Industry professionals have welcomed a series of free and heavily discounted training courses to enable mailing houses to make the most of the recent resurgence of direct mail.

Board members of the Strategic Mailing Partnership say the offer – open to all SMP members – is a fantastic opportunity for agencies to upskill their workforce at a time when direct mail is enjoying record-breaking engagement.

The SMP teamed up with Royal Mail and the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM) to offer a programme of training opportunities. Courses range from entry level bite-size taster sessions to advanced in-depth training leading to a recognised qualification from the IDM.

The five courses available are all online and just two, both of which lead to a formal qualification, have a cost of £50 attached. Modules can be completed over a 12-month period, allowing participants the flexibility to dip in and out of training as work commitments allow.

The courses on offer cover subjects such as the latest innovations in direct mail and how to plan and execute mail campaigns and door drops. Participants can work towards an award in GDPR or an IDM accreditation in direct mail.

Full details appear on the SMP website:

Face to face training in general has been decimated by the pandemic. Courses that would have been delivered in a classroom environment are now being delivered online in response to demand from businesses and employees alike.

Judith Donovan CBE, SMP Chair, said that with direct mail enjoying a resurgence, there was no better time for businesses to enhance their workforce’s skillset: “Research[i] shows that customer engagement with direct mail and door drops has increased significantly during the various lockdowns. So what better time to make sure your staff are up to date with the latest trends to enable you to maximise this opportunity?”

SMP board member Isla Munro, MD of the Dragonfly Agency, also welcomed the move. “We are thrilled to see the SMP offering such discounted courses to promote direct mail,” she said. “As the third largest media channel in the UK it seems a no-brainer to hone skills and help the marketing professionals of our future learn the great craft that is planning and executing mail and door drop. We’re excited to get involved!”

Fellow board member Simon Biltcliffe, CEO of Webmart, added: “I was astounded at the great opportunity the SMP gave our team to learn on the free and heavily discounted IDM courses in direct mail – it really is a fantastic opportunity for all businesses to offer continual professional development to the most important asset a company has – its people.”

The SMP is free to join for all UK-based mailing houses. To join, visit

[i] JICMAIL data Q3 2020