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Frequently asked questions

About imail

Is imail a kind of email service?

No, imail is not an email system at all. It's an intelligent solution providing users with a quick and reliable way to process physical letters, postcards or mailshots. You produce them electronically on your computer and have them printed and posted locally by imail in the UK.

How does imail work?

Using imail couldn't be simpler: you create the mail, we print it and then we post it. You create your document on your computer or iPhone using an imail interface. Next, you click on the ‘Preview & Post’ button to send it. The document is then electronically encrypted and sent to the imail server. The server routes the item to the nearest UK Mail print centre, where it is securely printed by our state-of-the-art equipment. Letters are machine-enveloped and all mail is sent for onward delivery. The entire mailing becomes an easy automated process.

How does imail save me time?

imail takes the time and hassle out of having to print, envelope and then post items. You can send a letter or postcard within seconds to anywhere in the UK from the comfort of your desktop.

Can imail help me to improve brand management?

Yes. imail allows you to control your brand through a template management system. This allows you to set up and define a series of structured templates with or without variable fields. Being able to control the use of your logo generates a stronger brand image. Your logo can be printed in full colour or black-and-white depending on your brand requirements.

Do you have a service to create my stationery or artwork?

Yes, you can do this easily in the Create template section of the site. Or, if you’re unsure, just email a PDF to imail_enquiries@imailprint.co.uk of your headed paper and we'll create a template for you and add it to your imail account.

Is imail secure?

Yes. imail uses 256-bit SSL security as standard. The password-protected system assigns a user name and password to each user. All documents are securely encrypted before being sent from your PC, laptop or Apple device to the imail print centre for fulfilment, complying with security and data protection regulations.

How do I access the imail system?

To use imail, you can choose one of three intuitive interfaces:

Online interface – you use imail directly on the web site (log in and click on ‘Get started’).

Print client – a print driver which allows you to print directly from programs like Microsoft Word for greater speed and convenience.

imail Autolink (application program interface) – a completely integrated solution that can be accessed by authorised users throughout your company, with restrictions (such as access rights or pending mail approval) managed by the system administrator.

Can imail be used on all types of device?

Yes, imail can be used on any internet-enabled device, from anywhere in the world, and is compatible with leading internet browsers for PC and Macintosh. A PC Print Client is available and a Mac Print Client will be available in the near future.

Does imail allow me to sign my letters and postcards?

Yes. With imail you can add a scanned version of your signature, which can be automatically applied to each of your documents as you choose.

Does imail allow me to keep a contacts database?

imail keeps your contacts database securely within your user space. Simply create your mailing, then enter a single address or upload a csv file and we will save your addresses on the fly for future use.

Can I use imail for mailshots?

Absolutely. imail provides a cost effective solution for your direct mail campaigns. Simply create your mailer, add your database and let imail do the rest.

Do I have to send my mailings once they are written?

No, you don’t. imail is very flexible and allows you to draft mail, letters or cards that can be amended before being sent out. Alternatively, your addressed documents can be held as pending and, once approved by the administrator, sent at a time convenient to you. You can even schedule mailings in advance, so you can pre-book your regular mailings as far ahead as you want to; a great feature which allows you to plan multiple campaigns when it’s most convenient for you.

Can I view my mail before posting?

Yes. imail provides you with an instant PDF proof of your mailing, showing the body of the document, as well as the positioning of the address block and return barcode. The PDF can be printed locally for a physical copy for your records or it can be stored electronically on your computer.

How do I know my mail has been received and posted?

Once you have completed your mail and sent it, you will receive on-screen confirmation. The sent order will also be visible in the My Archive area of your imail interface. For any pre-scheduled, mailings you will automatically receive a confirmation email that your mail has been successfully processed.

Printing options

What paper stock is used?

For letters, imail uses 100gsm plain white A4, 100% recycled paper and C5 windowed 90gsm envelopes. imail uses 300gsm A5 card for postcards. Each postcard is laminated.

What print options are available?

All mailings can be output as mono (black ink only) or full colour and can be single-sided or double-sided (duplex printing). imail users also benefit from advanced document solutions, including barcoding and Optical Mark Recognition systems which ensure complete mail integrity.

What print quality can I expect?

imail uses the same high-specification commercial printers in all of its nationwide print centres. These are regularly calibrated, ensuring a quality and consistent print finish that you can rely on, wherever your mail is printed.

Postal delivery and returns

When does my mail get delivered?

With imail your mail will be delivered the next working day, unless you specify the two-day option.

How does my mail get delivered?

imail prints and mails all items, then hands it over directly to Royal Mail for final mile doorstep delivery.

Do imail items get delivered at weekends and bank holidays?

imail items are delivered from Monday to Saturday, excluding bank holidays.

What happens when my mail cannot be delivered?

All imail envelopes carry a UK Mail central return address. We then scan the barcode of the returned item, which automatically sends an electronic copy of the letter to the originator. These can be viewed in My Reports in the Accounts Admin area of the imail interface. Just select the returned report icon. The returned physical mail items are securely disposed of by UK Mail.

How can I get a Business Reply Envelope (BRE) returns service?

To ensure imail users benefit from the latest cut-off times available for a service of this type, we are unable to insert separate BREs into mailings. Many imail users utilise their email address, web site, telephone number and ‘Quick Response’ 2D barcodes to gain immediate response from campaigns. This avoids the cost and time associated with managing a Business Reply envelope process.

Can I send international mail?

Not yet, but we are currently developing our international imail service.

imail and the environment

Does using imail affect my carbon footprint?

Yes, in fact, imail reduces your carbon footprint by up to 80%. imail eliminates the need to collect physical mail items and route them to a sorting office, saving on unnecessary mileage and reducing overall emissions. imail customers also cut back on transportation of stationery and consumable stocks to their offices.

Does imail use eco-friendly paper?

Letters and envelopes are fully recyclable and conform to FSC standards.

Costs, payments and savings

Is there a sign-up or set-up fee?

No, imail is completely free to use. You only pay for what you print and mail.

How much does imail cost?

The price of imail items starts from less than the cost of a stamp – which includes all print consumables, printing, fulfilment and postage.

Click here to view imail rates.

How much can I save using imail?

imail can save you up to 60% on your total print, production and postage costs, depending on what postal service you currently use.

Find out just how big your savings are.

Are there discounts for higher volumes?

Yes, there are. If you send more than 5,000 items a month, please contact

imail_enquiries@imailprint.co.uk.

What payment options are there?

imail has a range of flexible payment methods to suit your business’s requirements. ‘Pay as you post’ enables you to pay by debit or credit card; the ‘Top up’ service allows you to deposit an amount, for faster, more convenient payment than having to enter credit card details every time. To manage larger or more frequent mailings, you may prefer to open a credit account. Please email imail_enquiries@imailprint.co.uk for further information.

Managing your account

How can I add more users to my account?

Go to the Account Admin tab then select Manage Users. This will allow you to add, amend or remove users.

Can I stop my mailing once sent?

No. imail is an instant service. Once you have sent your mailing to imail, it cannot be stopped. On rare occasions, it may be possible to cease a received mailing. However, due to the speed of the process, this will be dependent on a number of factors and we may be unable to recall a job if it has already exited through the system. Contact imail_enquiries@imailprint.co.uk.

Support and technical queries

How secure is my data when using imail?

imail uses 256-bit SSL security as standard. Each user is username and password protected. All documents are securely encrypted before being sent from your computer to the imail print location where insertion and sortation is effected by state of the art equipment.

How can I view my mailing once posted?

imail stores mail items for 60 days and they are viewable within the ‘My Archive’ section of the Account Admin area.

Can I add an insert to my mailing?

Yes. When creating a letter mailing, you can attach an A4 PDF copy of the insert, which will be printed along with the letter and inserted as one combined mail piece.

How can addresses be validated?

The imail data portal provides a number of useful validation tools, including postcode checking, address cleansing, database cleansing, de-duplicating and data suppression. imail can even append databases with telephone numbers and emails to enhance your data quality.

What is the address block line limit?

In line with Royal Mail specifications, imail items have a maximum of seven address lines.

What are the design specifications for artwork?

You can download the full design specifications here.

What happens to mail that cannot be delivered?

Undelivered or returned items are sent to UK Mail’s returns management centre, where they are scanned on receipt. A PDF of returned items can then be viewed on the web portal within the ‘My Reports’ section of Account Admin. Returned mail items are then securely destroyed.

Who do I contact with a sales, service or technical issue?

Please complete the contact form or email us directly at imail_enquiries@imailprint.co.uk.