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Here are the top 10 start-up professions over the last 3 months:

  1. Plumbers
  2. Builders
  3. Take Away Food Shops
  4. Computer Consultants
  5. Central Heating - Installation & Servicing
  6. Electricians
  7. Property Maintenance & Repairs
  8. Search Engines
  9. Hairdressers - Mobile
  10. Cleaning Services - Domestic

The most noticeable change is the Cafes & snack bars dropping down to the 20th place, and seasonally, central heating installers are on the up. As always, plumbing is still our top, but builders have seen a significant increase compared to 2014.

The top 5 areas are:

  1. Birmingham
  2. Northern Ireland
  3. Manchester
  4. South West London
  5. East London

The survey results were obtained by analysing the monthly numbers of new businesses which are identified by our New B2B service.

The Grey Market is a list of older UK consumers, a specially thought after prospect base for companies looking to promote a range of products and offerings, such as financial services, leisure products, holidays and charities.

Despite the recent recession, the grey market remains an important segment for marketers.

Due to demographic trends the sector continues to grow in numbers, and the attitudes of mature consumers are rapidly changing, which can challenge many of the stereotypes of older people. This makes accurate marketing of the grey market using a segmented list more important than ever.

How to identify the Grey Market with Prospect Download?

Selectabase has identified the following criteria as being an excellent start to build your list:


  • 55-64

  • 65+

Financial Strategy Segments:

  • Gilt-Edged Lifestyles - The financial elite of the country - older consumers with the highest incomes.

  • Mid-Life Affluence - Consumers in later middle age, looking forward to a comfortable retirement.

  • Wealthy Retirement - The majority of UK pensioners, with a wide range of assets and income.

Prospect Download allows you to refine the list by geographical areas, and over 25 other criteria to get the mailing list that suits your business needs the most.

Once you have identified your ideal list selection, you can be purchased securely online and download within minutes!

There are no minimum order and the service is available 24/7.

Visit Prospect Download for more information, or visit our service page to see all that Selectabase have to offer.

Use direct marketing to keep your salespeople topped up with regular sales leads and prospects.

If you are responsible for marketing within an organisation with a sales team, you’ll recognise the pressure to keep the sales department fed with new leads.

Instead of throwing budget at poorly targeted above the line press ads to try and drum up new leads, below the line techniques like direct mail can help you target prospects and convert them into qualified leads far more cost effectively.

Direct mail campaigns targeted to lists of potential customers, profiled to match your target market, provide a number of benefits over alternative marketing channels:

  • Mailings can be carried out on any scale and whenever you need them, so you could mail small volumes monthly for a steady supply or send a larger campaign to achieve a bigger hit in sales.
  • When your mailing data is linked up to or imported in your own internal CRM sales database, then you can track exactly which recipients responded and which ones your sales team then converted into customers. This can help you measure the success of your campaign more precisely.
  • Mailings can also be targeted by market sector or location, so you can support different sales reps in their territories or push sales of specific products or services.
  • As well as generating direct leads or enquiries for your sales team to follow up, mailings can also be used to warm up recipients for a subsequent telephone follow up, or give recipients an opportunity to opt out of receiving such a call.

Selectabase provide a range of different mailing lists which can be used to support sales teams:

  • With Prospect Download, you have easy access to both the UK business and consumer universe. Simply run your counts using our extensive targeting selections, buy online and download the data you need. Affordable prices with no minimum order quantity.
  • Receive new data every month by subscribing to our update packages. Our unique packages are built specifically to help you create, fulfill and support a cohesive direct marketing campaign. They are fully customisable to help you find targeted customers. Choose from New B2B, Birthday Mailings or New Brides.

Also, we can take the worry of send the mailing away with Create & Post, our mailing fulfillment service: No more fiddling with mail merges, printing out your letters or stuffing envelopes - simply send us your letter text and list and we take care of the rest.

Creating a successful direct mail campaign

The success of a direct mail campaign hinges on several key elements. Rather like a three legged stool, if just one of these elements fails you could end up flat on your back. Each leg of the stool, or element of the campaign, is as important as the other but without any one of them the whole project is doomed to inevitable failure.

On the other hand direct mail is a valuable activity which deserves a place in the promotional toolbox of every marketing professional. It is flexible, responsive and measurable. It can be used to keep existing customers or gain new ones as well. Unlike other promotional tools direct mail can be tested and refined, and possesses a unique ability to communicate effectively with both the masses and a single individual, all at the same time.

So much for the benefits of direct mail. What about the pitfalls? Returning to our analogy of a stool, the failure of just one key element can bring down a whole campaign.

The first of the legs of our stool concerns the audience for the mailing. There are several issues to consider on both a strategic and tactical level. Speaking broadly, who is the mailing targeting? For example will it be sent to new or existing customers, or a mixture of both. If the latter, will the mailing content change to acknowledge that some recipients may also deal with you? To treat everyone the same ignores much of the flexibility offered by direct mail and risks alienating loyal existing customers - the lifeblood of any business.

Perhaps more importantly, what is the quality of the data? It may seem pedantic but poor data quality and accuracy can invite a host of problems. Incorrect addressing looks unprofessional and wastes money. Mailings to the wrong contact name or decision maker usually end up in the bin. Even worse, consumer mailings to recipients who have recently passed away can cause distress and generate extremely negative publicity.

So if you are buying a list for the mailing, make sure it is from a reputable source, is deduped against your existing customer database and is thoroughly screened. If you are using internal data, don't assume you are safe either. Most businesses rarely maintain their in house database to an accurate level so take advantage of data cleansing services.

As the second leg of our stool, think about what your recipients will receive. It is usually advisable to create a new mailer to send out which features a creative and eye-catching design, memorable and punchy copy, along with an easy to find response mechanism. Unfortunately some companies see direct mail as a means of using up old or out of date brochures and corporate literature, which is not only totally unsuitable for the task but says much about how highly they regard their potential new customers.

It is commonly accepted practice to include a well-written and succinct covering letter. It should contain lots of easy to read short sentences. Plus the occasional long one too. And don't worry too much about the conventional laws of grammar. Just as long as it reads well and connects with the reader.

The language you use in the letter is important as well. Avoid lengthy and uninspiring talk and never use negative words such as 'unfortunately, cannot, won't or regrettably'. Address the reader directly and use plenty of uplifting positive language.

The final leg of our stool is based on when the mailing will be sent. Timing is everything and never more so than when planning a mailing. On a broader strategic level at what stage of the promotional campaign will the mailing take place? Will it capitalise on other awareness-raising tools such as advertising or public relations? Maybe the mailing could precede and support other activities like exhibiting at a trade fair or event.

On a tactical level, you could even consider on which day of the week the mailing should arrive with the target audience. For example many email marketing campaigns are broadcast midweek to get the best results, but home or leisure oriented mailings are better promoted on a Friday, just before the weekend.

So the moral of the story is that a three-legged stool that's missing one of its legs rapidly assumes a new life - as firewood. And a direct mailshot that doesn't have a good list, an effective mailer and the right timing, may just as well be used as kindling.

For further information call us on 01304 382211 or visit

Call a telephone number registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) for consumers, or Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS) for companies,and you could be facing legal action and even a fine. Plus, you’ll irritate your potential customers before you even start selling to them!

Do not chance and check your own lists anywhere, any time!

Web TPS Check is a new super-fast online system to screen your contacts' telephone numbers against TPS / CTPS. No need to download any software: just copy and paste up to 50,000 telephone number into our online form and get the results in seconds!

Why send your precious data to a 3rd party for cleansing when you can do it yourself?

Give Web TPS Check a try with 25 free credits.

If you require a more advanced screening, why not check our various solutions on our TPS Check page or call us on 01304 832211 for expert advice.

Here are the top 10 start-up professions for 2014:

  1. Plumbers
  2. Take Away Food Shops
  3. Internet Services
  4. Hairdressers & Hair Stylists - Ladies'
  5. Builders
  6. Cafes, Snack Bars & Tea Rooms
  7. Web Site Design
  8. Business & Management Consultants
  9. Beauty Consultants & Specialists
  10. Garage Services

The most noticeable change is the drastic rise of plumbers, internet services and web site design startups, all almost tripling in numbers. But take away restaurant and hair dressers remains a safe bet for starting new businesses, remaining high in our chart from year to year.

The top 5 areas remain

  1. Birmingham
  2. Manchester
  3. East London
  4. Northern Ireland
  5. Bristol

Special mention for the Exeter area with 50% more new businesses starting up compared with 2013, jumping from 45th to 16th place.

The survey results were obtained by analysing the monthly numbers of new businesses which are identified by our New B2B service.

What tricks are used by professional copywriters to create direct mail letters that really sell? Follow this step by step guide to create your own truly effective direct mail letters, and start transforming your direct mail campaigns.

If you want some serious response from your direct marketing, get serious about your direct mail letters.

The success of your direct mail campaigns stand and fall on the quality of your letter. But when it comes to direct mail letters, you can find huge differences in style and quality.

Unfortunately all too many businesses send out woolly, ungrammatical and poorly composed mailing letters, which do more damage than good. On the other hand a good direct mail letter needs to be clear, punchy and persuasive.

So what tricks are used by professional copywriters to create direct mail letters that really sell? Here are some simple steps to help you get serious about your direct mail letters:

  • Step 1: Hook Your Reader

The first line of letter is vital. Your opening gambit should be short and precise, with a time limit to create urgency with the reader. Good headings should be short and clear, and go easy on alliteration and superlatives.

  • Step 2: Paint a Picture

Having hooked your reader with the headline work hard on the first paragraph, as this is where you will engage your reader and make him want to read more. Use the first paragraph to paint a picture of what you can offer or what problem you can solve in the readers mind - as the old saying goes, people “buy the sizzle not the steak”. Don’t make it too long, short and punchy is better.

  • Step 3: Time to Tease

Now we have hooked the reader and engaged him we need to tease him a little in the next paragraph. Write something that’s going to make the reader want to visit your shop, give you a call for a chat, or come to your website, by implying some other benefits that may be on offer – but only if they take the action you want them to.

  • Step 4: Bullet the Key Points

At this point bullet points are good to use to reiterate the points you have made and allow the casual skim reader to pick up the points you want. Some readers may just scan the letter anyway, and pick up on the visual cues the bullet points provide, so make sure the bullets include really valid key points, and not fluff.

  • Step 5: Add a Call to Action

OK we have hooked and engaged the reader and reiterated the relevant points, we are now ready to summarise and provide a call to action.

A call to action tells the reader clearly what you want them to do or how to make a purchase. Surprisingly often this key step is overlooked.

  • Step 6: Don't Forget To P.S.

Now you need to sign off and include a P.S in your mailing letter. The P.S. is the second most read part of the direct mail letter after the heading, so it’s where you want to hammer home your message. Adding a P.S. Allows you to summarise the key points you want to make, although bear in mind that if the letter is a very formal approach it is not always appropriate.

  • Step 7: Flower the Text

Now the main letter is finished, you can also indulge in a little decoration of the text, just to give the eye some ‘flowers’ in the text to help keep the readers attention. For example – break up text with hyphens. You can also use; semi colons and colons to create a dramatic pause just before a key point. And add just the occasional keyword in bold, underline or italic – but use sparingly.

Why not use our free letter writing tool to get your started with examples (good and bad) to help you build your perfect letter online.

Don't forget, we can also provide you with accurate targeted mailing lists via our online self-serve Prospect Download or via one of our monthly package lists.

For more information, visit our services section or call us on 01304 382211.

Are you are looking to hold a seminar in 2015 and need a list of people to invite?

Or are you planning a mailing/telemarketing campaign to local businesses about their auto enrolment pension requirements?

Our mailing address and telemarketing lists on Prospect Download include a variety of audiences including affluent over 50's - ideal for promoting IHT, investments, and pensions.

Order this month and pay no VAT - no 20% extra to pay!

Claim the discount now and save on your 2015 marketing by ordering credits valid for the next 12 months.

What can you do to make sure your telemarketing campaigns are as effective as possible? This informative guide gives you simple to follow rules for carrying out more effective telemarketing that will turn leads into customers, and increase sales.

Follow these simple rules, and you can make inbound or outbound telemarketing work more effectively for your business:

  1. Think creatively about what your telemarketing can achieve. For example telemarketing can be used to generate leads, screen leads before follow up, arrange appointments for field sales staff, provide support, motivate resellers, research markets, test new offers, and of course gain sales.

  2. Make sure the person making the call is properly briefed, knows all about your business and knows exactly what you are aiming to achieve. This is equally important whether your telemarketing is being handled by your receptionist, as by a professional call centre or telemarketing agency.

  3. Try and match your telemarketing staff to the people they will be calling. For example many colleges and universities often employ and train current or recent students to call alumni to ask for their help in fundraising, because they are more likely to have something in common. If necessary, train your telemarketing staff to identify the type of person they are speaking to and adjust their tone and manner accordingly. Bouncy, jokey and over-familiar telesales staff are unlikely to make much headway with chartered accountants or financial directors.

  4. Make sure the right technology is in place so that your telemarketing campaign can be adjusted quickly if it needs to be, and that results of calls can be logged effectively. All users need proper training in your technology system, and you need to have a back up in place in case the technology fails mid sales call.

  5. If you are operating inbound telemarketing through a call centre, make sure that staff are trained and motivated to make the most of every opportunity, such as turning complaints into happy customers. An existing customer saved can often be far more valuable than a new customer gained.

  6. Don’t waste time and resources in calling prospects who are not likely to buy from you – this just smacks of desperation. You may think that if you call enough of them someone will buy, but this can do more damage than good amongst the larger numbers who really don’t want to receive your call. Try and target to your telemarketing to people who may already know of your brand, and who are likely to have some interest in what you are selling.

  7. Following on from the last point, train your staff to ask a few initial questions to identify if the prospect is actually a potential customer or not. Qualifying leads early on can save a lot of wasted time and frustration trying to convert someone who is simply never going to buy.

  8. Make sure your administration and fulfilment operations are also of the same standard as your telemarketing – there’s not point in a well trained caller convincing a prospect to have a sales rep call, if the appointment never reaches the rep’s diary, or they forget to make the visit.

  9. Test your outbound telemarketing results. After all telemarketing is a direct marketing activity with all the benefits that brings for testing, adapting and measuring results. If a script or approach is not working, don’t be afraid to change the approach and try again.

  10. Most importantly of all, always check if the telephone numbers you are about to call is already registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) for consumers, or the Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS) for businesses. Call a registered number by mistake and your business could be reported, face legal action and even receive a fine.

Selectabase offers a range ot low cost TPS checking services to suit your needs. Visit our TPS Check section or call us on 01304 382211 for advice.

To showcase our Create & Post service, during December, we are offering to send your first letter completely free of charge!

Do you currently print and post your letters in-house? If the answer is yes then you will be aware this can be quite time consuming. The solution…let us print your full colour sales letters, put them into envelopes and post for you. All we need is your list, logo and text (or letterhead if you have it), then we'll take care of the rest.

We use the latest digital printing equipment which produces very high quality printing to equal conventionally printed letterheads and far exceeds the quality of digital printing you may produce at home or office.

Your mailing list can be from us, or even another source, perhaps your own internal prospects?

If you are planning some mailshots soon then give Create & Post a try by sending a single letter to your own address. See for yourself the quality of the paper, envelope and full colour print - Try Create & Post for free.

For more information visit our website or call 01304 382211 and we’ll take care of it for you.

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