About Mark Dobson

Mark entered the DM business in 1986 at the Sudbury based Prolog. Since then Mark has worked for many companies including GWC, Olwen Direct Mail, Olwen International in Baltimore. In 2000 Mark took the role of Client Services Director at The Software Bureau helping users of Cygnus, SwiftSort and GeMMA make the most of the software.

Whoops, we did it again!

By |2020-11-26T11:53:25+00:00November 26th, 2020|

Over the years, our industry has regularly been hauled over the coals for an offensive or profane word slipping through the net and ending up replacing the name of the intended addressee, and then being printed and mailed. This has recently happened with a Tesco Clubcard campaign, as you may have heard in the news, where a rather ‘descriptive’ phrase was used in replacement of the genuine recipient’s name. Click the link if you dare, or you can Google it of course (Other search engines are available) to satisfy your curiosity. Unsurprisingly, the press took great glee in publicising it and the social media posts drew the usual negative ‘junk mail’ comments from those with an agenda about our industry.  As those of us who have been in the industry for a number of years are aware, this type of incident has unfortunately occurred numerous times over the years. [...]

JICMAIL – Report on Consumer Interaction with mail during lockdown

By |2020-10-13T11:32:23+00:00October 13th, 2020|

Lockdown was a difficult time for all of us, and we hope all our clients managed to get through the period without too much difficulty or disruption. We know that mail volumes were significantly down on the same period the previous year, and especially with advertising mail. Business mail however held up reasonably well in comparison, with a relatively small reduction in volume. Despite these falling volumes though, interaction with mail received through the door rose to record levels. What was both interesting and encouraging, was that this growth was particularly strong with advertising mail and door drops. This means that physical mail maintains a very important position in the marketing mix. JICMAIL has undertaken some exhaustive research in this [...]

The Software Bureau Annual Benchmark Survey

By |2019-11-20T09:07:55+00:00November 20th, 2019|

The Software Bureau continues to lead the marketplace in data processing, data hygiene, and Mailmark software. Around 150 organisations rely on Cygnus, SwiftSort and GeMMA, and with the release of further Swift products over the previous 12 months including PAF, Dedupe, Cleanse and Match, we have been adding to the broad range of solutions available for our customers. To ensure the business remains acutely focused on those real-world needs of data professionals, The Software Bureau published a benchmark customer survey in October this year. We asked customers to provide feedback about everything from product capabilities, support response times and knowledge, and matters affecting our collective businesses. The results are now in!   How does our customer support team score? Our [...]

The Software Bureau Annual Benchmark 2018

By |2018-08-22T15:15:43+00:00August 22nd, 2018|

The Software Bureau is the renowned leader in data processing, sortation and Mailmark software. More than 125 organisations rely on Cygnus, SwiftSort and GeMMA as the backbone of their data services function. The business has its roots in the mailing industry where the founders built software for their own data processing needs before branching out to become a software vendor for the rest of the industry. To ensure the business remains acutely focused on those real-world needs of data professionals, The Software Bureau publishes an annual benchmark customer survey. They asked customers to provide feedback about everything from product capabilities, to support response times and industry trends. The results for this year are in! Why Clients Choose The Software Bureau [...]

The Software Bureau Annual Benchmark

By |2017-07-19T09:00:25+00:00July 19th, 2017|

The Software Bureau is the renowned leader in data processing, sortation and Mailmark software. More than 100 organisations rely on Cygnus, SwiftSort and GeMMA as the backbone of their data services function. The business has its roots in the mailing industry where the founders built software for their own data processing needs before branching out to become a software vendor for the rest of the industry. To ensure the business remains acutely focused on those real-world needs of data professionals, The Software Bureau launched their inaugural benchmark customer survey. They asked customers to provide feedback about everything from product capabilities, to support response times and industry trends. The results are in! Why Clients Choose The Software Bureau Over Competitors Two [...]

6% Solution – How Better Customer Data Drives Marketing Performance

By |2017-02-17T08:09:54+00:00February 17th, 2017|

We instinctively know that good quality, clean data is likely to lead to better marketing results. What has always been difficult to pin down is exactly what impact data quality has on the bottom line. However, in recent research conducted by Jim Conning’s Data Services team at Royal Mail and DataIQ it has been revealed poor quality contact data is costing organisations a staggering 5.9% of turnover on average. To put this into context, the average large business in the UK turns over £291m so the cost of poor quality contact data for a large business is running at £17.2m annually. The same survey of 272 marketers also found quality of contact data to have the highest impact on campaign [...]

Lean DM in the Press – The Print Business

By |2016-12-28T13:36:31+00:00October 25th, 2016|

Gareth Ward, Editor of Print Business magazine visited The Software Bureau last month. The conversation quickly turned to Lean DM and the mission to eradicate waste from direct mail campaigns. Gareth was keen to learn how print businesses and mail producers are profiting from bringing their data services front of house. Click here to read the article from Print Business magazine. Download your copy here Free Introduction to Lean DM To learn more about Lean DM why not download your free 30-page guide. Should you wish to arrange a demonstration of Cygnus or undertake a free trial, please contact us.

Sixty Percent of Marketers Shun Reverse Marketing Costing £145 Million Per Year

By |2017-01-11T22:07:51+00:00August 11th, 2016|

A new study by The Software Bureau reveals that 60 per cent of marketers do not practice reverse marketing; the management of direct mail returns, which costs firms £4.02 per returned piece of mail. Approximately 90 million pieces of direct mail (2.5 per cent) are returned to sender each year. Forty percent of these or 36 million are returned due to the recipient’s wish to be removed from the marketing database equating to a loss of potential revenue of £116 million and £29 million in wasted production costs. Reverse marketing enables organisations to compile in-house do not mail lists that can be screened against future campaigns reducing the volume of mistargeted mailings, saving money and improving the reputation of the [...]

The Software Bureau Continues to Innovate to Revolutionise Bulk Mailing

By |2017-01-12T12:13:29+00:00July 25th, 2016|

Data quality and hygiene specialist, The Software Bureau continues to deliver on its pledge, outlined at the beginning of the year, to improve the direct mail industry by implementing a major upgrade to its Mailmark eManifest management app, GeMMA. The revamped product secures GeMMA’s reputation as the most sophisticated eManifest application available on the market. The new release marks a major landmark in the evolution of Mailmark products as it enables multi-user capability for the first time. This enables any part of the process to be worked on simultaneously by different teams. For example the data team can be creating the manifests at the same time as the account handling team refining the manifest details and uploading them to the [...]

Growing Your Direct Mail Business

By |2017-01-12T12:21:00+00:00July 22nd, 2016|

What’s Going on in Direct Mail? It seems direct mail has had somewhat of a renaissance over the last 12 months. Royal Mail’s Mailmen campaign has been doing a sterling job providing statistics & research.  There has even financial incentives to lure organisations to add direct mail to their marketing mix. However, the underlying decline in absolute volumes continues. PWC suggest by 2023 direct mail will be just over 4bn items, down from over 10.5bn items in 2005. So if the future of the direct mail is not to be driven by volume, what trends can ambitious direct mail business owners capitalise on?  Trend 1 – Permission Late last year RNLI announced its intentions to move to an opt-in-only policy [...]

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