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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 01304-382-211 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 38 22 11 today!

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.

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.

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.

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

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