Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing November 2010 Newsletter.
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Five Insider Tips to Effective Direct Mail
Designed with sharp attention to detail and
realistic strategy, direct mail such as postcards, flyers, and sales
letters is now a good way to achieve high return of investment.
It is not surprising that many business owners have
regarded direct mail as the "Shrek" of print marketing. Why would it not
be? It is loud, misleading, and messy, often sent to unknown recipients
around the globe.
Fortunately, direct mail marketing is now improved and created more cost
effectively, causing many business owners to find the rewards this
technique has to offer. Designed with sharp attention to detail and
realistic strategy, direct mail such as postcards, flyers, and sales
letters is now a good way to achieve high return of investment. If
you are considering embarking on a direct mail campaign today, here are smart
tactics for you to consider:
Know what works and what does not.
People receive lots of letters in their mailbox each day. The next time
you get your mail, observe which mail catches your attention first and
what repels you. Are there a lot of advertising mails in your box? Chances
are most of the mail you received is junk mail. It is best to study this
type of mail to recognize what should be avoided when creating your direct
Educate through your materials.
Keep in mind that your target customers do not know anything about your
products. So, make sure to educate them with your materials. To do this,
your headline should be good and catchy to grab attention easily. You can
include provoking images and text in your materials, but make sure to
create copy that is direct and to the point. Use words that are easy to
understand to clearly and accurately communicate your message.
Be careful with color choices.
A colored material would always catch attention first than black and
white. But this does not mean that you should use any color your desire. The
wrong choice of color would channel the wrong impression to your readers.
If you want simplicity and freshness, you can always go with ward colors.
But if you want to go loud, choose bright colors. The best way to decide
on which color to choose is to think about your product and your business.
What image would you like people to see in you? Once you have answered
that question, then it will be easier for you to decide. Make sure to
check with your printer to see if your color choice is available
and is affordable.
Decide on what material to use.
There are basically a lot of materials you can choose from in direct mail
marketing: postcard printing, sales letters, brochures, and flyers. Each
medium can be created in varying prices. If you want the cheapest way,
then go for post cards because they cut down cost by eliminating the need
for envelopes. Whichever medium you use, make sure to use high quality
paper to effectively and clearly deliver your message. Keep in mind that
inexpensive paper delivers a different image compared to high quality
paper, so be careful with the paper you use.
Make it personal.
Nothing can be more convincing than a personalized message written
specially for the recipient of your direct mail. Keep in mind that people
look for a sense of familiarity in businesses they want to transact with.
So, if you want them to check out your mail first, then emphasize their
importance to your business by creating a personalized message.
About the Author:
Lynne Saarte is a writer who hails from Texas. She has been in the
Internet business for some years now, specializing in Internet marketing
and other online business strategies.
Groups Feel Vindicated by PRC Rate Decision
by Larry Riggs, Direct Magazine
Mailer groups were pleased and felt vindicated with the
Postal Regulatory Commission’s decision to reject the U.S. Postal
Service’s exigent rate hike request. That would have raised rates an
average of 5.6%.
Recently, the PRC denied this request, stating that the postal service
failed to justify why these increases should exceed the rate of inflation
specified in the Consumer Price Index. The Postal Accountability and
Enhancement Act of 2006 called for annual postal rate hikes mandated
annual postage rate hikes based on this index.
The only time the USPS could ask for higher rates were under what are
termed “exigent” circumstances. The Commission felt the postal service’s
request did not live up to that definition.
“The commission finds that the postal service has shown the recent
recession to be an exigent circumstance but it has failed both to quantify
the impact of the recession on its finances and to show how its rate
request relates to the resulting loss of mail volume,” said PRC chairman
Ruth Goldway, in a statement. “The law requires the postal service to
demonstrate that any exigent rate adjustments are due to the identified
exceptional circumstances. This prevents a bona fide extraordinary or
exceptional circumstance from being used as a general rate increase
mechanism that would circumvent the price cap system.”
“We’re delighted the PRC has come to the decision it has,” said Hamilton
Davison, president of the American Catalog Mailers Association. “Our
concern was that an increase to our mailing rates would have been
counterproductive at a time when many cataloger cash flow and balance
sheets are weakened from the long recession and he rate hikes that took
effect in 2007.” http://directmag.com/news/calalog-041307/index.html
“The PRC has helped countless businesses stay competitive and saved tens
of thousands of jobs,” said Tony Conway, executive director of the
Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers. “The commissioners recognized that imposing
an additional tax on postal service customers is not the way to address
its financial troubles. Our members look forward to working with the
postal service on the long-term restructuring needed to restore the postal
service to competitiveness.”
“The requested rate hike would have increased postal rates by nearly 10
times the rate of inflation, requiring customers to pay an additional $3
billion annually for postage, despite the current rate of inflation
remaining close to zero,” said Lawrence M. Kimmel, CEO of the Direct
Marketing Association. “The PRC decision requires the postal service to
continue following the current law which limits any postage increase to
the rate of inflation.”
Last summer, a number of industry groups got together to form the
Affordable Mail Alliance to fight the USPS’s rate hike request,
questioning its legality under the PAEA and its timing, given current
economic conditions. http://directmag.com/postal/0706-postal-uspstofile/
After having the rate hike denied,
The USPS said it needs “to take a closer look” at the
Commission’s decision before it decides on its next move.
For the quarter ended June 30, the USPS reported a net a net loss of $3.5
billion, compared with a net loss of $2.4 billion the prior year.
But the USPS is still obligated to pay $5.5 billion to pre-fund retiree
health benefits every year which was also mandated in the PAEA.
Interestingly, the PRC, which originally scheduled its decision for early
October, moved it up to Sept. 30, the end of the USPS’s fiscal year.
The Commission’s decision does call into question the USPS’s ability to
meet this obligation.
Can the USPS remain solvent and operational under these circumstances?
“You know what? That’s not our problem--that’s Congress’s problem,” said
Gene Del Polito, president of the Association for Postal Commerce. “They
created the pre-funding, and they don’t seem to be sympathetic to anything
else. Let them figure it out and they’ll probably figure it out after the
election is over in the lame duck session. Nothing is going to happen
Last week The U.S. Postal Service announced they will appeal the Postal
Regulatory Commission's exigency-rate ruling.
Tips for Complying with the Can-Spam Act
By Andy Shore, Direct
When it comes to email marketing, the Can-Spam Act is the law of the land.
Do not mess with that sheriff, or you are sure to be slapped with a hefty
fine or even prison.
Given how complex marketing has become, it’s easy to make the sort of
careless mistake that can lead to big problems. With that in mind, here
are five easy tips to ensure that you honor the Can-Spam regulations.
Otherwise, you could end up in the spammer slammer.
1) Handle those unsubscribes immediately.
Many email service providers will do this automatically. By law, an
unsubscribe request must be handled within 10 days. That is far too long.
Some companies hide under this rule to get in one last e-mail. Do not be
that company. Doing so will only damage the reputation of your brand.
Someone who is unsubscribing may still want to be a customer, but he could
quickly change his mind about that if you do not honor his unsubscribe
2) Go opt-in, not opt-out. In other
words, don't use prechecked boxes to get subscribers on your list. That
barely counts as permission. The best subscribers are the ones who ask to
hear from you. They sign up because they want information from you, and
perhaps even look forward to it. A double opt-in process is even better.
Again, this can become an issue of brand reputation.
3) Don't abuse your email permission.
In other words, don't add people to the lists of your other, unrequested
newsletters just because they signed up for one. This goes along with what
I was saying before: The subscribers who are engaged will be so because
they are truly interested. Try cross-promoting your newsletters instead.
Provide information and sign-ups so that those interested can easily join
your other lists.
4) Keep good documentation. If someone
verbally tells you he wants to sign up for your email list or gives you a
business card, that’s not enough to prove you have permission should you
get a spam complaint. Instead, get good documentation: written,
time-stamped, digital sign-ups. If you have customers coming into your
place of business, you can provide a guest book for them to sign up right
5) Beware of outsourcing nightmares. If you are too busy, you
may just outsource your newsletter to some other person or firm. Make sure
you check in with this third-party provider, frequently if possible, to
see that it is following all the rules. If bad email marketing is being
conducted in your name, you and your company will have to deal with the
The Can-Spam Act may sound big and scary, but it is not difficult to
comply with if you want to maintain a good reputation as an email
marketer. Follow these guidelines, and you should have smooth sailing to
email marketing success.
Andy Shore is a marketing and social media
expert at Benchmark Email, an email marketing service.
Talon has great seats for you to win.
are giving away a pair of tickets to see the New York Islanders! To
win, be the first telephone caller (please don’t hit reply or
email). Voice mail messages count so it's fine to leave a voice mail.
Call Michael Borkan at 631-667-5500 x 11.
Wednesday November 17th, 7:00PM.
Islanders vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
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Talon Mailing & Marketing Newsletter please
Five Insider Tips to Effective Direct Mail Campaigns
Mail Groups Feel Vindicated by PRC Rate Decision
Five Tips for Complying with the Can-Spam Act
Islanders Ticket Giveaway!
Mike Borkan's Links - Web sites you probably
View Samples of Our Work
Direct Mail Fun!
Talon welcomes the following new clients this month to our growing
roster of customers:
Mike's Favorite Links:
Some interesting links...
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toolhaus.org - If you use ebay a lot
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- monitors ad incentives from major retailers and lets shoppers know about
the best sales.
babynamewizard.com - The
name-hunter's paradise, from best-selling name expert Laura Wattenberg.
Popularity graphs & maps, Name Finder, and
other tools to help choose the perfect name for your baby.
factmonster.com - Free reference
site for students, teachers, and parents. Get homework help and find facts
on thousands of subjects.
a selective blog directory
and search engine. It's the easiest way to find, share, and read quality
posts from hand-selected blogs.
Did you know Talon offers the following services?
Click on the links below to see samples.
Direct Mail Fun!
Feel you're not reaching the best qualified prospects? Talon can help! Call Michael Borkan
at 631-667-5500 x 11 to learn how to increase revenue.
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