Online Business Account Service

At Flow Fulfilment, our overarching purpose is to educate, advise and provide solutions for our customers to build their business as simply as possible.

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Is There a Better Option than an OBA?

Online Business Accounts give access to all Royal Mail postal services but rely on your in-house production, resulting in high overheads.


Online Business Account VS Hybrid Mail & Direct Mail

What is an Online Business Account?
An online business account (OBA) enables Royal Mail business account members to manage and pay their bills for Royal Mail services online. Further, you can control account access and invoices and download personalised reports.

Online Business Account Eligibility and Costs
There is no setup cost nor other fees to qualify for an online business account. However, to meet the eligibility criteria, businesses must send in excess of 1,000 large parcels annually or spend over £5,000 annually.

Major Weakness in Online Business Accounts
Other than the quantity and spend thresholds a business must meet before qualifying for an OBA, the major weakness is that you need a complete in-house production facility. For the typical SME, this is a complete non-starter. So what's the alternative? Read on and learn about our Mailing House services, ideal for businesses that send lots of mail and don't want the hassle or cost of in-house production.

Is using a Mailing House a Better Option?
Absolutely! Outsourcing all your mail requirements to a reputable mailing house will slash your overheads—no space for equipment, no equipment nor consumables and no staff to run and administer everything. Not only will it save you money, but time too - leaving you to serve your customers in what you do best. 

Hybrid Mail & Direct Mail Services
To replace an OBA, and all that this entails, our essential services are Hybrid Mail and Direct Mail. Both of these services will save you a fortune in time and money! In addition, our clients often use a combination of Hybrid Mail and Direct Mail, depending on the quantity of each job/campaign.

What is Hybrid Mail? 
Hybrid Mail enables you and your business to deliver mail from any location with just a couple of clicks. There's no need for internal equipment or expensive consumables and no labour cost. Our state-of-the-art Hybrid Mail setup saves you a fortune compared to franking, OBA, and traditional post. Typically, the optimum quantity range is between 1 and 1,000 - beyond this, Direct Mail often becomes more cost-effective. The process to create a document is simple: 

  • Select print
  • Choose 'Hybrid Print' from the printer options
  • Review the document
  • Click print. 

Then, daily at 3 pm, we download your documents to process, print, enclose and post. 

How is Direct Mail Different?
Direct Mail offers the same end result as Hybrid Mail - your letters and postcards are seamlessly printed and posted to your recipients. However, Direct Mail is much more versatile in what you post - in terms of size, weight, number of inserts and more. In addition, rather than ordering direct from your laptop, orders are placed with our Sales Consultants. Direct Mail is usually a minimum 1,000 quantity, and significant postage savings are realised at the 4,000+ mark. 

Which is best, Hybrid Mail or Direct Mail?
It is not a case of one being better, but one service being more appropriate. So here are the appropriate uses and advantages for each service:

Hybrid Mail:

  • Flexibility and control to send your post directly from your laptop anywhere in the world
  • The perfect solution to replace your franking setup, it is simpler, faster and cheaper
  • Very cost-effective up to 500 quantity
  • Ideal for sending letters and postcards
  • More commonly used to communicate with existing customers
  • High-speed service, with next-day postage available

Direct Mail:

  • Ideal for larger campaigns, typically marketing campaigns
  • Significant savings at the 4,000+ quantity
  • Flexibility to post an array of items
  • Our Sales Consultants advise you on the most effective solutions to achieve the highest possible returns on your investment.

How Much Will Hybrid Mail Save?
To identify the tangible savings Hybrid Mail can save compared with franking, OBA and traditional post, we have created a savings calculator. Please use our Savings Calculator and see the additional savings your business can make on capital investments, time, space and homeworker costs.

Is Flow Fulfilment the Right Mailing House for You?
At Flow, our overarching purpose is to educate, advise and provide solutions for our customers to build their businesses as simply as possible. Be it with Direct Mail, Hybrid Mail, or any of the other marketing and fulfilment services we offer. Our consultative approach enables us to provide you and your business with the most appropriate solutions specific to your business requirements. 

Added Peace of Mind
You have added peace of mind, too, as every Flow Fulfilment process follows our ISO certification requirements. We are ISO 9001, 14001 and 27001 certified. As a result, our products, services, systems and procedures are measured to a level of excellence to remain compliant. Therefore you receive an efficient, consistent, dedicated and quality service, with guaranteed customer satisfaction. Furthermore, we have accredited membership with the DMA (Direct Data & Marketing Association) and IPIA (Independent Print Industries Association) and won Direct Mail Marketing Company of the Year in 2021.

So if you would like to discuss improving your current mailing solution, reducing your OBA and franking costs or creating your next marketing campaign, please contact us today.

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