Talon Mailing & Marketing

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Deer Park, NY 11729



Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing September 2006 Newsletter:

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Nine No-no's of a Direct Mail Letter.
by Tommy Yan.

Your letter must be the strong link in your direct mail campaign. A well written letter can double, triple, or quadruple the response rate of a mailing.

Recently at a meeting with a potential client I looked at a direct mail campaign they were sending to their database. It consisted of sample post cards, invitation cards, four-color flyers, door hangers, and a bulletin leaflet all stuffed inside an attractive 9" x 12" graphic-intense envelope.

And there was a single page cover letter: which was the weak link.

Why is that? Because it was lacking so many important elements of a killer direct response letter.

Your letter must be the strong link in your direct mail campaign. It has the power to double, triple, or quadruple sales for the same postage. It has the ability to paint compelling pictures and persuade your reader to take action. Nothing else in your campaign can match your letter's power to convert prospects into customers.
Let's make your letters produce more money. Let's take a critical look at that company's cover letter:

1) No headline - just a company logo and a mission statement in reverse text on company letterhead. And nothing else.
You must write a "grab 'em by the throat" headline in all of your marketing campaigns. It's the ad for your letter. It works similar to a first impression. Its job is to compel people to read the next line. It has to scream, "Hey, buddy! This is important. It's for you. Read on."

2) A plural salutation. Never write, "Dear Friends... Dear Partners... or Dear Members." It screams of a mass mailing and not a personal letter. And you know where those type of letters end up?

3) No benefits. The copy was laced with features which spoke about the company and their products. How important they were. But not even a hint about what the prospect was going to get.

 4) and 5) No offer or any sense of urgency. The letter stated the products they were selling. Take it or leave it. Not very exciting or would motivate people to buy.

Even if she had written:

"Sale! Take 15% off your grand total if you order within the next 10 days" ...she would have created an offer with some urgency.

6) No call to action. Most people aren't thinkers. They have a herd mentality. And they need to be led. Really.
If you believe people will automatically call you and give you their credit card number just because they read your letter - you are sadly mistaken. You must lead them by the hand into each step of the ordering process. This erases any doubts of what to do next.

7) No guarantee. This is a major reason many companies are losing sales. This direct mail company has a 30-day return policy for their standard products, but none for their custom print jobs. (Except in cases of a printing or production error.) Nevertheless, anything that reduces risk should be mentioned anyway to ease prospects' fears and anxieties.

8) No premium. Since a good portion of their database for this campaign is usually strapped for cash—a gift can mean the difference between making a sale or hearing silence.

9) No post script. The P.S. is an excellent place to restate the benefits, tease them with a surprise premium, or paint the picture of deeper benefits not previously mentioned. 

In short, it was a boring cover letter lacking any punch. There wasn't anything that would excite a prospect to act. Can you imagine how much money they're losing?

You don't have to follow their example. You don't have to make the same mistakes. Because you now know some of the killer secrets of a successful direct mail letter.

Use these tips today to strengthen your letter and watch your response rates soar!

About The Author:

Tommy Yan is a direct response specialist. He started "Ads That Make Money" to help clients multiply their response rates. He knows the emotional and psychological triggers that empower prospects to respond. Go to www.tommyyan.com for more moneymaking articles.

Direct Mail Delivers.
By John Zarwan

Annual spending on U.S. direct mail advertising is approximately $60 billion a year, and it's growing at a healthy clip.

Among all the bad news for print markets, direct mail remains one bright spot. Annual spending on U.S. direct mail advertising is approximately $60 billion a year, and it's growing at a healthy clip: seven to eight percent a year. In 2005, companies and other groups sent out 100 billion pieces of direct mail, up 16 percent from 86 billion pieces in 1999, according to the United States Postal Service.

There are a number of reasons for the growth of direct mail, but it really boils down to one very simple fact: Direct mail works. Thus, advertisers and marketers continue to use it. It provides something tangible, convenient, colorful and persuasive. After all, print is a medium that must be delivered to the reader physically, and mail is the most common method for doing so. Nearly half of everything printed gets mailed, the vast majority of which is direct mail.

The proof is in the pudding:
Direct mail accounts for the largest volume of household mail and represents more than one-fourth of everything mailed. Computer-generated mailing lists and advanced database technology provide an efficient and cost-effective means of dividing and sorting mail by demographic characteristics.

Mail is an important medium, one that inspires trust and helps build brand and product awareness. Relative to other media, it is inexpensive and flexible. Direct mail remains a growing medium because of its inherent advantages as well as external events, such as "do not call" legislation, pushing direct marketers toward print communications. As a result, regular mail continues to be the essential tool in communicating with the consumer.

As alternative media become fragmented, direct mail becomes more important. With hundreds of television channels and dwindling newspaper circulations, physical mail is one of the last ways to reach a large number of consumers. Direct mail is an increasingly attractive option as better databases and software allow targeted promotions to individuals based on past purchases in stores and on the Internet. Innovations in inserting and in digital printing make it easier for businesses to personalize direct mail.

Interactive media pose a challenge:
Nevertheless, direct mail faces a number of problems, and volumes are threatened by a range of factors. Consumer interest is falling as mail volume increases and response to interactive channels grows. Companies also are extremely concerned about costs, particularly postage and paper; recent price increases certainly will not help. As mailing becomes more complex and integrated, the pressure on logistics and distribution intensifies. This will lead to better targeting, which might slightly offset the growth in pieces.

The growth and acceptance of Internet and e-mail technologies represents a potential damper to the growth of direct mail. Consumers increasingly want more interactivity with their advertising, and corporate ad budgets are moving in that direction, including the Internet. The economics of e-mail is compelling when compared to print. In a 2004 study, "The Future of Direct Mail" estimated that 60 percent of the cost of a typical direct mail campaign is directly related to printing - including paper, postage and distribution, while only 40 percent is premedia, including management, list preparation and creative services.

E-mail, including SMS (short message service) messages to mobile devices, is direct mail's principal direct competitor and the media that is most analogous to it. Access to both is widespread. And, clearly, e-mail works. Given the cost differential, e-mail can be compelling. Nevertheless, e-mail still is a disposable medium, and the presence of spam is serious. One approach to spam is opt-in marketing. But even this requires an initial solicitation, which often can be accomplished via direct mail.

Another, less direct, competitor is Internet advertising. The Internet is the most popular form of interactive marketing. In addition to permission-based and unsolicited e-mail, Internet advertising can work in the same manner as direct mail, targeting prospects by context or Web-browsing patterns.

The relative paucity of obvious electronic technologies competing with direct mail provides some indication about the positive outlook for direct mail. Paper remains a strong delivery mechanism. Ad agencies, public relations firms and marketers all like direct mail. It will not go away, because advertisers need to source customers in the first place, and they do so with direct mail. Direct mail will continue to grow steadily, if not as rapidly.

John Zarwan is an independent consultant. Contact him via

This article appears courtesy of American Printer magazine, a trade magazine serving the commercial printing industry. See www.americanprinter.com

Win Yankee and Mets Tickets!

We are giving away two tickets to see the New York Yankees and Mets!  To win, be the first telephone caller (please don’t hit reply or email).  Call Michael Borkan at 631-667-5500 x 303.  One set per winner.  All games will have fantastic seat locations. 

  • Friday September 15th, 2006 Yankees vs. The Boston Red Sox 7:05 PM.
  • Friday September 8th, 2006 Mets vs. The L.A. Dodgers 7:10 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 303.

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In this Issue:

9 No-no's of a Direct Mail Letter.

Direct Mail Delivers.

Yankee & Mets Ticket Giveaways!

Free Golf!

New Clients

Mike Borkan's Links - Websites you probably haven't seen.

View Samples of our work.

Newsletter Archives

New Clients:


Talon welcomes the following new clients this month to our growing roster of customers:

Mailing Clients

  • Lake Group Media

New Mailing Lists (we house over 600 mailing lists)

  • Cut Master File

  • Inside Council

  • Seattle Magazine

Let's Golf:

8th Hole at The Woodcrest Club

The first three golfers to call Michael Borkan at 631-667-5500 x 303 will be my guests for golf and lunch on Friday September 8th at the Woodcrest Club.  Located in Syosset New York, this is a great golf course and a wonderful opportunity to meet the other marketing professionals in our four-some.

Mike's Favorite Links:

Some interesting links...

Mytechsupport - technical support site including manufacturer's support site directory.

Infoplease.com - Tons of information including an Almanac, Atlas & Encyclopedia.

Times Square Web Cam - Big Brother is watching!  See Times Square live.

Fightingterror.org - Bipartisan organization dedicated to winning the global war on terrorism.

Work Samples:

Did you know Talon offers the following services? 

Click on the links below to see samples.

Newsletters Archives:

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