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Business reply services

We supply envelopes for reply-paid purposes in two sizes (all self-seal):

  • DL (white) - 110x220mm
  • C5 (Manila) - 162x229mm (suitable for A5 unfolded)

We currently stock second class in both sizes but will stock first class in both if demand justifies it. Please email an order for the number you want in each size to Stock items will be sent immediately but please allow at least two weeks for back orders.

The following charges apply for each unused envelope we supply:

  • DL - 5p each or £5 per 100
  • C5 - 6p each or £6 per 100

These prices are subject to change (up or down) depending on the size of orders we make, which will vary as demand and space permit. Prices include VAT.

We also charge the Royal Mail Standard Response service prices (Response Service charges) on any envelopes that come back.

Using the service

If you do not already have a Postal Services account, or if you need a separate one for a new project, please email the finance project code and name to As soon as you receive the account details from us you can use this service.

Once you have the envelopes (at the latest) you must decide on a reference code for the mailing and email this to for approval. Envelopes must be sent out with this reference so that we know who to forward them to when they come back. We will confirm by return whether or not the reference is unique and OK to use. Reference examples:

  • Exciting Research Project 99
  • Survey XXY
  • A Unique Name
  • ACME

Once you have the envelopes you must put it wholly within the box with the dashed outline near the left edge of the envelope. You must do this on every envelope you send out. You can write it in ink, use a small label or use a printer if you can be sure of accurate alignment. You could ask your respondents to do this if you can rely on them to do it properly. This is to avoid surcharges on the return items. If any marks appear in Royal Mail defined 'clear zones' on the envelope the item may not be treated as reply-paid and at best may be delayed because it is no longer machine readable.

Setting up your own service

If you would prefer to have the return envelopes delivered to your own building with your own address details and envelope design, you will have to apply for your own licence (Response service application) from Royal Mail. Royal Mail offer Business Reply and Freepost services, in both 'standard' and 'plus' versions.

We do not recommend you use the Standard versions of the services where you regularly expect to receive very large or heavy items. These will be expensive and Postal Services can arrange collection from the senders address using cheaper trackable services.

Envelope design

The Royal Mail specifications for fonts, spacing and layout are very strict. As such, they have developed an artworking tool to help you get it right. You should submit completed designs in PDF format to Royal Mail for approval before placing orders with printers.

You should also read the specifications given by Royal Mail for the envelopes themselves (weight, colour, opacity etc.).

Telephone +44 (0118) 378 6512 or email for copies, in Microsoft Publisher format, of proofs for the layout used in the example at the top of this page. These are available for DL, C4 & C5 envelopes and can easily be adapted with your own licence and address details. You will need the ability to 'print' these in PDF format before submitting to Royal Mail.

Once you have received your licence details from Royal Mail and the designs have been approved please visit the Design and Print Studio website to arrange printing the design on envelopes.

Contact us

Internal mail enquiries

  • Telephone:
    +44 (0)118 378 7302

External mail and personal mail enquiries

  • Telephone:
    +44 (0)118 378 6530