3 ways that colour is good for your direct mail

One of the most important parts of a successful direct mail campaign is the wrapper or envelope in which your message is sent. The envelope has one main job and that is to get itself opened. There are many ways of achieving this but as your prospects are usually keen to throw direct mail away it is best if you can make it feel as if they are losing out or missing something if they don’t open it. There are many ways of making your envelope stand out. We think the best two ways are to either make your envelope look like personal correspondence or make the envelope so interesting and intriguing by the intelligent use of colour.

colourful lake

Colour and clever design will ensure that since most people sort their mail over the waste bin they will decide to open your letter and not throw it away. Unless you have a good reason it’s best to not use address labels as they are so impersonal. Handwritten envelopes used to have the best impact because they are the most personal way of addressing your envelope however this has changed as

handwritten addresses now raise suspicion and can have a negative impact.

Use of Postage stamps is more personalised than franking or any other postal mark. Bulk rates although appealing for obvious reasons of cost savings, need a lot of thought to make sure that it doesn’t act as a bar from the mail being opened. Good envelope design will help prevent this.

To increase the chance that your mail is opened here are some points to ponder.

1. Size Does Matter!

Your outer envelope does not have to be a standard size. It may cost a little more to process a non-standard envelope but it will make you stand out from the crowd of standard business post.

2. Wow! look at that Shape

The Postal service prefers standard rectangular envelopes so using a square or different shaped wrapper may be just what it takes to get your message noticed and opened. Again, it’s possible that it may cost a little more but think of it as an investment.

3. Colour me blind

For a proven increase in response, colour is the way to go. The simplest and still effective thing to do is change the envelope colour. Try using a colour that reflects your brand. You can now individualise envelopes with more than just name and address. Variable data printing to customise both copy and images is now becoming popular. The upper left corner of an outer envelope is the place the eye goes first while deciding whether to keep your mail piece. Treat it as an important place for an eye-catching offer, teaser or important picture or message. There are other hot spots where the eye goes first so some experimentation or testing would be required to get the best result. Don’t forget the back of the envelope could be seen first so this area could also be used for a message or image.

Final points to ponderhot-air-balloon

Window envelopes are traditionally only used for business mail, this trend is changing. Looking through the window can provide a tempting hint of your content as well as reducing addressing costs. Testing to find out which approach works best for your campaign would be the best approach to maximising results. Checking if die-cuts peel off stickers and other more creative ideas make a positive impact.

To explore more ideas and to get free advice and help about adding colour to your mail out, contact us on 0191 4972828 or click the button to reach our enquiry form.Please click here

Building Tomorrows Business – Database

Database Marketing

One of the most important things for a business is to grow the database or contact list. It should comprise of information on visitors, customers and potential customers.  This can then be used to improve client satisfaction and increase sales.

Creating your database

If you don’t already have a database,now is a good time to start one. Before you start your database, you need to decide how much information you want to include on each contact. Basic details such as address email and telephone numbers are the obvious starting point. For existing customers, including details about their buying habits will help you better understand them. This puts you in a better position  to meet their needs. It’s great but not essential if you can also include lifestyle information such as gender, age and income. This will Soaring buildingallow you to more closely target your mailshots.

Your contact list can be added to from many sources but your main focus should be on existing customers and connections.  Next it’s worth trying to find new leads from your local area. If you are selling business to business, potential clients can be found in the industrial bodies directories. One of the best is from the local chambers of commerce.

Renting or buying a list of contacts can be a good way of finding new customers. Try to avoid lists that are too general. Try and narrow the focus to a demographic that closely follows the kind of contacts that you already have.

Keep updating your database

Building your database should be an ongoing project. Keeping it updated and tidy is an important job. Duplicates need to be weeded out and any mail being “returned to sender” should be removed from the list. Continually mailing or emailing people who don’t want your message is a waste of money and resources and will very quickly get people fed up or annoyed with you.

Keep in mind that if someone requests that you remove them from your list, you must comply within 28 days. Improving the accuracy of the addresses and therefore the deliverability of your direct mail list can be achieved by checking them against the Royal Mail’s Postcode address file (PAF)

It would also be considered to be important to regularly check for people wanting to opt out of your database against the Mailing Preference Service (MPS) list.

Your database is the key to success

If kept up to date your database will help you to see your customers’ buying habits and trends, allowing you to target more of your ideal potential customers or clients. An up to date database is your most valuable tool. Being able to make informed decisions about everything  from developing new products or services through to decisions on pricing and finding new clients is very powerful.

Your database will make it easier to keep on top of customer support and allow you to be better able to supply the service that they require.

For unlimited Free advice and help to get started, click the arrow to contact us

or ring 0191 4972828 and ask for Julian…..Please click here

Building Tomorrows Business – Direct Mail

Direct Mail

What is direct mail?

marketing effort that uses a mail service to deliver a promotional printed piece to your target audience . Direct mail encompasses a wide variety of marketing materials, including brochures, catalogues, postcards, newsletters and sales letters.

Direct mail differs from junk mail in that the recipients are carefully chosen on the basis of age, location income interests etc, whereas junk mail is a blanket mailing to people regardless of these factors.

Creating good mailing campaigns will increase sales, but also help you to understand your target direct mail is the future of marketingcustomers, and develop longer relationships with them. It need not be expensive to make a start in this. Collecting customer data is the first step, then profiling this (working out what sort of customers/businesses they are). Then you can go and purchase data of similar prospects who may be interested in your company. This is faster than creating your own customer list, which may take many years. Remember to check the Mailing Preference Service if you are mailing consumers rather than businesses.

Direct Mail Variations

So what sort of Direct mail should you start with? The most cost effective is a postcard- simple, instant and your message is read whether or not they open letters. Avoid labels on envelopes- they look amateur. Ink jet names and addresses directly to your mailing piece.

Unlike other forms of advertising where you’re never sure just who’s getting your message, direct mail lets you communicate one-on-one with your target audience. That allows you to control who receives your message, when it’s delivered, what’s in the envelope and how many people you reach.

Follow-up is key. Mailings with telephone follow-ups are most effective. Don’t wait too long to contact your customers after doing your mailing: After a few days, call to ask if they’ve received your mail. If they have, now’s the time to make your sales pitch. If they haven’t, mail them another ASAP.

There was a time when Direct Mail and Email marketing were in competition- no more. It is not a question of either/or, it is Both…and. You must be doing Direct Mail marketing, email marketing, social media, and telephone if you are serious about building your business.

For unlimited Free advice and help to get started, click the arrow to contact us

or ring 0191 4972828 and ask for Julian…..Please click here

Building Tomorrows Business – Marketing.


What is Marketing? It is everything about you, – the way you are seen by your potential customers, what you send them, what you sell them, what you are.

Marketing has changed, and today it is about building longer lasting relationships with those who buy your products and services, finding out more about them, and looking for similar potential customers. It’s a longer time line, but it’s a journey, not a deal.

Customers will not buy what you sell, they will buy what they value……

Marketing used to be defined as “the process of persuading potential consumers why they should choose your product or service over that of your competitors”. But it is no longer that simple. Are all your customers “one-off” purchases? Wouldn’t you like them to keep coming back. Many companies believed that all they had to do was to get potential consumers to try their product, and they would be hooked. Hence the 1970’s and 1980’s promotions and give-aways.

Car manufacturers don’t want to sell you a car, they want you to be a happier person, more fulfilled, and financially stable. Granted that person will want a nice car, but that is incidental. What has your banking to do with a Black Horse? You are drawn by power, beauty, and freedom.

A Marketing Strategy will combine all facets of today’s digital world. Email, Direct Mail, Social Media, texting, apps, telephone,- they all have to be in your plan.

Marketing is everything, not just one thing- its everything about you, the way you are seen by your potential customers, what you send them, what you sell them, and now how you follow up and keep in touch after you have done the deal. Repeat business is everything- remember it is far easier to keep an existing customer than get a new one.

For unlimited Free advice and help to get started, click the arrow to contact us

or ring 0191 4972828 and ask for Julian…..

Please click here

Getting the best from effective direct mail campaigns

Direct mail is popular with savvy businesses and marketers. It’s inexpensive, but still effective.

  • Target your ideal customers – The old direct mail way was mass marketing: “Send your mailshot to as many people as you can; someone will be sure to bite.” The problem is, paper and postage costs continue to increase. With so much mail ignored you need to find out as much as you can about your best customers and build a list of similar people.
  • Use the right mailing list – There are a few different categories of mailing lists available, ranging in cost and relevance for your market. When you are working out what mailing list to buy consider the following types.

The future of Direct Mail

1Cloned list (find customers similar to your best current customers).

2Custom list (select the customer type that suits your purpose).

3Speciality list (identify and select your target audience).


  • Decisions come from Emotion, Reasons come Second – When putting together your direct mail piece try not to fall into a bullet-pointed, 100 reasons pitch. Most people decide to buy a particular product or service based on emotion. Then they justify that decision with logic. To increase your chances of success, first appeal to emotion. Then use logic to try to close the sale.
  • Using classic Techniques that work is ok! – Just as there are no marketing techniques that work in every circumstance, some will work and some won’t:
    1. A yes or no offer will usually work better than an offer without a no choice.
    2. A time limited offer usually works better than an offer with no time limit.
    3. Gift’s will usually work better than a discount. More so when the gift is useful to your prospect.
    4. Always promote the benefits because that works better than highlighting the features.
    5. Envelope mail will usually work better than self-mailers.The sun shines on the future of direct mail
  • Are you doing Direct marketing (Hybrid marketing)? – Direct marketing includes email marketing and advertising whereas Direct mail generally just uses the postal system. Every direct marketing message normally would include the same parts. An offer with enough information for an immediate decision and a way of responding to the offer. If any part of this is missing, you are not doing direct marketing and depending on your end goal you are reducing your chances of success.

If you call Julian Ward at Sapphire (0191 4972828) email (julian@sapphiregb.com) or click the link below you will find out how to use our professional and profitable for you, direct mail service.

Please click here

10 Reasons why sending business postcards is good for business

1. Business Postcards don’t need to be opened.

Lots of people will see and read the message on the postcard on route to its destination. This means that the impact of the conveyed message is immediate and possibly greater than envisioned.

2. Postcards are short.

There is more chance your message will be actually read by people sympathetic to your message because you get your point across without the reader having to wade through loads of copy.

Business Postcard


3. Printing and postage costs are cheaper.

Business postcards are cheaper to produce than traditional direct mail materials and they don’t require any further work such as poly-wrapping or stuffing into an envelope.



4. Designing postcards is easier and not as expensive.

If you design the postcard yourself, it should take you a lot less time than designing a full mailing campaign or if you contract the work out, it will cost a lot less to design than a traditional full blown mail campaign.

5. Postcards work for any business.

A postcard mail marketing campaign works equally well whatever business classification you are working in, retail or service, technology or any other.

6. Postcards can be testing.

When you are testing a new mailing list, a quick postcard campaign will prove the quality of the list. This is much cheaper than sending a full blown direct mail campaign to a untested list.

7. Joined up thinking between offline and online.business postcards message written on water

One of the effective uses of a postcard mailing is is to drive people to your website where they can read and hopefully respond to your full message.

8. Remind me to remind you.

A postcard can be easily kept and used as a reminder to do something. Some people blutack them in prominent positions if they don’t want to forget the message and need to reference the information.

9. An isolated incident.

If done right, good results can be gained from a single postcard mailing, but for the best results they should form part of an overall marketing strategy – Postcards are not miracle workers!

10. Experience counts in large amounts.

Working with us can help you avoid most pitfalls, this is where our extensive experience gained over 25 gruelling but productive years in the direct mail industry can really pay off for you. The old marketing ways are still some of the best ways but if you add the new ways and technology into the mix then results can be very impressive. We can show you how.

For unlimited Free advice and help to get started, click the arrow to contact us

or ring 0191 4972828 and ask for Julian…..Please click here

The pearl of great price. Love your database

Your No.1 resource is your Database

The pearl of great price is the database of your customers contact details alongside the details of people with similar tastes and desires and is a priceless treasure which will repay many times over the effort required to create it.

In this on-line world, physical tangible direct mail has an impact. Your customers can read about your company with your latest sales message, creating the perfect impulse- buy situation, allowing
people to decide to purchase from you in the comfort of their own home or office.

One of the biggest challenges in business today, with marketing budgets being so thinly stretched is attracting new customers. Anything you can do to give you the edge over your competitors is well worth doing and will help to protect the future of your company.

One of the best, in fact probably the best way of increasing your sales is to keep your prospects engaged with your upcoming promotions, news and offers.

There are two main ways to do this, Direct Mail, and Email. It used to be either or. Nowadays it has to be both. The beauty of owning this data is that you can use your database over and over again

First things first

Firstly you need to know who your customers are. You need to “profile” your current customers. Where are they? What do they do? What sort of customer are they? How much do they spend?

Then you need to keep them informed and excited about your upcoming promotions or news, and they will keep coming back to you time and time again.

Then you find other potential customers with the same profile as your current customers and target them.

It’s not easy. But someone said that business is like a leaking bucket. If you don’t continually top it up, one day the bucket will be empty and it will be too late to do anything about it.

If you already use direct mail or email marketing, ask us for a quotation. You may be surprised at how much we could save you.

If you don’t already use direct mail, talk to us about running a small test and see how it works. We have over 25 years’ experience and will help you get started.

If you call Julian Ward at Sapphire (0191 4972828) email (julian@sapphiregb.com) or click the link below you will find out how to use our professional and profitable for you, direct mail service.Please click here

We can save you more than you could imagine!

If you have a lot to post, we are the answer!

Our latest deal will make you the kind of savings which will astonish you!

We will print an address carrier and polywrap it with your C5 brochure, leaflet or catalogue, the postage is a lot less than you would normally pay for franking it.
Then you can watch your Sales grow this autumn, knowing you haven’t spent your budget on overheads, or on expensive enclosing.

We can polywrap any size of brochure. Whatever the weight or size of your brochure, we can save you money on enclosing and mailing.

All things are possible, just talk to us and we will provide the solution at a cost agreeable to you.

Whether you mail a single brochure, or lots of inserts with different sizes, our machines can cope.

Be sure that we will give you the best possible postage rate for your mailing, whether you want to send one hundred items or one hundred thousand the savings can be massive.

If you want to get started, click on the arrow or ring 0191 4972828 and ask for Julian…..Please click here

25 years of making Direct Mail history

We are celebrating 25 years service to Direct Mail

The first publicly available website appeared 25 years ago

The 6th of November – 1992 AD
The very first website ever was for CERN it happened in 1991 but was not generally available to
visit until 1992. The website was text based as the computers and modems of the time were not powerful enough to send the large amounts of data that comprises a picture

Sapphire website was born

March – 2002 AD

Our Direct Mail way of doing things hits the Internet. Mailing houses are never the same again…


New services and improvements

June 2011 AD

Sapphire’s continued growth is given a massive boost by the start of our email marketing integrated with social media alongside new fulfilment services. A new website was also the order of the day.




Where we are today…

January 2017 AD

Sapphire keep on innovating and improving the services that we offer clients. We continue to work above and beyond the call of duty to complete our direct mail services. From data to fulfilment, printing and postage we can mix and match the services that work best for you.


 – 25 Years of  constant innovation – 


Please click here

To explore more ideas and to get free advice and help about adding colour to your mail out, contact us on 0191 4972828 or click the button to reach our enquiry form.

You Print – We post. Three reasons to partnership with us

  • Post can help grow your business

Working together can be a very successful growth strategy for both of our businesses. You can print it cheaper than we can and we can post it cheaper than you can. This would allow you to offer an advantage to your client base which could open up new potential that was otherwise not easily possible. This strategic print and post alliance would create win-win situations for you and us as well as both of our end clients.

  • print - post in bygone waysBeat your competition

To stand a chance of beating your competition you must either sell more printing services – which means you need to find more customers or try and cut costs. By forming a partnership with us you will be able to offer mailing services taking advantage of our much lower post rates. We will be able to offer your printing services saving your and our customers time and money. Its also possible to utilise both our valuable database’s of customer contacts and a wider customer base.

  • Improved access to new markets

A Strategic partnership with us would deliver access to new markets or customers. It would improve our joint competitive position against the competition. A partnership with us would help us both to expand our capabilities without the added step of creating those capabilities in-house. This would decrease any business risks therefore performing more efficiently and adapting more quickly to new situations than either of us could do on our own.

For more information or help, contact us on 0191 4972828 or click the button to reach our enquiry form.Please click here