Talon Mailing & Marketing

561 Acorn Street
Deer Park, NY 11729

(631) 667-5500


Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing March 2013 Newsletter.

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Don’t Underestimate ‘Old School’ Direct Mail

By: Jean M. Gianfagna

Here’s why “old school” direct marketing still packs a punch.

Social media and web marketing have pushed direct mail to the back burner for some marketers, but a classic direct-mail package — using tactics and techniques tested for generations — can still be a powerful marketing tool.

Here’s why “old school” direct marketing still packs a punch (and some tips for using it in your smart marketing strategy):

Elements of a classic direct-mail package. I began my marketing career as a copywriter at a marketing agency in Washington, DC, which specialized in direct mail. There I learned how to craft a classic direct-mail package. Here’s what a package typically contains:

  • A carrier envelope carefully designed to stand out in the mailbox and engage the reader with teaser copy or design
  • A letter that uses techniques such as handwritten notes in the margin or underscored text to help the reader grasp the key points at a glance
  • A second, shorter letter with a second call to action (called a “lift letter” because it can lift a response)
  • A descriptive brochure or insert, usually not personalized
  • A personalized response form
  • A business reply envelope

Classic direct mail offers a great deal, a deal so good the reader can’t resist saying yes, such as a free trial, bonus gift, special discount or a volume deal on the product (such as two for one or 15 months for the price of 12). And classic direct mail is packed with information on all the ways the reader will benefit by saying yes.

Why old school techniques still work. Despite the impact of the Internet on marketing, the proven principles of direct mail are still true today:

Copy focused on the interests of the reader and the benefits of the product is still the most effective message to produce sales

A great offer, well stated and prominently, repeatedly promoted, can still make people say yes

Creative approaches and engagement techniques that have stood the test of time still work

So the next time a marketing consultant gives you advice about reaching prospects, don’t overlook direct-mail marketing. Even in a world of electronic media, direct mail can be a high-impact way to deliver a compelling message to an individual customer or prospect and a powerful tool in your smart marketing strategy.

Jean M. Gianfagna is a marketing strategy expert and the founder and president of Gianfagna Strategic Marketing which provides marketing strategy and creative services to leading business-to-business and consumer marketers. Read her blog for more marketing tips at http://www.gianfagnamarketing.com/blog.

Get a Grip on Your Data

By Shannon Duffy, btobonline.com

With the real-time flow of information, the data world demands constant updating—if you don't keep up, your business data will quickly go bad.

All marketers are guilty of neglecting their data at some point. We understand that numbers are important, but our competing creative side is bored with the monotony of data entry and updates. With the real-time flow of information, the data world demands constant updating—if you don't keep up, your business data will quickly go bad. When your information is out of date, your messages aren't hitting your target audiences. Leads slow down, and so does your company's growth.

While the flow of real-time information has increased, what hasn't changed is that marketers still need to have control over their data in order to fill the funnel with prospects. Get a grip on your data with these three steps and reap the benefits of a full funnel:

Zero in on what matters.

With the data buffet available to marketers today, it's easy to become a glutton. The problem is the time wasted collecting, sorting and sharing irrelevant data could have been spent on refining the data points that mean the most to your customers. More isn't always better; instead, zero in on what's most impactful to your business and keep it up-to-date. This year, get the most from the Big Data buzz by defining the stats that closely tie to your business and help your team the most. Select the necessary data components and forget the rest.

Create a framework.

Once you know what information your team needs to be successful, creating guidelines and a framework for data input is a must. As you look through your databases today, chances are you have more than a few empty fields. It may not seem like a big deal, but over time standards will drop and your database will deteriorate.

The best way to avoid a bad database is to understand the information needed for success and require that your team inputs the designated data when they add a new contact. In addition to new contacts, hold your team accountable for regularly updating their records. Or better yet, invest in a service that will update your information automatically through crowdsourcing.

Maintain visibility

Maintain visibility between sales and marketing teams. After data points are agreed upon and baseline requirements established, making that information accessible is the next step to keep your head above water. For years information has been hidden behind IT gatekeepers. Marketing and sales teams would make requests for lists and eventually receive stale databases in a first-come, first-served manner. But now the cloud has enabled the democratization of data across departments. Sales and marketing teams can update and share information on the Web to take advantage of the most recent data possible.

Data can be a difficult component of the marketing mix to master. It's not as attractive as creating fun campaigns, but it's crucial to customer success and business growth. By defining necessary information, establishing baseline requirements and improving transparency, marketers can maximize their data's potential.

Shannon Duffy is VP-marketing at Salesforce's Data.com. She can be reached at

Are Cell Phones to Blame For The Dwindling Magazine Business?

Love it or hate it, the print magazine business is continuing to dwindle due to its collision with the increasingly popular smartphones.

Last year magazine circulation in the US dropped 9.5%, and some of the blame can be attributed to smartphones.

Here's the explanation: According to the Alliance for Audited Media, people have stopped paying attention to the magazines on the impulse-buy racks at supermarkets. While waiting in line at checkout, instead of looking for what other stuff to put in their cart, customers often prefer to just take a look at their phones and do whatever the do with them. It seems the market watchers have identified this phenomenon as "mobile blinders," as it makes consumers "blind" to certain types of products.

Some popular magazines have seen quite a drop in sales last year. Cosmopolitan, for example, has recorded a drop of 18.5% in single copy sales. Other publications that have registered significant loss of circulation include People and Star.

Well, what can we say? Those publishers better start working on their digital versions, because that's where things are headed!

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! 

  • Tuesday March 12, 2013.  Nets vs. New Orleans 7:30 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:

Don't Underestimate 'Old School' Direct Mail

Get a Grip on Your Data

Are Cell Phones to Blame For The Dwindling Magazine Business?

Ticket Giveaway!

New Clients

Mike Borkan's Links - Web sites you probably haven't seen

View Samples of Our Work

Newsletter Archives

Direct Mail Humor!

New Clients:

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

  • United Envelope

  • 16 New Lists from Statlistics

Mike's Favorite Links:

Some interesting links...

archetypeme.com - Discover the real you. Take the quiz and discover your archetypes. Then Get a personalized website featuring all the stories & stuff you love.

tapiture.com - Discover the best content on the internet. Tapiture is a place for people with shared interests to engage in awesomeness.

studyblue.com - An online place to store lecture notes and make flashcards. Study online and on your phone for effective, productive learning.

chatsports.com - Provides the web’s first curated sports interface personalized to each fan’s specific interests, using next generation technology and an intuitive, beautiful design.

sondcloud.com - An audio platform that enables sound creators to upload, record, promote and share their originally-created sounds.

documentaryon.com - A collection of the most interesting documentary movies on the web. The documentaries are arranged to give the best experience possible.

teacherswithapps.com - A Resource Site for Quality Educational Apps.

Work Samples:

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 increase revenue.

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