What is your outlook for weather-based marketing?

MarketingFile - What is your outlook for weather-based marketing?
MarketingFile - What is your outlook for weather-based marketing?

Factoring the weather into your comms should be part of your marketing forecast. Everyday life is influenced by weather changes, triggering decision-making, emotions and a sales opportunity for savvy marketers. A temperature increase of just 1-degree Fahrenheit can increase weekly air con sales by 24%, whilst a 1-degree drop can increase weekly sales of portable heaters by 15% (source:’Profit of One Degree’ by wxtrends.com).

An extensive list of industries are affected by the elements including:

  • travel/transport
  • leisure/entertainment
  • homes/gardens
  • building maintenance (commercial, educational, residential, historic)
  • public services
  • food and drink
  • storage
  • infrastructure
  • communication
  • animal care
  • health and beauty
  • clothing and shoes
  • insurance and banking
  • HR

According to Huffpost, the number one smartphone use is checking the weather. Use this to your advantage by producing contextually relevant marketing to highlight the benefits of your products and services. 

Be a life-saver in extreme weather

The British are famous for talking about the weather, probably because it’s so unpredictable. Indian summer? Snowstorms in March? Perfectly plausible! Being prepared for extreme or freak weather means you’re ready to slide in with your solution. Think about what you offer, how it’s useful in extreme weather and what that email or ad could say. What pain points are people facing and how could you alleviate these? Conference call software for employees snowed in… craft packs to keep children entertained when school’s shut (and parents are trying to work from home)… HR advice on handling employees refusing to work in a heat wave… waterproof storage when heavy rain is forecast…  solutions to protect animals kept outdoors, etc.

It’s also an opportunity to remind customers that you’re still there, perhaps via a “home delivery” text, a tempting email showing the hot drinks your cosy café sells, or other ways to show the weather isn’t interrupting business as usual. Throw in an offer, get the timing spot on and you’ll be even more irresistible. Charities or not-for-profit organisations can also highlight their plight or cause in weather extremes for increasing donations and engagement. Having copy/design in mind means you can despatch a relevant message quickly for maximum impact.

Despite the banter, there will be a British summer every year so there’s nothing too special about promoting BBQs or flip flops when it’s already warm. However, you can be one step ahead and ready to shout about your 6-burner grill along with a 3-day local weather forecast when it’s going to be a scorcher. Urging facilities managers to check their air con is working, or to book a pre-heat wave service, provides the rationale for them to click with you rather than your competitors. Get thinking how weather peaks and troughs can work for your business.

If your products are more suitable to the opposite of the prevailing weather, there’s also an opportunity to tempt people with what they could be enjoying or should be doing, e.g. images of sun-drenched beach holidays when it’s miserable outside, or a reminder to gym users that ‘summer bodies are made in winter’ to tackle the dip in enthusiasm the cooler temps bring. Following a particularly dry/wet/cold/hot spell you can remind customers of a service, audit or upgrade they should be considering. You can certainly play on the safety, security, health, economic or product longevity benefits.

Be helpful

Weather-based comms can also provide valuable content to customers to keep them loyal and engaged. A reminder of product features that assist with driving on icy roads, a checklist for their buildings insurance policy (are you covered in a storm?), or a ‘did you know’ (that soup blender you bought from us can also make ice-cold smoothies?). These messages can of course seamlessly lead onto an upgrade or cross-sell message.

User-generated content

Launch a conversation around the weather on social media, asking followers to share tips or photos relating to your products, or share some video tips yourself. This can generate advocacy, insight, sales and a chance for you to demonstrate transparency, value and honesty as a brand.

In conclusion, think outside the box. Even if your product or service isn’t overtly seasonal or affected by the weather, there is sure to be ample opportunity to boost sales by targeting people in the desired mind-set. Look back at previous campaign results and what the weather was like (before/during/after) to spot any trends for future planning. If you need a creative spark to get your weather-related marketing off the ground, get in touch. And remember to check the forecast.

Fearless marketing in the dawn of GDPR

MarketingFile - What is GDPR & will it affect me?
MarketingFile - What is GDPR & will it affect me?

GDPR. What started out as something that sounded years away and hopefully nothing to worry about, is now just around the corner. Every brand controlling or processing EU citizens’ data needs to have a plan in place – from Angry Birds to Zurich.

In a nutshell, GDPR is making changes to the way organisations collect, use and retain personal data, including B2B, B2C and staff information. Assuming you’re already satisfying the 1998 Data Protection Act (DPA) then you’re in a good place but there is still work to be done. The world of marketing, communications and technology has moved on rapidly. Consumers are more data savvy, sceptical – suspicious, even – so the data regulators have upped their game too. The penalties for breaching GDPR are eye-wateringly bigger than previous sanctions, plus you may face compensation claims from individual consumers. The law comes into force on 25th May 2018 with no grace period. And sorry, there’s no opt out either – it’s legally binding, regardless of Brexit.

GDPR isn’t here to make your life difficult, but it will take a collaborative strategic approach to avoid falling foul of the law. But marketers love a challenge, right? At Everything DM we have been data evangelists ever since our creation, and have the expertise to make your marketing impactful and compliant in light of the biggest shake up in recent years. Fearless, bold marketing can still be done!

Audit your position

Getting ready for GDPR is not the responsibility of just one person. Everyone in the organisation who handles, stores or processes data needs to be aware of the new rights that individuals will have. Do you have a process for honouring the right to be forgotten? When did you last review your privacy policy? (tip: you’ll need one). Unbury your head from the sand and use our clear online questionnaire to audit your position. We can help where you’re drawing a blank and give you the confidence that you’ve covered all the bases.

Gain opt-in before the deadline.

Under the consent basis, you’ll need evidence that every person on the receiving end of your email marketing has opted-in. Consent should be given by a clear affirmative act establishing a freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication. That doesn’t mean pre-ticked boxes, taking ‘silence’ as consent, or forcing them to accept your marketing as part of a sales process. Beware you cannot email people who’ve already opted-out of your emails either, even if you consider it part of your data audit. Two well-known brands have done this and been penalised.

“But we’ll have no-one to email!”

It may seem disastrous, but GDPR is a good thing. Really. The prospects and customers who positively choose to hear from you are the ones that are worth most to you – the buyers and the advocators. Let us create compelling messaging to showcase the great content they’ll receive for their consent, whether you’re using a preference centre, solus email, letter or web pop-up. Remember, those who ignore your marketing time and time again are only wasting your budget and dragging down your response rates, so it’s a timely goodbye.

Clean up and continue prospecting

GDPR has inevitably prompted scaremongering and hyperbole, including rumours that third party data will die a death. This is not true, if you work with the right people. Our ICO-registered data partner Omnis is already streets ahead. Their sector-specific prospect data is high quality and qualified, as they have been working to GDPR standards for some time. If you need relevant third party data for your marketing campaigns, talk to us.

You may be a little concerned about the state of your CRM now and thinking of investing in data cleansing. Our free data health check service will give you an indication of how current your data is and whether it needs a detox or health kick.

Add direct mail to the mix

Mail is a reliable communication channel in light of the changes affecting email and other digital marketing and a great way to grab your prospect’s attention. 60% of people admit they like receiving mail and it’s a ‘sticky’ medium that’s shared, displayed around the home and re-read several times. What’s more, under GDPR you can send direct mail on the grounds of ‘legitimate interest’ as long as you have a relevant and appropriate relationship with the recipient, and balance the interests of the business against the rights, interests and freedoms of the consumer. Cost is a common concern but direct mail generates 10% more customers than email at a lower cost per acquisition. We can support you with creative through to fulfilment to get the best ROI.

Trust in a campaign manager

Putting your faith in marketing experts means you can spend more time converting sales and less time worrying about a call from the GDPR police. Our services can be combined into a single customer acquisition programme, generating a steady stream of new sales leads directly to you. These email/direct mail managed campaigns are highly targeted with guaranteed delivery, at a fixed monthly cost. We’ll report on the results to continually improve your campaigns and take care of GDPR implications. We handle the third party data (until they become your customers of course) and deal with unsubscribes, or even more tricky areas like subject access requests.

25th May is not far away and GDPR is coming soon to a screen near you. Ultimately, handling data lawfully, fairly and clearly means you’ll gain recognition as a brand that can be trusted. Embrace this law change with fearless and compliant data-driven marketing campaigns.

Please note… whilst we’re ready for GDPR, and are confident it’s a good thing for marketers and consumers alike, we’re not lawyers and this blog does not constitute legal advice. The ICO (the UK’s representative) continues to produce GDPR guidance so keep an eye on their webpage for updates. (https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/)

Get More for Your Money with Direct Mail

MarketingFile - Four basic direct mail tips
MarketingFile - Four basic direct mail tips

Whilst many of us are making the move into email and other digital marketing channels, print media is seeing a resurgence. Despite the additional costs and timescales, even in 2018, direct mail is still king when it comes to response and it’s no surprise either.

Research shows that over 60% of people admit they like receiving direct mail pieces, whilst other sources suggest print pieces stay in the house for an average of seventeen days. That’s not all either, as direct mail is passed on and re-read up to seven times, so why aren’t you involved?

The most common reason businesses avoid direct mail is cost, but there are several techniques you can take advantage of to reduce costs and increase ROI;

Target, Target, Target

Ensuring your only targeting worthwhile prospects is the number one way to keep postal costs to a minimum. Don’t waste your money contacting individuals who show no interest or don’t fall into your immediate plans. With GDPR approaching many people are nervous of contacting potential suitors but truth is that GDPR is a good thing for direct mail. The new regulations mean you can still contact potential buyers who have declared an interest in services you provide, the only people we are interested in anyway!

Clean Your Mailing List

If, like most companies, you haven’t managed your mailing list in the last 12 months, now is the time to do so. Chances are a chunk of your database has moved home or even become deceased. Every month your mailing list becomes less accurate, so keep on top of things to save those pennies. Doing so prior to each campaign means less undeliverable mail and a better return on investment.

Design with OCR Requirements

Designing for OCR allows for your mail campaigns to be machine sorted (rather than hand) saving in man power and therefore reducing your postal costs. OCR requires that a panel of set size be left clear on letters, whilst an additional return address and postal mark whitespace be left on postcard campaigns. The way we see it, what’s a little design real estate in exchange for reduced postage?

Know Postal Size Regulations

Knowing the physical restraints of post before you begin a project is a big must. You don’t want to spend out on additional design costs when your campaign is built incorrectly, reprinting or incur additional postage costs for larger or heavy items.

Give Your Audience Appropriate Channels for Follow-Up

Another cost-minimising method is to use mail as a tool to direct targets elsewhere. A single page print piece directing readers to a specially designed landing page (home to the full details) may be more cost effective than a sixteen page brochure detailing everything about your project. Bearing your target audience mind, don’t send individuals to a landing page if your audience isn’t tech-savvy in nature. That said adding a couple of sheets of paper may not affect your postal costs, so the additional print costs may yield a better return than sending users on a two-step process to gather information.

Go Big or Go Home

This depends on how you want to look at it. It won’t save you money but will get you more bang for your buck. By printing over 4’000 copies you become eligible for mail sort discounts and also open up the possibility of lithographic printing to help reduce print costs. If you’re looking at bigger quantities it’s certainly a viable option, although there is also the possibility your print piece isn’t eligible for lithographic.

The key to this is to do your research. A little bit of time spent here could save you a considerable amount moving forward. What is certain is that print media is certainly not a dyeing format so book your project in today.

We’re on hand to give you all the advice you need, from finding contacts through to design and campaign delivery. Speak to a member of our friendly team and make your next project a real success.

Are you a one-off?

MarketingFile - Are you a one-off?
MarketingFile - Are you a one-off?

With millions of records you’d think we’d struggle to find unique individuals amongst them, but that’s just not the case. Because we can segment people by their interests as well as the more common age and location, we really can find the exact people you are looking for.

Here are a just a few of the unique individuals we’ve found – no names though!


We’ll start with an unexpected snowboarder. Our dog owning pensioner is obviously a thrill seeker, because as well as being a boarder, he drives a TVR.


We have a female accountant who quite clearly wants to break a stereotype or two. As someone who rides a Harley Davidson, she’s not your average accountant, and her interest in DIY doesn’t immediately scream biker.


We’re split in the office about this cricket lover. Some of us think he is an Englishman renting a house in Aberdeenshire, others think he’s a Scot with a guilty pleasure.


This self-employed home-owner from Birmingham has 5 children. No wonder he is interested in beach holidays, it’s probably the only time he gets to relax.


We’re not sure how many palaeontologists there are in the country, but we have details of a married one in their 30’s.


It’s becoming far more common for young adults to still live at home with their parents, but we only have one who is 27-years-old has a full-time job and reads house & home magazines.


It may come as a surprise to you, it does to us, but not all London fashion photographers are like Austin Powers. We have a married one on our database who likes relaxing by doing puzzles.

It may come as a surprise to you, it does to us, but not all London fashion photographers are like Austin Powers. We have a married one on our database who likes relaxing by doing puzzles.

And the last one of our individuals for the moment is this lady. A married 25-year-old, who’s sports car is less than 3 years’ old.

You can run your data count by clicking here

What is GDPR & will it affect me?

MarketingFile - What is GDPR & will it affect me?
MarketingFile - What is GDPR & will it affect me?

In the first in a series of posts about GDPR, we are going to cover the basics of what it actually is, why it has come into being, and how it will affect both individuals and companies alike.

GDPR is the General Data Protection Regulation and will replace the current Data Protection Act (DPA).

It was introduced by the EU in May 2016 with a two-year transition period and comes into force on May 25 2018. The aim of the GDPR is to unify data protection law within the European Union and even though we are leaving the EU, the GDPR will remain. There are two main reasons for this


The DPA is outdated. It was last updated in 1998 and so was not designed to cope with all the new data that has been generated by our current technology.


The GDPR will not just apply to members of the EU, but applies to all businesses, regardless of their location, who will hold or process the data of EU citizens.

Our current DPA was based on a 1995 EU directive that suggested best practice for its Members, but was implemented very differently by the individual countries. The GDPR grew out of a desire for consistency from individuals who wanted their details handled in the same way, regardless of which country they were processed in, and businesses who wanted to run a single system without the need to administer data differently in different locations.

Will it affect me?

The short answer is yes.

For businesses

Any entity that handles personal data, whether it belongs to customers OR staff, will be subject to the GDPR. Realistically, anyone currently subject to the DPA will also be subject to the GDPR.

For individuals

The GDPR gives you more control over the personal data a company holds about you and what they can do with it.

Preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation

At its heart, the GDPR is about the rights individuals have over their personal data rather than a set of rules for businesses to follow.

The aim is to create some new rights for individuals and strengthen others that currently exist in the DPA. With the key principle of transparency running through the GDPR companies will need to show how consent has been obtained to process an individual’s personal data.

Companies will also need to be able to demonstrate how and why they have personal information, what they will do with it, how long they will keep it, and also to provide anyone with the following rights:


The right to be informed


The right of access


The right to rectification


The right to erasure


The right to restrict processing


The right to data portability


The right to object


Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling

The ICO have put together a PDF to help businesses to prepare for the GDPR. Click the link to download 12 steps to take now.

With under a year to go until the GDPR comes in to effect, businesses need to be taking steps to prepare for it. Unfortunately, with under a year to go, many of the finer points are still being worked on, making compliance even harder. To make things easier for you, we will aim to keep you up-to-date with changes as and when they become finalised.

Addressing the OCR requirement

MarketingFile - Addressing the OCR requirement
MarketingFile - Addressing the OCR requirement

OCR or Optical Character Recognition refers to the ability of machines to identify and read printed text. By making the addresses on your direct mail pieces OCR compliant it removes the need for them to be sorted by hand, making postage costs cheaper for you.

To prepare your direct mail pieces so they are OCR compliant we’ve put together this little guide for you.


While you can use any font you like for the body copy of your mailing pieces, the mailing and return addresses need to be one of the following OCR fonts:

  • Arial 10-12pt
  • Century School Book 10-11pt
  • Courier 10-15pt
  • Courier New 10-15pt
  • Verdana 10-12pt
  • Avant Garde 11-15pt
  • Geneva 10-12pt
  • Franklin Gothic 10-12pt
  • Helvetica 10-14pt
  • News Gothic MT 10-12pt
  • Franklin Gothic 10-12pt

The OCR fonts need to be printed in a dark coloured font to ensure it is easily machine read.

Positioning for letters

For letters, you need to make sure the following sit within a window envelope correctly

  • The recipient’s address
  • The returns management code

Positioning for postcards

For postcards, you need to make sure the following are all positioned correctly

  • The recipient’s address
  • The return address
  • Postage stamps
  • RM4SCC codes

Supplying us your artwork

It is a complicated procedure so leave it to us! We will set up all the OCR positioning all you need to do is supply us your OCR compliant artwork.

We will send you a guide with all the clear zones measurements and then you can download one of our templates to see if your positioning is correct. Overlay your artwork on top and if it does not run over the boxes then you’re OCR compliant and meet the requirements.

The clear zones will need to be kept free of all artwork, text and colour – must be a white background.

You’re now eligible to benefit from reduced postage costs. Send 4,000 or more items and you’ll qualify for OCR mail sort which is even cheaper per record.

To speak to us about how we can help you with your design work or the delivery of your items, call 0845 345 7755

Why your business needs prospect data

MarketingFile - Why your business needs prospect data
MarketingFile - Why your business needs prospect data


Most companies aren’t lucky enough to just have people flocking to their website. So how do you reach new clients to generate sales?

The best approach is to have a balanced acquisition programme using a range of channels. Unfortunately for most companies, budgets restrict this.

TV advertising is expensive. Print has a declining circulation. Online display advertising is suffering from ad blocking software and low viewability. So most people resort to search engines.

Just Google it?

Improving your rankings on Google and / or paying for AdWords will help you increase sales. Sales to people looking for your products and services

The problem with relying on a search engine though is that it’s a reactive channel. You are reliant on people knowing that what you offer exists, and then being in the market for it.

While it may be true that good things come to those who wait, is this the best strategy for your business?

And even if you’re prepared to wait for prospective clients to come to you, are your competitors?

Be proactive

Don’t wait for your prospective customers to come to you, go to them. Not knowing they want your product is different from not wanting it.

This is where prospect data comes into its own.

You can choose email addresses and send messages that push people straight to your website. Or you can send out something printed – a voucher to use in-store or a copy of your latest brochure.

By offering them something with your introductory message you will increase uptake.


The best thing about prospect data is that we find the right people for your business, so you only pay for what you need. By segmenting prospects, it means you don’t send your message to inappropriate people. Our segmentation criteria include demographics, socio-economic background, location and many different interests.

We can even target people who share similarities with your existing customers. By finding the commonalities between them we can then find the best prospects. These people will be more likely to respond to your offers and buy your products or services.


By sending your message direct to prospective clients you cut wastage and save money. And in targeting people who are more likely to buy, third-part data can give a great return on investment.

To see how we can help you grow your business, call 0845 345 7755 or fill in our contact form.

To see the data we have available for your next campaign:

How Clean Is Your Data?

MarketingFile - Spring clean your data
MarketingFile - Spring clean your data

With over 3.6m house sales between January 2014 and December 2016, if you haven’t updated your database recently you may be wasting a lot of time and money sending things to customers who are just no longer there.

And it’s not just postal addresses that change. On average 2% of your email list gets outdated every month because people change email addresses, jobs, organisations, etc.

That’s close to 25% of your list every year.

A recent DMA study found that more than 50% of consumers have at least considered deleting their email account to control the flow of marketing emails that they receive.

Data cleansing services

At MarketingFile we can help, our data cleansing services will save you money, time and help maintain your good reputation.

  • Save Money – don’t waste money sending to people who won’t receive it
  • Save Time – don’t waste time dealing with undelivered items
  • Maintain Your Reputation – don’t create negative feelings towards your brand by sending to the wrong people

In some cases, we can even find the new addresses for your contacts that have moved, so you can continue sending to them with no break in the relationship.

For more information on how we can save you money by cleansing your data, call 0845 345 7755, or complete contact us directly

Print – The vital ingredient

MarketingFile - Print – The vital ingredient
MarketingFile - Print – The vital ingredient

Yesterday I attended the DMA event, Print – the vital ingredient.

The theme for the morning was, that like a phoenix rising from the flames, we are seeing a resurgence in the popularity of direct mail as part of a multi-channel campaign.

There are many factors that are contributing to a return to the importance of direct mail, including email fatigue, a new data driven relevancy and its ability to engage its audience.

With new forms of print creating pieces that people enjoy touching, direct mail offers something that digital just can’t.

Some of the headline figures from the event

  • 60% of people admit to liking receiving direct mail
  • 75% of people will open a direct mail piece
  • Print pieces stay in the house for an average of 17 days
  • People spend longer looking at print pieces than email

From supplying targeted prospect data through to fulfilment we can help you with your direct mail campaigns. For more information fill in our contact form here, or call 0845 345 7755.

4 reasons why your campaigns shouldn’t be a one off

MarketingFile - 4 reasons why your campaigns shouldn’t be a one off
MarketingFile - 4 reasons why your campaigns shouldn’t be a one off

Did you hear about the company who had an amazing response from their first mailing? The one where they earnt enough for everyone to retire to the Caribbean from a single send? No, neither did I.

There is no silver bullet that converts prospects to purchasers in one communication. Especially to cold prospects. There are many articles about how often you need to contact someone before they convert. The numbers vary a lot, I’ve seen anything between 5 and 13 times, but they all agree on one thing.

You need to do it more than once


Timing may be the secret to great comedy, but it’s as important in getting your message read. Even the perfect offer, delivered to the right person will fail if it’s the wrong time. And by wrong time, I don’t mean Tuesday morning or Thursday evening.

I mean the wrong time for the person you’ve sent the message to.

Prospects don’t sit around, waiting for your campaign to arrive. They’re in meetings, trying to beat a deadline or taking the kids swimming. There are countless distractions that stop someone seeing your message – let alone read it all the way through.

Multiple sends give you more than one chance to get noticed.


Receive a message from a household name and you focus on the content. Receive it from a company you don’t know, and your attention moves towards who that company is. Are they reputable, what else do they do?

Unless it’s an impulse purchase, people rarely buy from a company the first time they interact with them. They need more than one contact to convince them to buy.

Multiple sends build up confidence and trust in your brand.

Meeting a need

Companies rarely provide only one product or service. Even when they do, there is more than one benefit on offer. Explaining everything you do in one communication will overwhelm people. Make it simple for your prospects, focus on one thing per message. Build up the full range of benefits over the length of the campaign.

There won’t be one universal benefit that gets everyone to buy. Give people a different reason to buy from you in each message. Different benefits will meet the different needs of your clients.

Multiple sends will allow you to engage more of your prospects.

Buying stage

Even the perfect offer that convinces people they want to buy from you, doesn’t guarantee a sale. Budget or contract issues can prevent people from buying straight away.

You need to remain in consideration until the client is in the market to buy. Regular messages ensure that your product or services are not forgotten.

Multiple sends keep your brand front of mind.

Multiple send campaigns are more than the sum of their parts. They develop relationships through the cumulative effect of recognition and the benefits provided. Which in turn leads to the acquisition of new clients in a cost efficient and effective way.

Whether you are targeting B2B prospects or B2C ones, we can help with targeted business lists and consumer lists that will allow you to run multiple send campaigns. Contact us now to see how we can help your business grow.