Talon Mailing & Marketing

561 Acorn Street
Deer Park, NY 11729

(631) 667-5500


Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing January 2019 Newsletter.

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What Customers and Prospects Want From Your Website

By Lexie Lu, Marketo.com

SEO, marketing campaigns, and customer loyalty programs are just a few of the techniques you’ve likely used to draw customers in and keep them coming back for more. You’re competing against a lot of other things vying for your customers’ attention.

It’s hard to pinpoint an exact number of small businesses because the number is forever changing, but there are over 28 million small businesses in the United States alone. If you want to grab users’ attention and gain new customers, you have to make sure you offer what users want and even some things they didn’t realize they wanted.

Here are nine things your website should offer your visitors:

1. Place Navigation Near the Top

Consumers expect your site’s navigation to be in familiar places that are easy to find. Upon landing on your page, about 50% of visitors look for the navigation bar to figure out where things are on the site. Users want an easy way to acclimate themselves and move around without spending a ton of time figuring out where main areas of the site reside.

2. Give Them Amazing Offers

Who doesn’t love a good deal? Imagine that you’re comparing three similar products from three businesses. All other elements being equal, are you more likely to buy the one that offers an introductory deal or the one that doesn’t offer a discount? Figure out how to give your users amazing offers they can’t resist. Be sure to match your offer with what your users are looking for.

3. Include Contact Information

Consumers want to know that if they have a problem, it will be easy to contact your company and find a solution. They are entrusting you with their hard-earned dollars, so they expect a way to get in touch outside of a simple email address; although that is a nice thing to offer as well. Highlighting a phone number in a place easy to locate shows that you want your customers to stay happy.

4. Stay Consistent

Users want consistency in your branding methods. They don’t want a serious tone on your website and a funny tone on social media. The overall tone, design, and personality should stay the same no matter how the consumer comes in contact with your brand. Users get frustrated with big changes, too, so think them through carefully before completely changing the look and feel of your site.

5. Make Info Easy to Locate

Users want a clear look at what you have to offer and why it is the best option for consumers. Make information easy to locate, including any warranty type information. Everything should get laid out clearly and concisely, so the consumer’s questions are answered before they can ask them.

6. Add Strong Calls to Action (CTA)

Once you’ve presented your information and perfected your design elements, consumers also want a strong CTA. Clear direction guides them and explains what action they should take next. A strong CTA is easy to locate because it contrasts with the rest of the page. You’ll often see CTAs in a bright pop of red or deep blue, for example, because it stands out against lighter backgrounds.

7. Use a Secure Socket Layer (SSL)

Security matters to many consumers and Google’s constant changes include a look at how secure your site is and if they should offer a warning to browsers if you don’t use HTTPS. SSL encrypts information and keeps it more secure. It is particularly important on eCommerce sites that collect personal information. If you don’t use SSL for some reason, at least let site visitors know how you protect the information they share with you. Adding SSL is fairly simple, though, and well worth the effort to protect your customers and keep your site trustworthy.

8. Test Your Site on Mobile

More and more people are using mobile devices to access the internet than ever before. If your site isn’t mobile friendly, you’re missing out on a lot of traffic. 85% of people think a business’ mobile website experience should equal or surpass the desktop experience. Responsive design matters. Take the time to thoroughly test your site on different screen sizes and operating systems.

9. Speed up Images

If the images on your page load slowly, you’re going to lose site visitors before they even engage with your site. Almost 40% of people leave a website if images take too long to load. Broken images cause site visitors to bounce away. Images slow down page load times, but people also respond to images, so you have to create a healthy balance between text and images. Optimize images, so they load as fast as possible and get rid of images that don’t work.

People are busy. They are running to work, kids’ activities after school, and trying to shuffle 100 other activities. Anything you can do to make the experience of visiting your website easier translates to more engaged and dedicated customers. Look at your site through their eyes and figure out what works and what needs tweaking.

Direct Mail Really Works

By: Judi Friedman, Business2community.com

Are you trying to think outside the social media or digital advertising box lately? I have news for you. year after year, direct mail works better.

It should really be no surprise in today’s hyper-digitized market that receiving a piece of actual paper mail—a handwritten letter, a flyer, a postcard—is now as uncommon, meaningful, and as memorable as getting an e-mail was back in 1992.

And people respond to it. That was the idea, anyway, when campaign teams in the recent midterm elections decided to use leftover election funds to fill out thousands and thousands of handwritten postcards. And the tactic worked!

Fifteen years ago or so, when the internet really began to expand its reach, many dire predictions were made about “old school” marketing. They said storefronts would vanish, paper product industries would disappear, and direct “snail mail” marketing would be irrelevant in a sleek, new digital age.

But things just didn’t turn out that way. We live now in a kind of hybrid world now—where “both/and” is always better than “either/or.” Here are a few things I’ve learned that prove that direct mail still matters and will (and should!) always be part of your marketing equation.

Old Stuff Doesn’t Just Go Away

Marketing is about what works. And direct mail has been working for a long time. I realize that fads and new technologies always have the allure, but be careful not to trash old tactics just because they’re old. We once thought that storefronts would vanish from the earth completely—we really, really did—yet in a hard reversal Amazon is now opening physical locations. Why? Because strong, in-person service and sales still work. Old and out-of-date fashions—just like high-waist jeans or the mustache—come back around again. And if people like it, that’s all that matters. So stop keeping up only with what’s new. Be smarter than that: keep what works and ditch what doesn’t. As it happens, direct mail works!

Digital-Only Companies Are Doing Direct Mail

More and more online companies are using direct mail marketing. Winc, Casper, Blink, Harry’s, Upwork are just a few of those included in giant Valpaks filled with coupons. In addition, many of these once-feisty startups now send newsletters, brand promotions, personalized letters, and much more in the mail. The trend of previously digital-only companies doing things like direct mail has increased hugely over the years.

Mailers Perform Better Than Digital and Social Media Ads

The Data and Marketing Association reports that print mail campaigns cost significantly less on average than email or search engine ads. And while DMA reports a 3.4% response rate to direct mail, other sources put it higher at 5.1%, with email at 0.6% and social media advertising at 0.4%. Numbers don’t lie, and new ones come out all the time, so if you’re ever in doubt just look it up.

People of All Generations Like Them

A lot of research shows that people over fifty have a good-sized preference for mailers and newsletters. The question of whether generations actually matter has been asked on this blog before, and Forbes recently reported the extent to which younger people seem to like mailers as much as their parents and grandparents. Additionally, a report from Ritter’s tells us that half of all people of any age group are more attentive to direct mail than other ads.

Mail Works Well with Digital Campaigns

Smart social media campaigns can do a lot, and they only get more powerful when combined with direct mail. There are strategies like IP targeting for locating the mailing addresses associated with certain IPs, and introducing consumers online before hitting them with a piece of direct mail is an excellent way to be aggressive and reiterative. Boost your chances of catching the right consumers on their customer buyway with direct mail and you’ll increase your ROI over time far better than with digital alone.

Four Tips on Using Direct Mail

By Sammi Caramela, Businessnewsdaily.com

While email and social media marketing are increasing in popularity, many small businesses haven't abandoned their direct mail campaigns.

Why should they? Direct Mail works!

"Direct mail creates a one-on-one connection that's hard for other media channels to match," said Tom Foti, executive director of product management for the USPS. "It lets you incorporate coupons, reply cards, mobile barcodes, such as QR codes, URLs and other response mechanisms."

Direct mail gives businesses the opportunity to target advertising dollars on those consumers most likely to respond, Foti said, adding that they can be used for a range of purposes, including promoting a product or learning more about the customer.

"Direct mail is a workhorse for generating leads, traffic and sales," he said. Here are four tips for businesses looking to succeed with direct mail.

1. Identify your target market.  Direct mail can be, well, direct. You wouldn't send a postcard to just anyone, would you? The same logic applies to your marketing efforts.

"Don't blindly send direct mail to a geography," said Shawn Breyer, owner of Breyer Home Buyers. "If you are sending out postcards to promote your assisted living facility, for example, you don't want to send out mailers to people in their 30s. You'd want to filter your list more toward your avatar."

This will show that you've done your research and are a credible, professional company, which resonates with consumers.

2. Avoid sending junk mail.  You want to catch consumers' attention right away, but don't try to fool them. Customers will feel misled and will likely ignore future messages if the piece is marked "urgent" when it's not, said Foti.

To boost readership and response, Foti recommended choosing the format, list and offer for the highest return on investment rather than the lowest cost. Then, you can track your response rates to measure its effectiveness.

"When we send out direct mail, we use handwritten fonts and personalize the postcards as much as we possibly can," added Breyer. "When your prospects are getting 11 other postcards that look really spammy and yours is personalized and handwritten to them, they will definitely be reading yours."

3. Give people what they want.  Foti encouraged small businesses to include mobile barcodes, certificates and product visuals to appeal to customers. You can also ask customers what they want or need so you know what else to add in the future.

However, don't overwhelm them with too much copy or graphics. Keep it simple, yet offer them enough so that your content adds value to their lives.

4. Follow up: Direct mail is not a one-and-done deal.  Even if your efforts did not pay off the first time around, don't give up on your consumers. Perhaps they misplaced the envelope or were interested in the last few mailers you sent out – in fact, that's likely to happen.

"Not everyone is going to buy from you just because you send them a postcard," said Breyer. "Most people won't be ready to buy your product or services, or they will just be too busy to check it out. Have a monthly marketing plan for at least six months and have a great follow-up plan to maximize your marketing dollars."

Also, follow up after someone makes a purchase. This shows that you appreciate and care about your consumers and their satisfaction.

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-mailing.com or contact Michael Borkan at (631) 667-5500 x 11.

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In this Issue:

What Customers and Prospects Want From Your Website

Direct Mail Really Works

Four Tips on Using Direct Mail

New Clients

Mike Borkan's Apps & Links - Apps & 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:
  • Ropers Sports News

  • Immunocorp

  • 2 New Lists From Statlistics

Mike's Favorite Apps & Links:

Some interesting things to check out...

Interfaces.pro - A great collection of well-designed website interfaces. Essential examples for building superb websites.

Designevo.com - A free online logo maker with 7000+ templates that anyone can use to bring to life a compelling, unique logo in minutes.

Gong.io - Generate more revenue by having better sales conversations. Gong lets your sales people stop the guesswork and start using the words, phrases, and themes that work.

Google Trends - See what Google had as the top trending searches in many various categories 2018.

Gabi.com - This site finds you lower insurance. On average, saving you $720. There are no fees, no forms, and no spam.

Procreate - A very powerful and intuitive digital illustration app available for iPad and iphone. It's packed with features.

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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