Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing December Newsletter:


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Postal Rates Set To Increase.


In a decision approved by the USPS board of governors, most postal prices will go up by 5.4 percent on Jan. 8, 2006.


This is the Post Office's first rate increase since 2002 and will put the cost of a regular first class stamp to 39 cents.


As a government agency, the USPS must appeal to a regulatory body, the Postal Rate Commission, whenever it wants to increase prices. The commission then initiates a "rate case" in which it hears opinions from all kinds of groups that would be affected, including big-business mailers like Time Warner and Hearst, non-profit customers and the powerful postal labor unions.


While the increase is inevitable, Talon can help you and your clients mail smart by taking advantage of all possible postage savings. Vital steps in having Talon maximize your postal savings include:



The programmers at Talon will be updating our easy-to-use software calculator and it will be available for download in December. Be sure to contact us so we can send it to you. Besides rates, it includes important specifications on various mailing classifications.


by Susanna K. Hutcheson


Do you need lots of good quality leads for you or for your sales staff? If so, you'll want to consider using a little known and little-used technique known as the bait-piece.


Many a big business success has been built on this simple technique and it can build your empire too. Simply stated, you offer a premium (bait) to get people to make themselves known to you.


For example, a computer consultant might offer "How to Select a Consultant" special report or brochure. People who respond to the offer are more than likely looking to hire a consultant in the near future. Or perhaps they're looking right now for someone to consult for them.


So when you get their reply device back in the mail either you or someone on your staff calls the prospect and offers to deliver the brochure or special report in person.


If a personal sales call is out of the question because of geography or other reasons, you simply mail the bait-piece along with a tasteful presentation of your business. Then, you follow up with a phone call if you don't get a response within a reasonable amount of time.




You must remember that you're trying to sell an interview or a request for more information. YOU'RE NOT TRYING TO SELL YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE AT THIS POINT. Getting an interview or request for information is the ONLY purpose of the initial mailing (unless, of course, you're trying to get a one-stage order.)


So how do you sell your bait-piece? Following is a brief letter that one of my clients uses.


"Just mail the enclosed card and receive my new brochure and portfolio of information. The brochure is full of new ideas and valuable tips on finding and retaining the right consultant for your needs."


In addition to this valuable brochure, I'll send you an information packet that will give you full details on me and my services. It includes samples of my work and the names of companies I've worked for. The information will show you how I can help you increase your productivity.


But first, get your personal FREE copy of 'How to Select a Consultant' --fast. It will give you information you probably won't get anywhere else. It will help you make the right decision when you do decide to hire a consultant. Mail the card right now. You're under absolutely no obligation."




Don't disappoint your prospects. Don't send them some dull information they could have received at the library! If you don't have something ready to send -- get it and get it fast!


Prospects get angry if you don't live up to what you promise. If you don't have a premium to offer that's truly as helpful as you say it is, make it helpful. Give the prospect MORE VALUE than he expects.




1. You'll increase the quality and quantity of your leads if you describe your premium as "new" or "just published" or "never-before published". You can also list the contents or outline what's in it. Whet the prospects' appetite.


2. Plan a series of letters. One letter usually isn't enough. I recently used three different letters to a single list within three months. Each time I got new replies from different people. You build up awareness with frequent mailings. It's good business, plain and simple.


3. Always enclose a reply device. Sometimes you'll want a reply card. Other times, a fax-back. But never fail to provide one. You greatly increase your response rate with a reply device. Be sure to state on the reply device that the prospect is under no obligation by sending the card in.


4. Be prepared for the follow-through. This is VERY IMPORTANT! I can't stress this enough. Have whatever you promise in your bait-piece READY TO MAIL IN AN INSTANT! Your follow-through, or second stage, is actually your salesperson. It goes out and makes the sales call instead of you. It's got to be good. And it's got to be ready to go in a flash.


5. Be prepared with a follow-up letter. After you've personally talked with a prospect, follow it up with a verification of your discussion and it salient points. Show your appreciation for the prospects' time. Try to get a commitment for either another sales attempt or a close.




The bait-piece serves one other very valuable service if it never does another thing . . . it builds your in-house mailing list.


The names you get back are true prospects. Put them in your database along with all the information you can gather. Then work that list regularly.


The bait piece is a fantastic way to get leads. Plan to use one in your own direct mail program. You'll be amazed at the amount of leads it will generate!


Copyright 2005 by Susanna K. Hutcheson and Powerwriting.com LLC.

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.



Win Islander Tickets!


We are giving away two tickets to see the New York Islanders. These seats are center ice three rows from the action! The game is:



To win be the first telephone caller (please call, don't hit reply or email). Call Michael Borkan at 631-667-5500 x 303.



New Clients:


____ ____

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


Mailing Clients

        Whitman Printing

        Princess Jewelers

        Israel Children's Cancer Foundation

        Marquis Jewelers


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

       Romantic Homes

       Victorian Homes



Mike's Favorite Links:


Here are some links you probably are not aware of:


  • faces.com - Free photo sharing, printing, video chatting, blogging, scrapbooking, slideshows & more.
  • charitynavigator.org - Make your donations count: This independent group evaluates charities financial health & percentage of giving.
  • guidestar.org - Connecting people with nonprofit information. A complete database of nonprofit organizations.
  • arnolds neighborhood - Check out this hilarious cartoon - Take a tour down Schwarzenegger Street.
  • milliondollarhomepage.com - Ingenious use of the web to make money! Aspiring entrepreneur seeks to raise substantial funds to pay for a college by selling pixels. So far his idea has raised him over $600,000!


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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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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