We can save you more than you could imagine!

When you need a mailing house, let us be the answer!

We will fulfil your marketing mailout!

You will pay less postage!

Your business gets a boost!

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 brochure, leaflet or catalogue, the postage is a lot less than you would normally pay for stamps or even franking it.

Access to many formats make direct mailing versatile. The wide variety of options, from postcards and brochures, to magazines and catalogues, makes direct mailing a suitable strategy for almost any company.

After your mailing has landed you can watch your Sales grow this autumn, knowing you haven’t spent more of your budget than necessary on postal overheads, or on expensive enclosing.

Remember we can wrap any size of brochure, caalogue or mailshot in recyclable polythene with an address carrier and whatever the weight or size of your mail-out, we will save you money on enclosing, wrapping and mailing.

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

Creating a Direct mail campaign doesn’t require or need a lot of in house know-how or a lot of infrastructure. If design isn’t one of your companies main strengths using a freelance designer and a copywriter, you can get a campaign up and running in no time.

Whether you mail a single brochure, or lots of inserts with different sizes, our machines and well trained staff 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, ring 0191 4972828 and ask for Julian.

10 Reasons why sending marketing postcards is good for business

Convert prospects into customers with easy to use targeted business postcards. Ten reasons why incorporating postcards into your marketing mix is a good idea.

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.


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, ring 0191 4972828 and ask for Julian.

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.

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) you will find out how to use our professional and profitable for you, direct mail service.


Missed opportunities

Are You Missing Golden Opportunities Staring At You?

Author Daniel Willey once said, “Too often, we miss out on opportunities in this life because we were too busy waiting for them to fall into our lap that we missed them tapping on our shoulder.”

Blockbuster Refuses to Buy Netflix for $50 million. Blockbuster is now no more whereas Netflix is now worth in excess of $20 billion.

Steve Jobs approached Nolan Bushnell of Atari for capital when he launched his new business called Apple Computers. Jobs offered Bushnell a third of Apple for $50,000. Bushnell turned him down. Atari is now just a brand name whereas Apple is now worth in excess of $900 billion.

Opportunity is everywhere

Ross Perot was a successful entrepreneur who founded Electronic Data Systems. In 1979 he tried to purchase Microsoft. Bill Gates didn’t want to sell the whole business but was willing to offer a majority shareholding for $60 million. Perot thought it was too expensive but Gates would not lower the price. EDS was eventually bought and assimilated into Hewlett-Packard and is no more. Microsoft is now worth in excess of $700 billion.


Although these are all missed business opportunities, lots of people don’t realise it’s actually similar to the way that they live their lives. Not seeing good opportunities staring them in the face. Or even, seeing the opportunity, wanting it, but seemingly frozen, not able to act on it.

Why can opportunity be so hard to see? And why is it often not even acted on when it is seen?

Canadian writer and motivational speaker Robin Sharma says, “The activity you’re most avoiding contains your biggest opportunity.”

Alexander Graham Bell said, “When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”opportunities which door

Many people will miss the open door or opportunity. Some will deny its existence. Or argue its just wishful thinking. Or stall and procrastinate so much the opportunity will be gone. Then say that bad luck haunts them, complain they never get a break, and then blame everyone but themselves.

Using direct mail in your business has the potential to open up many opportunities for you, whether its finding and growing your client or customer list. Reconnecting with lost clients or simply and effectively promoting a new product or service, the opportunities are very real. Talk to us and we will show you how to spot your very real direct mail opportunities.

 “If you spot an opportunity and are really excited by it, throw yourself into it with everything you’ve got.” Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, comprising more than 400 companies.

 “When you walk up to opportunity’s door, don’t knock it. Kick it in, smile, and introduce yourself.” Actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

 “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” Henry Ford, founder, Ford Motor Company.

To explore more ideas and to get free advice and help, contact us on 0191 4972828

GDPR – What do you need to know?

Three things you need to do about GDPR.

The acronym GDPR means General Data Protection Regulation and is a big Europe wide update to the old Data Protection Act of 1998.

GDPR will be applied in all EU member states from 25 May 2018.

Basically, GDPR is about protecting personal information. Loads of personal information is being collected illegally by businesses databases being either sold or being hacked. One part of this new government legislation, states that as a business, if your data is breached you must report it within 72 hours. Or, face a fine of 4% of your revenue.

4% doesn’t seem like a lot, but if you are faced with having to pay this it can be a significant cost.

GDPR the buttonOne thing some people don’t realise is that Brexit will make no difference; GDPR is going ahead no matter what else happens.

For the purposes of GDPR, Personal information is defined as, Name, address, phone number, email address and IP address. Other data, like economic, cultural or mental health information, are also considered personally identifiable information.
Anything that counted as personal data under the Data Protection Act also qualifies as personal data under the GDPR.

Individuals will also have the right to be forgotten and demand that their data is deleted if it’s no longer necessary to the purpose for which it was collected.

Who will GDPR affect?

GDPR will affect every business based in the EU that collects or holds personal data on EU citizens. No matter where they live. It also affects businesses outside Europe who also collect the data of EU citizens.

Once the legislation comes into effect, Businesses will have to ensure that personal data is processed lawfully, transparently, and for a specific purpose. Once that purpose is fulfilled and the data is no longer required, it should be deleted.

Three things to do about how you collect, store and record personal data and all processing of that data.

  1. Look at where your data is stored.
  2. Check the time that you store personal data and decide if it is still relevant? If not, you must delete it. If the individual asks you to delete it you must.
  3. Always be aware of the governance surrounding accessing of any personal data and make sure there is monitoring of who has access to that data.

To explore more ideas or to get free advice and help about complying with GDPR or anything else concerning direct mail or pick, pack and posting, contact us on 0191 4972828

3 ways that colour is good for your direct mail

Summer is in full flow and it is time to start thinking about using colour in your direct mail marketing. 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.

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!

colourful lake

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 ponder

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

The how, why and what is direct mail

What is Direct Mail?

People often ask ‘what is direct mail?’ Direct mail is the name used to describe a kind of advertising or communication in which companies send printed adverts, letters, or other messages through the postal mail to large groups of people or companies. The use of targeted mailing lists based on demographics and geographic location can improve effectiveness. A mailing house’s access to special postage rates make the process very cost-effective.

How can it benefit me?

Unlike other forms of marketing, in which you don’t know who’s getting your message, direct mail who when wherelets 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.

What does it cost and is it affordable?

Because direct mail marketing is targeted to a specific type and size of audience it can help you set realistic sales goals. It can also improve sales results on a tight marketing budget. Combine it with email marketing and businesses can run very effective direct marketing campaigns at a fraction of the cost of other types of advertising.

Will I need to learn new skills?

When exploring what is Direct mail you will find out it is very customisable and done well it virtually guarantees at least five seconds of focus from the recipient. This can lead to a fantastic response. Not everyone who sends out direct mail sees excellent results and that’s because not everyone understands how to create mail that performs. We can help you to create a mailing campaign that’s tailored to your audience, we can also help you decide on a format for your mail campaign, whether it’s a postcard, folded mail piece, or envelope mailer.

Is direct mail marketing time consuming?what is direct mail success

Putting together and building a mailing list, and designing great responsive marketing materials to post out, can take time, experience, and money. Every business interested in any form of marketing, should always be adding to and improving the mailing list and campaign materials. As a mailing house we are in a great position to be able to advise or help you significantly reduce the time needed to bring a direct mail marketing campaign to fruition.

What does direct mail success look like?

Other than the response rate, there are many ways to measure the results of your direct mail program.  Order rate, cost per outcome, customer acquisition cost, revenue per order and return on investment are some of these. All these are good and helpful to different degrees. We think the best way of seeing what direct mail success looks like is the actual conversion rate. The conversion rate includes the response rate but adds the actual quality of the response.

Can this success be measured?

Before any success measurement is undertaken you have to decide what the campaign aims are. Different marketing campaigns are designed to achieve different things. Only when this is known will it become possible to see what success would look like. Everything from getting more page views for your website to actually landing orders can be considered and measured. Direct mail campaigns have been measured accurately for years based on total orders as a percentage of total quantity mailed.

To find out more and to get free advice and help, about any aspect of direct mail marketing, contact us on 0191 4972828

Time is of the essence

Understanding Time

Do you have days where you feel that time moves so quickly that you can’t get everything done that you need to?

I have found out that everything I thought I knew about managing time is a complete waste because it doesn’t work.

The problem is that there are two types of time, actual and perceived time. You would know the actual type because there are sixty seconds in a minute, sixty minutes in an hour, twenty four hours in a day and three hundred and sixty five days in a year. It is all measured equally. If you work for eight hours, eight hours will have passed, no more or no less.

Perceived time is different, because it is relative. Time races or crawls depending on what you’re doing. Three hours filling in tax returns can feel like thirteen years. And yet the first twenty years of your life seems to have passed in only in only a couple of hours.

Managing time generally doesn’t work because it is designed to manage the actual and you don’t live in actual time. You live in a perceived world, a world which moves quickly when you are entertained or goes slow when you are not entertained.

The good news is that perceived time can be managed. It’s possible that self-sabotage “not having enough,” or today not being “the right time” can be overcome.

You can only be doing one of three things at once, thinking, talking, or doing. It doesn’t matter what kind of business you are in, your day will be made up of those three things.

Always be prepared to change the way things are done. Not so long ago offline marketing was the only way forward, today a successful strategy involves online marketing. These changes are continuing to evolve so you also need to evolve as online strategies progress. Avoid the temptation to do things “how I’ve always done it” and learn to progress with the times.

Perceived time management is about deciding how much of your day you will spend on the thinking, talking and doing so that success becomes more likely.

Things that might help

  1. Record all your thoughts, conversations and activities for a week. This will help you see how much you can get done during the course of a day and where your time is going.
  2. Appointment books work. Any activity or conversation that’s important to your success should be assigned. To-do lists grow and become unworkable. Schedule appointments with yourself and create time for important thinking, conversations, and actions. Have the discipline to keep these appointments.
  3. Once you know where your time is going you can appoint yourself more of it to engage in the things that produce most of your positive results.
  4. The first 20 minutes of every work day should be used for planning that day. It’s best to complete your schedule before starting the day.
  5. Put up a “Do not disturb” sign when you absolutely have to get work done.
  6. Before action decide what you want to attain. Slow things down by having a couple of minutes before a phone call to decide what you need to achieve. A couple of minutes spent after the call or activity will help you decide whether you achieved your goal or not.
  7. Try to block out distractions like social media unless you use it to generate business.
  8. Remember that that twenty percent of your thinking, talking and doing produce 80 percent of your results and that it’s impossible to always get everything done.

To explore more ideas and to get free timely advice and help about any aspect of direct mail marketing, contact us on 0191 4972828


Is fear holding you back?

Fright is an emotion that we all share.

Fear comes in many flavours and in business it could unconsciously be holding you back. It can keep you from doing something that could be of great benefit to you or your company. Everyone fears something. Fearing failure is common but fearing embarrassment, humiliation, loss, pain, looking foolish or even fearing success can be a problem.

Most people think that the fear must be overcome before moving forward is possible, thus lowering the chances of action ever happening. The truth is that it is unlikely that you are easily going to overcome feeling scared so a different approach is necessary.

Hiding under the table

For example if you see a very attractive person across the room and you want to talk to them.

Your heart is going to feel like it’s somewhere between skipping a few beats and feeling like it’s going to burst. You don’t have a choice to be afraid or not, your choices are to either be afraid and frozen or scared and moving. You cannot approach without feeling it so you do it while you are afraid.

Professional Survivor ‘Bear Grylls’ once said “Being brave isn’t the absence of fear. Being brave is having that fear but finding a way through it.”

Clergyman Douglas Horton said that “Action cures fear, inaction creates terror.”

The truth from all this is that fear is seldom overcome. It is merely faced. Never assume that all who succeed or win have conquered their fears. Sometimes they bravely take action in spite of their fears.

If you want to find new customers or increase your business, a bold move would be to ignore the fear and explore what direct mail can do to help you succeed.

Police officers run towards trouble, firemen run into burning buildings and soldiers head towards the battle. If you think they are not scared then you should think again.

To explore more ideas and to get free advice and help about direct mail marketing, contact us on 0191 4972828

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, ring 0191 4972828 and ask for Julian.