Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing February 2013 Newsletter.
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Five Design Tips For Direct Mail Marketing
By: Megan Webb-Morgan
Direct mail marketing is a great way for your
business to reach new customers, target a specific demographic for leads,
and test new advertising campaigns.
Unlike most types of online
marketing, the efficacy of your direct mail campaign is easy to quantify
with mailing and response data.
You can test and re-test new ad designs regularly within your direct
marketing campaign. If you start out with a good design, you’ll get faster
results and a greater ROI right off the bat. Follow these five design tips
to improve your mailing’s chances of success.
1. Write Great Copy
The point of your direct mail campaign is to persuade your audience to buy
your product or services. You may offer a coupon or special deal with your
mailing, but in the end, your argument is what will convince the reader to
contact your business for its products and services.
- Your copy should provide a clear, easy to read argument for why your
audience should take a specific action. It should be informative, but also
easy to skim – utilize paragraph breaks strategically to create a clear
scan path for the reader.
2. Improve Your Tag Lines
Brainstorming tag lines to catch your customers’ attention is a difficult
process that can be made infinitely easier by writing your copy first.
Once you have outlined your argument to the customer, it’s easy to pull
out for emphasis key words and phrases that contribute to and complement
- Don’t sacrifice copy quality for the sake of catchy or large tag lines.
Your tag lines will catch your customers’ interest, but it’s your copy
that will convince them to take the next step.
3. Use the Right Font
The font face you use in your mailings is extremely important. Since the
selling point of your mailing is the copy, it needs to be readable in
order to be effective. Exotic fonts, although effective from a design
perspective, can hurt your bottom line if your audience can’t quickly
glance down and understand it.
You have a little more leeway with headings to be creative, but for the
body of your mailing, you should emphasize readability.
- Use a simpler sans-serif font for maximum readability.
4. Be Careful With Colors
You may think that using lots of flashy colors in your mailing will grab
your customers’ attention – but so does every other direct mail marketer
who is targeting your customer. If your mailing looks like typical “junk
mail,” it’s going to get thrown out without ever being read.
Use “selling colors” that are proven to work in marketing – red, yellow,
and orange – rather than “trendy” colors.
- Make sure that your background and text colors are high-contrast without
5. Design with Postage in Mind
Besides your text, font face, and colors, there is one final element to
your direct mail design: the size and shape of the mailing itself. Before
committing to your package format, ensure that it is USPS compliant.
- Compare the cost of producing and mailing various formats. Non-standard
formats typically cost more, and a difference of ¼ or even 1/8 of an inch
can be costly.
- It may be easier to choose your format first, and then design your mailing
to fit the format.
According to the Direct Marketing Association, US marketers send more than
90 billion direct mail items per year. In order for your mailing to stand
out against the rest, it needs to have good design. To increase your
initial ROI, make sure your mailing has good copy, is easy to read, and is
in a standard format that’s cheap to produce and mail.
Direct Mail's Resurgence and New Role
in Integrated Marketing
By Brian Wagner, Epsilon
Have you noticed anything different about the
contents of your postal mailbox lately?
By looking in your mailbox, you might have noticed an increase in the
numbers and variety of offers. Direct mail is very much alive today and
continues to be the workhorse for many brand marketing efforts. It has
been, and continues to be, at the very heart and soul of direct response
No matter the communication channel, the function and objective of direct
response remains the same after all these years—a means of commerce
allowing businesses and nonprofits to showcase their products, services
and needs directly to customers around the globe.
What has changed is the communication and response channels marketers use
to make their offers and maintain contact with prospects and loyal
customers. Direct response channels continue to evolve, whether they are
outbound channels carrying a brand message or response devices for
placing one's order. Direct response has grown to include envelopes and
self mailers, postage-paid mail, toll-free numbers, faxing, direct
response radio and TV infomercials, as well as a host of new emerging
digital technologies, including email, banner ads, search, digital
targeting, webcasts and videos, PURLs, and QR and other 2D codes, with
many more yet to come.
Survivors of Marketing's 'Perfect Storm
Unlike in other economic downturns, the most recent had become a
marketer's "perfect storm." Starting in 2007, as the US entered its own
economic turmoil, marketers were faced with paper cost increases, fuel
surcharges and multiple postage rate hikes. Many marketers had become
more cost conscious, and, as a result, many made drastic cuts and budget
reallocations to new lower cost digital channels. This resulted in
significant decreases in direct mail spending, as evidenced by lower mail
volumes from 2007-2009.
The emergence of digital technological advances, as detailed above, has
provided marketers with lower cost options to reengage their target
audiences. As engaging and dynamic an experience as these new channels
are, they are not the be-all and end-all for acquiring and retaining
customers. They really are a wonderful, new set of tools in the
marketer's tool box, whose value needs to be understood through testing
and learning and retesting.
However, the extreme pendulum shift from offline to online channels since
2007, and for some even earlier, may have been too severe. Today we read
many industry articles, blogs and discussion group postings that speak of
the value of a strategic mix—or rather an integration of direct response
channels—as the best way to attract and retain customers.
There was a time when marketers had to compete for their targets'
attention, designing amongst the clutter to stand out in an overcrowded
postal mailbox. History seems to be repeating itself, but this time in
our electronic inboxes. Recipients have the power to use the delete
key, and within seconds can clear out an overloaded inbox, or worst yet,
just leave your message unread.
The greatest lessons marketers obtain come from testing offers, copy,
lists, prices and frequency, as well as asking their customers their
communication preferences through short surveys.
Epsilon Targeting completed channel preference studies in February 2008,
February 2010 and recently in August 2011. The findings reported in The
Formula For Success: Preference and Trust show that through economic
turmoil, technological advances and channel proliferation, direct mail
continues to deliver as consumers' preferred means of receiving marketing
messages. The 2011 research shows that despite direct mail's reputation
for being "old school" or expensive, it is the top choice of U.S. and
Canadian consumers for receipt of brand communications in almost every
category, including household products and services, insurance and
financial, such as credit cards offers. One of the most interesting
findings was the preference for direct mail, especially financial related
offers, by the 18-34 year old demographic.
The Epsilon study suggests that brands should use a variety of media to
build relationships, starting with trusted channels such as direct mail.
The best approach is to engage the prospect or customer, asking through a
quick survey poll for their channel preference(s); listening will only
increase your share of wallet over the lifetime of that customer.
Direct mail, not surprisingly, has been staging a resurgence since 2010.
Thomas J. Foti , the editor of Deliver Magazine , said in the February
2012 issue, "Last year saw the continuation of some monumental shifts in
direct mail." A USPS Household Data Study, 'Mail Use & Attitudes in FY
2010 ' (pdf), reported that 12 percent of 2010's $171 billion spent on
advertising was allocated to direct mail, and total advertising mail
volume in 2010 was 83.5 billion pieces. The USPS reported that marketers
mailed out 84 billion pieces in 2011, and project standard class mail to
increase by 14 percent in 2016.
Furthermore, direct mail gets opened—your offers are seen, engaged with,
tested and purchased. A 2010 USPS Household Diary Study (pdf) found that
in 2010, more than 48 percent of all standard mail addressed to specific
household members was read immediately, as opposed to only 39.6 percent
of standard mail addressed to "occupant/resident."
Direct marketers are now at the best time and place in the history of our
profession. With all the emerging tools at our disposal, marketers can
craft effective, engaging and powerful direct mail packages that bridge
the offline world to the online and enhance the user experience. PURLS
and QR Codes can be added to envelopes, brochures and reply forms, to
very effectively link to product videos or webcasts, or to download
special white papers, coupons or other product related information.
Bridging the offline and online worlds can drive new engagements across
Give your target audience the opportunity to embrace these new
technologies within the time-tested direct mail package, and learn from
their engagement and sales metrics.
Do your own market research survey and collect the mail that arrives at
your home and office each day. Categorize them as nonprofit,
subscription, financial (mortgage refinance, credit card), auto insurance
and periodicals, and perhaps sub-categorize by package type (envelope vs.
self-mailer), and see for yourself. The greatest value of this resurgence
is that you once again are able to engage and interact with interesting,
valuable offers on your own time and in the privacy of your home.
Brian Wagner is a Senior
Director Agency Account at Epsilon and is one of Epsilon’s Subject Matter
Experts (SMEs) in Direct response marketing> Brian has a vast amount of
experience within pharmaceutical and other key business verticals
(including publishing, health insurance and fundraising) and can be
reached at 212-457-7144 or by email at
Office Announces Two New Promotions to Lower Postage Costs
promotions will run from March 1 to April 30.
Registration for both the
Direct Mail Mobile Coupon/Click to Call and Earned Value Reply
Mail promotions opened, January 15,
2013. Companies that wish to participate – including those that
participated in previous USPS Promotions and
Incentives programs – need to register for each promotion on
the Incentive Programs
Service within the Business Customer Gateway.
The Direct Mail Mobile Coupon/Click-to-Call promotion will
run from March 1 to April 30.
This promotion is designed to encourage customers to
integrate hard-copy coupons in the mail with mobile platforms for
redemption, and increase consumer awareness and usage of mail with mobile
barcodes that provide click-to-call functionality.
The Earned Value Reply Mail promotion will run from April 1
to June 30.
will be offered to mailers
who use First-Class Mail Business Reply Mail (BRM) and Courtesy Reply Mail
(CRM) enclosures. To participate, mailers must register on the Business
Customer Gateway with their permits, Mailer IDs (MIDs), and the Permit
Imprint account to which future earned credits will be applied. Award
amounts or credit will be applied to mailers’ Permit Imprint accounts.
Mailers may apply the earned credit to future mailings of First-Class Mail
Presort and automation letters and Standard Mail letters.
Registration for promotions and incentives can be made
through our web portal for USPS® business services:
recorded educational webinar about promotion
registration and a demo of the Business Customer Gateway is available:
More information on both promotions is available on RIBBS
Win Brooklyn Nets Tickets!
Enjoy a great day of Basketball!
We are giving away two tickets to see the Brooklyn Nets.
All you have to do to win is be the first telephone caller (please don’t
hit reply or send an email). Voice mail messages count so it's fine to
leave a message. Call Michael Borkan at (631) 667-5500 x 11. These
tickets are great seats!
Wednesday February 13, 2013.
Nets vs. Denver 7:30 PM.
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If you do not wish to receive the Talon Mailing & Marketing Newsletter
Five Design Tips For Direct Mail Marketing
Direct Mail's Resurgence and New Role in Integrated Marketing
Post Office Announces Two New Promotions to Lower Postage Costs
Mike Borkan's Links - Web sites you probably
View Samples of Our Work
Direct Mail Humor!
Talon welcomes the following new clients this month to our growing roster
Mike's Favorite Links:
Some interesting links...
quixey.com - The Search Engine for Apps.
Simply describe what you want to do and they will find the apps that do
catchafire.org - Matches
professionally-skilled volunteers with nonprofits and social enterprises.
We structure our volunteer opportunities to be short-term and discrete.
nextdraft.com - A quick, entertaining
look at the day's top ten most fascinating stories.
powtoon.com - A free animated
presentation tool that supercharges your presentations and videos! Save
massive amounts of time and money by creating Powtoons that bring the
WOW!-factor to product demos, business presentations, social media clips,
and much more.
factsie.com - A fun and addicting site,
it's packed with interesting and unusual historical and scientific facts.
8tracks.com - Listen to the best internet radio,
crafted by people who know and love music. Or legally share your own
online mix, a streaming play list with 8 or more tracks.
quantcast.com - Free direct audience
measurement for all website owners including traffic, demographics,
business, lifestyle, interests and more.
phrase.it - Add cartoon style speech
bubbles to photos within seconds.
Did you know Talon offers the following services?
Click on the links below to see samples.
Direct Mail Humor!
Click on image below to enlarge.
Do you need help marketing to your clients? Talon can
help! Call Michael Borkan at 631-667-5500 x 11 to learn how to
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