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  • Back to the future

    In a recent study…. blah blah blah… boring….

    What you really want to know is how can you get MORE of your envelopes opened?

    Back in the days before computers and printers ALL letters had a 100% open rate.

    You hand wrote the letter, stuck a stamp on it, put it in the postbox. It got opened. Simple.

    Now, I’m not suggesting that you sit for 14 weeks and write out 10,000 envelopes, or even stick on five grands worth of stamps. That would be be madness, wouldn’t it? But then if you got 10,000 people to open your envelopes…. tempting? Er… no.

    Do it like this instead:

    sli envelope

    Step 1. Order envelopes pre-printed with what appears to be a Royal Mail 2nd class stamp. These can only be printed by approved suppliers, the colours have to be 100% exact.

    Step 2. Run your data through a special sortation program called mailsort to achieve postage discounts (typically discounted to 20p per letter for a sales mailshot or charity appeal)

    Step 3. Address your envelopes using a high tech inkjet printer in a hand-writing font, using blue ink

    Step 4. Insert your letter / flyer to the envelopes using an envelope enclosing machine

    Step 5. Post your envelopes

    Step 6. Sit back and watch the money roll in….

    Of course if you don’t happen to have the mailsort programme, the inkjet printer or the envelope encloser then we could always help you out….. I suppose…


  • Featured Image“what do you do then?”

    I get asked that question quite a lot. I don’t really have an off the cuff answer to it, depends who’s asking and how interested they actually are!

    The standard non technical reply “you know the cards you have in your wallet? Well we print the letter it came with, print your name on the card, put the two together and post them to you”

    To which I usually get a response of “oh right, I thought you just sent out junk mail…”

    Which is interesting. I’m not really convinced that anyone can afford to send out junk mail anymore, that tends to land in my email inbox several hundred times a day….. If you are going to stand the costs of sending a postal mailshot then it isn’t going to be junk, it’d better be highly targeted and relevant to the person receiving it hadn’t it? Otherwise it’s a huge waste of money, and who can afford that? (apart from Virgin and Barclaycard…)

  • Charity shop gift aid experience

    With ‘shabby chic’ ever growing in popularity we seem to be heading in droves looking for up-cycling projects in Charity shops…

    …..personally I’m always on the lookout to replace my lost vinyl LPs from off of the 1980’s…..

    … but when you reach the til and the lovely sales assistant asks you to ‘gift aid it’ does it make your heart sink, just a little?

    As much as we all understand the benefits to the Charity of claiming the tax back, the pain of “name and address, etc etc” at the point of sale always fills me with dread, but you can’t really say no can you…. it just wouldn’t be fair….

    So I have to say I was delighted to find a Charity Shop on a recent visit to Belper High Street in Derbyshire that has actually addressed the issue. Postcode, house number, surname. Job done, no pain, typed straight in to the til. Happy customer. Well done.





  • VAT free postage? very nearly….

    There is a way for charities to only pay VAT on a small portion of the postage cost, typically only paying VAT on only 2p per letter, as opposed to paying it on the full 22p.

    We now have what is called an open ‘agency agreement’ which will allow us to provide Charities with an almost VAT free postage service. All they need to post is a minimum of 4000 letters in one hit.

    The agreement is between FBI Direct and Royal Mail, you do not need to do anything, other than demonstrate that you are a charity and therefore VAT exempt.

    We can also offer another solution involving the HMRC pack test, which, with the correct balance of leaflets can results in a 100% VAT free print & pack solution as well.

    Could this benefit your non-VAT registered charity organisation?? If so what are you waiting for?

    Contact us for more details.

  • Franking machines: the real costs….


    “you’re paying 54p for stamp?…. how would you like to pay 39p….”  says the franking machine salesman as he rubs his hands together in anticipation of a tasty order….

    “wow… that’s amazing” you think, what a massive saving, why didn’t we think of this before….

    … but don’t forget to add the cost of the machine rental / the ink / maybe the labels, and of course your time…. just how long would it take you to frank that 1000 mailshot you were thinking of doing?

    So probably more like 41p maybe 42p per letter? 

    If you woud like to be paying a maximum of 31p per letter (21p under certain criteria) then who ya gonna call? You guessed it!





  • Mobile friendly website

    Having used the services of a so called ‘seo expert’ to promote our website we came to the conclusion that google is just far too clever for them now.

    It hates manufactured links, penalising you for anything other than natural traffic.

    And why not?  Makes perfect sense to me. If you website isn’t up-to-date, relevant and getting genuine hits then why should it rank as number one?

    And so we have downloaded a ‘mobile friendly’ theme for wordpress. And with 50% of all traffic happening on mobiles it also makes perfect sense. 

    Still in the test phase at the moment, so if anything doesnt quite work properly, please bear with us. Or even better please let us know!!!


  • What is mailsort?

    Put simply, by pre-sorting your mailshot data you can make significant savings on your postage costs.

    A minimum of 4000 letters or 1000 large letters is required to qualify.

    Savings compared to using stamps can equate to over 60%.

    You will need a specialist mailing company to pre-sort the data and present it to Royal Mail in the correct order.


  • I see dead people

    Honestly I do, I see dead people all the time.

    But they don’t come back to haunt me, they come back to haunt you.

    If you don’t  remove them from your database before you mail to it then you will be cursed, forever! You might even make front page of the local rag. I’ve seen it happen.

    If you would like a FREE analysis of your database then get in touch. We can tell you if you have any potential problems lurking in the shadows.

    Maybe I should have saved this post for Halloween….

    Dear Mr Smith : deceased…   oh yes that really has happened too!