Step by Step Guide on How to Use a Franking Machine

A franking machine is an excellent investment for businesses of all sizes who send out regular amounts of mail. Whether you’re a small company or a huge corporation you stand to save money on each item you send and, as you can imagine, that adds up fast! Even better is that these savings are well within reach thanks to affordable franking machine prices and the availability of rental/ lease contracts. Check out this franking machine price guide.

How does a franking machine work?

Put simply, a franking machine uses the information you provide to produce an accurate postage cost (a discounted price because you are franking). This prevents you from overpaying as you likely would when using other methods such as traditional stamps.

Step 1: Place your item onto the scale – many models come with built in weighing scales or the option to connect an external scale.

Step 2: Select the type (Letter/ Parcel, UK/ International) as well as the class (first/ second etc.).  The franking machine will then use all of this information to calculate the exact cost.

Step 3: Once the cost is calculated, place the letter face up into the machine so it can be stamped with the franking mark. This will either be manual or an automatic letter feeder will do this for you depending on the volume of the franking machine you are using (high volume machines tend to be largely automated and will frank and stack your mail with little involvement from you). If you are sending a parcel or a thick envelope that cannot be fed into the machine you can simply frank the mark onto a label and stick this to the envelope/ packaging.

Step 4: Organize and bundle. You’ve already franked your mail (yes, it’s that easy!) so now you just need to separate the franked mail into size, type and class ready for drop off or collection with Royal Mail.

Bundling Your Mail – A Quick Overview

When you are getting your mail ready to send, you need to group together all the franked items that are the same size, type and class. Depending on the volume of mail you are sending, you need to secure each bundle with an elastic and place them into the corresponding pouches.

The pouches (bags/ trays are also used for higher volumes) are provided by Royal Mail and you need to put first class mail into the red pouches and second class into the green. Once sorted, you can either take the pouches to the Post Office, a Mail Centre or you can organize with Royal Mail to collect them from your business address.

Important Reminders 

Although franking mail is incredibly easy, there are a few key rules that need to be remembered in order to ensure sending your correspondence is a breeze. Take a look at the list below to make sure you don’t get caught short when franking mail:

  • You can only send the mail on the day it is franked – you cannot frank your mail today in preparation for sending it tomorrow. This also means you are not able to use franking when it comes to return envelopes, it is advised you use stamps or the prepaid service for this.
  • Make sure you are franking the mail in the area code your franking machine is licensed and registered in as this information is included on the franked mark and will not be accepted if there are inconsistencies.
  • The franking mark needs to be clear, easy to read and in the top right-hand corner of the envelope.
  • Always bundle your franked mail correctly and never mix it with items that are not franked e.g. stamped mail.

A franking machine, when used properly, can handle your businesses mailing requirements with ease. They are so simple to use and the savings can be substantial, it is important to make sure you follow the rules and do it right otherwise Royal Mail won’t accept the franked postage and you will need to re-do it so that it is correct and can be sent.  Follow our step by step guide to help you send out neat and professional mail while enjoying time efficiency and discounted postal rates.

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