The £480k Piece of Mail

By Oli Luke

As you may know, I own 50% of a handwritten mailing company called ‘Scribble Mail’.

Late last year, we re-launched, change the branding and mapped out our plan to grow/scale and sell this company in 2020.

One of the first actions that I did was create a print newsletter/comic-style publication – just eight pages – that displays our services, has a bit of fun with the branding/characters and shares some case-studies.

When this was ready, I made the decision to send this publication along with a handwritten card to everybody that had enquired throughout 2017.

The cost to us was £300.00.

For a while, it was debated. These are dead leads, they said no, and £300.00 for a business that was re-starting from scratch was an important amount of money.

I obviously got my own way and we sent the mailing.

Seven days later, we were on a call with a well-known brand discussing an on-going ‘thank you card’ campaign for all their customers.

This has gone back and forth, we’ve signed NDA’s, we’ve sent terms of service, we’ve jumped through hoops and sent a bunch of samples.

We’re now in the final stages of dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s for what will be a £480,000 per year deal – paid in quarterly chunks.

Touch wood (as I do every time that I have a free house) – it will all go through.

There are two reasons for this article.

Firstly, it’s another reminder of the importance of following up –

£480k from a £300 investment isn’t a bad ROI.

Secondly, I want to share what we’re planning on using this profit for.

You see, our plans for this business are to quickly grow then sell in 2020 for what we are aiming to be £11 million.

In order to do this, we need to get our gross profit up to at least £3m per year and we need to majorly disrupt a tired marketplace.

If we can achieve both of these, then there’s a high chance that one of the larger UK mailing houses will buy us out (mainly to shut us up).

This means that the other director and I are not taking any money out of this business, but are re-investing all profits back into growth.

This order (if all goes through) will give us some real cash to invest in growth.

Here are the first three things we’re planning to do with it:

  1. Hire a shit-hot sales person.

Honestly, I reckon that most small businesses would be able to massively grow their sales if they made the leap to hiring a good salesperson.

Our aim is to find a gem that already has contacts and can follow up all of our outbound mailing efforts.

They should be a very ROI-rich hire.

  1. Sending outbound mail

The “dream” client for this company are businesses that currently send upwards of 100,000 mailings per year AND sell a premium service (with margin) …OR  agencies.

We’ve built our list of ideal businesses, and we’re going after them through a multi-step direct mail campaign.

We’ll then have our sales person following them up to get meetings.

If we can land five of these clients, then we’re out the valuation we need to sell for our target of £11m.

  1. Launching the ‘Direct Mail Association’We’re going to launch our very own association – which will not be linked to ‘Scribble Mail’ – this will consist of a website and trade magazine.We’ll then offer free membership to our dream clients and larger businesses.This will serve two purposes.Firstly, we’ll be able to control the conversation and ‘Scribble Mail’ will be the only advertisers in the trade magazine.

    Secondly, it allows us to approach our dream clients in disguise and ask if we can interview them for our magazine.

    This will get us a meeting, we can then ask them about how they use handwritten mail and turn the conversation to ‘Scribble Mail’.

    Then focus on fulfilment.

    Once all this is in place, then we need to turn our attention into ensuring our fulfilment process is well-oiled – which will mean hiring upwards of 20 writers.

    It’s going to be a fun year for Scribble Mail.

    I’ll keep you updated as part of this publication – there will be some key lessons either way.

700k campaign


The “Take-Away” Direct Mail Campaign That Generated $700,000 of Sales from a Small Burnt-Out Email List (Without Having Any of the Subscribers Postal Details).

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700k campaign

Swipe Files & Campaign Walkthrough

The “Take-Away” Direct Mail Campaign That Generated $700,000 of Sales from a Small Burnt-Out Email List (Without Having Any of the Subscribers Postal Details).

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