Category: Direct Marketing

Aug 28 2013

Why Testing Is The Key To Successful Direct Mail

There are three things you need to do to run a great direct mail campaign; test, test and test again. So what elements of your direct mail campaign should you test and how should you do it, in order to benefit from more successful mailings?

There are just three things you’ve got to do in order to have a really successful direct mail campaign – test, test and test.

By the time you’ve factored in the cost of postage, list rental, and printing, direct mail can be a costly business – if you get it wrong. So the best way to avoid an expensive mistake is to test every aspect of your direct mail campaign well before your mailing letter even hits the postal system.

You should test these key elements of your direct mail campaign:

1. Test Your Offer

Make sure your product or service is appropriate to the list you are mailing, by testing your offer. Your offer can be meant in a literal sense – what product or service are you offering the recipient; but it can also be interpreted as a special offer or incentive you might be providing, such as a price discount, free gift, or free shipping.

To test which promotional offer will work best, look at what established competitors in the same industry usually offer in their direct mail (if these don’t work, they are unlikely to keep using them). Speak to some friendly existing customers and your sales staff to ask their opinion of what offer they think would attract the most responses from your target audience.

2. Test Your Letter

Your direct mail letter needs to be clear, catchy and persuasive – not woolly, inaccurate or boring. You can follow some simple guidelines to write a good direct mail letter such as including a catchy heading, a benefit of your offer to tease the reader, bullet points and a strong call to action.

But the only true way of testing the power of your letter is to send it to a smaller sample of your list. If you have more than one version of letter you’d like to test, send it to two small list samples, but each with a different response code recipients can use – or even register different national rate phone numbers and use them on different letters, then measure the calls you receive.

3. Test Your List

A direct mailshot is only as good as the list it is sent to. So it’s really important that you get your data in the best possible state before you send a mailing. If it’s your own internal customer database, then use data cleansing and profiling tools and services to make sure addresses are up to date. This is particularly important for consumer lists, where you’ll also need to screen recipients for people who may have deceased recently to avoid unnecessary upset for their relatives.

If you are renting or purchasing a list, you have to make sure it’s from a reputable source, and has been fully screened against all the main suppression files when you buy it. Only ever deal with established and preferably independent list providers who can give you objective and impartial advice on the best list for your needs, and ensure your list provider is a member of the UK’s Direct Marketing Association.

4. Test Your Timings

Mailings sent at different times can achieve very different results. For example and b2c consumer mailing could be sent early in the month, just after the time when most people have just been paid their salary. (On the other hand if your mailing is selling loans or credit cards, it may be better to wait until the end of the month when money is tight).

For b2b mailings to other businesses, find out if there is a purchasing cycle for your product or service, If you are selling consumables such as office stationery or raw materials, plan your mailing to be sent a fixed period after the previous or initial purchase. Target mailings to coincide with when annual or quarterly budget and purchasing decisions may be made, or for key seasonal peak periods such as Christmas.

Testing Your Direct Mail

With such a simple approach to achieving successful direct mail, there’s nothing to hold you back from getting the same results in your own business, and your own direct marketing campaigns.

For further information call us on 01304 382211 or visit www.selectabase.co.uk

Aug 05 2013

August Update

In preparation for all August, September and beyond campaigns, we recently completed a new update of all marketing address lists.

This includes adding 4,000+ recently engaged brides-to-be, 7,000+ new start-up and relocating businesses, plus our complete refreshed universe of 2.6 million UK businesses and 38 million UK residents.

Lists can be ordered directly from our Prospect Download portal www.selectabase.co.uk/buy-a-list with new registrations receiving the first 10 postal addresses free. List subscriptions can be ordered directly – for New B2B visit www.selectabase.co.uk/newb2b and for Getting Married visit www.selectabase.co.uk/gettingmarried.

Our experienced team are also available to help on 01304 382211, and if required we will run some counts for you.

Jan 10 2013

Free Ideas to help you Get More Business in 2013

The New Year is always an important time in the marketing of your business.

It’s a great opportunity to take stock of the year that’s just passed and think about your goals and objectives for the year to come. In many B2B and consumer sectors the New Year can also see an increase in activity, sales and opportunities that you need to be quick to exploit.

For the best results from your marketing, you need to go direct. At Selectabase we are experts in helping small businesses use targeted direct marketing to get more enquiries and increase sales.

For example, here are 10 ways in which you can improve your marketing campaigns and use direct marketing to help you gain more business in 2013…

1. Know your best customers

Take a look at your existing customer database to identify who your best customers are. See if your customer base adheres to the general principle of 20% of your customers generating 80% of your sales or profits. Find out why your top 20% buy and what they have in common then use this intelligence to profile your ideal type of customer. This will help you identify which potential new customers to target.

2. Communicate with contacts

Speak to your existing customers, leads and contacts more often this year. Write and send a regular monthly mailing, newsletter or email update with news about how well your business is doing, ideas for using your products and your latest special offers. Let everyone know you are still there and ready to help. Before you embark on this, make sure your customer database is up to date using our list cleaning services.

3. Communicate more than once

Sometimes it can take several different attempts to convert a customer. Your initial promotional messages may have come at the wrong time, or it may simply take some prospects longer to decide to buy from you, especially if you are selling a higher value or complex product or service. But don’t overdo it – no one likes to get constantly bombarded with marketing messages.

4. Communicate in different ways

There are so many different ways to communicate with your target market, and you sometimes need to use as many as possible to get a result. A prospect may not be reassured enough to buy from the first mailing they receive until they’ve read an article about you in their trade press, visited your website, requested a brochure, and then received a follow up email from you.

5. Follow up again and again

Make sure you follow up on everything and everyone! When someone leaves your ecommerce shopping basket, follow them up. When they request a brochure or sample, follow them up. If they visit your exhibition stand or sign up for your email newsletter, follow them up. To help, make sure you have an efficient marketing system in place internally to identify leads and track all their follow ups.

6. Get more targeted

Try and avoid a blanket approach to your marketing. Instead of wasting resources promoting to the masses, target your marketing to those types of prospect which have the best chance of converting. It’s about working smarter not harder, like subscribing to New B2B – leads of new business starting up in your area, so you can contact them just when they need to buy a range of goods and services, and before your competitors get their foot in the door www.selectabase.co.uk/newb2b

7. Try new markets

Investigate potential new markets for your existing products or services. These new opportunities could include selling direct to end users instead of via resellers, launching budget or premium variations of your standard offer, or repacking your service for different markets such as export. Test new ideas first on a smaller sample before committing to wider scale campaigns – you can source and download lists with no minimum order at Prospect Download http://www.selectabase.co.uk/buy-a-list/

8. Innovate new ideas

New products and services can help open up new markets, and get more repeat business from existing or lapsed customers. If you are in a fast-paced or technology based industry you need a constant pipeline of new products and ideas in development to keep growing your business. Invite new ideas from your team, customers and even suppliers then test them to see which have potential. For example, send a trial mailing to a sample list to see what response you get before rolling out a new product to the rest of the market.

9. Measure everything

Make sure you measure the effectiveness of all your marketing activities this year. For example, you can measure responses then compare the cost of acquiring a new customer, gaining a new enquiry or reaching a wider audience through different marketing channels. Make sure the source of new enquiries is always properly identified and recorded.

10. Reduce wastage

Look within your marketing campaigns and budgets to try and identify wastage, so that you can concentrate on the activities which generate the most results. Don’t assume that just because a form of marketing has always worked in the past it will continue to do so forever, and constantly question where your resources will be best spent.

Selectabase, ready to help

If you need more help with your marketing plans, we also offer a range of free tools and guides; learn how to write a direct mail letter, better identify your target postcode areas and read useful sales and marketing advice guides.

Dec 06 2012

The importance of building the right marketing database

It’s all very well saying you need a good database to build your business, but first you need to know what you want to achieve and which section of the paying public you want to target.

Marketing is driven by three crucial aims: widening and deepening your current customer database; keeping existing customers and obtaining new ones.

The first step is to hold a brain-storming session with key members of staff to come up with an aim, then once you are focused it will be easier to acquire the right data.

Thanks to technology that a company such as Selectabase employs, businesses are able to sift through a vast amount of data enabling them to make better, well-informed decisions. That means they’ll be better placed to know how to spend their hard-earned cash on marketing to get the best value for money.

Once you are happy with your database you can decide which customers are:

-    likely to be more receptive to a particular promotion – Recency, Frequency Monetary value (RFM)
-    more valuable to you – Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
-    better than others
-    how you acquire more of the better type of customer
-    how you package your message to certain sections of your customer database

In short, your marketing database should be anchored on solid foundations. There are no quick fixes and it is a labour-intensive exercise – it should be because your business is depending on it.

There are various ways of collating your own data, but it may be found in many places within your organisation not just the sales ledger. Look at systems you use every day, for instance: accounting; orders; sales tracking; outside lists and then link this data with your customers to get a picture of their buying behaviour.

You’ll want to know where they live, what they bought, when they bought it, where they were when you made the sale (the doorstep, the business premises, over the phone, via a leaflet or catalogue).

Once you have the structure in place you’ll need to clean the data. What does this mean? Simple, Selectabase’s service will identify people who cannot or will not respond to you; can sift out name and address duplications; update names, addresses and phone numbers and quite crucially, run a Telephone Preference Service check (TPS) to ensure you don’t contact those people who have expressed a desire not to be contacted by phone by marketers.

Should you phone someone by mistake who has actively tried to stop marketing calls, your business is breaking the law and could be fined up to £500,000. So watch out!

Marketing experts say that many businesses fail because the quality of their data or its structure is poor. You need clean data to understand your customers and this is an on-going process.

You do the maths. If 20 per cent of the addresses in your database were wrong and you spent £10,000 on a marketing initiative, you’ve wasted £2,000 before the project started.

Database marketing will continue to evolve, but the basic elements remain the same: you need to update your customer data on a regular basis and a business needs to gain quick answers to marketing queries. Technology is changing the landscape all the time of how marketing is delivered and how data is acquired, so ensure you keep up.

Oct 16 2012

Selectabase & Maileva Join Forces

Selectabase and Maileva join forces to offer a unique direct marketing solution, and if they don’t deliver you get free data, free printing, free fulfillment, and free postage.

Selectabase, the leading marketing data supplier, and Maileva, Europe’s leading hybrid direct mail provider have joined forces to offer UK marketers a unique direct mail marketing solution.

Not only that, if any mail is returned as undeliverable they will resupply fresh data and mail to that new address for free. That’s free data, free printing, free fulfillment, and free postage. We believe this to be a unique guarantee in the industry.

Pascal Brighi, Maileva’s UK Director commented, “We are really excited by our partnership with Selectabase.  This means that customers can now order data, create their mailing, and get it produced and mailed all from one website.” He continued, “We are mindful that customers may be wary about buying mailing lists online, so we wanted to alleviate any concerns by offering a market leading guarantee”.

Steven Sellwood of Selectabase added “We are delighted to work with Maileva and we think that their online direct mail solution is so good that we are actually offering it to our customers too. SME’s in particular have been turned off from direct mail because of the hassle involved in creating a campaign and the cost. Typically there are many suppliers to manage from list brokers and printers to mailing houses and postal operators. But now thanks to Selectabase and Maileva, producing a direct mail campaign is quick, easy, and cost effective, you can do it all from your PC in a matter of minutes”.

Within Selectabase’s database there are 36 million households and 2.5 million businesses and these can be broken down by a wide range of demographics at the click of a few buttons. There is also no minimum quantity, so you can send test campaigns for just a few pounds, and if you get the desired response you can simply place a bigger order.

Recent research by MMC shows that direct mail ROI is on the up and open rates are at 91% compared to email acquisition open rates that are at 11%. It also illustrates that direct mail marketing can boost ROI from internet marketing and social media marketing too. Pascal concluded, ”Direct mail has had to reinvent itself in response to online marketing. The Maileva ‘hybrid’ direct mail solution provides all of the convenience associated with online marketing tools, but the customer or prospect receives a physical, personal and targeted piece of mail through their letterbox, and excellent ROI can be achieved”.

About Selectabase

Selectabase is one of the UK’s leading independent suppliers of quality B2B and B2C marketing lists, and easy to use data cleansing services. Selectabase is a member of the Direct Marketing Association. Find out more at www.selectabase.co.uk

About Maileva

Maileva is Europe’s leading ‘hybrid mail solution’ with 90 million pages printed for 10,000 customers in 2011. Maileva was launched in France in 2002, and BTB Mailflight, the company behind the UK launch was established in 1969. Find out more at www.maileva.co.uk

Jun 14 2012

June 2012 New Business Trends

Welcome to the June round-up of our New Business marketing trends for businesses in the UK.

Each month we bring you the latest trends amongst UK businesses and consumers, all drawn from the range of Selectabase direct marketing lists. According to the most recent month’s data we identified the following…..

June 2012

This month 4,504 new business start ups were identified by New B2B from Selectabase. Beauty Salons & Consultants were the most popular business type either new business, relocating, change of ownership, change of function or a new branch or franchise in the UK with a whopping 107 captured in June 2012. We also identified that Domestic Cleaners were the popular New Business with 90 being captured this month!

Why Beauty Salons & Consultants?

Like us, you may be asking “Why Beauty Salons & Consultants”? As we found from http://www.startups.co.uk/beauty-salon-spa.html there are plenty of reasons to start up a Beauty Salon;

“UK adults spend around £5bn a year on health and beauty products, and much of this cash goes to salons. According to a 2008 report from beautyserve.com, there were over 13,000 salons in the UK, employing more than 30,000 people.”

“Industry analysts claim that beauty salons have performed well during the recession; a 2009 report from market research leaders Mintel found that only one in 10 women had stopped going to the salon to save money during the downturn. Furthermore a number of recent trends, notably the increasing number of men seeking specialist health and beauty treatment, have provided real benefit to salons up and down the country”

Why Should I Subscribe to New B2B?

New B2B from Selectabase is a unique direct marketing solution that provides you with a monthly list of all the latest new and changing businesses in your chosen postcode area. New B2B provides a constant and easily manageable source of new business leads that simply have to be followed up by letter or telephone. With New B2B you can select the opportunity type, postcode area and even industry type. This means if you are a supplier to a specific industry we can help! Visit www.selectabase.co.uk/newb2b/ for more info now!

Mar 26 2012

March 2012 Birthday Mailings Trends

Welcome to the March Birthday Mailings round-up of useful marketing trends for businesses in the UK.

Each month we bring you the latest trends amongst UK businesses and consumers, all drawn from the range of Selectabase direct marketing lists. According to the most recent month’s data we identified the following…..

March 2012

This month Birthday Mailings from Selectabase identified 142,941 individuals who are celebrating a milestone birthday in March 2012. These individuals may be turning 21, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60 or 65. The most popular birthday milestone was 21, with 23,779 individuals turning 21 in March 2012.

Why should businesses contact consumers on their birthday?

In the course of promoting our Birthday Mailings marketing leads, we are often asked why businesses should target their marketing to consumers on their birthday? The answer is that celebrating a birthday can trigger a range of opportunities for many different types of business – even when times are tough economically. So here we examine the science behind a birthday celebration.

There’s one time of year when consumers still spend money (no matter how tough the economy) and that’s when a birthday is celebrated. Businesses could well benefit from tapping into this extra spend.

Broadly speaking birthday spending falls into two different categories; self purchase and gift purchase… Read more »

Sep 30 2011

New B2B Data Now with Added Value

All data purchased from New B2B is now licensed for multiple use at no extra cost so you can contact each month’s list of new business leads as often as you like.

Read more »

Sep 19 2011

Free Tools for Marketing Agencies and Consultants

Selectabase offer a range of free tools which are useful for helping marketing agencies and consultants to research markets and identify opportunities on behalf of their clients. This can be for direct marketing and direct mail campaigns but also for general market research.

Read more »

Sep 12 2011

Why you Should Resume Direct Marketing this September

Late September is a good to time to launch a targeted direct marketing to both business and consumer markets.

Read more »

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