Talon Mailing & Marketing

561 Acorn Street
Deer Park, NY 11729

(631) 667-5500


Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing May 2012 Newsletter.

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Getting the Most Out of Direct Mail

Amie Peters, head of direct mail at An Post, dispels some of the myths about mail and offers advice on how to get the most out of a direct mailing campaign.

With the ever more diverse and fragmented media choices, itís important to remember that the average consumer has only one letterbox and thatís not likely to change any time soon.

Itís a unique portal into your customerís home and mind. Important things come through the letterbox, and, while this includes bills, it also includes positive messages like birthday cards and all the items you order online.

From speaking with businesses of all sizes, the www.Growmybusiness.ie team has identified four big myths.

Myth 1: People donít like mail

Collecting the mail at the letterbox is a life-learned habit: for 71% of us itís the first thing we do when back from a holiday, and 51% of us have a sense of excitement when checking for mail. Some 59% of adults prefer to receive information by mail, over three times the preference for email (just 17%).

Myth 2: The ĎSocial Media Generationí doesnít like mail

Almost three quarters (74%) of the ĎSocial Media Generationí consider receiving mail a pleasure. Whatís more, they are more disappointed relative to the general population (54% versus 49%) when thereís no mail for them. And, 14% of this age group confirm direct mail is a trigger for purchase; thatís three times as many for social network ads (5%).

Myth 3: People donít read direct mail

Nearly three quarters (72%) of all adults put time aside to read the mail. People are reading more addressed direct mail than ever before Ė 85% of people are reading, up from 61% in 2007. And, when given the choice, 56% would prefer to receive direct mail than not receive any at all.

Myth 4: Direct mail is not relevant

Thereís no question that Ďbadí direct mail is not relevant. Marketers know now customers are more discerning. So when you make direct mail relevant, informed and personalized, consumers donít just like it, they adore it. And it beats its electronic cousins, with 77% agreeing direct mail is relevant compared to 38% for email advertising.

Three most important letters - ROI

So, itís all very well that people love to receive mail, but for small business owners and cost-conscious marketers, the three most important letters in business today are ROI (return on investment).

Put simply Ė will this work, will this give me a solid return, and will it wow the customer? Strategies and formulas can look good on paper, but results are what count at the end of the day.

As direct mail gets straight into the hands of the value-seeking consumer, itís no surprise that itís most effective at getting people to buy (53% versus 22% for email).

Some 78% of business to business marketers say that direct mail is effective at generating sales orders.

A good example is a direct mailing by Universal Graphics, a Monaghan-based company specializing in vehicle branding, large format printing, and signage.

It sent out personalized model trucks to 40 of its top prospects. This campaign opened doors that were otherwise firmly shut, and generated a $657,000 return from just a $12,000 investment. Company director Simon Murray says this campaign is still delivering for it today.

The Top 10 Marketing Tips of All Time

Too often, professional marketers and small business owners overlook the basic techniques that have separated successful campaigns from those that never turn a profit.

With more than a decade of experience in marketing, ranking from pay-per-click to direct mail, Iíve seen a lot of failures and far more successes when it comes to marketing.

Today, the art of marketing is far more complex than it once was. However, many of the same basic principles still apply. Too often, professional marketers and small business owners overlook the basic techniques that have separated successful campaigns from those that never turn a profit. Here is my all time list of effective marketing tips.

1. Know your audience. Successful campaigns get that way because marketers know their audience. They fully understand their needs, how to help meet those needs and how to create demand. Knowing and understanding your audience through proper market segmentation means a well targeted campaign that generates a profitable return.

2. Focus on the offer. A marketing offer is the driving force of marketing promotions that drive results. In fact, market testing has proven that the offer is the most significant criterion for conversion. Focus on your offer if you want to be successful.

3. Split test. Never ever run a campaign without testing something. One of the most common is a split test which allows you to simultaneously test two versions of something. It can be a web page, post card, or email. Split testing is essential for improving performance.

4. Never work alone. The most creative ideas come from working with other creative people. Donít feel like you need to have all the answers or great ideas. You may start with an idea, but an open dialog with creative individuals will make it better.

5. Donít sell on price. Iíve seen so many marketers fail because they sell on price alone. This leads to a discounting war, lower profitability, and often bankruptcy. Rather, focus on creating so much value that the perception of price becomes insignificant.

6. Consistent messaging. Consider the entire user experience before you launch a campaign. From email to website to offer, is the prospect having a consistent user experience? If they are, your campaigns stand above 98% of others.

7. Create value after the sale. As marketers, itís our job to understand our market segment and build relationships, not dump people off at the front door of our store and walk away. Focus as much of your energy on building relationships with customers as you do prospects.

8. Test. Test. Test. In addition to split testing, you should consider multiple forms of testing in each marketing discipline. For direct mail, test headlines, offers, copy, time of direct mail drop, etc. Consider testing a life long mission.

9. Integrated Marketing Works Best. You canít rely on one form of marketing to carry you to success. Itís okay to generate most of your leads or sales through PPC marketing if you will but what happens when that dries out? Use multiple media sources to meet your goals.

10. Nothing can replace experience. You can run out and hire all of the best consultants in the world, but you still have to do the work. Nothing can replace actual experience. It will make you a stronger marketer and more successful in the long term.

Apply these helpful marketing tips if you want to be truly successful. These techniques and tips are applied by successful marketers on a daily basis. The result is an ever growing success rate of marketing success.

Direct Mail Plays an Important Role in The Digital Age

By James Walsh, Times Herald-Record

Despite the popularity of electronic communications in the digital age, direct-mail advertising has shown remarkable resilience as a popular and even growing marketing tool for businesses interested in narrowing their target for customers.

Marketing companies find that overloaded electronic mailboxes and the prevalence of spam filters are partially responsible for boosting the advantages of direct mail.

"We thought we could save on the printing, on the postage, but then we saw our occupancy rate drop," said David O'Halloran, proprietor of the Pinegrove Ranch and Family Resort in Kerhonkson, of the company's foray into email marketing.

O'Halloran, chairman of the Ulster County Industrial Development Agency, found that direct mail and print ads drive traffic to the resort's website.

Many of those viewers, he suspects, peruse the website during their lunch hour, because traffic spikes between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Josh Sommers of Focus Media in Goshen and Jay Shapiro of D&D Mailing Services in Newburgh agreed that businesses should use multiple marketing platforms. Email still has its place. O'Halloran finds sending an occasional message is fine, while too-frequent ones spur requests for removal from email distribution lists.

"All of our email mailboxes are overloaded. To be totally dependent on that for your marketing is a bad strategy," said Sommers.

Mail ads 27% of postal revenue

Direct-mail advertising represents significant income for the U.S. Postal Service. It generated $17.8 billion in 2011, or 27 percent of the Postal Service's total revenue of $65.7 billion. While first-class mail continues to decline as people use computers to pay bills and keep in touch with friends, advertising mail increased by 500 million pieces from 2010 to 2011.

"American businesses and consumers still value the physical delivery of mail in this digital age," Postal Service spokesman George Flood said by email. "Consumers spend a lot of time looking at their mail, and they still use it to make purchasing decisions "Ľ . As long as consumers use the mail, businesses will continue to receive significant value from their investment in direct mail."

New emphasis on targeting

One Postal Service innovation is Every Door Direct MailóRetail, which lets businesses send up to 5,000 pieces of mail at once for about 14.5 cents each without a postal permit. The mailings can even be directed to particular neighborhoods.

"A restaurant," Shapiro said, "may want to target within 5 miles of the place. A summer camp wants to know if there are kids in the home. The demographics are endless. You can literally target exactly who you're trying to reach."

That targeting is key, whether by location or demographics that can include age, income, family size, the number of cars in a household and political affiliations.

"It's only junk mail if the people receiving it have no interest in the message," Shapiro said.

Response rates have been holding steady. Letter-size envelopes had a response rate of 3.42 percent when sent to past customers of the business and of 1.38 percent from prospective customers, according to the Direct Marketing Association.

"That's the lowest-lying fruit that companies don't leverage," Sommers said of staying in contact with past customers.

Political campaigns are among the biggest users of direct-mail marketing. Sommers expects a particularly heavy deluge this year because of congressional redistricting and the presidential race.

"They may not only target households by political affiliation," Sommers said, "but also by frequency of voting. During a primary, people who vote only occasionally don't get any mail. It's the super-engaged voter that gets the mail."

Success strategies

Here are some tips for businesses considering direct-mail marketing:

ē Always make an offer in a mailing. That increases the chances it will be read, said Jay Shapiro of D&D Mailing Services in Newburgh.

ē Define your customer and use that information to market to other geographical areas, said David O'Halloran, a longtime user of direct mail and proprietor of the Pinegrove Ranch and Family Resort in Kerhonkson.

ē Be prepared to make multiple mailings. It takes time to establish recognition. Make mailings eye-catching with a compelling message, said Josh Sommers of Focus Media.

ē Use email to enhance, not replace, direct mail, said O'Halloran.

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! 

  • Monday May 21st, 2012.  Yankees vs. Royals 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:

Getting the Most Out of Direct Mail

The Top 10 Marketing Tips of All Time

Direct Mail Plays an Important Role in The Digital Age

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:
  • Direct Marketing Association of Washington

  • AlphaGraphics

  • 2 New Lists from Statlistics

Mike's Favorite Links:

Some interesting links...

priceonomics.com - The price guide for everything.

wavii.com - Instant news feeds for any topic.

carsabi.com - The Used Car Search Engine. Their search includes used cars from thousands of dealerships and Craigslist. 60,000 new listings per day.

purephoto.com - Connect with top photographers and emerging artists. Discover great fine art and buy limited edition prints starting at only $20.

projectrebrief.com - Can America's most iconic advertising campaigns be re-imagined for the web?

oddee.com - A fascinating blog about the bizarre, weird, and strange.

spoiledphotos.com - A collection of funny spoiled pictures and photobombs. See photos ruined by hilarious people or objects in the background.

Work Samples:

Did you know Talon offers the following services? 

Click on the links below to see samples.

Newsletter Archives:

Click here if you wish to see past newsletters.  

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