About Martin

Martin Rides has 35 years’ experience in the world of Data & Direct Mail. He has worked across many areas of the industry including agencies, mail production and data bureaux. After 9 years running a specialist Direct Mail consulting practice, Martin returned to The Software Bureau as Managing Director in 2015.

84% of ecommerce marketers say Direct Mail delivers best ROI

By |2024-07-16T13:07:42+00:00July 16th, 2024|

According to a new report by Lob, 84% of ecommerce brand marketers agree that direct mail delivers the best ROI, response rate, and conversion rates compared to all other channels, a notable increase from 74% in 2023. The value of direct mail marketing for the eCommerce industry continues to grow, with 85% of marketers in the sector affirming that it offers the best ROI of any channel their organisation uses. An impressive 91% also agree that it delivers the best response rates. Increased Investment and Automation Reflecting this resurgence, 82% have said that they have increased their budget allocation for direct mail, up from 58% in 2023. The adoption of direct mail automation platforms has also seen a significant rise, [...]


By |2024-07-09T08:46:49+00:00July 9th, 2024|

Our analysis of ICO’s enforcement actions over the past 12 months (July 2023-July 2024) reveals important trends in data governance and highlights the ongoing challenges organisations face in maintaining data privacy. It indicates a predominant focus on the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR): PECR: 55.56% Article 5(1)(f): 18.52% (Integrity and confidentiality of personal data) Article 5(1)(a): 7.41% (Lawfulness, fairness, and transparency) Article 12(3): 7.41% (Transparent information, communication, and modalities for exercising the rights of the data subject) Article 32(1)(b): 3.70% (Security of processing) Article 5(1)(c): 3.70% (Data minimization) Article 9(1): 3.70% (Processing of special categories of personal data) Trends and Observations: Predominance of PECR Violations: Over half of the enforcement actions were related to PECR. This underscores the ICO's focus [...]

Direct mail now more impactful than ever!

By |2024-06-26T11:48:42+00:00June 26th, 2024|

The latest quarterly results from JICMAIL reveal another surge in the effectiveness of mail marketing in Q1 2024. The research finds that six percent of all mail types prompted a purchase, two percent higher than the same period in 2023. This increase underscores the growing impact of mail in driving consumer actions, with 46% of these purchases fulfilled online and 32% in-store, reflecting the omnichannel nature of mail. Increasing Mail Interaction and Attention Direct Mail, Door Drops, and Partially Addressed Mail saw a year-on-year increase in interaction frequency, resulting in more ad impressions in Q1 2024 compared to the previous year. Mail's attention efficiency stands out, with Direct Mail garnering 134 seconds of attention per piece across household members over [...]

A Poignant Example of Why Deceased Suppression is so Important

By |2024-06-18T15:22:05+00:00June 18th, 2024|

There is no two ways about it, as organisations collect and use increasing amounts of data the way they handle that data has become increasingly complex. But one thing hasn’t changed - the necessity for effective deceased suppression practices. The story of Imogen Holliday and her son Raffy, which hit the headlines this week, serves as a heart breaking reminder of the consequences when these practices are neglected. A Heart breaking Reminder Imogen Holliday, 36, experienced emotional trauma when she received a letter inviting her deceased three-year-old son, Raffy, to an appointment at a leading children’s hospital. Raffy had passed away on March 29, 2023, from inflammation of the brain caused by human herpesvirus 6B (HHV-6B). The hospital's notification, arriving [...]

A Data Protection Update

By |2024-06-04T08:32:56+00:00June 4th, 2024|

Last week marked the sixth anniversary of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a landmark in data protection that revolutionised how personal data is handled across Europe. However, as many people reflect on GDPR's impact, the future of data protection regulation in the UK hangs in the balance following the recent mothballing of the Data Protection & Digital Information Bill (DPDI). The Demise of DPDI The Government’s decision to exclude the DPDI from its “wash up” process, a fast-track mechanism for essential legislation before Parliament is dissolved, has led to significant uncertainty. Initially introduced in 2021, the DPDI aimed to modernise the UK's data protection framework. However, it was still navigating the committee stage in the House of Lords when [...]

Top 10 sectors that fail to report data breaches revealed

By |2024-05-24T11:34:57+00:00May 24th, 2024|

As we ‘celebrate’ the 6th birthday of GDPR a new study finds that over half of all data breaches in the UK in 2023 were not reported within the required 72-hour window. The report from Hayes Connor revealed the sectors with the worst track record. These were: Local Government: 51.32% General Business: 49.16% Marketing: 47.50% Justice: 47.06% Regulators: 46.81% Membership Associations: 46.67% Online Technology and Telecoms: 45.37% Media: 45.16% Central Government: 44.57% Retail and Manufacture: 43.94% Failing to report a breach within this timeframe can result in significant fines of up to £17.5 million or 4% of global turnover, whichever is higher. However, in practice, most firms receive minimal penalties. A key finding of the research is that in the [...]

Unlock the Power of Precision with The Software Bureau’s Data Cleansing Solutions

By |2024-05-21T10:10:00+00:00May 21st, 2024|

Maintaining accurate and up-to-date customer contact information is not just a necessity—it’s a competitive advantage. The Software Bureau’s data cleansing solutions stand at the forefront of this essential service, hosting a staggering 450 million records, the most extensive collection in the industry. This vast database, combined with our robust software, ensures your business can operate with the highest level of data integrity and efficiency. Comprehensive Data Coverage Our data sets encompass a wide range of essential updates, including home mover relocations, goneaways, and deceased records. These data sets are sourced from industry-leading providers such as Royal Mail, Experian, Sagacity, MiExact, The Ark, Shine CK, and DBS Data. This extensive and diverse array of sources guarantees that our clients receive the [...]

Think direct mail is too expensive? Think again

By |2024-05-15T05:31:13+00:00May 14th, 2024|

At the recent Ultimate Direct Mail workshop Lauren Mason, marketing director of Live Unlimited and Ro & Zo showcased the power of direct mail and smashed the perception held by some marketers that it is too expensive to add into the marketing mix. Talking about her first experiences of direct mail this year, Mason found that acquiring customers through direct mail was more affordable than digital methods. She was surprised to discover that not only did it drive higher retention rates but that it also boosted LTV (lifetime value) and AOV (average order value). This indicates that Live Unlimited and Ro & Zo customers acquired via direct mail are likely to stay longer and spend more, providing a solid and [...]

Response rates, ROI, AOV and CPA of DM revealed!

By |2024-05-08T18:04:18+00:00May 8th, 2024|

The latest JICMAIL Response Tracker insights reveal that DM is still very much a marketing channel that achieves results…. Warm direct mail—mail shots sent to existing customers—command on average an 8% response rate. This level of engagement is not only on par with but often exceeds the effectiveness of other media channels. Warm direct mail's success, particularly notable in sectors like medical where it reaches a whopping 26%% response rate, underscores its potential in targeted communications. This method proves especially effective in maintaining and enhancing customer loyalty, offering personalised content that resonates well with the audience. The high response rates are indicative of the trust and rapport that brands have built over time with their existing customer base. Cold Direct [...]

We are Leading with Innovation: Shaping the Future of Data Hygiene

By |2024-05-03T07:45:54+00:00May 3rd, 2024|

The winds of change are blowing a gale around data regulation. We’ve potentially got two key pieces of incoming legislation that will make a difference to how businesses source, store and use their data. The first is the EU AI Act (which although not directly applicable to the UK is likely to form the framework for a UK specific act) , and the second is the UK GDPR - Data Protection, Digital Information (DPDI) Act. Adapting to New Regulations You can find out more about both acts here: https://www.thesoftwarebureau.com/eu-passes-ai-act/ and here: https://www.thesoftwarebureau.com/whats-going-on-everything-you-need-to-know-about-dpdi-in-the-medium-term/. When these new regulations come into force, businesses face the dual challenge of compliance and optimisation. The EU AI Act is set to impose stringent requirements on AI [...]

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