Direct mail firm promises big savings for charities

A mail delivery business is to launch a service that the company claims could save charities 40 cent of their direct mail costs.

ViaPost will use post-over-internet-protocol to enable organisations to make electronic drafts of letters and email them with databases to a mail centre. The mail centre will arrange for the letters to be produced by printers local to the recipients. Royal Mail will then deliver the mail.

The company will charge second class prices to deliver letters first class and claims it will reduce costs, staff hours and environmental impact.

The service will be able to handle letters when it starts next month and expects to be able to deliver the entire direct marketing creative service by next year.

"We will increase volumes and reduce prices for charities by aggregating mail-outs," said Charlie Lass, director at ViaPost.

Industry regulator Postcomm said the new business would lead to increased competition and better services in the direct mail sector.

But Peter Frings, managing director at direct marketing print management firm Target Direct Print, said: "Some of the formats charities use can be printed efficiently only on specialised equipment. Merging jobs at the same printer would give me the heebie-jeebies."

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