The Credit Services Association (CSA) has secured an agreement with Royal Mail to bring the Test & Innovate Scheme (TIS) to the collections industry.

TIS is an incentive for trying new ideas in mail applications that could prompt higher response rates from customers. These range from changes to letter content and layout through to envelope changes such as the use of indicia based on stamp images.

Members will also have the support from Media Specialists from Royal Mail MarketReach who can bring to bear their wealth of experience through insight, research and media tools, which could help improve the effectiveness of members’ mail packs and boost ROI.

CSA members can use TIS to test new mail applications and receive a discount rate of 30% off the access price (6.5p – 23p per item) during a six-month test period and then a further 10% discount off the access price (2.2p – 7.7p per item) for the following six months for tests which progress to full roll out.

Members will receive these discounts in the form of postage credits regardless of whether the postings are made through Royal Mail, an Access Operator or another postal delivery provider.

John Ricketts, President of the CSA who led the discussions, has also agreed with Royal Mail to further enhance TIS to include ‘champion/challenger’ strategy tests (where the ‘challenger’ strategy contains an increase in letter frequency). “Royal Mail will also be making its ‘Media Specialist Team’ available to members to advise on how to innovate in mail,” he says.

Members have already begun to take advantage of this new opportunity to test mail applications. Royal Mail is accepting applications to operate under the TIS incentive until 31 January 2018.