Talon Mailing & Marketing

561 Acorn Street
Deer Park, NY 11729

(631) 667-5500


Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing August 2012 Newsletter.

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Post Office To Run a  Postage Sale During the  Holiday Season

The USPS is offering mailers a 2% discount on standard and first class letters, flats (catalogs) and cards displaying mobile QR codes sent out between Nov. 7 and 21.

Mailers are pleased the U.S. Postal Service is going to expand its promotional discount program for pieces using QR codes to the holiday season. But most aren’t overwhelmed at the prospect of an extra discount for using priority mail.

The USPS is offering mailers a 2% discount on standard and first class letters, flats (catalogs) and cards displaying mobile QR codes sent out between Nov. 7 and 21. It also plans an extra 1% discount if 0.5% of their mail is sent via priority mail between Nov 9 and Dec. 31.

The postal service has run postage rate sales since 2009, partly to promote use of the mail during the traditionally slower summer months.  The USPS began allowing mailers to include two-dimensional barcodes in their mailings in its summer postage sale last year. For the November promotion, the USPS is requiring that the QR codes direct users to a website optimized for mobile devices.

“We plan to use the discount but not the priority mail option,” says Larry Davis, vice president of marketing at jewelry cataloger Ross-Simons, noting that the cost of shipping via priority mail is too high to make that discount worthwhile. The Cranston, RI-based company mails out 2.5 million catalogs in the fall, and about 20 million catalogs per year.

Similarly, crafts and scrap booking supplies cataloger Paper Wishes likes the discount but isn’t too keen on the priority mail aspect of this promotion either. The firm plans to continue shipping via more conventional USPS services and United Parcel Service. “We need to ship in the most efficient and economical way,” says president Paulette Jarvey.

She also expressed dislike for the postal service’s proposed new mobile-optimized website requirement. “I wish they hadn’t put restrictions on what they had done before,” she says, noting that in previous promotions, it was acceptable just to have the QR code prominently displayed on mailing pieces. “But now it has to be tied to a mobile site,” she says.

Paper Wishes, which has a housefile of nearly 200,000 customers, sends over 1.2 million catalogs annually, mailing 400,000 drops to prospects and customers in January, April and September. The Canby, OR company took part in last summer’s USPS QR code promotion, and plans to have a version of its site optimized for mobile devices ready by August.

Jarvis was unsure if QR codes helped raise response rates in that promotion but noted that in the past year, the number of orders the catalog gets through mobile increased from about 4% to 10%.

Another company looking to participate in the November promotion is religious goods cataloger St. Benedict Press.

“We expect the promotion will [lead us to] increase the size of our Christmas mailings,” says vice president Conor Gallagher.

The Charlotte, NC firm has two mailings planned for November, a 50,000 catalog drop primarily to existing book customers and a "magalog" to 100,000 prospects for its new Catholic Courses catalog which offers audio and video courses.

Build Your Database!

By Kim Morrison

Here are some ideas to help you build your database and, if you’ve approached it the right way, start to convert prospects into customers.

How much is your business worth?

To look at it from an accounting point of view, past profitability and asset values are the starting points. But it is often intangible factors, such as key business relationships, which provide the most value.

Underlying that is your customer database and hopefully one that is delivering consistent results for you! Your database should make you money every time you communicate with it and you need to look at how you build your list and then use it.

I’ll avoid the obvious cliché that size matters! Anyone can have a big list and still have no customers. There are loads of commercially available lists that you can buy though personally I would warn against doing that.

A small list of buyers interested in your business is hugely preferable to a massive list of unqualified cold prospects. This goes back to your marketing and social media strategy and knowing and understanding who your ideal prospective customer is …. your customer avatar. So start with a small list of the right people and build it up as you go along.

Here are four great ways to sign people up to your website and to build your database list:

1Sidebar Subscription Boxes (one on every page) offering great value – free information that helps them or discount codes

2. Squeeze pages: tantalize people with great value offers “just behind the door”

3. Pop Up Windows: done at the right time with a good and a thought through headline/reason to act (use Google Analytics to find out how long and where people are on your site)

4. Contact Us: make it interesting, personal and different

The Social Media fraternity are very fond of running free (and informative) webinars on different topics of their expertise. They build their database with the free useful session and then usually, but not always, pitch their linked product offer at the end. As they have just demonstrated their expertise on the webinar you feel confident that they ‘know their stuff’ and so are likely to purchase if you want to know more.

These ideas will all help you to build your database and, if you’ve approached it the right way, start to convert prospects into customers and keep them as loyal customers.

Just remember – the money is in the list and knowing that every time you send out a campaign you will make money is a very powerful feeling!

Direct Mail Can Be 'More Cost-Effective' Than Email

While the cost per piece is clearly higher for direct mail when compared to opt-in email, the yield from printed content is often far greater.

Companies looking to rein in their spending and find the most valuable marketing strategies due to the challenging economic conditions could do worse than looking towards direct mail.

Writing in the Huffington Post, president of Ernan Roman Direct Marketing, Ernan Roman suggested that many businesses are forgetting about the power of the channel as a vital element in the marketing mix.

A recent Epsilon Study found that direct mail is the top choice for people and this has been attributed in the past to the fact that clients find it more trustworthy.

Mr. Roman said extensive testing has determined that cost per piece is clearly higher for direct mail when compared to opt-in email marketing but the yield from printed content is often far greater.

"Forward-thinking marketers should evaluate the potential value of direct mail as a component of their multichannel mix. It may not be effective for all businesses, but it just might be right for yours," he continued.

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 August 13th, 2012.  Yankees vs. Rangers 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:

Post Office To Run a Postage Sale During the Holiday Season

Build Your Database!

Direct Marketing Can Be 'More Cost-Effective' Than Email

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:
  • RJS Direct Marketing

  • WoodenBoat Magazine

  • 5 New Lists from Statlistics

Mike's Favorite Links:

Some interesting links...

yammer.com - This is an amazing site. It's an enterprise social network, providing a secure way for employees to communicate, collaborate, and share information with other employees within their company.

cool-stuff - An unbelievable collection of cool stuff for sale from around the internet. Take a look, I promise you'll want to order quite a few items.

digg.com - The best news, videos and pictures on the web as voted on by the Digg community.

dummies.com - provides clear, focused how-to text and videos to make even the most complex topics easy to learn and understand.

4ormat.com - an online portfolio platform that provides complete freedom for professionally showcasing your work to clients, employers, patrons, and the world at large.

guyspeak.com - Ever feel like you need a translator when talking to a guy? Now you've got one.

theswizzle.com - This site lets you easily and securely unsubscribe from emails you no longer wish to receive. Their Gallery then helps you browse emails from thousands of brands without the commitment of a subscription.

Work Samples:

Did you know Talon offers the following services? 

Click on the links below to see samples.

Direct Mail Humor!

Do you need help with 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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If you do not wish to receive the Talon Mailing & Marketing Newsletter please click here: