How to prepare franking mail for delivery

No one enjoys the hassle of sending multiple letters or parcels through the post, which is why businesses primarily use franking machines to make the process as quick and easy as possible. 

Franking machines are designed to pay for postage in advance to avoid long waits at the post office. The machine will weigh the letters, provide accurate postage and stamp them for proof. A franking machine is an extremely useful machine to have in an office no matter how big or small your business is as it’s both time saving and cost-effective too. 

Here, we’ll explain step-by-step how to prepare your franking mail for delivery so that you don’t run into any surcharges or complications. 

1. Use Blue Ink for Franking Marks

While this may seem inconsequential, it’s important to know that all new franking machines use blue ink over any other colours. If you have an older, non-smart model, then these can use red ink. Also, ensure that the ink you buy is authorised by Royal Mail and compatible with your machine, as buying generic ink may invalidate your warranty.

2. Include a Return Address

If, for whatever reason, your letter or parcel can’t be sent, make sure you always include a return address either next to the franked mark or on the back of the mail so that it can be sent back to you.

3. Frank Items in Advanced

Letters and parcels can easily be franked in advance for more efficiency. Simply forward the date on your machine and set it to when you plan on posting the items. However, it’s important to remember that the date on the postmark must match the day the item is posted, so ensure you definitely get it posted out on that day.

4. Test Print

We’d recommend always doing a test print, by setting your machine to £0.00, before you begin. This will ensure that your machine has enough ink, the date and time settings are correct, and the marks are clear and legible. Wrong dates or illegible ink may cause either delays or surcharges to your mail, which isn’t ideal.

5. Sort Franked Mail into Class, Size and Destination

To make things quick and easy, make sure you sort your mail into the correct class, size and destination. Before putting the mail into the pouches, keep the address face up with the franking marks in the top right-hand corner and secure them with an elastic band. The red pouches are for 1st class letter, green is for 2nd class, and white pouches are for international mail.

6. Use Mail Bags for Parcels

When sending larger parcels, rather than letters, always use mailbags and separate them by the correct class using the provided ties. Again, red ties are for 1st class packages, and green ties are for 2nd class.

7. Keep Special Delivery and International Tracking Items Separate

For special delivery and international tracking and signature services, these will need to be kept separate from your other mail and labelled and sealed correctly. 

8. Post your Franked Mail

You can post your franked mail in Post Office branches, Royal Mail delivery offices and mail centres. You can also use Business Post Boxes. If you’re sending less than 30 items, you can post the franked items in regular postboxes, as long as you use an outer, which should be provided by your franking machine manufacturer.

If you’ve recently invested in a franking machine, learn how to use a franking machine in 5 quick and easy steps.

Need more information and advice on franking machines? Take a look at our solutions page and contact our team to help you get set up with the most reliable and cost-effective equipment. 

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