Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing April 2013 Newsletter.
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Mail: Still a Bargain For Marketers
By: Grant Johnson
Direct mail can give your ROI a huge boost.
My youngest daughter Emma loves to read a particular
author. She wanted to contact the author and asked me to get her the
writerís email address. I told her that getting it would be unlikely. But,
she could write her a letter.
When complete, my wife told her sheíd mail it. As the
author lived clear on the other side of the United States, my daughter
exclaimed it would cost too much money to send it that far distance. My
wife informed her it would be less than 50 cents. My daughter could not
Therein lays the forgotten power of the USPS and direct
mail as an advertising medium: It is quite the bargain.
Today, many advertising and marketing professionalís
recall that direct mailís results still boil down to:
What You Need to Test
Most marketerís skip the big, critical first two points, which account for
70% to 80% of your campaignís success, and jump right into new creative,
thinking that their ďkiller creativeĒ will wow the heck out of everyone
that comes into contact with their package. They are convinced the BIG
Idea will win the day. They would be incorrect.
Great direct mail is about understanding your segments and varying your
offers/messaging so that it resonates uniquely with each of your targeted
groups. Itís the offers and messaging to the right audience at the right
time, which creates relevance and gets them to take action now.
Most of your testing should be done with your lists, then
your offers/messaging. Creative, while important, typically has less of an
impact on results than your data and the reasons why a prospect or
customer should respond to your solicitation.
When you do get around to testing creative, start first with different
copy, not new layouts. Direct mail is a copy driven medium. Itís the words
on the paper that compel us to respond.
After you are confident in your copy tests, move to different design, new
formats and testing your media mix in a multi-channel campaign. Packages
usually outperform self-mailers, but when you get to this point in your
testing plan, try different formats. You may be surprised as to what works
and what does not.
Timing and Seasonality
Throughout the years, one of the biggest factors in direct mail that gets
overlooked is the timing. If you sent me three emails last week, or try to
sell me a snow shovel in August, the chances of your success diminish
greatly. Review your seasonality by reviewing past results, make sure you
have a firm grasp on all your marketing touches and time them accordingly
so you do not overwhelm or annoy your customer or prospects.
Consider how and how often you reach out to your target markets. Include
customer service contacts, email, email newsletters, printed newsletters,
dealer/representative contacts and store visits (them visiting you) and
social media outreach when you think about timing and the frequency of
With the rise of social media, many marketers think that direct mail is
not needed. While social media is great at engagement, itís horrible at
consummating the marriage. Direct mail can help close that loop and give
your ROI a huge boost.
The days of mass mailings are over, thank goodness. Is it time to rethink
how targeted, affordable and testable direct mail can be reworked to add
more value to your measurable marketing campaigns?
Go back to the basics and your success may amaze you.
Grant A. Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the founder and
Ambassador of Fun at Brookfield, WI based Johnson Direct LLC.
The Great Marketing Mistake: It's Not
By Patrick Hull, Forbes
Itís not about who you are or what you do
ó itís about your clients, customers, and potential buyers.
A major mistake that many entrepreneurs make ó and donít realize ó is
marketing themselves, not their business. They forget that a business is
not about them, itís about serving their customers.
Itís not about who you are or what you do ó itís about your clients,
customers, and potential buyers. How can you help customers be more
successful? How can you solve their problems?
The most successful startups tell a story. They talk to their potential
customers and solve their problems. Just look at Amazon. It has become a
multi-billion company in less than 25 years because it has marketed
itself as meeting customer needs and solving their problems. The company
differentiates itself from competitors on a number of levels. Amazonís
mantra of ďLet Us Help YouĒ is geared directly to the customer instead of
Amazon provides convenience and saves time because customers can find
whatever they need in one place and can shop from anywhere. No longer
must they to spend hours driving from store to store. Amazon also
provides reviews so customers can see feedback from others on the same or
similar products. As the company has grown, itís been responsive to
customers too. For example, it added one click checkout and made the
purchasing process quick and easy. It became easier to shop at Amazon
than anywhere else. Low prices, a variety of products, and lots of
delivery options also meet customer needs. By focusing on what its
customers need and want, Amazon has become the largest online retailer in
Too often I see small businesses and entrepreneurs concentrate their
marketing efforts on touting themselves or their expertise. In my
experience, spending a lot of time talking about how great you are is not
going to help you win new business. A better approach is to be customer
centric and show customers how you will meet their needs.
When it comes right down to it, most people want to hear about
themselves. Itís why WII-FM is the worldís most popular radio station.
What is it? Itís the ďWhatís In It For MeĒ station. Customers want to
hear about whatís relevant to them. That means you should determine how
your product or service can help potential customers and then show them
how you can make their lives better.
When Microsoft first started marketing its Windows operating system the
entire campaign was centered on making computers more accessible to
users. Yet again, the focus was on the customer and not the Microsoft
brand. Sure, the brand matters. But entrepreneurs shouldnít lead with it;
talk first about how you help customers.
This is what effective marketing is all about. Itís understanding your
customersí dreams, desires, nightmares, or problems and then giving them
Donít misunderstand me. Sometimes adding your credentials to the
marketing mix is important so that customers know your expertise and
trust you. That should be at the end of your pitch, though. Entrepreneurs
should start with solving their customersí problems first and then end
with your background.
Ten Elements Every Direct Mail Piece Should Have
By Joy Gendusa
Don't want your direct mail to
end up in the trash with the rest of the unread mail? These 10 tips will
help you get the results you want:
1. A clear, bold headline.
On the envelope or front of the mailer there should be one central
message. The best way to achieve that is with a bold, clear headline
that's not cluttered with other text. A good guideline is to have the
headline fill up at least 15 percent of the front of the mailer.
2. A graphic that supports the message.
The graphic should be easy to understand and easily relatable to the
message the headline is trying to convey. For instance, if you are trying
to get people to buy a car, you would want to show a car with a
promotional sign clearly visible, such as ď$1,000 Cash BackĒ. That graphic
reinforces the message more than a simple picture of a car.
3. Color that pops.
Make the headline and other text stand out by using a color that stands
out from the background color. When you look at the card, ask yourself,
"What do I see first?" If your answer isn't the headline, you might want
to tweak the colors.
4. Subheads that lead into text.
If you have a couple of paragraphs of text with no lead in, there's
nothing to entice people to actually read the copy. A subhead will give
people a place to start reading. If you have only 100 words or so you may
be able to get away with it, but if the text gets any longer the average
reader will want to have some guideposts along the way.
5. Benefits, benefits, benefits.
One of the biggest advertising errors people make is to state features
rather than benefits. For example, never assume recipients know what
benefit can be derived from a lower interest rate. Let them know how their
monthly payments will go down.
6. The offer.
An offer is always a good idea and should represent a specific reason to
call now, such as "Limited supply" or "Interest rates are climbing."
7. Your company name and logo.
Although this needs to be on the mailer, it shouldn't overshadow the
offer. Customers care most about what you can do for them.
8. Call to action.
Tell prospects exactly what you want them to do. "Call today for more
information" or "See us online" are two of the most common desired
9. Contact information.
Provide your name, phone number, and web address directly following the
call to action. Whatever you ask prospects to do, give them the means to
do it easily.
10. Return address.
A return address ensures you'll get returned mail from the post office and
sends a message that you're an established professional. People feel
better knowing the company they're dealing with has an actual location.
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 donít 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!
Thursday April 25th, 2013. Yankees vs.
Blue Jays 7:05
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Direct Mail: Still a Bargain For Marketers
The Great Marketing Mistake: It's Not About You
Ten Elements Every Direct Mail Piece Should Have
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
6 New Lists from Statlistics
Mike's Favorite Links:
Some interesting links...
businessinsider.com - A business blog, covering business news, tech,
media, law, Wall Street, investing and entrepreneurship.
agiledesigners.com - The best resources and help for web designers in one
wherecoolthingshappen.com - Your daily resource for cool things,
inspiration on art, travel and advertising.
screenhero.com - Simple, collaborative screen sharing. You each get your
own mouse, and you're both always in control.
mypermissions.com - Your personal cloud security company. Automatically
scan your apps permissions. Get alerts when apps have access to your
Create an awesome Free Slideshow with photos and music. Import your photos
from facebook, instagram, picasa, flickr and more.
howtogeek.com - Will show you how to do
things on your computer you never knew was possible. Includes help,
tutorials, tips and how-to guides for Windows and Linux.
bigcomplaints.com - Generate a free
complaint letter to send to someone. Why waste your own valuable time
typing out an extensive complaint on someone not worth your time. This
site takes care of this for you.
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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