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 or click the arrow button to reach our enquiry form.



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 or click the button to reach our enquiry form.Please click here

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.

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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.

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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