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Everybody with an e-mail inbox is familiar with e-mail marketing campaigns. Every day, you open your inbox and find a fresh batch of alluring e-mail subject topics demanding for your attention. Which will you click? And which will you delete?

For anybody who utilises e-mail marketing, the questions are harder to answer. How can I improve the effectiveness of my e-mails, boost open rates and increase clicks rates? There must be some way to test e-mail campaigns, right?

Of course there is!

Introducing A/B Testing

A/B testing for e-mail marketing campaigns involves sending two e-mails to two different groups from your mailing list to monitor the success rate of each. The first group receives one e-mail – let’s call it version A. At the same time, the second group receives another e-mail – which is slightly difference from the first – version B.

You then monitor the success of both e-mails. The success rate can be measured by the amount of e-mails opened or the number of click-throughs. The most successful is then sent to the remaining contacts on your mailing list.

Sounds simple, right? It is. And it’s very effective. However, there are a few things that you can do to optimise your testing.

A. Test one thing at a time

To determine what works and what doesn’t you should test one thing at a time. You can test virtually any aspect of your campaign.

If you’re concerned about the number of people opening the e-mails, test something they will see without opening the e-mail. A perfect example would be the subject line or how the e-mail displays the “from” name.

If you want to find out how to improve click throughs, try different offers such as 10% off in version A and free delivery in version B. Try changing the format of the content. You can even try a linked image in one and linked text in the other.

Test as many aspects as you like - just make sure you test one at a time! If you test everything at once, you won’t know exactly what worked.

B. Make sure no subscriber receives copies of both e-mails

For the test to work, you need to send the e-mails to different groups of contacts. No subscriber should receive a copy of both e-mails. You’ll end up sending conflicting messages and overwhelming subscribers.

For the best measurement, each group should be made up of at least 100 names. Once you get the results, you can then send the best option to the remainder of your contact list.

C. Send both e-mails at the same time

Your test won’t be accurate if you send version A at a different time to e-mail B. As the posted time could be a contributing factor to the success or failure.

Having said that, this could be something you choose to test. By sending out the same e-mail on different days or at different times, you could discover the best timing for your e-mail campaigns. If you do choose to test this, you must remember point B above, and keep the other factors the same.

Can we help?

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. Alternatively, you can find **more information about Selectabase and read feedback about our service.

In today’s age of technology, you would think the most successful marketing strategies would include e-mails and social media.

As much as these two platforms have a firm place in the marketing world, direct mail campaigns are still proven to do wonders for marketing. In this blog, we explore five direct mail facts that will have you rethinking where to invest your marketing budget.

1. Young adults prefer direct mail to e-mail marketing

According to Forbes, people between the ages of 18 and 34 prefer to receive information about offers via their letterbox than their inbox. When you think about the number of young adults with a preference for phones, tablets and laptops, this is particularly striking.

2. Direct mail marketing campaigns provide the highest return on investment

A research study on marketing campaigns discovered that social media came second to direct mail methods in terms of return on investment. You would think that the expense of producing a direct mail campaign would outweigh the benefits, but this isn’t the case. 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.

3. Direct mail has a higher response rate than e-mail marketing

Not only do more people open direct mail compared to e-mail, but more also respond to it. Harvard Business Review found that 25% of those targeted by direct mail campaigns took action on the mail they received. Digital means came second again with e-mail responses totalling just 23%.

One of the best features of direct mail is that the recipient is made to feel that they are receiving information about a product or service, rather than an aggressive sales pitch. Using this method to educate rather than sell piques the customer’s curiosity, so they want to learn more, hence the higher response rate.

4. Recipients are more likely to deal with direct mail than e-mail immediately

Figures show that 79% of recipients will deal with direct mail instantly. When compared to the amount of people who will respond straight away to e-mail at just 45%, you can see there is a massive difference.

With the flood of e-mail marketing delivered to our inboxes every day, it’s much easier to delete or move to junk than read each one. As a result, e-mail has to be especially eye-catching for us to take notice. Direct mail doesn’t have the same competition. When faced with a couple of white envelopes on the doormat, we are more likely to see a bold, colourful flyer, and respond to it.

5. Direct mail attracts repeat business

Research has discovered that 70% of those who no longer used a business go back to them after receiving direct mail. This is a tremendous amount of clients, whose custom would otherwise go elsewhere.

Rethinking your next marketing campaign?

If these direct mail facts have convinced you to reconsider your next marketing campaign, take a look at Selectabase’s range of targeted and proven direct marketing lists and services. If you would like to discuss your options in more detail, **contact us on 01304-382-211.

To celebrate 20 years of roaring trade, marketing list broker Selectabase has released its innovative online marketing service Create & Post from beta testing. Previously only available to existing clients, Selectabase are excited to offer this exceptional service to all small businesses. And, thanks to the impending launch of a brand new website, customers can expect a faster, improved version too.

With Create & Post, tricky mail merges and fiddly envelopes become a thing of the past. The online print and post service allows small businesses to send affordable, professional and personalised marketing letters to target audiences. Simply upload a letter, select a mailing list and Selectabase takes care of the rest.

Selectabase’s business services don’t end there. If you’re struggling to find prospect lists, their easy to use online data portal, Prospect Download, makes list counts and analysis available 24/7 with no minimum order and immediate data list download. There is no need to worry about old data either, all list databases are completely rebuilt every month with fresh and updated data complete with daily checks against TPS.

Steven Sellwood, Selectabase’s Managing Director, attributes the 20 years of success to the company’s hardworking team and their revolutionary commitment to help small businesses with direct marketing campaigns. “Historically, direct marketing data suppliers required minimum orders of 10,000 to 20,000 records and needed 3 to 5 working days to deliver just the list counts,” he said. “Selectabase was born to change this. Our team has always aimed to provide flexible data solutions with low minimum orders at competitive prices.

“Prospect Download, our online business and consumer data portal, makes list counts and analysis available 24/7, with no minimum order and immediate data list download. Which means, businesses can start by purchasing just 1 address. The goal is to be the one stop shop for small business direct marketing in 2016 and beyond. Watch this space!”

Key Points:

• Create & Post out of testing phase. Service available now. No minimum orders. • Business and consumer data portal, Prospect Download, provides immediate data list download with no minimum order and daily TPS checks. • Goal to be the one-stop shop for small business direct marketing in 2016 and beyond.

For further information visit Create & Post or call 01304-382-211.

Want to know how to write a sales letter but not sure where to start? You’re in the right place. This blog outlines 5 tips that are sure to help you write like a pro in no time.

1. Your headline matters – a LOT!

Have you spent hours writing and re-writing your sales letter? If so, stop. There’s absolutely no point spending hours lovingly crafting the perfect letter if potential clients take one look at the headline, decide they’re not interested and toss it straight in the bin.

If you want people to read your letter in full you’ll have to grab their attention immediately. Spend time perfecting your letter’s header. Make it short, snappy and to the point. The idea is to get people to continue reading – so give them a reason to.

Do: Consider including numbers and statistics – they are eye-catching. Don’t: Try to list all of your offers in the headline – save something for later.

2. Get personal

Now that you have their attention, you need to hold on to it. Give you the best chance of doing this by making your opening paragraph punchy and give the reader something to think about. Try to get your reader to imagine a situation and then work your services into the scenario. Consider starting with a question or statement that presents a problem and follow up swiftly with the solution – your services.

Do: Put the client first. It’s not so much a case of what you have – it’s what you can do for them that matters at this point. Don’t: Rush in with a long list of specific services and offers. This will only overwhelm the reader.

3. Don’t ramble

Now that you have successfully engaged the reader, it’s time to get to the point. Be specific and give examples of your services – being vague at this point will get you nowhere. Whatever you do, don’t ramble. Say what needs to be said and leave the reader with a clear idea of the services you provide.

Do: Think about sentence structure and content. Be specific. Don’t: Try to cram everything into one long never-ending sentence. Big blocks of text aren’t pleasing to the eye. Try using short sentences or bullet points that can be read quickly and easily.

4. Invite them in By this point in the letter anyone reading about your business should be interested enough to want to know more, so help them! A solid call to action (or CTA) is crucial if you want to generate leads and sales from your letter. Remind the reader of the key services of your business and give them a nudge in the right direction by telling them what they should do next. Provide a location, website and contact number – anything they can use to get in touch.

Do: Remind them what you can do for them. Don’t: Introduce new information- you’ll only confuse things.

5. Include a Postscript

The P.S message of a letter is the second most read part of a letter, so take advantage of it! Strip your main message down to its keywords and encourage action. For example:

• P.S. This weekend’s massive bed and bath sale is first-come, first-served, so get here early to avoid disappointment.

Get started

Interesting in finding out more? Check out our handy letter writing tool. It will show you how to write a sales letter in a few simple steps.

How can we help?

If you need help with your direct marketing, Selectabase can help. We provide a speedy Create and Post service, allowing you to print and send professional looking letters to your target audience. Contact us today to find out how we can help take your business to the next level.

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is attracting plenty of attention in business circles. In fact, last year, a survey by SiriusDecisions revealed that 90% of marketers recognise the value of this marketing approach. If you’re not one of them, don’t worry, you’re in the right place. In this blog post, we’ll talk you through the basics of ABM and explain how you could use it to improve B2B sales in 2016.

What Is Account-Based Marketing?

Account-Based Marketing is a B2B marketing term. ABM focuses on the collective decision-making process behind business purchases and subscriptions. The theory behind this approach is that major purchasing decisions in business are made by a group of people – as opposed to one key decision-maker at the top. ABM focuses on targeting the collective, rather than the one individual responsible for giving final approval.

For example, with ABM your business could buy a single highly personalised ad and target specific IP addresses belonging to a company you are interested in marketing your products or services to. Your ad will appear to ALL of the key staff (and therefore decision-makers) in the company, not just the boss.

What’s Involved?

A lot of the tactics and strategies of ABM aren’t quite as daunting as you might expect. In fact, a lot of them are just a bit of an advanced spin on approaches you’ll already be familiar with that are used in standard B2B marketing. Aspects such as direct mail, email, blogs, social media, web seminars, and advertising are all involved in ABM, but are applied differently than more traditional marketing strategies.

What Are the Main Benefits?

The main benefit of ABM is its ability to provide a high return on investment by allowing you to market to target accounts. So, if you want to try out an efficient method of marketing, why not give ABM a try? It could transform the way you do business!

Getting Started

If you’re thinking of trying an account-based marketing strategy, you’ll need some data first. Once you have the information you need, you many need a hand sorting through it and organising it to best suit your requirements. We’ve pulled together a few of the best tools to help you, here:

Data Collection Tools

The process of collecting statistics relating to a specific group of people requires clean, up-to-date data. You can find business data lists from reputable companies, like Selectabase.

Predictive Analytics Platforms

Predictive Analytics Platforms can make the process of ABM much, much easier, and help you to extract the most relevant information from data sets.

Marketing Automation Platforms

Marketing Automation Platforms allow ABM processes to be streamlined, sped-up and optimised.

Focused Marketing

Make the most of the advances in technology and evolving marketing landscape – find out how ABM can help your business in 2016!

Get in touch

If you’re taking your first steps towards account-based marketing and need targeted consumer or business lists, Selectabase can help. If you would like to talk to one of our friendly customer advisers, call today on 01304-382211. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

If you’re new to email marketing, a good place to start is the subject line. After all, it’s the subject line that encourages the recipient to click through to your content. It’s crucial that you get this seemingly small detail right if you’re to stand a chance of having your lovingly-crafted marketing messages read.

In this blog post, we’ve put together five key tips for writing great subject lines guaranteed to increase your email click-through rate.

1. Create A Sense Of Urgency

Everyone is busy these days – so much so that skim-reading has become the norm. However, by creating a subtle sense of urgency in your subject line you can convince customers that your email is more important than anything else and demands attention right away. By subtle, we mean writing something like “Last week of January offers”, not something as blatant as “Act Now! Quick. Hurry!”

2. Build a Bond With Your Customers

Research by Freely has revealed that the UK has a higher marketing email open rate than the US and New Zealand, at 42.9%. Surprised? Maybe it’s time you paid more attention to your business’s email marketing!

Building a relationship with your customers can go a long way to increasing your email click and conversion rates. Personalise the subject line of your emails so that it is tailored specifically to each customer. You might be surprised by how this small change will work to encourage customers to open your emails and interact with your company.

3. Show You Have The Inside Scoop

Demonstrating that you have the inside scoop on something is another great way to encourage people to open up an email. A subject line that reads something like “Businesses Are Losing Profit Fast: Here’s Why” can really entice the reader. By opening this email, the reader can become part of an exclusive group who possess the niche knowledge available inside it. Make people want to join your group!

4. Throw in Something a Little Different

A lot of companies use email in an attempt to lure in new clientele – which means you’ll be up against a lot of competition in your efforts to gain customers. However, a way to get around this predicament is to make an effort to stand out from the crowd. There’s no harm in throwing in a subject line that’s funny, shocking or bizarre from time to time (provided it’s not in bad taste or offensive), as this will pique the reader’s curiosity.

5. Suggest Value and Simplicity

Nobody wants to read a long, convoluted email that’s packed with facts, links and information about your business. Sure, your intentions are good, but throwing everything you can at the reader in an attempt to lure them in is counterintuitive – you’ll only put people off reading your marketing message all the way through. An email subject line should suggest the contents inside is valuable and simple to follow – just make sure that the email itself reflects this! A subject line that hints the reader may be getting something without having to put in much effort will work wonders.

Get in touch today

At Selectabase, we know a thing or two about writing marketing content. For tips and tricks, take a look at our letter writing tool, or get in touch with one of our helpful customer advisers on 01304-382211.

Many businesses that depend on marketing calls to contact clientele have a pretty bad reputation among the general public, but – contrary to popular belief – this isn’t simply because they contact people at random. It’s because many go about their telephone marketing without conducting due diligence first. The result? Unwittingly engaging in bad practices that irritate and upset potential customers.

If you own a business and rely on telephone marketing, TPS checks, data enhancement and cleansing are essential. In this blog post we’ll explain why.

Nuisance Calls

Last year, the Guardian reported that the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) received over 170,000 complaints in 2015 from people who had received nuisance calls and texts. Andy Curry, ICO enforcement manager, also revealed that they had issued over £1m worth of fines and penalties to companies who had breached data protection laws. This figure is over three times the amount charged to cold calling companies in 2014 – demonstrating the ICO’s eagerness to crack down on the process of so called ‘rogue contacting’ in the UK.

Curry said, “The law is clear around what is allowed and we will fine companies who don’t follow the law”.

Legal Requirements

Curry’s words should serve as a warning to companies who flaunt data protection laws. Many businesses find themselves in trouble for calling numbers registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). It is a legal requirement that companies do not make calls to numbers listed on the TPS unless they have consent to do so. If you own a business and conduct marketing calls, it is your duty to ensure that your prospect and customer databases are up to date.

Don’t Risk Fines

Unwittingly cold calling prohibited numbers will not only anger the person on the other end of the line, it may also lead to hefty fines, bad press, a poor reputation, and have knock-on effects for your business in the future. Ignorance is not an excuse.

Remember: Bad practices and old/bad data waste valuable time and put your company at risk of prosecution. Don’t risk fines – get the most up-to-date data available from a provider you can trust.

Selectabase Can Help

At Selectabase, we know that the best way to remain on the right side of the law is by keeping all customer contact data updated. That’s why we offer a variety of data enhancement and cleansing services including TPS checks, email and landline verification processes – to detect and highlight ‘dead’ accounts and numbers – and tailored data enhancement services.

Get in touch today

Why not get in touch today and see how we can help your business make the most of 2016? Call 01304-382211 or complete a short contact form online and one of our friendly advisors will be in touch soon.

Direct mail is a powerful marketing strategy. In fact, according to research by Baker Goodchild, 92% of direct mail is opened. Any business – small or large – can use it, the costs are typically cheap, and it’s one of the most effective marketing methods around. Why then, do some businesses avoid utilising direct mail?

In this blog we’ll explore some of the biggest myths and misconceptions surrounding this booming industry.

MYTH: Sell, Sell, Sell! To Anyone! To Everyone!

BUSTED: This couldn’t be further from the truth. Although it may be true that the overall goal of direct mail is to increase profit margins and attract more customers, it’s also used for collecting vital data and statistics that companies can use to concentrate on the right kind of audience – their target market. Direct mail campaigns focus on specific groups of consumers and ensure that your marketing efforts aren’t wasted on households that haven’t any use for your products or services.

MYTH: Nobody Looks At Direct Mail

BUSTED: Completely untrue. Take a look at the statistic at the top of this blog post! People in the modern day are bombarded with electronic mail left, right and centre – especially if they work in an office job. For many people, opening mail at home presents a welcome break and even has a certain novelty factor. If you use personal elements (including their name for example), first-class postage and hand-addressed envelopes, customers will be even more likely to open your mailer.

MYTH: Direct Mail Is Outdated and Impersonal

BUSTED: Just because the majority of business is done by email doesn’t mean that direct mail has had its day. Contacting customers by post is something that a lot of companies ignore, but by engaging with direct mail in an effective way you could convince a few of your competitor’s customers to give your company a try instead.

As for direct mail being impersonal – nothing could be further from the truth. When structured and managed carefully, this marketing method can actually help to build stronger links with consumers, encouraging them to use your company in the future and make further purchases later down the line.

MYTH: Direct Mail is Extremely Annoying

BUSTED: Direct mail is seen by many as being much less intrusive than an unsolicited phone call. Mailers give you the opportunity to introduce your business and services discreetly and with minimal disruption to the recipient. In many cases, people keep advertising mail in their homes for several weeks after receiving it, giving your flyer or special offer plenty of time to get noticed.

Can we help?

If your company is thinking about using direct mail to win business, Selectabase can help. We provide marketing data for businesses across the UK, helping boost sales and guaranteeing the most targeted marketing campaigns possible. If you would like to find out more, get in touch with one of our friendly advisors on 01304-382211. Alternatively, request a call back and we’ll get in touch at a time that best suits you.

Does your boss watch your every move? Are you tired of the stressful commute to a stuffy office? Has your job search resulted in a series of unsuccessful interviews?

Fear not! There is a solution.

In today’s increasingly cyber-centric world, more and more of our transactions are taking place on the internet or over the phone. As a result, you can earn a healthy wage in the comfort of your own home, working to a flexible schedule that you create.

Telemarketing from home is an increasingly popular option among those who long to dispense with demanding work hours and unpleasant surroundings. To find out how you can join their growing ranks, read on.

Telemarketing with a company

The most common route into home telemarketing is through getting hired by a specialist telemarketing company, which allow their staff to work from home. There are a large number of such organisations working in the UK, which can be found on sites such as Indeed, Gumtree, Trovit or Jobisjob. After applying online, you’ll most likely be required to conduct a short interview. More often than not, this can be done over the phone – after all, your prospective employer will want to assess your voice and determine whether you have a good telephone manner.

While this type of telemarketing job does afford the luxury of working from home, you might have to work to a time schedule imposed upon you by the company. Furthermore, you’ll almost certainly be paid on a commission basis, meaning that you might have to work with no cash return until you find that one customer who wants to buy. While you’ll certainly enjoy more freedom than in an office environment, you’ll still answer to your boss.

Independent telemarketing

This type of telemarketing offers much more flexibility and freedom, but comes with one major requirement – you’ll need to have a pre-existing business, service or product to offer to your prospective customers. However, drumming up business in this manner can be a satisfying and relatively stress-free way of expanding your enterprise, generating more leads and maximising your income.

In order to set yourself up as an independent telemarketer, you’ll obviously need to have a phone line, preferably one which you only use for telemarketing purposes. You’ll also need to have a confident, persuasive sales technique and an abundance of patience – as with any telemarketing job, the closing margin on calls will be very low. As such, you’ll need to be prepared to accept rejection.

You’ll also need to get your hands on a list of prospective customers. And that’s where Selectabase comes in. We provide comprehensive national direct marketing lists, both for consumers and businesses, allowing you to pinpoint your exact target market and gain access to their vital information in the blink of an eye. As well as providing complete operational support from our friendly and qualified team, we also offer a range of other services, including:

Telephone Preference Service (TPS) Check - Certain numbers are actually illegal to call from a sales perspective – avoid the legal aggravation and potential customer alienation by screening your list using our fast and easy service.

Data Cleansing and Enhancement - Once you’ve compiled your prospective database, you can’t simply rest on your laurels. Over time, phone records and addresses change, so your list may become incomplete or incorrect. Our Data Cleansing and Enhancement services can check, clean and update your records.

Create and Post - Why spend time and money manually sending out correspondence to each one of your prospective or existing customers? Our Create and Post service takes the legwork out of communicating with your target market by setting up a letter template, printing the documents and mailing them at the touch of a button.

Launch your telemarketing venture today!

Need help finding lists of prospective customers? Our friendly and experienced team are waiting to hear from you today. Get in touch with us by contacting Selectabase on 01304-382-211, or emailing us at We’re waiting for your call.

Collecting and collating marketing data is an integral part of any business strategy, allowing a business to better understand its target audience and tailor products, services and marketing campaigns accordingly.

Getting your hands on this data is just the first step, however. After acquiring information about your prospective customers, you’ll then need to separate it and decide what’s relevant and what’s not. For example, do you need to know your client’s favourite board game? If you’re in the business of selling board games, then yes – otherwise, it’s unlikely such data will be pertinent.

By using the customer marketing data types listed below and sorting your data accordingly, you’ll be able to better understand your customers and work towards developing more targeted, effective business strategies. Here is the typical pecking order when it comes to marketing data:

1) Identification Information

Top of the pile is, unsurprisingly, information which allows you to directly identify your customer. How are you going to reach out to them if you don’t know their name, their address or their contact details? Here are the basics you’ll need to get started with a marketing strategy:

• Name

• Date of birth

• Sex

• Postal address

• Email address

• Telephone number

• Occupation

• Social network details – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, the list goes on and on. In today’s increasingly cyber-centric world, the importance of social media should not be underestimated. Social media provides an easy and direct route to your customers.

2) Behavioural Information

After identifying potential clients, you’ll then need to understand how they interact with your company. Look at the following:

• Transaction history – Product purchase history (including cancellations, returns and refunds), as well as number of units purchased and frequency of purchases.

• Interactional data – All correspondence between the customer and you, whether it be complaints, requests, queries, etc.

• Online behaviour – A log of subscriptions, registrations, products viewed, etc.

• Social media – Behaviour on social media websites – time spent on each network, posts liked/shared/retweeted/commented upon, interactions with fellow users, etc.

3) In-depth Descriptive Information

To gain a better understanding of your target market and ensure your marketing finds its way to your potential customers, you’ll need to go beyond the nominal data above. In-depth information includes:

• Marital status

• Parental status

• Education level

• Employment history

• Lifestyle information

4) Customer Service Information

Normally gathered by customer questionnaires, this data will be helpful in determining where your services perform well, where they fall short and how they can be improved in the future. Customer service information usually includes:

• Customer service rating

• Product/service quality

• Likelihood of future purchases

• Likelihood of recommending to friends

• How services can improve

We can help

Of course, getting hold of all of this information may seem daunting, especially if you aren’t sure where to start. Selectabase provides comprehensive lists of potential customers, complete with full database information, tailor-made targeting abilities and direct support from our friendly, professional and experienced team of dedicated staff.

So, what are you waiting for? Take the first step in expanding your business today by contacting Selectabase on 01304 382 211, or emailing us at

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