Talon Mailing & Marketing

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Deer Park, NY 11729



Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing December 2007 Newsletter:

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Ten Tips For Direct Marketers.

Here are some simple tips to improve your direct marketing campaigns.

Each year, a website called AdCracker.com, conducts an annual survey among its membership. A recent survey produced 10 tips for direct marketers:

1. Make stronger offers: But "giving more" does not have to mean "spending more." It does mean creating offers and promotions that are useful or interesting to prospects.

Whether you are big or small, look for partners to share costs. Also, keep in mind that different segments with varying demographics/psychographics will respond to different offers.

2. Mind the basics: This can be particularly crucial for multinationals such as Citigroup. The campaign that starts in Hong Kong with, "Open a business account and pay no fees for one year" can become, "Citibank smiles every month" in Seoul.

So feature your offer up front. Tell readers or listeners what they will get in unambiguous terms. Tell them how they will benefit. Tell them what to do, what action to take by when. And provide multiple ways for them to respond. It's a formula that works in any language.
3. Budget based on lifetime value: Don't focus on what you spend but on what you will earn over time. Calculate value based on all the products and services they will purchase from your company over the long term. Spend more on higher-value prospects and be sure to calculate, and factor into your results, the lifetime value of the customer.

4. Improve the value: A complete direct response program includes plans to identify prospects and turn them into customers; turn customers into better, more profitable customers; and turn your best customers into evangelists.

5. Test: Perhaps you test multiple offers. At different times of the year. With different segments of your list or audience.

But do you have plans to test different media or technology, such as digital video on your Web site? Or a brochure on CD? Or downloadable white papers? Or different Web pages to compare conversion rates?.

Don't get stuck testing variations of the same offer. Think outside the grid.

6. Reflect the brand: It is rare to find good communications between the DM staff down the hall and the brand team on the third floor. Or between your direct agency and creative shop.

Share with your DM team and vendors the brand's personality, nature of the brand's relationship with customers as well as the visual standards and symbols that represent your brand. Then express those brand characteristics in your DM communications.

7. Innovate: Encourage creativity. Learn better ways to brainstorm. Reward unconventional thinking. It was Peter Drucker who said business has two imperatives, innovation and marketing.

8. Optimize your Web site: Not only with search engine-friendly keywords and copy. But optimize your Web page to work hand-in-hand with your direct marketing program.

Examples: Use your Web site to deliver offers, such as PDF downloads of your brochure. Or printable discount coupons. Or stream product demo videos -- now easier than ever with Flash video.

9. Learn why people say "No." Find out why people do not respond to your offer. Why they abandon your online order form. Why they do not ask you for a proposal on their next project. Then counter those reservations.

10. Broadcast why people say "Yes." Get testimonials. Build case studies. Use real people, real users, real customers in your advertising.

Steve McNamara is creative director at McNamaraCreative.com, where you'll find samples of the work referenced in this article. His e-mail address is mc@adcracker.com.

Get Every Piece Of Mail Opened On Your Next Marketing Campaign.
By Michael Borkan.

Here is a clever design to guarantee your envelope gets opened.  Once the envelope is opened and the contents are examined you're on the way to a higher response rate.

Everyone reading this newsletter receives a lot of mailings.  We know first hand that many envelopes are not opened simply because we may not have interest in the product or we are short on time and therefore throw away mailing pieces no matter what great offers may be inside the package.

Recently a piece of mail came to the office that revealed a very clever design to guarantee a high response rate.  Although I have no knowledge of the response rates to this promotion my instincts tell me that virtually every piece in the mailing campaign was  opened and examined closely.  With each piece opened and read,  there is a significant increase in the chance of a sale.  Let's look at what makes this mailing impossible to throw away.

The first item that helps the package get opened is that it is impossible to tell that the envelope is from a mass mailing (make no mistake though, this is a mass mailing).  The mailer, Briefings Publishing Group is selling an executive newsletter and has gone to great lengths to make sure this mailing does not look mass produced.  Briefings Publishing Group disregarded postal discounts such as presorts, stamps that are presort-discounted, and pre-printed postal barcodes that would have saved them money. 

Was the mailer shortsighted and should have known better? 


By forsaking postal discounts you can see in the picture below that this piece looks like someone typed my name and address and put on a regular, everyday,  first class stamp.  I believe the piece was laser printed using a font that looks just like a typewriter.  To further increase the likelihood that the envelope gets opened, there is no return address and no copy mentioning a newsletter.  The barcode on the bottom right hand corner was done at the post office and is typical of most mail going through the postal system.

Pictured Above: This envelope has to be opened. First class stamp, name & address appear hand typed, and no return address.
Pictured Below: A mass mailing envelope. Notice the difference?

Once the piece is opened there is a folded news article and a yellow sticky note. The recipient's first reaction is that someone they know took the time and trouble to read an article, thought it would be of interest to them, and sent it along with a note as to why it would be of interest. The sticky note has been ingeniously designed; personalized with my first name, the copy is hard to read which means I have to concentrate and decipher what someone is trying to tell me. The sticky note is signed with one initial. Horoscopes are intentionally written vaguely so that the reader can think the mass produced message was especially written just for them. The sticky note is similar in that the recipient may think they know who “J” is. Perhaps the recipient will pause to think of all the “J”'s they know. By the way the note was mass produced, not hand written.

Pictured Above: Notice the post-it-note is personalized. It's not an accident or poor planning that the message is hard to read and signed with an initial.

Once you peel off the sticky note you can read the copy that appears to be ripped from a magazine called “Executive Focus”. The two sided copy is laid out as an advertisement/article and contains an order form. The heading of the article caught my eye “How Top Executives Manage to Do it all”. It looks as if the article came from a magazine named “Executive Focus”.  My research indicates this magazine does not appear to be a real publication.

The paper thickness has the correct feel for a magazine page and a ripped edge where the sheet would have been separated from the magazine. I had to keep reminding myself that this was mass produced and not done by hand.

Pictured Above: Front and back of the "magazine article".


This mailing may not be for everyone. You may not want your customers and well-targeted prospects to be “fooled” into opening your mailing campaign.

A laser printed envelope with a typewriter style character set, first-name matching personalized post-it-note and full price postage stamp could cost almost $1.00 per piece (that includes the cost of postage). This expensive campaign for The Briefings Publishing Group is their “control piece”. A control piece means that the mailing has been carefully tested against other types of mailings and has produced the highest response rate.

The Briefings Publishing Group wants you to spend $97 to receive 12 monthly issues of their newsletter. Their only production cost if you buy their product is additional printing of more newsletters and the postage to send them out. With such a high profit margin and increased response rate it makes sense for them to spend approximately $.75 to $1.00 per mailing piece.

If you wanted to try a similar promotion we have the technology to produce the same type of mailing.  Please call if you have questions or would like to discuss a similar mailing promotion. 

Win Islander Tickets! 

We are giving away two tickets to see the New York Islanders.  These seats are center ice, perhaps the best seats in the arena.

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

The game details:

  • Thursday December 13th 2007, 7PM.  Islanders vs. The Phoenix Coyotes.

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:

Ten Tips For Direct Marketers.

Get Every Piece Of Mail Opened On Your Next Marketing Campaign.

N.Y. Islanders Ticket Giveaway!

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:

  • New England Flag & Banner

  • Mod Printing

  • Bell Family Jewelers

  • Experience In Software

  • Gemelli Jewelers

Mike's Favorite Links:

Some interesting links...

PR-Inside.com - News and free public relations.

Openoffice.org - A powerful and free set of office software that is compatible with all other major office suites.

Statsaholic.com - Great site; Compare any  three websites to see graphs of # of visits, and statistics.

Awfulcommercials.com - Editorial reviews of the worst of television ads and other forms of advertisement. Humor and advertising industry related.

Hulu.com - 10,000 hours of television programming at launch, ranging from "catch up" shows from the previous 30 days to classic programs from the archive.

Work Samples:

Did you know Talon offers the following services? 

Click on the links below to see samples.

Newsletters Archives:

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