Talon Mailing & Marketing

561 Acorn Street
Deer Park, NY 11729



Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing January 2009  Newsletter:

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Is Your Data Processing Bureau or Mail House Going Out of Business?

By Michael Borkan.

Sadly, companies are closing in the direct marketing services industry. 

While some local direct marketing companies are closing their doors, I'm pleased to report that Talon, and our sister company, Greater Data  & Mailing are doing quite well. That means if you are already working with us, you can take comfort in knowing you and your projects are safe and you will not experience a business interruption.

During 2008, Talon and Greater Data had a combined sales growth of 12 percent!  While this may not seem to be a substantial growth, keep in mind it is a continuation of solid, steady expansion.  The increases continue our trend of growing an average of 10 - 20 percent a year over the last ten years.

If you are not currently working with Talon and Greater Data it may be time to contact us.  Not only have we increased sales, we also have increased our service offerings  and technologies.  With our experience and dedicated staff, we can help you grow your business too!  Call Michael Borkan today at 631-667-5500 x 11.

How To Avoid Six Direct Mail Mistakes.

Direct mail is "played" so that you maximize your chances of winning and reduce your chances of throwing money out the window.

Direct mail is a lot like blackjack. To win at blackjack you need to be aware of the odds at all times and play so that you are maximizing your chances to win while minimizing your risks. The same is true with direct mail. Direct mail is "played" so that you maximize your chances of winning and reduce your chances of throwing money out the window.

Each right move helps you increase your response rates and your return on investment. Mistakes, on the other hand will cost you responses and cost you money. Here's a few common mistakes and some proven direct mail and marketing tips that will help you maximize your success.

1. Marketing to too many low probability prospects. The list that you mail to is the number one factor that will determine how successful you are at direct mail. You should spend more time trying to select the right list than any other component of your direct mail campaign. This one component can mean more to your success than any other.

Look for lists that have a logical connection to your product or service. If you are raising funds for a charity you would want to select a list of people who have donated to a similar cause in the past.

2. Failure to differentiate. Have you ever noticed how many companies say the same thing in their marketing and advertisements. Open up a phone book and look at how many companies sound alike. They use phrases like "Quality Work, Affordable Rates, and Prompt Service."

It's all meaningless dribble to the people who are reading it. We've heard it all before from similar companies. If you say the same thing that everyone else does you say nothing. No one pays attention to the same white noise.

3. Your message is not credible. People make claims but fail to show the reader how they can deliver on those claims. They do not offer supporting evidence that tells the reader why they can do what they say can do.

For example, if I said I can service any retail location in the US in under 24 hours I would need to support that claim. In this case, I would say we can support this claim because we have over 2,400 offices through out the US. This connects the claim to some sort of reason why.

4. Failure to link your product to a benefit. People will only buy your product or service for what it can do for them. You need to provide them with both emotional and logical benefits that build their interest. Make sure that you connect the features of your product to something that provides a benefit to your prospect.

An example of this is, if I was selling a cell phone I would indicate that it has a vibrate function. That way, you can avoid the embarrassing feeling of having your cell phone go off in the middle of church while you are waiting for an important phone call. In this case, and the case of all good marketing, the feature ties to a benefit.

5. Over reliance on graphics. Graphics can be a wonderful way to support your direct mail message but, they need to be used correctly. Ultimately, no matter how well done a picture is, it will not sell for you. Your copy is what will do the selling.

Use graphics to support your copy. For example, if you have a chiropractic clinic your headline might read "Plagued By Back Problems?" and your picture might support this headline by showing someone wincing in pain as they hold their back.

6. Envelopes that won't get opened. If your envelope broadcasts the fact that what is inside is advertising then you have reduced your chances of that mail being opened. The more you can make your mail look like a personal letter the better your success will be in getting the envelope opened.

One thing you might want to consider is a match mailing.  This is where your address the outside envelope and match it with a personalized letter.  This can be more expensive than a window envelope but can increase response rates and make your mailing projects more profitable.  The other thing you should consider is using a normal white woven envelope as opposed to a high quality paper one with your logo on it. A normal looking white woven envelope will look more personal and have a greater chance of getting opened.

Setting Strategy: Retailers Hope To Clip A Path To Success.

By Ruth Baum Bigus, Kansas City Star. 

In a tough retail environment, coupons can be a useful marketing tool.

“Our customers respond to them,” said Elizabeth Jensen, marketing director for Cargo Largo, which sells overstocked and excess inventory through various venues, including a retail store in Independence.

Since joining the company earlier this year, Jensen has made coupons a key part of Cargo Largo’s marketing plan. She has incorporated standard discount coupons as well as scratch-off games, using various distribution channels such as direct mail, e-mail, newspapers and the company’s Web site.

“We time them out every other month to do a big coupon push, and then there’s a constant push for weekly coupons we run in the newspaper,” she said. The scratch-off coupons work particularly well, she said, because customers have some element of surprise.

“Our average customer count per day has gone up,” said Jensen, and the more often people are in the store, the more likely they are to buy.

However, coupons aren’t the solution for every business.

“Just because the economy stinks doesn’t mean suddenly any one tactic becomes better,” said Matthew Tilley of the Promotion Marketing Association’s Coupon Council. “If coupons didn’t work for you in good times, it won’t make sense in this economy.”

He said an investment in coupons may help the business grow, but it can be difficult to scale back from using them. That’s why coupons should be part of an overall marketing strategy.

“You can use them to introduce a new product or service that is substantially different in the marketplace,” he said.

Using coupons also can help a business get rid of excess inventory as well as prospect for new customers.

“It’s also a good way to lure back customers you haven’t seen for awhile or who you want to spend more,” said Lois Boyle-Brayfield, president of J. Schmid & Associates, a Kansas City firm that specializes in catalog marketing and multichannel direct marketing.

Tilley said a strategy that already includes coupons can be tweaked to be more effective in bad economic times.

That is exactly what Jonathan Freiden has done at Kansas City-based U.S. Toy Co., a third-generation family-owned business that sells toys, educational products, carnival and party supplies through eight retail stores, the Internet and catalogs.

Freiden, who is a vice president for U.S. Toy, focuses on special events driven by coupons with a specific offer. Events have included a Back to School night with 20-percent-off coupons and a Carnival of Savings with a 10 percent offer.

“We’re giving them a little more motivation to shop,” Freiden said. “These sale nights are really pumping things up. …We’re driving new customers as well as current ones.”

The events are for a limited time.

“There’s a call to action ... and urgency works,” Freiden said.

U.S. Toy this year has increased the frequency of coupons to its preferred customer list. October sales were up a little and November figures were up about 6 percent, Frieden said.

Freiden also tested personalized coupons, sending out 5,000 with a customer’s name and specific offer.

“We had seven times the response with the personalized offer,” he said.

Elizabeth Demas, owner of Avon Beauty Center in Overland Park, has used coupons since opening her business three-and-a-half years ago. As the economy turned sour this fall, Demas put on a big coupon push using postcards with a 20 percent-off offer on one item. It looks to be paying off.

“The return is so great,” said Demas, citing a 35 percent increase in revenues for November.

“Half the people don’t bring them (the coupons), but it does trigger them to come in,” she said. “You can see the difference in sales that the coupons were helping.”

Win Islander Tickets! 

We are giving away two tickets to see the New York Islanders.  These seats are center ice and offer the best view in the house! 

To win, be the first telephone caller (please don't hit reply or email).  Call Michael Borkan at 631-667-5500 x 11.  Voice Mail messages count so it's fine to leave a voice mail.  

The game details:

  • Saturday January 17th, 2009 7PM.  Islanders vs. The New Jersey Devils.

Do you know of anyone else who would be interested in receiving our newsletter?  Please let us know by email:  mb@talon-mailing.com

To learn more about our company, please visit our web site: www.talon.com or contact Michael Borkan at (631) 667-5500 x 11.

If you do not wish to receive the Talon Mailing & Marketing Newsletter please click here: 



In this Issue:

Is Your Data Processing Bureau or Mail House Going Out of Business?

How To Avoid Six Direct Mail Mistakes.

Setting Strategy: Retailers Hope To Clip A Path To Success.

Islander Ticket Giveaway!

New Clients

Mike Borkan's Links - Websites you probably haven't seen.

View Samples of our work.

Newsletter Archives

New Clients:

Talon welcomes the following new clients this month to our growing roster of customers:

  • American Red Cross

  • Boston College Law School

  • Goldmine Jewelers

Mike's Favorite Links:

Some interesting links...

copytalk - Email retrieval & reply service that makes it easy to keep up with your email from anywhere.

bplans.com - Providing solutions to help build and grow a business.  Tons of practical business advice and tips.

Dealnews.com - finds up to the minute deals from your favorite online stores. Shop to find the lowest price on items.

Internetnews.com - provides real-time news updated throughout the business day, covering IT issues and Internet-related technologies.

slacker.com - Personal Radio is the easiest way to create free radio stations. Listen anywhere to free personalized Internet radio stations playing your favorite music.

listropolis.com - Very addicting web site, lots of intriguing lists!

myinternetdiploma.com  - Are you an avid internet user? If you feel that after the millions of hours of being online and surfing the web you should be considered a pro at it and would like a diploma stating that you are, you should take a look at this site.


Work Samples:

Did you know Talon offers the following services? 

Click on the links below to see samples.

Newsletters Archives:

Click here if you wish to see old newsletters. 

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