Talon Mailing & Marketing

561 Acorn Street
Deer Park, NY 11729

(631) 667-5500


Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing December 2012 Newsletter.

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Talon Helps The Town of  Huntington Mail 60,000 Flyers in 24 Hours

Talon kept the postage cost under 15 cents per piece thanks to two postage sorting  techniques.

The phone rang late in the day on a recent afternoon. On the line was A.J. Carter, Public Information Officer for the Town of Huntington. He needed help and he needed it fast.

Because of the massive storm Sandy, most homes in the Town of Huntington were without power.  Cell-phone towers were no longer working either. The Town needed to communicate with residents as soon as possible and without most individuals having electric and reliable cell service A.J. knew exactly what to do.

With a population of over 200,000 people, A.J. wanted to use traditional mail to reach every household in the 137 square-mile town. Talon rolled up our sleeves and committed to getting the project completed and mailed within 24 hours.

The town would run their printing department all night and send Talon flyers the following morning. Talon's role would be to sort the mail for maximum postage discounts, fold the flyers, tab for postage automation discounts, sort and deliver to the Postal SCF facility all within 24 hours of receipt of the printed materials.

The mailer was a bulletin containing vital information such as:

  • Important phone numbers for assistance during the crisis
  • A message from the Huntington Town Board
  • Instructions & procedures for tree, tree limbs and yard waste removal
  • Safety recommendations
  • Portable Electric Generator Safety tips

With the flyer being sent to most homes in the community, Talon was able to presort the mail to under $.15 per piece using these sorting procedures:

  • Saturation walk-sequence carrier route
  • SCF entry discounts

The low postage rate was a byproduct of our philosophy - our role is to help clients  reduce their direct marketing costs.  That includes finding the most efficient  production methods, optimizing the size and weight of mailing pieces and obtaining the lowest postage.

Many times, first-time customers comment that their in-house mailings or former mailing provider did not get as low a postage rate as we do.  Often these first-time clients are quite surprised and delighted that we achieve lower postage rates and save them substantial money on their promotions.

Not only did we get the mail out with 24 hours, the post office came through and delivered the pieces the very next day. Although the mailing went out Standard rate (formally known as third class mail), it was delivered the next day due to the barcode we sprayed on the pieces, the dense sort we achieved and delivering it directly to the proper postal SCF production facility.

Obama's 'Big Data' Victory

By L. Gordon Crovitz, The Wall Street Journal.

Marketing politicians is now like selling drinks. It involves filtering policies and voters through algorithms.

When the Obama campaign emailed supporters to join a $40,000-a-ticket dinner in June at the New York home of actress Sarah Jessica Parker, journalists at ProPublica noticed something odd. They uncovered seven versions of the email solicitation for the fundraiser, some mentioning a second fundraiser that night, a concert by Mariah Carey, others that Ms. Parker is a mother, and still others that Vogue editor Anna Wintour would be at the dinner.

Who got which email depended on "big data"—information about each fundraising prospect and how different people react to different messages. In this year's election, it looks as if the Obama team's use of such data was one of its biggest edges over the Romney effort.

Some uses of big data were known before the election—for instance, the Obama website was even more assiduous than online retailers like Best Buy about dropping "cookies" on users' computers to gather information about their online habits. Reporting since the election makes clear just how important the role of data was in deciding the election.

Campaign manager Jim Messina pledged to "measure every single thing in this campaign" and built an analytics department five times the size of the 2008 effort. A Time magazine reporter got access to the data scientists in the campaign's Chicago headquarters on the condition that the reporter would keep mum until after the election. "What they revealed as they pulled back the curtain," Time recently reported, "was a massive data effort that helped Obama raise $1 billion, remade the process of targeting TV ads and created detailed models of swing-state voters that could be used to increase the effectiveness of everything from phone calls and door knocks to direct mailings and social media."

According to the magazine, the campaign created a "single massive system that could merge the information collected from pollsters, fundraisers, field workers and consumer databases as well as social-media and mobile contacts with the main Democratic voter files."

The campaign's "chief scientist," Rayid Ghani, had been at Accenture, where he co-wrote an academic paper describing work helping companies that "analyze large amounts of transactional data but are unable to systematically 'understand' their products." For example, Mr. Ghani helped grocers figure out why people bought orange juice by reducing the product to attributes that could be analyzed by algorithms—"Brand: Tropicana, Pulp: low, Fortified with: Vitamin-D, Size: 1 liter, Bottle type: plastic."

Marketing politicians is now like selling drinks. It involves filtering polices and voters through algorithms.

The Obama campaign focused on data showing the "persuadability" of voters. Multivariate tests identified issues and positions that could move undecided voters, ProPublica said: "The persuasion scores allowed the campaign to focus its outreach efforts—and their volunteer calls—on voters who might actually change their minds as the result. It also guided them in what policy messages individual voters should hear."

Big data give incumbents a big advantage, which seems to have surprised the Romney team. The Obama campaign has used cookies to track its supporters online since the 2008 election. It spent the past 18 months creating a new, unified database, factoring in some 80 pieces of information about each person, from age, race and sex to voting history. (The campaign denied reports that it tracked visits to pornography sites in its outreach algorithms.) The Romney campaign says it tried to match the Obama campaign's collection and analysis of data but had to start from scratch and had just seven months after the primaries.

What does this mean for you? Voters need to develop buyer-beware habits. The era of politicians saying the same thing to all voters is over. Campaigns aim to tell voters exactly what each wants to hear: data-driven pandering.

The Obama campaign deserves credit for its big win through the sophisticated use of big data. As for regulators, they should understand that the information genie will not go back into the bottle—whether consumer information is used to sell orange juice or politicians.

Do You Practice Good Hygiene?

What we’re actually referring to here is list hygiene.

You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Why, yes, I shower daily, use deodorant, etc.” Good for you. (And good for those around you!)

What we’re actually referring to here is list hygiene. List hygiene is a data management practice that ensures your list is complete, verified and free of duplicates and undeliverable information.

Consider the facts:  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, people in the U.S. move an average of 12 times in their lifetime. And, the U.S. Bureau of Labor reports that people change jobs every 2 1/3 years. That’s a lot of address and email changes to keep track of!

Email list hygiene

When it comes to email, you should strive to identify and remove bad addresses, update changed email addresses and add new email addresses with every eBlast you send. Reputation aside, poor list hygiene leads to increased open and click-through rates. If you use a third-party email provider, removing bad addresses can reduce your associated CPM charges.

Snail mail list hygiene

When it comes to USPS mailings, if you haven’t updated your mailing list lately, a higher percentage of your direct mail will likely be undeliverable or reach the wrong recipient. With rising postal costs and shrinking budgets, cleaning up and maintaining your mailing lists just makes good business sense.

Whether you use snail mail, email or both, without proper list hygiene, you risk damaging your sender reputation, getting your emails blocked by Internet service providers, and wasting a lot of money in undeliverables. You make a large investment in your direct marketing programs. To get the best return possible, always practice good hygiene.

Win Jets Tickets!  

Enjoy a great day of Football!

We are giving away two tickets to see the New York Jets. 

All you have to do to win is be the first telephone caller (please don’t hit reply or send an email). Voice mail messages count so it's fine to leave a message.  Call Michael Borkan at (631) 667-5500 x 11.  These tickets are great seats! 

  • Sunday December 23, 2012.  Jets vs. Chargers 8:20 PM.

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:

Talon Helps Town of Huntington Mail 60,000 Flyers in 24 Hours

Obama's "Big Data" Victory

Do You Practice Good Hygiene?

Ticket Giveaway!

New Clients

Mike Borkan's Links - Web sites you probably haven't seen

View Samples of Our Work

Newsletter Archives

Direct Mail Humor!

New Clients:

Talon welcomes the following new clients this month to our growing roster of customers:
  • New York State Republican Committee

  • Town of Huntington

  • 2 New Lists from Statlistics

Mike's Favorite Links:

Some interesting links...

printwhatyoulike.com - Lets you print the good parts of any web page while skipping ads and other junk.

infogr.am - Make a beautiful, animated online chart in a few minutes. Import data from MS Excel or CSV, edit with our online Excel compatible spreadsheet. Embed your charts in articles or share on social networks.

piccsy.com - A Google Images-like image search engine, but just for cool pics.

theinspirationgrid.com - A daily-updated gallery, an ever-expanding collection of images to inspire designers, artists and photographers.

picmonkey.com - A genius piece of photo editing software: it’s easy, free and fun. Simply take any photo from your computer that allows you to drag any photo to the Picmonkey online editor and give it the extra bit of sparkle it needs before you upload it to Facebook!

time.is - A very handy site. Lets you know how accurate your computer's clock is.  And provides time in 7 million different locations, synchronized with atomic clock time.

Work Samples:

Did you know Talon offers the following services? 

Click on the links below to see samples.

Direct Mail Humor!

Click on image below to enlarge.

Do you need help marketing to your clients?   Talon can help!  Call Michael Borkan at 631-667-5500 x 11 to learn how to increase revenue.

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