Direct Mail Stimulates New Bookings from Enquirers and Lapsed Customers


Forest Holidays have 12 stunning forest locations in the UK, from the Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia to Sherwood Forest and the North York Moors. With luxury log cabins with hot tubs, their appeal stretches from family adventures in the great outdoors to stress-free romantic retreats.

With foreign travel out of bounds during the pandemic, they enjoyed record bookings from travellers looking for staycation holidays, and they were keen to keep up the momentum. Having attended one of Red C’s direct mail masterclasses, they tasked the agency with producing an attractive, cost-effective mailing to first time bookers and lapsed customers who hadn’t booked in recent years, to go out at the vitally important turn-of-the-year period, between Christmas and New Year.


The data briefing from Forest Holidays’ data agency Spike Insight revealed that there were strong predictive characteristics in the data. Previous bookers in each location showed a strong propensity to either book the same location again, or 1 of 2 geographically aligned locations.

Based on this, we recommended that a digitally printed mailing would allow each mailing to be personalised to promote prominently the most likely booking locations.

Armed with some stunning location photography from Forest Holidays, Red C created an attractive but cost-effective 10-page brochure, completely personalised to the recipient’s previous location characteristics. With messages like ‘Fancy staying at Sherwood Forest again?’ and ‘If you liked Sherwood Forest, you’ll love the Forest of Dean’ the mailing made imaginative and effective use of the propensity data.


As a fast-growing and successful UK holiday company, most of Forest Holidays’ growth has come via online channels, but the success of the mailing, which demonstrated a significant improvement on both a hold-out control group and an ‘email only’ segment, has prompted the company to make direct mail a permanent element in the turn-of-the-year marketing mix.