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The world has come a long way since Alexander Graham Bell famously invented the first telephone back in 1876. Today, OFCOM reports that 93% of British adults personally own and use a mobile phone. The UK itself is home to 25.5 million fixed landlines.

For businesses, the abundance of telephones represents a hugely lucrative opportunity to connect with potential customers. Of course, given the fact that telephones are personal devices there are some restrictions that go hand in hand with unsolicited direct marketing calls. The British government enforces them and it’s essential that all companies abide by the rules.

So how do you know if your next business phone call could be breaking the law? Read on for an overview of the laws that are currently in place.

What is cold calling?

To abide by the laws you’ll need to understand exactly what it is that you’re doing. By definition, a cold call is an unsolicited communication from a party wishing to source new customers.

The Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) Regulations 1999

In 1999, the government introduced the Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) Regulations that enforced restrictions on unsolicited cold calls, as well as faxes and emails.

The regulations introduced the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), a central opt-out register that allows individuals to remove themselves from any unsolicited sales and marketing call lists. While the TPS was originally launched under the Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) Regulations, revisions saw it switched to part of the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 as amended by the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2004. The regulations also introduced the Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS). Similar to the TPS it allows businesses to opt out of receiving unsolicited sales and marketing telephone calls. Both registers are operated and maintained by OFCOM.

What’s legal and what’s not?

While the concept of cold calling isn’t entirely illegal, there are strict restrictions in place dictating what methods can and can’t be used. Under the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, the use of automated calling systems is prohibited. This means any system capable of automatically making a series of calls to more than one number and transmitting pre-recorded sounds is out. That said, if the individual has subscribed to a service exceptions are made.

If a private individual or business has listed its number in the Telephone Preference Service register or the Corporate Telephone Preference Service register, unsolicited calls for direct marketing purposes are illegal and should not be made under any circumstance. There is a 28 day grace period post listing, which means that if any numbers on the register are called during this time the caller will not be accused of contravening the regulations.

TPS Check – Selectabase can filter your data against TPS, CTPS and more...

So how can you determine which numbers you can call and which numbers you can’t? Selectabase offers users access to a super-fast online checking service that determine whether or not it’s safe to phone a number. Put simply, you can dial away all day long with the complete peace of mind that every number is 100% legal.

According to the latest stats from StartUp Britain and think tank Centre for Entrepreneurs, 2014 was a seriously successful year for British business. All up, a record-breaking 581,173 businesses were registered with Companies House, which represents a significant increase on 2013’s 526,447 and 2012’s 484,224 figures.

For businesses offering B2B goods and services the spike in start-ups is a fantastic opportunity to grow and expand. However, just because the market is saturated with potential it doesn’t mean that the journey is easy. Successfully courting start-ups and building long-term relationships requires a strategic approach underpinned by a combination of research and sales skills.

Want to know more about how to nail it? Read on for our guide to finding and selling to new business start-ups.

1. Find the right market

One of the biggest challenges of selling B2B goods and services is tapping into the right market. Sure, there may have been almost 600,000 start-ups operating in Britain in 2014. However, each is unique and very few will have exactly the same needs and requirements. For this reason, it’s important to track down the businesses that are most likely to respond to your advances. When it comes to sourcing relevant contact numbers while still complying with the strict Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) Regulations 1999 that are in place, Selectabase is a fantastic resource.

2. Establish tiered pricing models

Whatever the sector, start-ups share an inherent sense of newness. For this reason, they’re unlikely to want to commit to any long-term plans that could restrict future growth. By offering tiered pricing models, your product or service will be hugely appealing to businesses anticipating unprecedented and unpredictable growth. Offering start-ups an ‘only pay for what you need’ option is also an effective way to make them feel as though they’re securing a great deal and wasting zero resources.

3. Support their business goals

The best way to get start-ups on board is to show them that your goods or services are aligned with their business objectives. Take the time to determine what it is that they’re aiming for, and then highlight how your business can help them get there, fast! Is it more flexibility, heightened support, better payment plans, extra credit, networking assistance or some other perk? Whatever the benefit, show them why they need it, now.

4. Get in touch with the right people

When selling to start-ups it’s important to get your message to the right person. You should also tailor the language and tone to directly appeal to decision makers. For example, if your product is all about tech features address your initial communication to the CTO. If it offers financial savings target the CFO.

5. Highlight growth opportunities

Every start-up anticipates future growth. To win them over, so should you. Set your sights on the future and show potential B2B customers that your product or service will actively grow with them. Creating product roadmaps, long-term strategic plans and shouting out about exciting new developments on the horizon will get ambitious businesses on board.

Discover new start-ups the easy way

Finding new start-ups can be a challenge. And when your competitors are trying to locate them too, you’ll need to be quick on your toes. With Selectabase’s New B2B service, you will receive a prospect list of all the new business start-ups in the postcode areas you specify – including limited companies and sole traders. You will receive their full contact details, and every prospect will be fully verified and ready for you to follow up with direct sales or marketing. What are you waiting for?

There are numerous marketing methods. And all of them have pros and cons. With so many options to choose from, how do you know which one is right for your business? In this blog, we’ll put the two heavyweights of marketing – e-mail and direct mail – head to head to see how they compare.

E-mails – The technology enthusiast’s best friend

Keep in contact - Smartphone technology allows us to view our e-mails 24 hours a day. We are never far away from our inbox. E-mail marketing, therefore, can be sent and viewed at any time of the day or night.

Instant response - Once your audience has received your e-mail, they can immediately view your website or even making a purchase in seconds. This, in turn, means you can measure the success of your campaign relatively quickly.

Track your success - Having sent your e-mail, you can use software to analyse how effective it is. This can be measured through open rates, the number of links clicked through to your website or even conversions to purchases.

Wide reaching in seconds - Press send and your e-mail will be received in seconds. You can literally reach thousands of people just by clicking a button. Nothing compares to e-mail when it comes to speed.

Great for busy lives - Some people work with their inbox open all day, so they are already in your line of fire. Therefore, you can guarantee your e-mail will be seen by those glued to their screens.

Easy to share - At the click of a button your e-mail can be sent on to a family member or friends that might be interested. Your campaign is easy and quick to share amongst your target’s social network.

So with all these advantages, it would be easy to assume nothing else would come close to e-mail. However, direct mail is a longstanding method that can hold its own against the relative newbie…

Direct Mail – Tried and tested

Everyone has a letterbox - The big advantage of direct mail is that you can reach anybody. Some people don’t use e-mail, but everyone has an address with a letterbox.

The facts - People are more likely to open and read direct mail marketing than e-mail marketing, which explains why the return on investment is so much better.

The personal touch - Direct mail feels personal because it is tactile. Your targets can feel and touch the mail, so may feel a stronger connection. Recipients have to pick up mail that is posted through the letterbox, so you can guarantee delivery directly into their hands. They can even put it in their pocket or on the fridge.

Different formatting options are available - With direct mail, you can send so many different options. Anything from a postcard to a full catalogue can be sent directly to your target market. You have full control over how much or how little your potential client sees.

Pique curiosity with a mysterious envelope - By sending direct mail in an envelope, you can pique your target’s curiosity. If you pop a freebie into the envelope that makes it a peculiar shape, they will almost feel compelled to open it.

Get your product out there

You can use direct mail to send free samples to potential clients. This is particularly good as it allows customers to try before they buy. You will get your product into the homes of people that may not have bought it before they had a chance to try it.

Which way will you go?

Whether you prefer direct mail, e-mail marketing or a mixture of both, we can help at Selectabase. If your business needs a reliable source of new contacts, we provide local and national business and consumer mailing lists. For more information, contact us on 01304 382211 today!

Telephone marketing individual required to join our existing team - introducing and selling our range of direct marketing services to businesses across the UK.

Experience of working within a business to business telemarketing environment working towards targets, good customer service and be computer literate, would be useful, however not essential as most important is your determination, drive to succeed and desire to be part of our winning team - full support and ongoing training will be provided.

The role will suit an individual looking to work within a team sales environment with a rewarding bonus scheme. For more details please register your interest / send your CV to

Broadly speaking, a mailing list is a list of contacts used for the purpose of sending marketing material. Traditionally, this was by physical post, but mailing lists can also include e-mail addresses too.

However, this is a basic, technical definition because mailing lists are so much more. First, it’s best to consider…

Do I need a mailing list?

It’s easy to think that marketing campaigns no longer need mailing lists thanks to the likes of Facebook and Twitter. However, a research study on marketing campaigns discovered that social media came second to direct mail methods in terms of return on investment.

Mailing lists offer many benefits that you simply can’t get from other marketing sources. For example, mailing lists enable you to target your audience based on a specific criteria. If you wanted to target a particular geographical location, mailing lists give you the information to send your campaign to the right people.

Mailing lists also allow you to contact your target directly. Consumers have access to e-mail constantly thanks to smartphone technology, and everybody has a front door and a doormat. Harvard Business Review found that 25% of those targeted by direct mail campaigns take action, while people respond to e-mail approximately 23% of the time.

How are mailing lists created?

Mailing lists can be compiled in a number of ways:

If you have an existing database of previous customers, you can use the information given previously to send new marketing material, either by post or email. This is a great way to promote repeat business. However, research has shown that existing . It is therefore extremely important to keep information up to date to optimise your marketing campaign.

  • To find new customers to add to your mailing list you need potential clients to sign up to receive your marketing campaigns. Promoting your company or services on social media does spread your reach, and can encourage new sign ups, particularly if previous customers recommend you. Special offers or giveaways in return for contact information is also an effective approach.

  • The fastest way to add new contacts to your database is to buy a mailing list from a specialist company. This ensures that the information is current so you are sending information to the correct email or postal addresses. Purchasing mailing lists can also help you to target the best group of recipients to ensure your campaign is successful.

  • Our are a perfect example of how you can make mailing lists work for you. You receive updated information on a monthly basis, giving you fresh contacts and therefore opportunities to reach out to new customers. These services can be customised so you receive mailing lists as specific as new businesses, brides to be, recently moved or upcoming birthdays.

Need more help?

If you would like more information about our mailing list services, contact us on 01304 382211 and one of our team will be happy to help.

In today’s world of tech-savvy consumers, it is surprising how successful a direct mail marketing campaign can be. In fact, studies have shown that 73% of consumers prefer to receive marketing material in this way. However, the success of your direct mail campaigns may be affected if you fall victim to one of the common mistakes that many companies make. In this blog, we will explore common mistakes many businesses make, and how to ensure you avoid them.

Mistake 1 – Mass mailing without A/B testing

It’s simple - something that is successful in one campaign may not be successful in another. Likewise, if something has been successful in the past, it does not automatically mean it will remain it. The consumer, like everything else, changes over time.

To find out what works and what doesn’t, you should test a small portion of your mailing list first. Start by mailing two versions of your campaign to two randomly selected groups from your mailing list. If you find one version is more successful than the other, send this version out to the remainder of the list. This ensures the vast majority sees the most popular campaign and optimises your chance of success.

Mistake 2 – Targeting the wrong audience

If you want your direct mail to be successful, you need to send it to the right people. You cannot possibly target everyone. You are bound to find that some people are just not interested in your product, no matter how great your sales pitch.

Know your audience so you can make the most of your campaign by sending it to the people that will respond favourably to your mail.

Mistake 3 – Saving the best for last

Sometimes it is worth saving the best until last, but direct mail is not one of those times. Your audience will start by glancing at mail and make a decision whether to read the whole thing in a matter of seconds. You can get around this by telling consumers about the strongest selling point first. You need to grab their attention quickly and entice them to carry on reading.

Mistake 4 – Failing to include discounts and offers

Everybody loves a bargain! Include free gifts and discounts on your products in your direct mail campaign and your campaign will be more successful. For extra oomph, make sure your offer is eye-catching too, so potential customers want to read more.

Mistake 5 – Failing To include a call to action

Using direct mail to give potential customers information about your company can be ineffectual if you don’t also add the next step. Make sure you include a clear message about what you want your customers to do on receiving the mail. This is called a call to action (or CTA). Give contact details if you want them to call or email, or give website details if you want them to check out your products.

Mistake 6 – Putting customers second

Direct mail should give the customer information about your products or services, but not be solely focused on how wonderful your company is. Describe your products in a way that outlines the benefit for the customer. Consumers will always want to know what’s in it for them.

Can we help?

If your business needs a reliable source of new contacts, we can help at Selectabase. We provide . For more information, contact us on 01304 382211 today!

If a marketing campaign is going to be successful, understanding the target market is critical. You can’t target everyone, as everybody has different interests and buying habits. Plus, sending information about your products and services to people who are just not interested is a waste of your time and money.

So, how do you define your target market?

1. Picture your customer as an individual

Think about the characteristics of your ideal customer. Start with general facts, such as whether they are male or female, their age, or geographical location - this is your demographic.

Once you have a broad idea of who you want to target, narrow this down with specific characteristics or psychographics. Are you looking to target people who work in certain sectors? What is their marital status? What are their interests? What kind of sense of humour do they have? Where do they shop?

Answers to these questions may seem unnecessary on the surface, but these factors will all have an influence on whether the individual may become a customer. Narrowing down your target to a particular group who are interested in your business will result in more positive responses to your campaign.

2. Examine your current customer database

A good way to get an idea about the characteristics of your customers is to look at your existing customer database.

Compare the details from your previous customers and see if you can find common traits. If you can find patterns, these are good places to start. A common trait in existing customers will give you an idea of the types of people who are likely to place business with you.

3. Know how your product benefits the customer

To gain interest in your product, you need to look at how it helps the customer. You may know all the features, but you also need to know how these features will improve your customers’ lives and businesses.

Outlining the benefits of your product will give you an idea of the types of people that would get the most value from it. These are the people that you need to target to make your campaign successful.

4. Look at your competition

Take a look at who your competition are targeting. If you notice a particular group of people have been missed out, this would be a good time to target them. Reduce your competition by targeting different groups and you could even discover a niche market.

Need some help?

If you need more inspiration, check out our blog, does your sales team need more leads. Alternatively, if your business needs a reliable source of new contacts, we can help at Selectabase. We provide local and national business and consumer mailing lists. For more information, contact us on 01304 38 22 11 and one of our team will be happy to help.

The British spend an estimated £1.6 billion on celebrating birthdays according to research from Mint. We recently came across some statistics about birthdays in the UK previously published by Mint credit cards which aptly demonstrate just why businesses should be targeting consumers on their birthday.

People are in a celebratory mood on their birthday! Almost a third of people said they used it as an excuse to celebrate, which is good news for bars and restaurants. One in seven people plan their birthday party at least a month in advance. Almost a quarter of people buy a new outfit especially for their birthday.

A birthday creates a feel good factor and is an ideal time to promote your offer. They'll spend MORE MONEY when they go out, they like to celebrate their special day with other people.

All this adds up to great opportunities for businesses such as gift or fashion retailers, leisure businesses, bars and restaurants. And these sectors can reach local people about to celebrate a birthday using our Birthday Mailings monthly lead service.

Birthday Mailings data tells you who is about to celebrate a birthday locally at least a month in advance, just when the research shows they are planning their celebration. Also, the data puts you in contact with the person celebrating, which is the person who typically spends the most on their event!

As an example, we identified over 24,000 consumers celebrating their 21st birthday in March, out of a total of over 157,000 milestone birthdays (such as 30th, 40th and so on). The Birthday Mailings service is tailored to provides these leads for your chosen postcode area.

Visit our Birthday Mailings page or call us on 01304 382211 to talk to one of our marketing experts.

One of them popped the question; the other said yes - and now brides-to-be are in the midst of a huge transition that involves wedding and honeymoon planning. They have much to do, much to buy, and a limited window of time in which to do it. New Brides enables businesses to connect with this lucrative market at a prime time.

New Brides benefits many industry sectors including hair and beauty businesses, restaurants, wedding dresses, suit hire, honeymoon travel, caterers, musicians, hen and stag services, department stores, jewellers, photographers, videographers, florists, wedding cakes, wedding cars, spa and salon services, hotels, credit cards, financial services (loans), fireworks, magazine subscriptions, gift services, and many more!

Selling to new brides-to-be with marketing lists from New Brides is a cost effective way to generate new sales from the lucrative wedding market.

The package offers a constant and easily manageable supply of new bride-to-be sales leads. Receive a monthly list of new brides-to-be from your chosen postcode areas, and ready to follow up by mail. Your bride-to-be leads include full contact details together with details of budget, number of guests, and wedding date.

New Brides subscriptions can be targeted geographically so you can receive sales leads from your local area or even different locations. To order, just visit New Brides or call us on 01304 382211.

Data released from the Birthday Mailings marketing service for bars, restaurants and salons shows that a 21st was the most common major 'milestone' birthday to be celebrated in the UK last month.

March 2015 saw 24,724 21st birthdays out of a total 157,158 milestone birthdays such as a 30th, 40th and so on.

Consumers about to celebrate a birthday are an ideal market for pampering services such as health and beauty salons or clothes retailers. A birthday celebration also represents a good opportunity for restaurants, bars and leisure businesses.

The Birthday Mailings service identifies consumers the month before a major birthday then provides these leads for a chosen postcode area.

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