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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.

Most websites contain a mechanism for collecting data on your visitors or customers, but are you then following up on this valuable information with a mailing?

Sending a mailing to enquiries received through your website or your online customers can be a great way to get their attention….

  • A well produced mailing piece is more tangible than an email and more likely to get through increasingly cluttered inboxes.

  • A mailing is a more secure way to send out exclusive offers or promotions, without them being forwarded by email to numerous non-customers.

  • A mailing say’s more about your business than an email; it say’s you have more of as physical presence and can help you stand out from your purely online competitors.

  • Customers will see you actually value their business and have taken the time to mail them.

The technique works equally well for B2B or B2C websites, and can be used to target both enquiries and existing customers.

Why not give Create & Post a try? Our online hybrid mail service will set up your mailing for you then print and send a professional looking letter to your target audience at low cost.

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.

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