Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing July 2012 Newsletter.
To view this newsletter using your Internet browser click here:
Small Businesses Need the U.S. Postal Service Anymore?
By Barry Moltz, Small Business Speaker, Consultant, and Author.
Many small-business owners
still use the Post Office as a critical part of their marketing and
communication strategy. Here are the top 10 reasons they want the USPS to
As it says on the James Farley Post Office in New York
City, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these
couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
Weather may not stop the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), but shrinking revenue
might slow it down. With the increasing utilization of electronic
communication and competition from private companies, the USPS is losing
about $35 million a day. Recently, it lost $3.3 billion in the first
fiscal quarter of 2012.
As its financial health continues to falter, the future of the Post Office
looks very uncertain. Will it be the target of the next federal bailout?
Will it be drastically scaled back or just shut down? Many small-business
owners still use the Post Office as a critical part of their marketing and
communication strategy. Here are the top 10 reasons they want the USPS to
1. It's economical. The top reason
small-business owners love the USPS is that it saves them money shipping
their products. Favorite features include the flat rate shipping boxes and
no added charge to send items to rural areas. Brenda at Naughty and Nice
Lingerie states that since her products are relatively lightweight, none
of the other shipping companies can beat the USPS shipping costs.
2. It works. With so much e-mail
clogging up inboxes, many small businesses have gone back to direct mail
model as a more successful way to reach customers and prospects. According
to Keri Smyth of CarrotNewYork, “The postal service has been an integral
part of how we reach teachers through an opt in postcard.”
3. It's classy. An e-mail thank you is
nice, but many small-business owners rely on handwritten mailed notes to
their customers. Christian T. Russell sees this as an important part of
his “high-touch marketing.” He says that he has "found that very
strategic, small scale use of handwritten notes can offer a tremendous
return on investment."
4. Paper still matters. For small
businesses, this is still a world filled with paper. As Shilonda Downing,
founder of Virtual Work Team, says, “While my business is virtual, clients
who aren't in my locale need to mail documents they want processed for
bookkeeping and other things.”
5. Media mail. Although it takes
longer than regular parcel shipments, the USPS gives special low rates to
books and other types of media. Jamie at Sisters Grimm Bookstore says she
would drastically have to increase her shipping prices if she was forced
to use another method.
6. It offers business addresses. The
P.O. box is critical for many people with home-based businesses. For
example, it lets Paula Pant, owner of Cleopatra Properties, receive mail
without disclosing her home address. Ironically, it also provides the
required physical address needed by law on any e-mail mass-marketing
7. It's relatively safe. The Web is
still riddled with security risks. As one commercial for USPS states,
letters have the added security of never getting a virus.
8. No one else can transfer the dearly departed.
USPS is the only way to send cremated remains. Aura Neisius, at the Santa
Rosa Mortuary, says without the Post Office, their business would be
9. It's how they get paid. Most of the
accounts receivable small businesses collect are still “checks in the
mail.” Even some electronic payments made by customers actually become
mailed checks from the customer's bank.
10. It builds community. There is
still a great historical attachment to the post office especially in small
towns since no other organization ships to every single address in the
country. It has always been a local gathering place for residents.
Small-business owners also point out the helpful knowledge of the postal
workers. For Joan McCoy, of Little One Books, it’s about tradition. “My
grandmother always had a treat for the postman who delivered mail to her
door every day. My mother still waits patiently for mail delivery so she
can spend time going through the things people sent her.”
In its current form however, the U.S. Postal Service is not sustainable.
As a quasi-government agency, it has to begin acting like a business. It's
time to think about raising parcel shipping rates, terminating Saturday
deliveries and spinning-off unprofitable post offices into franchises.
This gets complicated since the USPS was authorized by the Constitution
and it literally takes an act of Congress to make major changes, but with
so many small businesses depending on it, the United States Postal Service
is worth the effort.
Sometimes, It’s Good to Unplug…
By Ken Taub
There are Surely Benefits in Social Media
Marketing, But There are Limits Too.
Recently, I completed a new website for a long-established
auto glass company. The improvement over their prior site was dramatic,
and the client was thrilled with the design, content and functionality of
But as soon as the website was nearing completion, the client wanted a
geography-based landing page for upping their Google Ad Word response,
and as soon as that was completed, he inquired about creating a mobile
website. I gave him the pros and cons, and then we also discussed the
benefits of a micro site.
You get the picture: the marketing inclination was for all things online,
mobile and social, which made sense in many ways for this business. But
what was left out of the equation was targeted print advertising,
localized promotions, custom-printed giveaways, and almost anything
tangible. It was all digital.
So despite the client’s overall delight, and wanting to do more online, I
felt it imperative to say: Hey, stop for a minute. You operated in five
neighborhoods for years. You have to keep reaching out to these longtime
neighbors and connect 1-to-1; promote your new corporate identity in
affordable town papers and inform them, directly, what’s new with your
company; have your neighbors display your logo on a baseball cap or a
tote bag; and send them some eye-catching specials via direct mail.
It might sound laughable to say, but in the contemporary stampede for all
things Social, I have to remind clients now and again: Print still works!
I like Facebook (most of the time), there’s a reason it now does a
billion dollars in advertising each quarter. Search engine page ranking
surely matters, and Google Ad Words makes a difference in upping site
visits. But along with the benefits of online targeted ads and promos,
there is the now also an extraordinary level of overlap and complexity in
social media marketing.
Now, along with Search Engine Optimization, there are social promotion
platforms, community platforms, social intelligence and social graphing
software (so companies might predict, with increasingly complex
algorithms, what you are interested in by what sites you visit and what
you buy online – and next, that many of your online friends may be
interested in the same things). Of course, companies pay for all these
things – from Social Brand Engagement to Social Scoring – in the belief
that ever more individually targeted online marketing and “engagement” is
not only the latest but the best method to get consumers to take a
look-see, and maybe even spend.
But while online and social media are essential in many ways, they are
not the holy grail of marketing.
There is no holy grail of marketing. Survey after survey for decade after
decade (yes, even now) has shown that for most advertising – in whatever
form – it takes an average 5 to 10 contacts before a prospect pulls out
his or her wallet to make the purchase. And guess what? All those
contacts cannot be online. So if social media is not IT for every company
and in every instance, then what is?
The same thing that has worked for the last 50+ years: a balanced,
intelligently weighted promotional mix that consists of print
advertising, social media, electronic media (be it TV, mobile phone apps,
or product placement in a movie), 1-on-1 engagement (in personalized
direct mail or in person), and something tangible (whether a coupon, a
tote bag, a T-shirt, a poster, or a prize).
Think of your advertising not just as an attention-getting exercise of
getting hits and online fans, but as an investment. And most of us know
that the best way to invest… is to diversify.
Ken Taub is a copywriter, creative director
and cross-platform marketing expert who specializes in B2B, consumer,
medical, tech, health & fitness, and professional services advertising.
Please see his site at www.kentaub.com
and feel free to reach out.
Marketing Really Works!
Direct mail marketing helps train the consumer to think of your brand when
they are ready to buy.
When I heard the title of the book
Waiting For Your Cat to Bark?
by Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg, it
reminded me why direct mail marketing is an
effective workhorse in the marketing tool belt. It has interesting merit
because it is based on the fact consumers are no longer responding to
marketing messages the way Pavlov’s dog did to the ringing of the bell.
Whether the sound of the proverbial bell has become annoying to the
consumer or they are just ignoring the marketing noise, consumers are
requiring more and more personal touches and direct mail can do just that.
One of the many reasons direct mail works is it creates a direct
“dialogue” with the consumer and through consistent mailings, the offer or
brand messaging breaks through the marketing clutter.
As mentioned in the book, Mark Huffman, Advertising Production “Dean of
How” at Proctor & Gamble put it this way.
“The mass marketing model is quickly breaking down. It was developed in a
time when there were only three major TV networks and far fewer magazines
– no Internet, no cell phone, no video games. National advertisers could
decide when and how they engaged viewers by choosing in which TV programs
and magazines they placed their ads.”
With the addition of iPads, Smartphones, and e-book readers, such as
Kindle, consumers are receiving marketing messages from everywhere.
Expecting the consumer to react to a marketing message with immediate
response is like waiting for you’re your cat to bark. Your cat will never
be a dog. Your dog can easily be trained to play fetch. Your cat may after
a much longer training session be taught how to play fetch, but will only
play fetch for as long as he/she wants to play fetch.
Consumers are no different. They make their purchase selections based on a
whole new set of information gathering than they did in previous years and
marketing messages need to adapt. It boils down to being in the mind of
the consumer when they are ready, willing, and able to buy.
Direct mail when used properly, can deliver the right messages in the
right time to the right people. Direct mail marketing accomplishes that
through the targeted lead list, the right offer, at
the right time when the consumer is looking for your services.
Much like a cat will allow you to pay attention to them when they want you
to, consumers will respond to your marketing messages when they want to.
Fine tuning your lead list and using direct mail marketing can insure that
your message is in front of them, when they are ready to “play”.
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 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!
Tuesday July 31st, 2012. Yankees vs.
Do you know of anyone else who would be interested in receiving our
newsletter? Please let us know by email:
To learn more about our company, please visit our Web site:
www.talon.com or contact Michael Borkan at (631) 667-5500 x 11.
If you do not wish to receive the Talon Mailing & Marketing Newsletter
Do Small Businesses Need the U.S. Postal Service Anymore?
Sometimes, It's Good to Unplug
Direct Marketing Really Works!
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
Mike's Favorite Links:
Some interesting links...
sharethrough.tv - Discover the
best online brand videos and the agencies that created them.
noexcuselist.com - The best
place on the web to learn anything, free.
hundredzeros.com - A collection
of best selling eBooks that are currently free on Amazon. You can download
and read any of these books on your computer, mobile phone, tablet, Kindle
or inside your favorite web browser. The list is updated every hour.
motionmathgames.com - A great and
fun site to help children cultivate an intuitive mastery of math.
rawstory.com - A progressive news
site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media.
the world's largest fanfiction archive and forum where fanfic writers and
readers around the globe gather to share their passion.
Did you know Talon offers the following services?
Click on the links below to see samples.
Click here if you wish to see past newsletters.
Click on These Links to Learn More About Talon:
If you do not wish to receive the Talon Mailing &
Marketing Newsletter please