Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing December 2004 Newsletter:


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Postage Rates Will Not Increase During the Next Year.


The U.S. Postal Service says a price increase will not occur -- at least not until 2006.


"Prices will stay the same next year" Gerry McKiernan, spokesman for USPS, told CNN/Money. "And that's a guarantee."


The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that the USPS is expected to ask for a rise in postage stamp prices early next year of at least 10 percent -- possibly increasing the price of a first-class stamp to at least 41 cents from 37 cents.

The possible rate increase stems partly from the failure of proposed legislation that would have allowed the post office to take advantage of pension-fund savings, the paper said.


McKiernan said the company has not ruled out a possible price increase, but the process to request such an increase and have it approved can take as many as 18 months. The government-sponsored postal services company has not yet started the process, he added.


The last price increase occurred in June, 2002 when the first-class postage rate jumped to 37 cents from 34 cents. Prior to that, the rate had stayed unchanged since its 1-cent increase in 1999.


The USPS has also faced a decline in market share as more and more customers prefer e-mail and online bill payments instead of using traditional mail services, said McKiernan.


"First-class mail showed a 1 percent decrease over the past 12 months," he said.


Oil prices, up sharply from a year ago, but down from the highs hit in October, may play a key role in its decision to apply for a rate increase, said McKiernan.


"We have more trucks on the road than anybody. High fuel and gasoline prices can easily influence our bottom line," he said.


Transport competitors, such as FedEx Corp. (Research) and United Parcel Services Inc. (Research), have also increased their prices in recent years.


"Fuel prices go up, and they have to try to offset that with something," said David Campbell, analyst at Thompson, Davis & Co. "It's not a business where costs stay the same every year."


FedEx and UPS will raise their rates at a roughly 3 percent next year, said Campbell. "They have raised about 5 percent so far this year because of high fuel prices."


A New Law Will Impact Organizations Who Rent or Exchange Their Mailing Lists.


The state of California has passed a bill called Senate Bill 27 which could impact organizations who rent or exchange mailing lists and/or consumer data. The new law will go into effect starting January 1, 2005.


The bill states that an organization must supply to any consumer who requests it, an explanation of what data has been shared and a listing of each of the third-party organizations the data was shared with. Organizations must comply with the request within 30 days. Failure to comply within 30 days means individuals will be able to seek injunctive relief and civil penalties of up to $3,000 per claim.


With regards to list rentals and list exchanges, while this is a burdensome task, rest assured that Talon has already set up a system to retrieve a consumer's usage history and we will provide that information if the mailing list is housed at Talon.


There is a way to eliminate having to send information to consumers. Jerry Cerasale of the DMA advises the following:


The requirement to tell consumers to whom their name was rented, etc. in the past year can be avoided. If you have your privacy policy conspicuously on your web site -- the policy informs consumers on your policies for sharing information with others AND the policy has a conspicuous opt-out notice with a free means for consumers to opt-out of information sharing, your company need only provide a consumer asking for where information was shared a link to the privacy policy on the web.



If you are concerned about complying with this new law, the simplest approach is to offer your customers an opportunity to opt out.


If your list(s) are housed at Talon we can accommodate requests and issue usage reports within a day or two of the request.



New Clients:



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


Mailing Clients

       Brainstorm Studios

       RedDot Solutions

       Star Struck

       L.A.M Enterprises


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

       Edwin Watts


       American Agent & Broker



Mike's Favorite Links:


Here are some links you probably are not aware of:


  • Copytalk Listen & Reply service makes it easy to keep up with your email from anywhere
  • New Microsoft Search Engine - New Search tool. Also will answer questions directly from the prompt.
  • FatWallet.com - Thousands of special offers, discounts, and retailer ratings. Find who has the best prices.
  • SlickDeals.net - Provides hot shopping deals and over 800 coupons for all your favorite online stores.



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



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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.


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