Talon Mailing & Marketing

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Deer Park, NY 11729

(631) 667-5500


Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing July 2011 Newsletter.

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Direct Mail Marketing Is Bouncing Back

by Dorothy Zhang, Medill Reports Chicago

If it seems like your mailbox is brimming with direct mail advertising these days, you are not imagining things.

After three years of declines, spending on everything from simple postcards to glossy brochures is rising.

“I’ve seen more large stacks of direct mail at my doorstep,” said Rachel Hambick, a 31-year-old resident of Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood. “There are a lot of them,” mostly from grocery stores and restaurants.

Direct mail advertising sales rose 3.1 percent last year, a significant turnaround from the previous three-year drop of 20 percent, according to New-York-based marketing consulting firm Winterberry Group LLC. The firm is forecasting a 5.8 percent increase in direct mail spending for 2011.

Bob Lieber, CEO of marketing strategy and services firm Original Thought LLC, said the increase is due to the overall improvement in business conditions.

“As companies see the economy turning around, they tend to increase their spending on marketing, because so many of them have cut back their spending during the recession,” Lieber said.

Glenn Cummins, national marketing manager of Ed Bristol Advertising & Printing Inc., observed that business is definitely busier than it was last year. “More direct mail printing business is coming in because the economy is rebounding,” he pointed out.

The deep recession in the financial services industry contributed to the cuts in direct mail, but marketers and retailers also shied away from it in favor of digital media, especially email, according to Winterberry Group.

But Hebert Rivero, owner of Minuteman Press, argued that the pendulum seems to now be swinging away from digital marketing and back to snail mail.

“People are not opening their emails the way they used to, because there’s too many, so they just delete marketing emails pretty readily,” he said.

Hambick agreed. “The emails I’m signed up for, they seem to email me several times a week, which is almost too much. You become desensitized to it.”

Rivero believes that is one reason why his business is up. He noted that in addition to stronger demand for direct mail, retailers’ pursuit of higher quality paper also contributed to the bounce-back in direct mail spending.

“Our retailer clients have done a lot of homework to give their mailers a certain look so that people would be more likely to open [them] and look at their marketing products,” he said.

Rivero observed that spending on commercial postcard printing has experienced the biggest gain, followed by newsletters.

“We’re entering a period where inflation is going to start to set in and people are going to try to raise their prices as demand increases,” Lieber explained. “It will drive marketers to try to be more efficient, so they will try to make inexpensive formats successful, for example, the postcard mailing.”

After primarily distributing coupons and fliers to local residents’ mailboxes, Hassib Blan, owner of the Olive Mountain restaurant in Evanston, is investing in direct mail.

“The economy is getting better, so we’re also putting more money into advertising,” Blan said. “We want to get more people coming to try our food.”

Debbi Woolf, a 49-year-old teacher living in Evanston, said her family opens direct mail envelopes for coupons to use at neighborhood restaurants. “My son saw a coupon for Burger King on the table, pulled it out and used it yesterday after school.”

The Five Most Common Direct Mail Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

by Alan Chait

There's nothing worse than witnessing your money being wasted on a direct mail campaign that just didn't get your phone ringing or send customers through your door.

When it happens it's likely not the direct mail delivery method, but your actual campaign, that flopped. Here are the five most common mistakes most businesses make.

1. Your direct mail list targeted the wrong customer: Not spending enough time and money on the list itself that targets your best type of consumer is a major campaign deal breaker. Quite often we throw a campaign together without a thought to what kind of marketing list we are going to use. We find out later that the direct mail piece, the message and the call to action were perfect but the list, which we rushed to purchase without checking the validity and the integrity of the list broker, has let us down.

Do your diligence and find a reputable list broker and explore the quality of the list. The types of consumers on the list can sometimes change the direction of what kind of marketing message you are going to use if you happen to find another target market ready to buy your product or service.

2. Your direct mail campaign wasn't tested: Testing your campaign is a necessity. More than half of my own personal clients will provide their direct mail campaign and mailing list and then fail to provide parameters on changing how the mailing piece looks. There are so many things to test such as the color of the envelope, size of the piece, the message and so on.

To test the headline, the direct mail piece design, the overall message and power of the call to action, put yourself in the mindset of your own customer and be a test junkie. You will find that you will be consistently doubling and tripling the money brought in on a campaign when you test the effectiveness of the campaign.

3. Your direct mail campaign didn't separate features from benefits: Stress the benefits to the customer in your marketing message as opposed to the features of your product or service. The customer does not care about the fancy features of your product. As a matter of fact, he/she does not have the time to listen to how great you are; they want results. What kind of results can your customer achieve by using your product?

Features are the objective facts about your product or service (size, color, appearance, usability) while benefits state what the product or service does for a customer (makes money, saves money, heals, saves time, etc.).   Make sure you clearly tell your readers what your product or service can do for them and how they will benefit from using it.

4. Your direct mail campaign didn't have a call to action: Even if the intent of your campaign is to reach potential customers and make them aware of your product or service, you still need to have an offer. What is a campaign good for if you do not have an offer? Even just asking for the order in your message is good enough to get you results.

Your readers need to be prompted to take action and it's your job to offer the right incentive for them to do so. Research the types of offers you are going to make and be sure they are as compelling and benefit driven.

5. Your direct mail campaign was a one-time deal: On average, people need to see or hear an advertising message seven times before they take some sort of action. Mailing out a campaign just once doesn't do the trick. It's called a "campaign" for a reason and entails multiple mailings to be most effective. It's not your customer's job to keep your information and recall it when they need it; it's your job to always be in front of them.

Be sure to follow up with your potential customers, either by multiple direct mailings or phone calls or a combination. It's important to time your campaign well and stay top-of-mind, especially when your customer is in need of your product or service.

A direct mail campaign is an investment with the potential for great returns. Don't make the common mistakes many businesses do. With a winning marketing combination and the right tools and messages, your campaign can come out shining.

Post Office Announces QR Code Postage Discount Promotion

In what the USPS refers to as their “2011 Mobile Barcode Promotion,” the campaign builds awareness of mobile technology and demonstrates to mailers how mobile barcodes, such as QR Codes, can increase the value of mail.

From July 1, 2011 through August 31, 2011, the USPS will offer a 3% discount on all first and standard automated postage rates if the mailing piece has a QR Code (Quick Response Code) on the outside or the inside of the piece.

To assist you in taking advantage of this limited-time promotion, Talon can create and place your QR Codes within your marketing piece at no additional charge.

Therefore, it would be a great time to consider adding a QR Code to your current marketing piece or to think about sending out that mailer that you’ve been contemplating.

We encourage you to contact us for details on how we can assist you in taking full advantage of this special offer.

As with any promotion, there is some "fine print" to be aware of, but you can find all the official regulations and details here: http://www.prc.gov/docs/72/72480/Not.Pr.Ad.MobileBarcode.pdf

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 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, July 25, 2011.  Yankees vs. Seattle Mariners 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 Marketing Is Bouncing Back

The Five Most Common Direct Mail Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Post Office Announces QR Code Postage Discount Promotion

Yankees 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:
  • Cloudless Logic

  • Pentair Pool Products

  • All-Pro Sports

  • 3 New Lists from Statlistics

Mike's Favorite Links:

Some interesting links...

Branchout.com - helps you expand your career network to include absolutely everyone you know on Facebook. It's an incredibly powerful tool.

CreativeCriminals.com - a blog with a daily variety of creative and unique advertisements from around the world.

NeverColdCall.com - bestselling author Frank Rumbauskas shows you the secrets to never cold calling again.

Blingee.com - create or personalize custom image animation with glitter, comments, and graphics.

Polaragolf.com - manufacturer of the world's straightest golf balls. Guaranteed. I have tried them and they are truly amazing!

Work Samples:

Did you know Talon offers the following services? 

Click on the links below to see samples.

Do you need to boost sales?  Talon can help!  Call Michael Borkan at 631-667-5500 x 11 to learn how to increase revenue.

Newsletter Archives:

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