Talon Mailing & Marketing

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Deer Park, NY 11729

(631) 667-5500


Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing January 2020 Newsletter.

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Direct Mail Can Boost Multichannel Campaigns

By Nina Aghadjanian, Alistdaily.com

Surprisingly, paid search and online display pale by comparison to direct mail for median ROI.

Today’s reliance on digital marketing has left a once-popular channel largely forgotten: direct mail. However, contrary to popular belief, direct mail isn’t dead. Instead, recent data suggest it’s a powerful tool to reach target audiences with personalized messages.

In a new survey from PFL, “2019 Multichannel Marketing Research Report: Direct Mail in the Digital Age,” 83 percent of marketers reported good or very good return on investment (ROI) when direct mail was fully integrated into their multichannel campaign mix. Here we’re examining how direct mail positively impacts ROI, how brands have successfully used it and how consumers perceive it.

The role of direct mail in today’s multichannel campaigns to produce higher ROI shouldn’t be underestimated. Over half of the PFL respondents reported that ROI delivers a moderate to major improvement in overall campaign performance. That figure jumps to 89 percent when direct mail that is highly personalized and integrated into the channel mix is involved.

The response rate for direct mail is equally impressive. Direct mail sent to houses saw a 5.3 percent response rate, and for prospect lists, the rate was 2.9 percent. Comparatively, the response rate for email is a meager 0.6 percent. In 2016, direct mail’s customer response rate increased by 43 percent, and its prospect response rate increased by 190 percent compared to 2015.

You’re probably wondering how direct mail measures up to social media and email in terms of boosting. Surprisingly, paid search and online display pale by comparison to direct mail for median ROI. Direct mail has a median ROI of 29 percent, putting it third behind email (124 percent) and social media (30 percent). Third place may not sound impressive, but when you consider median ROI was 23 percent for paid search and 16 percent for online display, respectively, it’s easy to see why direct mail is underutilized.

It’s important to note that brands currently favor certain forms of direct mail over others. The majority of marketers are sending postcards (55 percent) and letters (52 percent), but most agree that these forms of direct mail fall short when it comes to demonstrating brand value. The third most popular form of direct mail—dimensional mail—is the most preferred. Today, 42 percent of marketers send this type of physical mail with 35 percent of marketers saying it does “very well” at representing their brand (versus 17 percent for postcards and 19 percent for a letter).

The reasons for why direct mail can help brands stand out are many. First, given its tangibility, direct mail feels more interactive than an email or a digital video. When the right form of direct mail is used, it can also spark an emotional response on some level, making it more memorable.

An added benefit direct mail offers is creativity. For example, for its holiday campaign, a Utah-based marketing firm mailed out a card and a $20 bill to encourage recipients to put it towards their preferred charity. When they scanned the card’s code on the back, they were directed to a YouTube video explaining the initiative as well as a hashtag to use when posting about it on their social media.

Yet the greatest opportunity direct mail presents for marketers is less competition in the mailbox. PFL’s findings show that most marketers leverage three or four channels in a multichannel campaign, but only 56 percent are typically using direct mail. Despite this, 78 percent ranked integrated, branded, personalized direct mail as the second most effective channel for reaching their target audience. Personalized direct mail came in at a close second next to events (83 percent).

CMO Council’s study, “Critical Channels of Choice,” confirms that consumers have positive feelings toward direct mail. One out of every three consumers surveyed said they expect direct mail to be part of their ideal communications mix.

Perhaps that’s why Mailchimp decided to try its hand at tangible mail. A few months ago, it introduced a feature letting users send printed postcards to potential customers. Users can customize postcards via the same email-style automation features currently offered for email services. Before clicking “send,” companies have the option of sending it to potential customers in the US in addition to 26 other countries. On Mailchimp’s decision to integrate the postcard feature, the company’s VP of product management, John Foreman said, “In interviewing customers, we noticed they still do a lot of print marketing, they still do a lot of direct mail.”

The postcard feature doesn’t come with the same click-and-open data that come with email or web ads, but users can track postcards online through the US Postal Service and note when recipients use coupon codes included on postcards at online stores linked to Mailchimp.

To get the most out of a direct mail initiative, brands should determine their desired target audience. Just as important is setting a call-to-action, be it in the form of encouraging the recipient to use a discount code, sign up for a newsletter or take a survey.

Five Things Every Great Marketing Story Needs

By Sonia Simone, Copyblogger.com

Tell the right story and you're response rates will soar.

Stories are fundamental to how we communicate as human beings. Tell the right story and you can capture attention, entertain, enlighten, and persuade … all in the course of just a few minutes.  Stories are memorable and shareable — and those are two of the most important aspects of the very best content.

What, specifically, makes for a good marketing story?  Here are five critical components, and how they fit into your marketing and your business.

1. You need a hero:  All good stories are about someone (even if that someone is a professional monster or a talking toy).  The biggest mistake businesses make is thinking that their business is the hero of the story.

This is prevalent among a lot of insecurity-based advertising (“buy our toothpaste or you’ll die friendless and alone”), but it makes for a selfish, easily ignored marketing message.

To tell a compelling content marketing story, your customer must be the hero.  And what defines a hero? The hero of the story is the one who is transformed as the story progresses, from an ordinary person into someone extraordinary.

2. You need a goal:  Good businesses are about solving customer problems.  To put it another way, they’re about customer transformations.

You need to understand where your customer-hero is today, and where she wants to go.  What transformation is she seeking? Does she want a health transformation, a relationship transformation, a wealth transformation, a career transformation?

Until you understand your customer-hero’s goal, you don’t have a marketing story, you just have a collection of anecdotes.

3. You need an obstacle:  If transformation was easy, your customer wouldn’t need your business.  Obstacles are what make stories interesting. The gap between where your hero is today and where he wants to go is the meat of your compelling story.

There are often external obstacles to your customer’s eventual victory, but the most interesting ones are nearly always internal.  What’s keeping your customer-hero from attaining his goal? What external elements are standing in his way?  More importantly, what emotional and psychological roadblocks has he created himself? What inner limitations must he overcome to achieve his prized goal?

4. You need a mentor:  If your customer is the hero, where does that leave you and your business?  If your customer is Luke Skywalker, you’re Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re the wise mentor who can provide essential information and tools that allow the hero to attain his goal.

As Jonah Sachs points out in his interesting book Winning the Story Wars, one difference between an empowering marketing message and the old-fashioned, insecurity-based toothpaste ads, is that you emphasize that your hero’s journey results from her own effort and work.

Your business doesn’t exist to swoop down and solve all of her problems for her. That would infantilize your customer, which is ultimately unsatisfying all around. (Having a bunch of neurotic crybabies for customers just isn’t that fun.)  Your business exists to guide, coach, mentor, and help.

5. You need a moral: When you’re telling a marketing story, it’s always wise to explicitly spell out the moral of your story.  So yes, use stories to show people just like your customer-hero overcoming obstacles and attaining their goals.

Show how your business can mentor and guide customers to become better versions of themselves.  Show how customers can overcome external and internal obstacles to gain what they’re searching for.  But then circle back around and spell it out. Let the audience know what they should do next, or what their main takeaway should be.

Bonus: You need the truth:  There’s one more element of your story marketing toolkit that’s more useful than ever.  In an age of unparalleled digital transparency, you can make amazing wins just by telling the truth.  It takes courage, and finding that courage can be something of a hero’s journey of your own.

The more honest you can be about your business, about who you serve and the problems that you solve, the more loyalty you will find.  Every story needs a spark of something remarkable, so it can be remembered and shared.  And in the world we live in today, honesty can be one of the most remarkable story elements of all.

Make Them an Offer They Won’t Confuse

By Jim Gilbert, Mytotalretail.com

Here are six tips on how to make better offers and drive more conversions and sales:

Making offers. Those finicky little things marketers do in order to generate an order. Free this, bogo that, buy now and we will back up a semi-truck with all kind of freemiums to your home or office.

All kidding aside, the offer you make is designed for one purpose: to reduce the friction between “should I buy?” and “yes, I will buy!”

So why do so many companies get it wrong? While I've written about this in the past, based on what I see “out there” in retail and e-commerce land, a refresher couldn’t hurt.

We all know that the most popular word in the marketing offer playbook is “FREE.” But “free” has become so ubiquitous in the lexicon of retail and digital marketing that it often cancels itself out. Free just ain’t enough anymore!

Here are six tips on how to make better offers and drive more conversions and sales:

1. An offer is not just made up of a discounted price and/or something free.  Your offer is the sum total of your product, pricing, presentation and reputation.

2. Part of your offer is how you back your product.  Is your warranty or guarantee clearly stated in an obvious place? Are your guarantee terms easy to read and understand? Do you make it easy to accept returns? I suggest doing an audit of your policies right away and then frequently there after.

3. An offer is only as good as the product that's being presented.  Make sure your products are presented in the best possible way. Your company’s unique selling proposition (USP, AKA value prop) must be embedded in every product, package and, most importantly, product page.

4. Reviews are king. Make sure you have social proof associated with your product in plain view on product pages.

5. Test, re-test and validate! Don’t just make an offer without testing. There are enough options out “there” that allow for split testing price and offer on product pages (and elsewhere on your site) that it should be easy to test. Run the numbers and see which offering drives the one-two punch of conversion and average order value (AOV) profitability. Bonus tip: Also look at how your offers affect customer lifetime value calculations as well. Do the math. You may wind up being surprised in that one offer that might not have converted as high as anticipated, but it drove better AOV and profits. Surprises happen often!

6. Make sure your offer is “merchandised” properly and isn't a confusing mess.  It should be easy for the consumer to understand and thus make a buying decision. Not sure you know what I mean?

Check out the picture above, which I took at Outback Steak House. I read this waiting to pick up my takeout order.

I brought my credit card but I forgot my abacus to calculate this offer and what it means to me. ’Nuff said (oh, believe me, I could say more).

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:

Direct Mail Can Boost Multichannel Campaigns

Five Things Every Great Marketing Story Needs

Make Them an Offer They Won't Confuse

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:
  • Vitality 365

  • Nexus Formulas

  • 4 New Lists From Statlistics

Mike's Favorite Apps & Links:

Some interesting things to check out...

Happyhues.co - Not sure what colors to use in your designs or where to use them? Happy Colors is a color palette inspiration site that acts as a real world example as to how the colors could be used in your design projects.

Xd.adobe.com/ideas - A forum for unique insights and authentic points of view on the practice, business and impact of design. Brought to you by Adobe XD.

Anchor.fm - The easiest way to make a podcast. Everything you need, 100% free.

Generative.photos - 25,000 HiRes stock photos with customizable AI-synthesized people. You can use these images royalty free.

Allacronyms.com - The leading dictionary of acronyms and abbreviations. This site has over 4 million meanings and shows ways to abbreviate.

Route.com - The Route App automatically connects to everything you’ve ordered from all your favorite retailers while allowing you to visually track your packages, anytime, anywhere.

Creditsesame.com - Get your free credit score and powerful tools to help achieve your credit goals! Change your score. No credit card required and it won’t impact your score.  

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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