Direct Mail

UK Mailing Preference Service

By 30 May 2024June 1st, 2024No Comments
print mailing preference service

What Is the DMA Mailing Preference Service and How Can It Benefit Businesses?

Do you repeatedly get items in your mailbox that you don’t want? It can be annoying to receive unsolicited mail for most people, primarily junk mail from businesses promoting themselves.

We cannot disregard the significance and popularity of direct mail. About 76% of the UK adult population opens all the mail pieces they get. Also, traditional mail drives nearly 70% of people to a digital engagement with the company sending it.

print mailing preference service

Hence, businesses can continue mailing to relevant prospects using the mailing preference service (MPS) file. It consists of all the names and delivery addresses of people that do not wish to get advertising mail.

This postal preference service safeguards recipients from unwanted items. And businesses can save money by not mailing people who aren’t interested.

In this blog, let’s discuss everything you need to know about the mail preference service and how you can benefit from it.

What Is the Mailing Preference Service?

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) UK runs the MPS service to enable people to opt-out of unwanted, personally addressed mail. Customers can register for this service for free, making it more convenient for anyone to stop getting unsolicited items.

It is also known as the ‘do not mail’ list that blocks junk mail by businesses. The primary concept behind this mail preference service is to respect your customers’ preferences and connect with them only when they want.

Thus, companies must check their mailing lists against the mailing preference service register to ensure they don’t mail to anyone who has already opted out. Moreover, all DMA members must follow this rule religiously to avoid getting into trouble.

The DMA set up the MPS register in 1983, but many businesses are still unaware of it. Often, people want to get their details removed from the postal mailing list because:

  • Their mail has the name of a previous resident
  • They are not interested in advertising mail items
  • They want to temporarily avoid junk mail because they are sick or someone in their family passed away

Hence, try accessing the mailing preference service file before every campaign to avoid wastage. Also, it allows you to preserve your brand reputation and save company-customer relationships.

Please note that both Royal Mail and ICO support the postal preference service UK- which regulates advertising mail.

What Are the Benefits of Having a MPS Licence?

Businesses can buy a licence to access the MPS file now and then. It enables them to:

Reduce Marketing Expenses

Cross-checking your database against the mailing preference service register helps you filter out customers who are not likely to convert. Hence, you can save costs by not spending millions of dollars on printing and shipping items to people who despise promotional mail.

Keep Wastages Low

Recipients have the option to send back unsolicited mail to the sender. They don’t need to pay anything to mail your items back to you, but you would have to bear the postage. Thus, the postal preference service Royal Mail allows you to prevent wastage caused by mailing to people who have voluntarily opted out.

Showcases Your Brand In Good Light

By following the DMA guidelines and not sending anything to customers on the mailing preference service list, you showcase yourself as a responsible marketer. It allows you to boost your brand image and strengthen your marketing strategies.

These people might see your email or social media ad and contact you. But, you will be blowing your chances of getting conversions if you have already hurt your reputation by spam mailing.

What Is the Cost of an MPS Licence?

Many people are confused regarding- Can businesses use the mailing preference service, and the answer is yes!

You can purchase an annual mailing preference service licence for £1,150, excluding VAT. It gives you access to the DMA’s MPS register, and you can download it online from their website. This list includes the names and addresses of all the people who have registered for it in the UK.

Businesses that do not mail regularly have several more postal preference service options. Instead of getting a licence, they can buy a one-off data file that costs nearly £290. They can purchase it any number of times, making it an excellent option for non-frequent marketers.

Local businesses who want to conduct location-specific marketing to small neighbourhoods or areas also need not get a licence. They can purchase a small section of the MPS register for only £60.

But, using PostGrid’s direct mail services for your mailing campaigns allows you to cross-check your lists against this register for no added costs.

Is Sending Mail to the People on the Mailing Preference Service File Illegal?

It isn’t illegal to send mail to customers on the MPS register. But, the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 states that companies should avoid doing so repeatedly.

However, following the mail preference service regulation is mandatory under the DMA’s code of practice. Also, the organisation has the right to investigate the matter and pass it on to the Advertising Standards Authority if someone files a complaint against you.

Having an MPS licence protects you against such claims that tarnish your image and lead to negative publicity. Therefore, you must screen your mailing lists against the postal preference service UK before launching every advertising campaign.

What Are the Other Options for Customers to Subscribe Out of Unsolicited Mail?

There are many other ways in which your customers can register themselves in the do not mail list, including:

Put Up a ‘No Junk Mail’ Sign on the Letterbox

If a customer has this sign on their door or letterbox, the postal carrier does not drop off junk mail there. However, it isn’t the best option as some delivery people might ignore the sign.

Instead, they should use the mailing preference service for free to take a firmer step towards not getting junk mail.

Contact the Post Office

Royal Mail does not deliver unaddressed mail to people who have opted out of junk mail using the mail preference service. All the customers need to do is fill out a form or drop an email to the Post Office. Royal Mail stops sending unaddressed advertising to them within six weeks for up to two years.

You can mail items to such customers if they don’t renew their subscription to the mailing preference service after two years.

Register with the DMA’s ‘Your Choice’ Program

DMA also lets people get the marketing mail of their choice. It limits the number of items they receive by enabling them to select the categories of mail they want.

Again, customers must fill out a form or call the DMA office to register under this free scheme. The duration of every registration lasts from 12 weeks to two years.

However, the mailing preference service takes up to four months to come into effect. Companies can mail their promotional pieces to customers until their registrations are approved and active.

Stop Charity Mail

Contact the Fundraising Mailing Preference Service if you don’t want to get charity solicitation mail items. Keep the charity organisation’s name or registration number handy while making a call or filing a request on their website.

Then, the Fundraising Preference Service would ask the organisation to delete your contact details from their database within 28 working days.

Along with these methods, customers can also contact the electoral registration office or reach out to the mail senders directly. The good news is that you only need to run a check against the DMA mail preference service file as it is updated monthly.

How Can PostGrid’s Direct Mail Services Help You Send Mail to Relevant Prospects?

As discussed above, sending mail items to people who aren’t interested makes no sense and can lead to wastage. It can hamper all areas of your marketing and sales operations for a long time.

Thus, accessing the mailing preference service register and filtering out contacts is your best bet. But, you may not want to buy the files or get a licence. It is when PostGrid can help you out!

Our direct mail API helps businesses from all sectors, like healthcare, real estate, insurance, etc., send advertising items effortlessly. They don’t need to do anything manually or manage campaigns themselves.

Also, PostGrid verifies addresses and checks them against the mail preference service register to avoid returns.

Thus, companies can only mail to a laser-targeted audience and optimise their marketing budget.


Being socially responsible and not indulging in spam mailing help companies attract genuine customers. They can save their precious time and effort by not trying to connect with people who made it clear they weren’t interested.

Using the DMA’s mailing preference service lists, you can channel your marketing plans toward a relevant audience and reach your goals easily.

PostGrid’s direct mail services can help you send mail to PAF-certified addresses that assure deliverability. Along with the mail preference service register, it processes your addresses against the NCOA file to update any recent changes.

Thus, it is your all-in-one solution to create, print, and mail items to deliverable addresses, helping you improve your ROI.

Request a demo to learn more of our features that help you use the mailing preference service to conduct accurate mailings!

Ready to Get Started?

Start transforming and automating your offline communications with PostGrid