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The Marketability eBulletin

Our free resources currently comprise the fortnightly eBulletin, and a searchable archive of almost 1000 original articles that have been edited and archived for their continuing relevance.

Welcome to our latest fortnightly eBulletin, posted here on 20 March 2018. In this issue:

10 letters we dropped from the English alphabet

If like me you think the evolution of language is fascinating, then you’ll love this short video posted by David Crotty on The Scholarly Kitchen blog. Who knew that & was widely regarded at one time as the 27th letter of the English alphabet? Or knew why an f sometimes (but not always) replaced s up until the late C18th? Incidentally the latter was probably seen off by some confusing rules about correct usage, which has ominous implications for some of the present ‘rules’ that many of us consider important.

Watch the video for yourself on The Scholarly Kitchen

Our Copywriting Workshop is THE place to be if you care about how to communicate in copy with precision and flair.


How does GDPR legislation affect direct mail?

If you’re a marketer anywhere in the UK/Europe your inbox is probably being bombarded with emails promising guidance, most of them from ESPs and digital agencies. But if legislation is tightening considerably for electronic marketing, what about direct mail? Will you still be able to send brochures or catalogues to prospects who haven’t expressly opted in to receive mail?

The short answer to this is yes. Phew.

“You won’t need consent for postal marketing but you will need consent for some calls and for texts and emails” states the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office).

Whilst this is reassuring we still need to bear in mind that our recipients’ rights have been strengthened under GDPR, so we must ensure that our privacy policies are fit for purpose and that we are squeaky clean about respecting and acting on the wishes of anybody on our mailing list who asks not to be mailed.

The Royal Mail has produced a free guide, The GDPR Opportunity with Mail, which gives more information and includes the ICO’s 12 Step Preparation Guide. The overall objective is to generate direct mail business, but the guidance and the sources of further information are all useful.

Meanwhile we should make sure that we use any postal mailing that we are doing as a vehicle to recruit subscribers to our email newsletters, and to encourage online re-engagement.

Find out more about Royal Mail’s GDPR Opportunity with Mail.

Our Email Marketing Workshop naturally covers the implications of GDPR and our Impressive Marketing Plans Workshop is designed to help you produce multi-channel plans that are achievable as well as impressive.


12 critical features of successful emails

There is no shortage of posts and articles about email marketing, but most focus on one aspect, such as deliverability, or (currently) compliance with ever-tightening legislation.

This free 45 page PDF from looks at all the key elements which need to work together, from subject line to layout, and from personalisation to calls to action. Originally published in 2016 it should ideally be used in conjunction with updated advice on specific issues, but it remains a sound and very useful checklist of how to create emails that have the best chance of success.

Read more about’s Anatomy of an Email guide.

Our Email Marketing Workshop is the place to be for much more like this.


On The Marketability Grapevine on Facebook

  • The embarrassing translation error on a Welsh road sign which I can’t resist sharing (from our archives).
  • Read something that hit the spot in this eBulletin? Click through and like the item or add a comment on Facebook.
  • Watch the Wall for postings of new jobs, or feel free to add to them.

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Tip of the week: The best onion is the one with the car park

I’m indebted to my sometime training partner Richard Balkwill for this tip, which I’ve found myself using again recently.

The scenario: you know that the best onions can be bought at a local independent organic shop, but parking is a problem, so you buy from the supermarket with the car park. The onions may not be as good, but they’re good enough and you’re short of time.

The moral: in a world where our customers have plenty of choice it’s not enough to have the best content, ease of access and customer service are at least as important. Do you pay enough attention to this when you’re creating your campaigns?




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