Case Study:

Unison have complex direct mail needs, but we make it work!

With millions of members, UNISON’s mailing needs are complex. We guide them on postage rates and personalisation, to make the most of their reach.

A union of cost and efficiency

  • Thorough data review minimised wasted spend
  • Straightforward format change reduced costs by 9%

UNISON is the UK’s largest public service trade unions, representing more than 1.3 million members.

They publish and distribute a quarterly U magazine to their full membership. They also send a magazine called ‘InFocus’ to around 38,000 activist members, ten times a year.

On top of this, the union welcomes around 120,000 new members each year, sending out a personalised card and new membership pack. That’s a lot of direct mail to be managed.

1,300,000 +



When we started working with UNISON in 2014, we immediately recognised the potential to make big savings without sacrificing reach or results.

Small changes, big savings

With our expertise, we found some simple ways for UNISON to make significant savings.

U magazine was previously poly-wrapped in standard A5 size – it’s much more expensive to post than an envelope. So we reduced the size slightly, sent the magazine in envelopes, and saved UNISON over 6% every year.

We also worked to cleanse their data and reduce returned items significantly. We’ve had such great results that our remit has been extended considerably and we now support UNISON with a wide range of additional mailing activities – a massive project covering print, fulfilment, and postage.

What they said

It’s been great working with Advanced Direct Mail over the past few years. They started by coming in and immediately saving us a lot of money on our mailing – and while they’ve continued to make significant savings, their remit and the relationship has grown and they now advise on print and fulfilment.

They are responsive and proactive partners to work with, they understand the way we work and their cost-efficient quality service has really made a difference to our work, communicating to over 1.3 million members.

Martin Cullen,
Editorial and Content Manager, UNISON

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