Talon Mailing & Marketing

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Deer Park, NY 11729



Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing December 2008  Newsletter:

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Marketing Budgets Showing Resilience.

By Kate Maddox

While many companies are cutting marketing budgets in response to the economic downturn, a surprising number are increasing them during these challenging times, according to several recent surveys.

The Association of National Advertisers, which held its annual conference in Orlando, Fla., last month, conducted a quick poll of more than 1,200 advertisers and agency executives in attendance. The survey included b-to-b and b-to-c marketers.

While 33% of respondents said they were cutting their marketing and media budgets in response to the financial downturn and 33% said they were reallocating marketing dollars, 27% said they were increasing their budgets in response to the downturn. The remainder said they were making no changes.

“There could be a feeling that the downturn is a sharp slide of shorter-term duration and the economy might start to bounce back in the second half of next year,” said Bob Liodice, president of the ANA.

The ANA poll also asked marketers by how much they plan to increase or decrease their marketing spending next year.

Nearly 40% said they plan to increase marketing budgets in 2009, with 26% planning increases greater than 10% and 13% planning increases between 1% and 10%.

On the flip side, 19% of marketers said they plan to cut spending by more than 10% next year, and 14% said they plan to cut spending between 1% and 10%. The rest plan to keep their budgets flat.

“This is much more bullish than expected,” Liodice said. “It could be a little bit of savviness on the part of marketers. In an economic downturn, this is the time for marketers to capture a greater share of market by investing robustly in a well-defined marketing mix. Your competition may be letting their guard down.”

According to an instant poll taken last month during a BtoB webcast on how marketers are dealing with the economy, 29.1% of respondents said their budgets would be up next year, just slightly lower than the percent of those who said they would be decreasing budgets (30.3%).

The online poll was taken by 162 b-to-b marketers participating in the webcast.

It found that 19.8% of b-to-b marketers plan to increase their marketing budgets between 1% and 10% next year and 9.3% plan to increase budgets by more than 10%.

The poll also found that 17.3% said they would decrease budgets between 1% and 10%; 13.0% said they would decrease budgets by more than 10%; and 40.7% plan to keep budgets flat.

In an online survey of 382 marketers conducted in September, research firm MarketingSherpa looked at budget plans and attitudes among b-to-b, b-to-c and large organizations (more than 500 employees).

It found that 56% of large organizations had cut their marketing budgets in response to the economy; 34% of b-to-c companies had cut their budgets; and 24% of b-to-b companies had cut their budgets.

The survey also found that only 2% of large organizations had increased their marketing budgets; 8% of b-to-c companies had boosted their marketing budgets; and 7% of b-to-b marketers had increased their marketing budgets.

“To a certain extent, this reflects the conservative nature of larger organizations at any time,” said Stefan Tornquist, research director at MarketingSherpa. “Smaller organizations can be more fluid in planning their marketing budgets.”

The MarketingSherpa study also looked at the differences between large organizations and smaller ones when it comes to budget attitudes.

When asked how they would respond in a challenging economy, 46% of large organizations said they would cut across the board, including marketing; 19% said marketing is the first area to be cut; 14% said they would invest in marketing; and the rest said they would make no significant changes.

For smaller organizations (fewer than 500 employees), the attitudes were different. Only 32% said they would cut across the board, including marketing; 13% said marketing would be the first area to be cut; 24% said they would invest in marketing, and the rest said they would make no significant changes.

The MarketingSherpa survey also looked at how large b-to-b marketers are investing in specific marketing tactics.

It found the greatest increase in Web 2.0 applications (with 48% of marketers investing in these) and e-mailing to house lists (also 48%).

NCOA Reminder and a Work-Around Solution.

As a reminder, the US Post Office's new move update requirement took effect November 23, 2008. The new rules effect First Class and Standard Mail.  The new   minimum frequency of change-of-address processing has changed from 180 days to 95 days prior to the date of your mailing.

Why the change? The new Move Update standard will result in better address quality by removing incorrectly addressed mail pieces, which will help to reduce undelivered-as-addressed (UAA) mail and reduce your overall mailing costs.

Please make sure you and your customers are aware that the new move Update requirement is now in effect and that addresses must be updated no earlier than 95 days before the mail date to receive automation and presort discounted rates. There are two exceptions to this requirement:  An occupant mailing without names or the use of a name and the words "OR CURRENT RESIDENT" will be in compliance with the new requirements.

Talon can help you NCOA your mailing lists, please call today for additional information.  

Have You Thought About Polybagging Your Next Mailing Project?

Polybags are a wonderful tool that can help you show off your products and hold multiple inserts.

Looking for a way to increase response rates?  Why not show off your products or services the moment your recipient receives your mailing?  Unlike an envelope, a polybag allows the recipients to see the enclosed materials.  When people recognize a product or service they are more likely to open it and read it.

Also polybags are lighter and stronger than envelopes and could reduce postage costs. 

Talon can polybag your next project.  Let us provide a quote today!

Pictured above:  Front and back of a recent polybag mailing.  Notice the label contains a return address, mailing permit, barcode and mailing address.  The label is affixed to the outside polybag, not to the catalog.

Eight Ideas For Finding New Donors In Today’s Economy.

By By Don Austin, The Non Profit Times

An organization that decides to postpone its acquisition program will certainly save money in the short run. But in the long run, revenue will be lost that can never be regained.

Most nonprofits are seeing lower response rates in direct mail acquisition efforts and many are wondering whether they would be better off cutting back on donor acquisition. An organization that decides to postpone its acquisition program will certainly save money in the short run. But in the long run, revenue will be lost that can never be regained.

When an organization stops acquiring donors for some period of time several things happen. Nonprofits that lose money in acquisition will see a short-term savings. But by failing to acquire new donors they may face lower revenue from their house files for many years to come.

On average, about 20% of the donors that are acquired in a given year will still be contributing to an organization in five years' time. This is what makes donor acquisition an investment. The five-year value of a group of donors having an average contribution of $20 is $80 to $90 per donor acquired. Therefore, cutting a campaign that could acquire 5,000 new donors will result in a loss of $400,000 to $450,000 in future income.

Without new donors a house file will decrease in size and in revenue production. If this, in turn, leads to a reduction in the money budgeted for acquisition the next year, it can be a considerable length of time before a house file reaches the level it was prior to the disruption of donor acquisition.

If you are under pressure to cut back on acquisition, here are eight suggestions:

1)  First and foremost, try to keep acquisition at a level that will maintain the current number of active donors. This should ensure that your direct mail revenue remains stable because house file performance has not suffered the recent declines that acquisition performance has.

2)  Mail your acquisition appeals during the months when response rates are historically highest. For the first half of the calendar year, for example, the months from February through May are generally better for acquisition campaigns than June and July.

3)  If you must cut your acquisition budget, do so by dropping the poorest performing lists from your campaigns. Rank your list performance by cost to raise a dollar or net income per piece mailed and determine how much savings you can achieve by cutting the bottom third of the lists.

4)  Mail as many multi-buyers as possible and mail them as many times as possible. If you have prospect names that have come from three different sources you may mail them three times. During the merge/purge process the number of times a name appears can be added to the multi-buyer file.

5)  Talk to your list broker about re-using names from better performing lists. This can save money in list rental with little or no impact on performance. Also, make sure your list broker has negotiated the best possible net name arrangements for you. If you are retaining only 30% of the names from a list you should not be in a 70% net name arrangement.

6)  If you have not been mailing long-lapsed donors, add them to your acquisition campaigns. In addition, warm prospects (donors from special events or other campaigns) may perform well in direct mail acquisition.

7)  If you are fortunate to have corporate partnerships ask these partners if they have consumer names that could be made available to you.

8)  Try to decrease the cost of your acquisition packages. Test the effect of excluding expensive inserts or four-color art.

Rather than making immediate, drastic cuts in donor acquisition, determine how you can decrease your acquisition costs without endangering your future direct mail revenue.

Don Austin is vice president of client strategy at May Development Services in Greenwich, Conn.  

Win Islander Tickets! 

We are giving away two tickets to see the New York Islanders.  These seats are center ice and offer the best view in the house! 

To win, be the first telephone caller (please don't hit reply or email).  Call Michael Borkan at 631-667-5500 x 11.  Voice Mail messages count so it's fine to leave a voice mail.  

The game details:

  • Tuesday December 16th, 2008 7PM.  Islanders vs. The Washington Capitals and Alex Ovechkin.

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 11.

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In this Issue:

Marketing Budgets Showing Resilience.

NCOA Reminder and a Work-Around Solution.

Have You Thought About Polybagging Your Next Project?

Eight Ideas For Finding New Donors In Today's Economy.

Islander 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:

  • Prima NY

  • Globalizer

  • Oro Diamante Fine Jewelers

  • Saslow's

  • Friends of Refuges of Eastern Europe

  • 8 New Mailing lists from Statlistics

Mike's Favorite Links:

Some interesting links...

Charitybuzz.com -  Bid on once in a lifetime celebrity experiences and memorabilia. All money goes to wonderful charities.

911digitalarchive.org - This site collects, preserves, & presents the history of September 11, 2001 and its aftermath. The Archive contains more than 150,000 digital items. In September 2003, the Library of Congress accepted the Archive into its collections, an event that both ensured the Archive's long-term preservation and marked the library's first major digital acquisition.

charitynavigator.org - Make your donations count.  This independent group evaluates charities financial health & percentage of giving.

mentalfloss.com - A very addicting website where knowledge junkies get their fix.

Work Samples:

Did you know Talon offers the following services? 

Click on the links below to see samples.

Newsletters Archives:

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