Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing August Newsletter:


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How To Control Your Mailings.

by Susanna K. Hutcheson


If you're like many direct mailers, you think you have absolutely no control over your mailings. Right? Ah, but it's not so. You have a great deal of control over them. The trick is to know when and how to do all the "little" things that can ensure you maximum return.


No matter how good your sales literature is in content, if it's not sent properly, if it's not sent when it should be sent and if it's not sent to the right people it's a bad mailing. It's destined to fail.


Let's assume for now you have a really good mailing list. That leaves the matters of packaging your mailing and timing it. Both depend upon to whom you're mailing. If your mailing is going to consumers in their homes you do it one way. If, on the other hand, it goes to business people in offices it is handled entirely different.


So first, evaluate your prospects. Who are they? What are their habits?


Let's take business people. They get a ton of mail on Monday. They also often have meetings on Mondays. (Those horrid bell-ringing events we all hate.) Friday is a day that many people take off or leave their offices at noon. They have their minds on the weekend. (Unless they're like some of us who are entrepreneurs. We do business any day, any hour.)


So to send those people mail that will get to them on those days is suicide. Yours! You'll increase your returns if you avoid those days when mailing to business people.


If, however, you're mailing to people in their homes, try to get it to them midweek or on the weekend. Also, holidays are good for consumers. But they're very bad for business people.


After your mailing is done the fun begins. Make a chart. I keep mine in a three-ring binder. On it put a place for the date, the day of the week, returns and responses. Under responses make a place for the per day responses, the total responses and the actual percentage of the total mailing it represents.


I also usually try out three different sales letters. So I keep track of where I send each letter, i.e. what zip code or town or state. Then I can begin to see which letter pulls best for me. I then begin to use only that letter.


Then you want to figure out your actual break even point. You know your advertising cost and you know what you can afford to get a lead. So you divide what you can afford to spend at break-even for a sale into your advertising cost. Then you will know how many sales you must get to break even.


Let's say your break-even or par is 5%. If you're not getting that you can do a number of things to improve your chances of success.


You can raise your price, lower costs, try another list, make your prospects a better offer, improve the quality of your marketing literature or increase the size of your average order. To increase the size of your average order, I usually offer a package deal. This is a combination of two of my most popular items that people usually buy separately. I sell it to them as a package. They get a good deal and I increase my average order.


More about all this in another report that I'm writing for my clients. Suffice it to say that you must keep track of everything about your mailing.


From the kind of envelopes you use to what's on the envelope you will either improve or reduce your chances for success. Every little thing in direct mail matters.


If you see your mailing is not doing well you can change it before going further. Sometimes you need only to change something very minor. You may be mailing on the wrong day. You may be using an envelope that turns people off. It could be a hundred things.


Direct mail is one of the finest ways to increase your business. Joe Danler, a RE/MAX broker in Wichita, KS, is living proof. Danler does about three very large mailings of 10,000 pieces each per year. He makes himself known to Wichita residents while other agents remain anonymous among the hundreds of other real estate agents who daily roam the streets in search of listings.


The difference is, Danler gets them. He does so well, in fact, that he's sold more homes than any RE/MAX agent in the area in the last year! And best of all, he doesn't have to cold call. People come to him because of his direct mail.


RE/MAX agents, unlike most other real estate agents, can control their own advertising. They do not co-op and are not told how to advertise. As a result, they can be very creative. That pays big dividends to people like Joe Danler.


Danler has been in the real estate business for eight years. He started using direct mail two years ago. "Direct mail has been important to reach people who weren't aware of me at all," he says.


He adds, "It's an important thing for people who have really thought about a real estate need but have not started looking yet."


"It's a good initial first step to let people know that I'm out there," says Danler. He says direct mail gives him name recognition.


So we know that direct mail works. But the fact is you have to have control over your mailings. You can't just mail out a ton of letters and wait for your leads. It doesn't work that way.


Before you do your next mailing plan it out. Get the best list available. Prepare the finest DM literature money can buy. Plan each step and chart your success. Direct mail can make you successful. But first, you have to become a successful mailer. When you do, your returns will increase and so will your income.



Susanna K. Hutcheson is a professional advertising and direct mail copywriter. She was the first copywriter to utilize the Internet as a place to market this type of service. Susanna has clients all over the world. She writes everything from Web site content to direct mail and radio spots. Visit her Web site at http://www.powerwriting.com. Her email address is powerwriter@powerwriting.com. Telephone: (316) 684-0457.



United States Post Office is Test Marketing Consumer Designed and Personal Postage Stamps.


Imagine a direct mail campaign with your own personal stamp!


The U.S. Postal Service has authorized online stamp vendor Stamps.com, Santa Monica, CA, to test market PhotoStamps, a brand new product that lets customers using their p.c.s create postage with their own designs, images and photographs.


The USPS said the stamps could be used in many ways. Two examples: Pictures of graduates could be placed on stamps for graduation announcements, or babies' photos could be used on stamps for birth announcements.


PhotoStamps made its debut on envelopes and post cards starting July 22, 2004.


The picture postage label measures approximately 1.4-by-1.8 inches with unique serrations on one side.


The customer's digital picture fills the left two-thirds of the label. The indicia side contains the familiar information-based indicia barcode coated by an invisible florescence, a serial number, security features and the postage amount.


Customers even have a choice of border colors.


During the test phase, PhotoStamps will be offered in seven full-rate postage values for postcards as well as envelopes of different sizes, ranging from 23 cents to $3.85.




Win Yankee and Mets Tickets!


We are giving away two tickets to the Yankees and Mets! To win be the first telephone caller (please call don't hit reply or email). Call Michael Borkan at 631-667-5500 x 303. One set per winner and you must make arrangements to pick up the tickets. All games will have fantastic seat locations.


Please email your entry to: mb@talon.com





New Clients:


Talon would like to welcome the following new clients this month to our growing roster of clients:


Mailing Clients

       Core Data Center

       Mercy First

       CMS Manufacturing

       Yellow Dyno

       Patchogue Relocation


New Mailing Lists Housed at Talon (we house over 600 mailing lists)

       The M&A Advisor

       Avondale Media

       Farm Journal Database



Mike's Favorite Links:


Here are some links you probably are not aware of:




Work Samples:


Did you know Talon offers the following services? Click on the links below to see samples.


        Color Laser Personalization

        Bulk Email Blasts

        HP High Quality Inkjet (near laser quality)

        Data Entry (from 100 to 100,000 names and addresses)

        Polybag and shrinkwrap services

        Merge/Purge services with comprehensive reports that can instantly be retrieved from the internet



Newsletter Archives:


Click here if you wish to see old newsletters.




Do you know of anyone else who would be interested in receiving our newsletter? Please let us know

by email: mb@talon.com


To learn more about our company, please visit our web site: www.talon.com or contact Michael Borkan at (631) 667-5500 x 303.