Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing March 2012 Newsletter.
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Mailers Rankled by Obama Call to End Saturday Delivery
By Angela Greiling Keane, Bloomberg.com
President Barack Obama’s call for the U.S.
Postal Service to end Saturday mail delivery and raise rates will drive
away customers while not addressing needed cost reductions, some business
users and U.S. lawmakers said.
Obama, as part of his spending plan released yesterday,
proposed to let the Postal Service reduce delivery from six to five days a
week by January 2013 and to return $10.9 billion it overpaid into a
federal retirement account. The proposal was made to and not acted upon by
Congress’s deficit-reducing supercommittee last year.
“Eliminating Saturday delivery should be the last resort, not the first
choice,” Senator Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, said through a
spokeswoman. “It would force businesses ranging from newspapers to
home-delivery of medicine to explore non-postal delivery options. Once
these customers leave the mail system, they won’t be coming back, and the
Postal Service’s revenues would suffer another blow.”
A bill with sponsors including Collins and Tom Carper, a Delaware
Democrat, would prevent cutting a day of mail delivery for at least two
years. Obama’s proposal is in a bill sponsored by Darrell Issa, a
California Republican. Issa also wants to require a financial-control
board if the service defaults on obligations to the U.S. government and
create a commission to speed up post office closings.
Both bills have been passed by committees.
Billions in Losses
The Postal Service has said ending a day of delivery each week would save
$3.1 billion annually. The service has said it expects to lose $14.1
billion in the year ending Sept. 30, and according to Obama’s budget, it
may lose $13.6 billion in its 2013 fiscal year.
Ending Saturday delivery would harm customers mailing pharmaceuticals and
time-sensitive newspapers and magazines, said Gene Del Polito, president
of the Association for Postal Commerce. The Alexandria, Virginia-based
group’s members include Medco Health Solutions Inc. (MHS), Time Warner
Inc. (TWX) and Conde Nast Publications Ltd.
“Businesses abhor uncertainty,” Del Polito said in a telephone interview.
“So they will do what they can to try to create for themselves a
predictable cocoon in which to operate. And in this case the predictable
cocoon does not include mail. And that exacerbates Congress’s challenges.”
Rate increases will also push business customers away, said Art Sackler,
coordinator for the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, whose
members include FedEx Corp. (FDX) and Bank of America Corp.
“Raising postal rates won’t save the Postal Service; it will only hasten
its demise,” Sackler said in an e-mail. “Higher rates will force companies
away from using the mail, and push them into finding other ways to reach
The Postal Service has proposed each of the changes Obama advanced as well
as reducing its workforce by firing as many as 220,000 employees and
closing post offices and mail-processing plants.
Obama’s budget didn’t address the facility closings or job cuts.
“It’s a political hot potato for them,” Del Polito said. “They don’t want
to tick off a key Democratic constituency going into a national election.”
The Postal Service reported a $3.3 billion loss in the quarter ended Dec.
31, which is typically its strongest because of holiday-season mailing of
packages and cards.
Most of the quarterly loss came from a U.S. law requiring the service to
pay in advance for future retirees’ health- benefits costs. Obama proposed
changing that payment schedule to account for fewer employees.
The package of postal changes would provide $25 billion of cash over the
next two years and would result in $25 billion of savings over 11 years,
Obama said in the budget plan.
The president’s proposal includes some provisions of the Senate proposal,
Carper said in a statement. “We can’t let the Postal Service fail on our
watch,” he said.
Issa, while praising the proposal to end Saturday delivery, said Obama’s
package won’t make the service solvent. “Infusing the agency with cash and
hiking postage rates without requiring USPS to reduce costs and realign
itself to meet America’s changing use of mail is just buying a very small
amount of time with a very big check,” he said in a statement through his
spokesman, Ali Ahmad.
Your Credibility With Your Customers and Prospects
by Robert W. Bly
“People buy from people they like and trust” is an
established sales truism, but how many people receiving your direct mail
package have even heard of your publication or company or you, much less
like and trust you?
Your direct mail copy must work hard to build the
credibility that will get the reader to trust you enough to order and
rely on your information. Here are some techniques copywriters use to
establish credibility quickly in their mailings:
1. Show a picture of your building or
establish a physical presence to prove you’re more than just a mailbox.
Promotions for Dr. Atkins’ Health Revelations show a photograph of his
impressive 7-story clinic in midtown Manhattan and note that tens of
thousands of patients have been treated there.
2. For Newsletters
and Publications, link the
specifics of the company’s background to reasons why this particular
background enhances the value as a researcher and analyst. A promotion for
Forecasts & Strategies notes that editor Mark Skousen was once with the
CIA, which gave him government insider contacts he still uses today to
interpret the market for his readers. Likewise, promotions for Technology
Investing point out that Michael Murphy’s proximity to Silicon Valley
enhances his ability to research high-tech companies first-hand.
3. Cite any awards your product has
won or favorable third-party reviews it has garnered. These can include
Newsletter and Electronic Publishers Association awards and, for financial
newsletters, favorable ratings in The Hulbert Financial Digest. (Since
some readers may not be familiar with the source of the rating, describe
it in impressive terms -- Hulbert, for instance, can be described as “The
Consumer Reports” of the financial newsletter industry.)
4. Get and use testimonials from
customers and the media. The best testimonials are specific rather than
superlative, and support the key points you are making in your copy.
5. Stress the company’s credentials
and experience. Also give the names of the TV and radio shows or
stations that have featured your company and products.
6. Don’t forget standard credibility
stuff, like number of years in business or number of customers --
especially if you have been in business a long-time or have an unusually
high number of customers. “Our 50th year” impresses some people. Also look
for other statistics that can boost your credibility. For example, perhaps
you still have your first customer from 28 years ago when you first
7. If the product
you are pitching is not well known or lacks a history in the market
place, promote the credibility of the Company instead. Tell how many great
products you have and why you have such a great reputation in the market
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Robert W. Bly is a freelance direct mail copywriter whose clients
include Agora Publishing, Phillips, KCI, Rentrop, Georgetown,
Institutional Investor, McGraw-Hill, and Medical Economics. He can be
reached by phone at 201-385-1220 or via e-mail at
latest book is Internet Direct Mail: The Complete Guide to Successful
e-mail Marketing Campaigns published by NTC Business Books.
1 Billion Served: Delivering For Fast-Food Chains
The Postal Service’s Every Door Direct Mail
program has been quite successful, especially with the country’s top
The Postal Service’s Every Door Direct Mail has been “wildly successful,”
especially lately with the country’s top fast-food chains, says Paul
Vogel, president and chief marketing/sales officer.
Every Door Direct Mail offers simplified addressing, enabling mailers to
use delivery route information, instead of names and exact addresses, to
reach targeted groups in specific geographic areas. The number of Every
Door Direct Mail pieces delivered since the program’s inception in March
2011 is approaching the 1 billion mark.
According to Vogel, USPS is currently working with several fast-food
companies to test the service in various markets. These businesses have
taken advantage of the benefits of fast production turnaround, total
neighborhood saturation and the ability to mail at a local Post Office —
making it easier and more convenient to reach customers and potential
customers through direct mail.
A leading restaurant retailer began testing at six locations, and due to
promising results, the company is now testing in 30 markets. If the
company continues to see success it plans to expand the market test to
Many “mom and pop” restaurants as well as other small businesses, such as
dry cleaners and automotive parts shops, are mailing multiple times
because they have experienced increased response rates and greater
customer traffic. Every Door Direct Mail also has been embraced by several
national printing retailers. These companies are bundling their mail with
printing services and say that it is helping to increase printing sales.
“From burgers to donuts to pizza, fast-food retailers are increasingly
seeing the benefits of using Every Door Direct Mail to market their menus
and other promotional materials in the neighborhoods where their stores
are located,” said Vogel.
Win Yankee Tickets!
Enjoy a great day at Yankee Stadium!
We are giving away two tickets to see the New York Yankees.
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 and close to the field!
Monday April 16th, 2012. Yankees vs.
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Business Mailers Rankled by Obama Call to End Saturday Delivery
Enhancing Your Credibility With Your Customers and Prospects
Nearly 1 Billion Served: Delivering For Fast-Food Chains
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...
movableink.com - Breathe life into your emails. Turn your emails into
containers for live content. Every time your email is opened we serve live
content based on current time, recipients locations, social context, and
your business rules. Real-time relevance. Real-world results.
shoutmy.biz - A free and simple tool that helps you create a sleek and
powerful online business profile.
tourwrist.com - Shoot 360 degree panoramas with your phone or camera and
share them for free as immersive tours.
pinterest.com - This year's Next
Big Website. Lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find
on the web.
- This is an addicting site! The site answers fascinating questions about
the world around you and the stuff in it, from things in the news and on
your mind to crazy questions you didn't even know you had.
Did you know Talon offers the following services?
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