Making Money From Data Processing

By |2017-01-12T14:13:23+00:00March 29th, 2016|

You might consider data processing to be a necessary evil. An unfortunate and expensive activity you have to undertake to sell direct mail. However as clients continue to search for increased response rates and look to limit the potential for bad press, it is time to start bringing data processing to the front line of your business. Forward thinking mail producers like Pepper Communications have made Lean DM a key differentiator. Jude Whitford, Managing Director of Pepper was quick to see the potential of Lean DM and it’s having a real impact on his bottom line. ‘We have won 2 sizable new clients recently by focusing on Lean DM and the data services we can offer with Cygnus. Once we [...]

Protecting Our Industry Reputation

By |2017-01-12T14:15:11+00:00February 26th, 2016|

The government’s Fundraising Review should have served as a stark warning to the direct marketing community that the fundamental targeting issues that have been swept under the carpet for years needed to be addressed. Now that the recommended Fundraising Preference Service is almost here, it's worse than many of us could ever have imagined. The proposed ‘all or nothing’ approach will effectively put the kibosh on relationship marketing, the very thing that direct marketing excels at. Not to mention the potential mandatory FPS promotion in all charity direct mail. Whatever the eventual outcome, it is clear that it is going to limit consumer choice and cause mass confusion amongst charity supporters who are happy to hear from their favourite causes, [...]

Mailmark drives increased interest in direct mail

By |2017-01-12T14:25:29+00:00December 21st, 2015|

Direct mail has experienced a significant spike in interest and take-up in the last three months. That’s according to market analysis, sales figures and incoming leads from data quality and hygiene firm The Software Bureau. The Software Bureau cites two main contributing factors for this growth: the cost reduction in postage offered by Mailmark and a reduction of client confidence in digital display advertising. Mailmark was introduced by Royal Mail 18 months ago with the aim of making advertising mail more accountable. It is also now the most cost effective way to send bulk mail. In January 2016 a new price differential for Mailmark will be introduced making it up to 5% cheaper than other postage solutions. The Software Bureau [...]

Is ‘preference’ a Dirty word?

By |2017-01-12T14:39:25+00:00November 10th, 2015|

For years there have been rumblings about various industry-wide consumer preference services giving  consumers the chance to select (or deselect) channels, sectors and even specific brands they want to hear from. Such movements always provoke mass debate. Justin Basini’s Allow and REaD Group’s Itsmypost.com were two such initiatives that are no longer in existence. Is this because they didn’t work? Or perhaps because opposition from marketers was too strong to ignore? Why have these initiatives failed to gain traction? The question today is were these frontrunners onto something but just a little before their time? One argument against them was that the industry as a collective didn’t approve of any individual company profiting from their perceived misery, which is how many viewed [...]

Digital’s loss will be DM’s gain: but only if we’re honest

By |2017-01-12T14:42:27+00:00September 22nd, 2015|

When even WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell admits that something might be up with a medium, you’d be a fool not to take heed. He recently added his tuppence worth into the furore surrounding digital advertising sparked by research from PageFair and Adobe that revealed up to £50bn might be wiped off global digital ad spend next year. To add to the medium’s woes, a separate study from Meetrics estimated that £485m worth of online ads had never been seen as a result of glitches in programmatic buying. While this is highly unlikely to be armageddon for online advertising, such damning statistics will inevitably have some clients running scared and online budgets will resultantly experience shrinkage – two Bellwether Report’s [...]

Cygnus Accreditation Launched

By |2017-01-12T14:46:32+00:00September 7th, 2015|

In response to industry demand The Software Bureau is launching The Cygnus Academy, a series of accreditations covering data processing for direct mail production and data hygiene. The accreditations can be gained by attending examined training courses, which will take place around the country throughout the year. The training courses will be offered in three levels; introductory, intermediate and advanced and are open to anyone in the industry, not just Cygnus users. Overview of courses Introductory level: This course is aimed at new recruits and those that have little knowledge of using Cygnus. The course, entitled ‘An Introduction to Cygnus’, will ensure they are capable of not only using the software on a productive level, but also have a rudimentary [...]

A guide to charity direct mailing tax changes

By |2017-01-12T14:48:23+00:00July 31st, 2015|

As we approach the end of July, the third sector will doubtless be praying for an end to what is commonly termed national media ‘silly season’, when outlets (notably the Daily Mail) declares open season on direct marketing. This year’s pot shots, primarily aimed at charities (aggressive telemarketing and Olive’s Law), rival what the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) coined the ‘Summer of Discontent’ experienced back in 2006 when the Daily Mail crusaded against addressed and unaddressed advertising mail. However, the charity sector isn’t out of the woods yet, for another hunter is waiting in the wings with its gun loaded and has its sights trained on 1st August to make its first shots. This hunter is the tax man. Since [...]