Talon Mailing & Marketing

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Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing April 2013 Newsletter.

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Direct 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 believe it.

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:

  • Lists and data
  • Offers/messaging
  • Creative and copy
  • Timing

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 your communication.

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 (grant.johnson@johnsondirect.com) is the founder and Ambassador of Fun at Brookfield, WI based Johnson Direct LLC.

The Great Marketing Mistake: It's Not About You

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 itself.

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 the world.

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 a solution.

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 actions.

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. 

All 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 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:

Direct Mail: Still a Bargain For Marketers

The Great Marketing Mistake: It's Not About You

Ten Elements Every Direct Mail Piece Should Have

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:
  • Gensamer & Company

  • Viva Blue

  • 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 place.

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 private info.

slide.ly - 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.

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.

Newsletter Archives:

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