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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
By Ruth Baum Bigus, Kansas City Star.
In a tough retail environment, coupons can be a useful marketing
“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
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
“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
“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!
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:
Islanders vs. The New Jersey Devils.
Saturday January 17th, 2009 7PM.
Do you know of
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Please let us know by email:
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
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!
Mike Borkan's Links - Websites you probably
View Samples of our work.
Talon welcomes the following new clients this month to our growing
roster of customers:
Mike's Favorite Links:
Some interesting links...
copytalk - Email
retrieval & reply service that makes it easy to keep up with your email
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.
- 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.
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.
Did you know Talon offers the following services?
Click on the links below to see samples.
Click here if you wish to see old newsletters.
Click on these Links to Learn
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