Facilties, Healthy and Safety, Environmental

The E-File

The E-file (Private Sector) - Overview

There are approximately 15,000 Private sector sites in the UK employing 100 or more staff and over 13,000 Facilities decision makers presiding over them. While 30-35% of them are also responsible for Health & Safety, around 9,000 of those sites employ separate senior Health & Safety decision makers.

In many cases, the Environmental role overlaps quite considerably with FM and HS, especially with the emergence of specialist job titles with various permutations such as QESH, SHE, SHEQ, etc. but there are still many sites employing a third separate decision maker contact to oversee that particular job function.

These figures are reduced when taking into consideration those companies and/or individuals who have exercised their right to opt out of mailing lists generally by declining to provide personnel contact details to marketers which is the primary reason why, regrettably, no list can ever be considered 100% comprehensive.

Making a further allowance for those companies who just decline to provide staff email addresses we currently have around 9,600 of those sites listed on each of our databases. Originally, everyone was listed with an email but over years of on-going re-verification some companies have since declined to provide their new email details but have remained on the list as responsive and valid mailing/tele-marketing prospects.

While these burgeoning sectors have been broadly accessible for many years through the more conventional forms of direct mail and tele-marketing, it was largely untapped when it came to email marketing and it was here that GRS took the lead.

The E-file (Public Sector) - Overview

Originally built in 2005, our Public Sector E-file now contains in excess of 1,700 sites from across Local & Central Government, the NHS and Higher Education - all with email addresses. In the current economic climate this sector is facing the bleak prospect of far-reaching cuts which could radically re-shape the structure of the organisations and institutions we currently list. Naturally we will continue to monitor developments and adapt the file accordingly.

Defining a decision maker contact

The term ‘decision maker contact’ is a key phrase in the world of direct marketing. In major organisations very few corporate decisions are taken by any one sole individual without some sort of departmental consultation, but even when certain decisions lay ultimately at board room level (ie: financial approval) a ‘decision maker’ is normally defined as the recommended primary point of contact regarding a given subject (marketing, sales, fleet, etc). Our own definition of ‘decision maker’ in relation to our E-file is: the contact nominated by the organisations interviewed as being the most appropriate member(s) of staff on site regarding the day to day implementation and administration of Facilities, Health & Safety and/or Environmental activities.

Concept and Strategy

Our Private sector database was first developed in 2003 for a small syndicate of sponsors, each one active in a different field of business but all of them targeting the same ‘Facilities’ and ‘Health & Safety’ sectors.

Since then the strategy has continued to evolve around retaining enough subscribers to cover the considerable costs of on-going research and maintenance, while limiting subscription to prevent over-use of the data which could undermine the effectiveness of the file and dilute the effectiveness of subscriber campaigns.

At the end of each year, varying percentages of participants opt out of this syndicate in order to pursue alternative marketing media leaving scope for new subscribers to join in their place. Ideally, we try and limit the user licences to one per business sector offering recipients as much variety as possible, while offering subscribers a degree of exclusivity.


While we strive to ensure that every site is tele-verified at least once a year by phone, our E-file is constantly being enhanced through on-going subscriber usage (whether via mail, phone or email) by promptly re-qualifying any returns and making changes and/or amendments where identified.

All research work is carried out by experienced teams of professional UK based tele-researchers before passing through two separate strict quality control audits including a full final manual check by the MD himself!

Cheaper alternatives?

Any marketing manager seeking to undertake the daunting project of such detailed telephone research without the luxury of their own in-house tele-researchers may require an initial budget exceeding £25,000 and an annual maintenance allowance of at least half that amount again.

Marketeers tempted to dramatically cut costs by sub-contracting research work to cut-priced overseas call centres lose out on core fundamental requirements such as vital local knowledge and colloquial understanding which massively affects the accuracy of the important information required. The wheels have very much come off the whole ‘off-shoring’ bandwagon in recent years, exposing what must surely have been the most obvious shortcomings!

Subscribers to our research syndicate often pay little more than they would buying even a conventional off-the-shelf mailing list while still benefiting from far greater quality, recency and often a greater depth of information.

Membership/response and event attendance data collection are very popular forms of list building but even those methods have limitations and, despite their audacious claims, few of the new generation of email list providers seem to be able to provide anything more than standard Senior Management contacts in any great numbers, while user exclusivity is virtually unheard of.

List buyers should also be aware that legal and ethical boundaries are being further stretched by a number of these ‘new players’ who choose to cut corners by employing dubious unqualified web-based data collection methods to produce lists ‘on the cheap’.

As a final thought: while budget is always a consideration, how many times does a cheap mailing list need to be sold in order to turn a profit for the owner? The answer: many, many, many times! The result? Saturation and minimal response.

The ‘Facilities Managers E-file’, the ‘Health & Safety Managers E-file’ and the ‘Environmental Managers E-file’ are all the sole property of GRS Associates Ltd. Every record has been fully tele-researched and none of the email addresses have been ‘harvested’ or lifted from a third party source.

The overwhelming majority of the email addresses provided are personal ones with any generic ones (info@, enquiries@) have been duly nominated by the respective interviewees as a preference or where a personal email facility is not in place.

GRS Associates Ltd is registered with the Data Protection Agency under registration number PZ7190215.

For individual datasheets and further information please contact:

GRS Associates Ltd, St Andrews Castle, 33 St Andrews Street South, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP33 3PH

Telephone: 01449 737181Fax: 01449 736537Email: info@grs-associates.co.uk