Open for Business – Royal Mail COVID-19 Mailing Incentives

This Royal Mail COVID-19 incentive is designed to help businesses and charities impacted by COVID-19 social movement restrictions by boosting their trading and marketing activities.

The mailing incentive was initially aimed at charities who have had to cancel all their summer 2020 fundraising events such as the London Marathon. They will be encouraged to use direct mail to keep their revenue stream alive to support their invaluable work both at home and aboard.

Scheme now extended to cover high street retailers

The scheme was extended to cover high street retailers who were forced to close their doors as COVID-19 restrictions came into force towards the end of March. Once again, direct mail is a lifeline for these businesses.

Royal Mail is keen to support its customers through this challenging time.

ADM’s view

We were very pleased when Royal Mail first announced their support for organisations struggling with the devastating impact of COVID-19.


As always though, these things are complex.


It has taken a considerable amount of investigation, discussion, and support for Royal Mail MarketReach to identify which of our clients’ mailings quality for the COVID-19 incentive.


The qualifying mailings fall into the following areas:



  • A combination of e-commerce and stores.


  • Replacing fundraising events with direct mail
  • Acquisition of donors, supporters, and members whether new or lapsed.

We are pleased to reassure our clients that Royal Mail has not overlooked e-commerce businesses.  This sector is encouraged by Royal Mail to submit Testing and Innovation Scheme Incentive (TIS) applications for the additional support needed through this difficult trading period.


Both the COVID-19 and TIS incentives are attracting discounts in the region of 15%. Customers receive a credit which is redeemable against their next mailing.


We have been working hard with the Royal Mail MarketReach Media Experts and have, to date, submitted the paperwork for six mailings which will represent a total saving in the region of £45,000 for these clients.


The pricing structures are complex as it depends on numerous factors which is why independent advice is key.


Julie Ray, ADM Client Services Director.

Under the COVID-19 incentive:

  • Retailers and charities can send Advertising Mail, Responsible Mail, and Partially Addressed Mail.
  • They will receive postage credits to be used on future mailings and these will be awarded at the end of the incentive period.
  • It applies to mailings of between 20,000 and 1,000,000 items.
  • For Advertising Mail, items must be sent using Royal Mail Mailmark and these include:
    • 70 Admail Mailmark letters and large letters
    • 70 Greenpost Mailmark letters and large letters
    • 70 partially addressed letters and large letters.
  • Access 1400 letters only if the items are unwrapped or poly-wrapped.
  • All items should be presented in a tray, for 1400 unwrapped or poly-wrapped items they can also be presented in a bag or in bundles.
  • The incentive runs from 20th May 2020 until 31st December 2020.
  • Applications must be submitted before 11th December 2020 to be considered for participation in the incentive.
  • Online-only retailers and retailers with historical online sales over 70% of total sales are not eligible.
  • Retailers and membership organisations that do not meet the criteria can still make postal savings by looking at other incentives such as Royal Mail Testing and Innovation Scheme for Business Mail incentive.

Certain conditions must be met though and the official eligibility guidance from Royal Mail is included below and the full terms and conditions can be found on the Royal Mail website here.

Royal Mail COVID-19 incentive eligibility guidance and permitted purposes (from Royal Mail’s website)

This guidance document sets out the eligible mail uses, that must be posted under the incentive as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which will qualify for postage credits under the COVID-19 incentive:

    • Any mailing from a retailer forced to close its doors, sending a direct mail letter which encourages a consumer to visit their website to purchase, or promotes availability of home delivery.
    • Any mailing of a catalogue or brochure from a retailer forced to close its doors, which encourages a consumer to visit their website to purchase or promotes availability of home delivery. Only retailers with historical on-line sales at less than 70% of total sales are eligible.
    • Any mailing from a retailer previously forced to close its doors promoting store opening arrangements.
    • Any mailing from a charity with the primary purpose being a request for donations.
    • Any new mailing which was necessitated by a brand’s current media channel (for example Cinema, In-Store, Out of Home) being unable to provide the reach required due to COVID-19.
    • Any mailing from a magazine publisher or newspaper promoting direct to home subscriptions.
    • Any mailing from a brand in the Travel and Tourism sector to promote purchase/products.
    • Any mailing from a brand in the ‘away from home’ Entertainment sector to promote future/rescheduled activity. For example, Cinema, Theatre, Festivals, and Restaurants.
    • Any mailing from a brand to vulnerable customers to support their physical or mental wellbeing.
    • Any new mailing from a brand to reassure and thank consumers/customers in-light of the impact of COVID-19 as the mailers primary purpose.
    • Any new mailing from a brand promoting additional product benefits where the original product is unable to be fully utilised due to COVID-19. For example, 3 free months in car breakdown cover or cash back from vehicle insurers to recognise under use of insurance.

Talk to us

Get in touch today to see if your next mailing qualifies for the Royal Mail COVID-19 incentives.

Call 01384 215790 or email


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OKA June 2020 postcard mailing in production