the new way to buy steel

role: dm campaign

discipline: strategy / design


Traditionally, steel customers make a purchase by phoning or emailing a range of suppliers to obtain quotes before placing an order. SteelScout, a new venture from leading steel company, Tata Steel, offers a different approach to steel buying, designed to save steel customers money, time and stress. Customers contact SteelScout by phone, email or via the company’s website. One of SteelScout’s Account Managers searches SteelScout’s network of 70 suppliers for the best quote, then manages the order and its delivery.

Once potential customers have tried SteelScout, most convert into regular users. But many potential customers are entrenched in their familiar purchasing behaviour and are averse to trying something new.

SteelScout asked ifour to create a piece of direct mail to raise awareness of their brand and offer, generate warm leads, encourage trial, communicate the benefits of SteelScout’s unique model and ultimately acquire new customers.


Initial audience research was conducted by ifour and Walnut Research to understand audience needs, behaviours and challenges around buying steel. Research findings informed three creative directions, which ifour mocked up into direct mail concepts. These were researched with audiences to ‘pin down’ the most motivating visuals and messages for the final creative execution.



Based on audience research, ifour produced a high-quality A5 direct mail booklet for SteelScout. As potential customers turned each page, additional features and benefits of SteelScout’s offer were revealed.

The booklet was direct mailed consecutively to two ‘batches’ of SteelScout’s national database. After a few days, recipients received a follow-up phone call from a member of SteelScout’s sales team.