fewer leaflets are going straight in the bin. According to research by Royal Mail, 88% of people surveyed said they paid as much or more attention to mail during lockdown.  See the full article


National lockdowns are forcing non-essential small high street retailers to close, and instead sell on-line.  But how will these ‘offline businesses’ reach their markets?


Unaddressed mail delivered to households is the ideal advertising medium to drive consumers to new ecommerce websites, and thereby enable small retailers to compete with the larger retailers and ecommerce businesses.  It is effective, affordable and provides a highly targeted catchment area for small independent high street retailers to compete, survive and stand out.


According to the latest research in Denmark & Sweden, retailers should look for a combination of print and digital marketing.

“People can focus more easily on a printed advertisement. In that medium, longer and more detailed messages can be communicated.”


The most important types of print marketing for retailers are

Unaddressed mail

Business cards


See the full report


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Two Sides UK's Power of Print conference 2020 demonstrated door-drops as a competitive marketing channel v digital


“Now we can compare the average of 6.9 days that a doordrop lives in the home with the 1.7 seconds that a piece of content 'lives' in Facebook's News Feed - a doordrop might cost ten times the Facebook activity on a cost per thousand basis but the 6.9 days equates to 596,000 seconds...”  read more


More than 90 major advertisers pull advertising from Facebook & question social media’s effectiveness


See the full report


21% of all addressed mail and door drop items create commercial action.

50% of leaflet readers regularly buy a product from a leaflet.



How is Duplo helping postal operators create an efficient unaddressed mail distribution business?

Consolidating unaddressed mail into sets means fewer delivery days to households and greater efficiency.  But collation of unaddressed mail into sets by hand can be a time-consuming and laborious process, leading to mistakes, job dissatisfaction and higher labour turnover.  A Duplo collating system will typically do the work of at least 10 manual workers, and provides postal operators with an error-free set of advertising leaflets, securely held together and in walk order, ready for delivery to each household.

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