Talon Mailing & Marketing

561 Acorn Street
Deer Park, NY 11729

(631) 667-5500

www.talon.com

Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing February 2010  Newsletter:

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Six Ways Direct Mail Will Thrive In The New Year.
By Rod DeVar.

Direct mail has been - and will continue to be - a viable, effective marketing tool.  Here’s why:

Marketers are cost-conscious by nature. But last year’s economic meltdown forced them to look even harder for efficiencies, and it’s a mindset they’ll keep as the market recovers. But through it all, direct mail has been - and will continue to be - a viable, effective marketing tool. Here’s why:

It’s a strong acquisition tool. Marketers like paying lower prices to search for new customers online, but they’re often disappointed when these folks don’t stick around. That’s because targeting new acquisitions online is much less precise than sending a mail piece to prospects you know will likely be repeat purchasers.

Technology continues to improve. Variable data printing is letting marketers acknowledge customers as individuals. Not only will more marketers take advantage of it, those already using it will get smarter about their applications by using customer data to better track relationships and tailor content as wants and needs change. That’s important because increased personalization makes direct mail more relevant to the end user.

Newspapers are suffering. As newspaper circulation dwindles, it will spur a significant migration to the mail by those marketers (particularly retailers) that need to reach a high number of people in a very targeted geographic location.

Content marketing is on the rise. Transpromotion and custom publishing are delivering marketing messages in more personal and relevant ways, with information woven right in the content - a plus for both marketers and recipients. Custom publishing continues strong growth because consumers like the quality, and with transpromotion the senders of statements and bills can include marketing messages that connect with how the customer is using their services.

Clean lists are eco-friendly. As marketers continue to address list hygiene, they’ll be mailing more efficiently. Not only will that deliver a better return, it also is good for the planet because the number of wasteful pieces will decline.

Mail will be even easier to track. More marketers will begin using the Intelligent Mail® barcode, a new Postal Service™ barcode used to sort and track letters and flats. With it, they’ll be receiving more detailed information than ever on how and when their direct mail is being delivered, as well as how customers are responding.

Before you kick off your 2010 efforts, know this: The recession has created new norms for the marketing realm. Many tried-and-true formulas for evaluating media effectiveness and accountability won’t measure up to your heightened need to accomplish stronger results for less investment. But direct mail will continue to perform.

Rod DeVar is manager of direct mail at the United States Postal Service.


Designing Your Direct Mail Ad To Get Responses.

By Jeremy Maddock.

Some simple changes that can boost your response rate significantly.

Do you frequently send out direct mail ads to prospective customers only to meet with little or no response? There are a few simple changes that you can make to your campaign that will more than likely boost your response rate significantly.

The first and most basic tip is to personalize each letter with the customer’s name. For shorter mailing lists you might even consider writing the names (as well as your signature) in by hand, in an attempt to add a “personal touch” to the sales copy.

If your business has a frequently used mailing list (of previous customers for example), you may want to consider sending your mailings at different times of the month, and in different colors and shapes of envelopes, so as to capture the reader’s interest with each unique mailing.

It may also be a good idea to print some or all of your mailings on recycled paper, and making it clear to customers that you do so. That way, you can better capture the attention of earth-conscious readers, by letting them know that your company does its part for the environment.

Finally, it’s tried and proven that adding a P.S. message to the end of each letter can be used to draw attention to certain points, while giving you one more chance to capture the reader’s interest. It’s a good idea to include a short “summary” of your overall message (condensed into a sentence or two), directly followed by your contact information.

Jeremy Maddock is a professional web-based entrepreneur who owns and operates www.bizpromotion.info


Think Again Before Trimming Your Direct Mail Budget.

By Teri Evans. MSN Business on Main.

Looking to cut costs amid the recession, Alicia Settle initially thought it would be a good idea to eliminate her company's annual direct mailing.

Spending about $20,000 on the personally signed letters, which offered customers a discount on early orders, seemed indulgent for Per Annum Inc., which sells city diaries, albums, and planners in the struggling corporate gift market. But after swapping snail mail for email last year, Ms. Settle saw a 25 percent drop in early orders compared with the same period the previous year.

"We realized we had made a huge mistake," says Ms. Settle, president of the New York firm.

The affordability of e-marketing, along with the explosion of social media and the desire to trim costs in the recession, has prompted many small companies like Per Annum to slash traditional direct-mail budgets. U.S. consumers received about 5.2 billion pieces of direct mail in the third quarter of 2009, a 27 percent decline compared with 7.1 billion in the same period a year earlier, according to Mintel Comperemedia, a research firm that tracks direct-mail marketing.

However, some entrepreneurs who were quick to write off direct mail as too pricey or passé are finding it's not so easy to dismiss.

Ms. Settle says that at first she blamed the economy for the drop-off, until she "started hearing from customers that they never got their 'reminder' in the mail." Ms. Settle quickly sent a postcard mailing in June, which recouped the 25 percent loss, she says.

Costs are still taken into account. Many entrepreneurs find that the boiler-plate methods of the past — such as purchasing mailing lists and sending fliers or coupons to a mass audience — often aren't cost-effective. Instead, business owners are creating personalized mailings, which may include special offers or other valuable information, and sending them to a hand-picked list of current and prospective customers.

The idea is to send something that's more appealing than "junk" mail and potentially more noticeable than an email message, says Eric Anderson, a professor of marketing at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. That allows business owners "to offer a personal touch the larger firms may not be able to have," he says.

To save money, Peter Taffae, founder of ExecutivePerils, a Los Angeles wholesale insurance broker, stopped his small firm's humorous postcard mailings last year. The colorful marketing pieces showcase the insurance broker's offerings through satirical movie themes, such as "Full Metal Policy," a parody of "Full Metal Jacket" and "Singin' in the Renewal," from the classic film "Singin' in the Rain." About 2,000 current and potential clients received the postcards, which cost the company $4,000 to send out every four to six weeks.

"We would visit some clients and notice they were hanging the postcards on the wall, collecting them," says Mr. Taffae, who says he secured $270,000 from a new client who chose to do business with the firm in late 2008 after receiving the postcards.

"After two or three months [of no postcards], we got a lot of emails and phone calls asking us, 'Did you take me off your list?' I figured if even 1 percent complained, then a much larger percentage were thinking about it," says Mr. Taffae, who restarted the postcard mailings in November.

William Kapas, president of J.C. Kapas Real Estate Co. in Rochelle Park, New Jersey, says he has secured clients as a result of his high-gloss, four-color monthly mailings that list who has bought or sold restaurant properties through the firm.

"Our clients look forward to knowing, and it's a little bit of gossip, too," says Mr. Kapas, who exclusively uses traditional mail to reach clients. "I think it's easier to delete the electronic junk mail without taking a second look."

Mr. Kapas spends about $1 a piece for the monthly mailings, sent to about 2,200 current and prospective customers.

Prof. Anderson says other business owners are trying to figure out how to integrate Web marketing — such as email campaigns, banner ads and social-networking sites — with direct mail. "The introduction of new media has forced [business owners] to go back and revisit the whole playbook on what's the best way to communicate with customers," Mr. Anderson says.

Ms. Settle, for instance, plans to use e-marketing to complement the hand-signed direct-mail piece, not replace it.

Meanwhile, Mr. Taffae is starting to take his satirical marketing approach to YouTube; he's created a parody of F Troop, the 1960s sitcom, to promote his firm online.


  Ticket Giveaway!

Talon has a VIP Package & great seats for you to win.

We are giving away a pair of tickets to see the New York Islanders!  The game includes access to a private VIP area with complimentary dinner (plenty of food, snacks and drinks) and private restrooms. You may run into current & former players and other VIP's.   To win, be the first telephone caller (please don’t hit reply or email). Voice Mail messages count so it's fine to leave a voice mail.   Call Michael Borkan at 631-667-5500 x 11. 

The Islander tickets are center ice and offer the best view in the arena! 

  • Tuesday February 9th, The Islanders vs. The Nashville Predators 7:00 PM.

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.


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In this Issue:

Six Ways Direct Mail Will Thrive In The New Year.

Designing Your Direct Mail Ad To Get Responses.

Think Again Before Trimming Your Direct Mail Budget.

Islander VIP 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:
  • 3B Communications

  • The Chartist

  • Arctix

  • Three new lists from Statlistics


Mike's Favorite Links:

Some interesting links...

Evernote.com - this free product could be the next must-have internet tool.  Works with your computers and phones, allowing you to capture information and retrieve it anytime and anywhere.

Achievementradio.com - Free Internet Radio. Motivation from leading speakers on personal & business growth.

Stilltasty.com - comprehensive information about how long you can keep thousands of foods and beverages.

Vintageadbrowser - 100000+ vintage advertisements to explore.

Gizmos for Geeks - This is a great site. It features new gadgets and gizmos every day, coupons and deals, reviews, how-to's, tech news, a newsletter, and more.


Work Samples:

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Newsletters Archives:

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