Thursday, 29 December 2016

December's Newsletter.

Oh December! It has been an avalanche of Christmas cards, the end of year round up and the obligatory festive knits.

This year wearing festive knits has been more than just a passion of ours but also the opportunity to help support the vital work of Save the Children.  We were very pleased to have donated £118 to Save the Children UK for their Christmas Jumper Day.  

Now the last posting dates have gone, the Christmas cards are out and the mince pies are stocked up in the cupboard, we can look back on what an exciting month December was for us all.

A highlight  was Treesa Green making her first appearance at a local school.  She wandered straight out of the woods and ended up at Westfield Primary who were in need of more greenery.  She spent the day there helping the pupils to plant saplings and teaching them about how trees benefit the environment - you can read more about her day here.  This timed really well with some of the work being done by our partners at the Woodland Trust for National Tree Week.

(And just in case you missed it and need a little more incentive, here are five reasons to plant a tree).

Another good story in the local press; we presented Midsomer Norton RFC Under 14s  with the first new set set of shirts in the team’s history.

The Coach, David Williams, said ‘ We are hugely grateful for this generous sponsorship which means so much to the players.

The U-14s team has great potential and has proved this over the last couple of seasons with their growing maturity in their commitment to training and attitude in games. So far this season they have won 6 and lost 2 narrowly losing to a very good Clifton team in the last play of the game in the quarter final of the Bristol cup. .

Next season they will start fundraising for their U-15s tour and hope to challenge strongly in all cups and develop players still further.  It goes without saying that we wish them all the best for the upcoming games!

In print news

The results are in for the Power100, all the details on are on the Print Week website, but importantly, Chairman Dave Broadway made the Power100 list at number 49!  There was also the people's vote where Dave and CEO Bill McFedries did fantastically and were ranked at number 9 and 11 respectively! 

Thank you everyone who voted.

Finally, we have a couple great articles on the blog at the moment about planning your direct mail campaign: 
Is there anything you'd like to learn more about?

It has been a busy month!  Wishing you all a very festive holiday and a happy new year. See you in 2017!

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Spam, spam, spam, spam (or 'how a Direct Mail campaign could help your business).

Email ought to be the marketers’ dream - it’s cheap and quick and can produce evidence of efficacy in an instant. However the enthusiasm for its use could ultimately also be responsible for its downfall.

We are all the subject of a marketing message email onslaught, entreaties to buy not only from the brands we love but also the ones with which we have no relationship, strangers we passed in the night as we idly surfed the net.

Like a room full of uninvited party guests they turn up 24/7, swamping the important messages from friends and family and business contacts. The return from holiday provokes an even greater sense of panic as we anticipate the hundreds if not thousands of emails that will need clearing down to allow us to make sense of what happened in the last fortnight.

In our irritation and speed to delete, most emails disappear without trace, the content at best having been skimmed but often never read.  More recently some frustrated users have even reported closing their accounts.

No wonder then that as email cut through reduces, attention returns to the centenarian of Direct Response, Direct Mail.

The direct mail environment is a good one. When you sort through your postal mail, you're probably much more relaxed and feel less put upon. This makes the recipient much more receptive to the message. 
Direct mail gives you the space to tell the whole story. If you tell the story well your reader will be with you until the end.
Direct mail gives you the opportunity to engage with the reader and present all the arguments which will motivate them to take action.
Direct mail also allows you to be truly creative and provides the flexibility to use a variety of inserts.
A more sophisticated data industry also allows you to strip and strand and be very accurate with your targeting, ensuring you achieve the very best value for money.
If you choose a hybrid mail service like CFH Docmail which will allow you to send bespoke mailings to any number of recipients you can test your messaging to find out what works best.
Docmail also enables you to print and post a letter for less than the cost of a second class stamp.
The simple truth is that people like direct mail and the most recent surveys confirm that it’s a truism across all age groups.
In a world where it can often be difficult to hear yourself think, Direct Mail slows the pace down, refocuses the customer’s mind and holds their attention.
To find out more about effective direct mail campaigns at the touch of a button, contact Emma, Rayne or Alicia from our customer service team:
or telephone: number- 01761 409701

Wear a woolly and save lives - use your 'Pullover Power'!

We are really excited to be supporting Save the Children with their Christmas Jumper Day this year.  All our staff (we hope) will be donning their best tasteful festive knits and donating money to this fantastic cause.

From the Save the Children website:

You won’t believe your mince pies when you see how much your pennies and pounds could help to provide.
It gives children from Surkhet district, mid-Western Nepal, pictured, access to after school clubs which help to educate them about the dangers of child marriage.
It could also help us bring essentials like healthcare, education, protection and food to the millions of children around the world who are missing out on the most basic support.
Every year, millions of children around the world die before their fifth birthday from easily preventable diseases like malaria, diarrhoea and pneumonia.
Many more are forgotten simply because they were born in the wrong place, or because they are girls, refugees, disabled or from a minority.
We won’t rest until every last child gets the chance to grow up healthy and happy. Your support will help us achieve our goal.

Will you be donning your reindeer jumper for this cause?  We do hope so!

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

10 Tips for your Direct Mail Campaign.

Top of Form

The development of email and the rapid adoption of smart phones provide a proliferation of marketing opportunities but direct mail still offers one of the most consistently effective forms of promoting your business and communicating with existing customers.

Customers are human, they like the tangible nature of direct mail.  Unlike emails, direct mail pieces are opened, read and often kept for future reference.  Customers trust the format and feel valued by the sender.

Creating a direct mail campaign is an easy and cost-effective way to maximise the use of your marketing spend and is proven in research to offer the best return on investment.
Mailings should be highly targeted.  Each direct mail campaign can be tailored for a specific audience, from long-time customers to new prospects. Customers should only receive offers or information that resonates.
In addition to targeting customers with relevant campaigns, direct mail pieces can be personalised to include names and other personal information. This attention to detail will increase the impact of your message and uptake.
There are a wide variety of formats and options, from postcards to newsletters, letters to invoices direct mailing is a suitable strategy for almost any application.
The effectiveness of direct mail is easy to measure. To track the success of a direct mail campaign, you only need count the number of enquiries made or coupons redeemed from a given mailing piece. It’s often worth running some test mailings with different messages to see which produce the best results.
Creating and executing a direct mail campaign is also straightforward. Using widely available desktop publishing tools, anyone can produce a direct mail piece.
Docmail allows businesses to design mail pieces, import mailing lists, and have each campaign printed and sent. Direct mail is also cost effective; by using Docmail letters can be printed, enclosed and mailed for less than the price of a second class stamp.
Direct mail supports other marketing efforts. Mailed materials can support brand building through other media.  Creating a cohesive marketing campaign that includes both traditional approaches, like direct mail, and new technology, raises awareness and reaches customers and prospects who prefer more established marketing techniques.

10 Top Tips From a Copywriting Expert

1 . Forget about a headline
Let’s start with the most counter-intuitive copywriting tip of all?
Your headline screams, “I’m selling to you!” so leave it out. You’ll also save yourself hours of head scratching, trying to come up with something original.
Now your prospect dives straight into the body copy and becomes engaged by tip two.
2.. Use a one-word opening sentence
 If you pick the right word, a one-word opening sentence or paragraph (even better) does a number of clever things simultaneously.
It arrests your reader’s attention because there’s nothing else to focus on.
It engages their emotions – crucial to making a sale.
And it forces them to read on, since they need to know what it means.
3. Use Courier
People always want to know why Courier works so well. Why not run an A/B test of your own and find out?
Courier is a simple, highly readable, monospaced typeface with pronounced serifs.
That makes it easy to decode the meaning behind the copy.
Two, it harks back to an earlier, less sophisticated age, when people would write to each other using typewriters. It is authentic.
4. Tell a story
People find stories irresistible. They’re much more interesting than lists of benefits.
Remember, stories have heroes. Heroes are individual human beings.
Your brand or product can never be a hero. That is just wishful thinking.
The hero must face, and overcome, a challenge.
5. Have one response option
Complexity confuses consumers. Just remember that.
Asking people to choose between multiple response channels, payment methods, order packages and delivery options may seem like a good idea.
In tests, the more options you add to your response device, the lower your response rate.
So keep it simple. If you’ve done your work selling the benefits, your prospect will be prepared to do what you ask them to get their hands on your product.
6.  Include practical advice
A long time before the term content marketing was coined, direct mail copywriters were offering useful information in sales letters.
In fact, one of the oldest and most successful headline formulas, “How to…” plays directly on people’s innate desire for help and advice.
7 . Include a testimonial with facts
One that includes numbers.
A testimonial that says, “Your product is great. I love it!” is better than nothing.
But it’s not nearly so powerful as one that says, “Since I started using your product, my energy bills have gone down by 33%. I can’t believe it, but it’s true!”
8. Use sensory language
Humans have five senses (at least).
But often, copywriters, even experienced direct mail copywriters, forget this fact.
Their copy lacks any sensory dimension at all.
It is full of abstract words, like “savings”, “attractive” and “envy”.
If you are marketing a product that saves people money, here’s how to dramatise that fact.
“Imagine, every week, every day, your EnergySavR is literally adding ten pound notes to a big pile in your bank account.”
If you are selling a natural beauty product, why not suggest that,
“As you run your fingertips over your skin you will notice a smoothness, a silkiness you thought you’d lost for ever.”
And for a food processor,
“Take our challenge. Make a chocolate cake in the Mazimixer using our free recipe and offer some to your friends. If you don’t hear their compliments, see the smiles on their faces, and taste for yourself the wonderful lightness of that rich dark chocolately sponge, we’ll give you your money back.”
9. Be chatty
Who said letters had to be formal?
A conversational, even chatty, tone of voice is perfect for engaging your reader’s emotions.
Whether you’re in consumer or business marketing, you’re still writing to a human being.
Human beings like other human beings. So use contractions. Be free with colloquialisms. Use everyday language, especially in b2b copywriting.
10. Start by promising not promoting
Follow these ten tips and watch your response rates rocket.
Your direct mail letter is there to offer a solution to a problem facing your prospect. So a great way to start is by promising them it will go away.
If only they’re prepared to go along with your suggestion.
“Be a star direct mail copywriter” is a promise.
“Book your course place before the end of March and save 50%” is an offer.
Which one looks more powerful to you?

If you want to find out how CFH Docmail could help your business, please contact Emma, Rayne or Alicia from our customer service team:

or telephone: 01761 409701

who will be happy to talk to you

[All images were taken from the Royal Mail Marketreach Research Document.]

Bottom of Form

Personalised Christmas Cards for Docmail Customers.

This year why not create a unique Christmas card for the special person in your life?

We've noticed that lots of people are sending e-cards or Facebook greetings instead of a traditional Christmas card, and then donating the money saved to charity.  So we've created a great service for our Docmail customers which allows you to do both! 

You can either upload your own image or select from our gallery for the perfect photo or illustration. Decide on your message for the front and inside of the card, press the button and your card will be printed, enclosed and posted for only 84p + VAT. All cards are sent by second class post, for first class post just add 29p.  Last posting day for Christmas 19th December 2016.

And most importantly, this year for every card that you purchase we’ll be giving 5p to Cyclists Fighting Cancer ( which provides a unique and highly effective way of helping kids with cancer through activity and exercise.

If you require any help or advice regarding this service, please contact Docmail support via:
Email: or 
Telephone: 01761 409701