Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing February 2016 Newsletter.
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These Direct Marketing Mistakes For Success
By Joan Patrick, Promotionworld.com
Direct mail can produce some of the highest
conversion rates. The average campaign converts at a 4.4%, which is
significantly higher than e-mail's 0.12% percent average.
However, you can only expect these optimal results by
running a smart campaign.
To get the most out of your direct marketing efforts, avoid
these costly pitfalls:
1. Not choosing the right prospects.
You first step should be deciding who you are approaching
in this campaign. Are you targeting new residents? Parents of young
children? Choose your list carefully to assure that every cent spent on
postage is used pursuing the people who are going to be most receptive to
your message and product.
2. Burying the lead.
A call to action feels like it should be the pay-off at the end of a
lengthy and exciting buildup. Yet you should also have some sort of
incentive for people to open, in the first place: Make sure that you have
something to invite people into your mailing, and then another message
near the top of your front page to incite them to keep reading and see
what you have to offer.
3. Not personalizing your mailing.
By personalizing a message, you have a much higher chance of getting
someone to open it and respond. It starts by addressing the recipient by
name. Mail addressed to a person by name instead of as "resident" is far
more likely to be opened. On the inside of your mailing, speak directly to
the person you are addressing. When people feel that an offering is
relevant to them, they are more likely to respond.
4. Failing to tie in your social media
Make sure to mention your Facebook, Instagram or other relevant social
media profile somewhere in your mailing. This way, prospects have the
opportunity to stay in touch, even if they are not ready to buy. Over
time, you can begin to build trust and familiarity that can convert into a
lasting and profitable relationship.
5. Making it all about your product
instead of prospects’ needs.
Another way of thinking of this is features versus benefits. Don't only
write about all of your product's specs and features. Your recipient
doesn't know your product, and, frankly, has no reason to care. What the
prospect does care about is what is in it for him. Start by talking about
the benefits of your product and why it will solve a problem or enhance
6. Not tracking results.
It's impossible to improve if you don't know what you are currently
achieving. In every mailing, use unique identifiers that can help track
your success rate with measurable results. This can be a specialized
landing page URL, a coupon code or a dedicated telephone extension. By
tracking what works and what doesn't, you can continue to create more
effective campaigns over time, increasing your direct marketing ROI.
7. Not following up.
It can take several touches to close a sale. If you send one mailing and
never contact that prospect again, you are dramatically lowering your
chances of success. Send a remarketing campaign a few weeks after the
original, and it will strengthen the initial offering.
Every facet of your direct marketing campaign should be formed through
careful deliberation and attention to detail. Consider hard questions
about how you would feel about a campaign as the recipient, knowing
nothing about your company. By seriously contemplating these answers, you
can create the most appealing campaign possible, increasing your chance of
closing the sale and building a fruitful relationship.
Marketing Resolutions to Make For 2016
By Brian Morris, business2com
The new year is here, and with it comes new opportunities to expand
your marketing agenda, grow your customer base, and increase revenues.
Whether you’re a small business owner,
entrepreneur, marketer, or even freelancer, the following lists ten
marketing resolutions you should make for 2016.
1. Focus on customer retention and
repeat business first
Every business wants more customers, but we also know it’s far cheaper to
retain a customer than to find a new customers. Never take your current
customers for granted; instead, come up with clever ways to reward them
for their loyalty. Make your customers feel part of your team, or family,
and they’ll reward you with lifelong business.
2. Work toward making customers ambassadors
This goes hand-in-hand with customer retention and repeat business, but
takes it a step further: think of ways you can get your customers to be
brand ambassadors. What can you do that will make your customers feel your
company is so amazing, they’ll just have to tell their friends, family,
and co-workers about it? There’s no better marketing than word-of-mouth
advertising, but you have to earn it.
3. Focus on new customers next
Once you’ve developed a customer retention and ambassadorship strategy,
you can turn your attention to acquiring new customers. Of course, these
things are done simultaneously at all times; but the point is to make sure
you have your current customers accounted for first. How can you find new
customers? By expanding your marketing and trying new marketing
4. Don’t ignore what works…
In effort to be progressive, many companies risk losing what they’ve built
by abandoning tried-and-true customer acquisition strategies. If
direct-mail postcards have worked in the past, it doesn’t make sense to
cut into that budget in favor of Facebook marketing, for example.
5. ...but don't be afraid to try new
If you enjoy year-over-year growth, then your marketing budget should grow
annually. It makes sense to allocate more of your budget into proven
strategies, but also be sure to save some of it to try new marketing
channels. It’s important to evolve with your customer base and always be
on the lookout for new, lucrative marketing ideas.
6. Find areas to cut costs
Don’t ignore how initial investment impacts your ROI. New technologies,
alternative service providers, and more affordable marketing tools are
constantly being developed. Stay abreast of alternatives and take time
every quarter to survey the market to see if you can get the same
services, at the same quality, for cheaper prices. A discount printing
company, for example, might slash your printing costs in half without
sacrificing quality – which would allow you either expand your marketing
or instantly realize greater returns.
7. Try a partnership
Seek out non-competing businesses that share your target audience and see
if you can come up with a mutually-beneficial package to offer customers.
A restaurant, movie theater, and massage therapist could work together to
offer a special “Date Night Package,” in which each offers a ten percent
discount to offer couples reduced pricing on dinner, movie, and a couples
The three businesses could share marketing costs and also promote the
packages individually. In this manner, you can reduce your marketing
investment while tripling your reach, and still offer customers a
discount. It’s a win for everyone!
8. Delegate whenever possible
You need to be free to work your business and work on growing your
business, not constantly implementing marketing campaigns. Hire employees
or outsource work to contractors to write your blog posts, maintain your
website, handle ad placement, and design your marketing materials (or, use
free online design tools, which can also cut costs). If you use
direct-mail, have your printing handle addressing and mailing so you don’t
have to. The more you can free yourself to work on business growth, the
faster you’ll realize your business goals.
9. Learn analytics or hire someone who
Many small businesses today still do not use analytics tools such as
Google’s free Analytics or even coupon tracking. How can you know what
marketing strategies are working so you can invest efficiently in business
growth if you don’t know the numbers your campaigns yield? If you don’t
have time or the inclination to learn analytics, hire someone who does
(see “delegate whenever possible”).
10. Take (calculated) risks
Once you achieve a certain level of success, it’s very easy to get
comfortable right where you are. But if you truly want to grow your
business, you’re going to have to constantly take risks. Risk should be
calculated, no doubt, and not all will pan out – but if you don’t take
risks, your business will stagnate. A few fails along the way are fine as
long as you hit a few out of the park!
What marketing resolutions will you make in 2016?
Lead Generation Lessons You Learned in Kindergarten
By Cori Pearce blog.marketo.com
"It’s important to review
some elementary teachings that you’ve most likely forgotten along the way.
Take a look at these five lessons below.
generation marketers spend their careers building out complex lead
acquisition and engagement engines, but sometimes it’s good to take it
back to the basics—way back–as in, back to the things we learned in
kindergarten that still hold true in today’s marketing landscape.
Just as the ABCs are fundamental to reading and writing, some of the
basics like data, content, and segmentation are key to your lead
generation programs. Chances are, with all the lead-gen pressures we face,
it might be tempting to push best practices aside–which is why it’s
important to review some elementary teachings that you’ve most likely
forgotten along the way.
Take a look at these five lessons below that you
should apply to your lead generation efforts:
1. Use Your Inside Voice
No one wants to do business with a marketing loudmouth. Your customer
doesn’t want to feel like you are mass marketing to them, but that you are
engaging with them in a 1 on 1 conversation. You should strive to
personalize your messaging when possible by segmenting your database out
This will allow you to be more strategic in catering to
each of your audiences, understand the customer that you are trying to
attract, and relate to them as human beings.
2. Hand-Raisers Are Encouraged
What’s better than a cold lead? A warm one! And this answer rings true for
both marketing and sales. A “hand-raiser” is a warm lead, someone that
identifies themselves as a prospective customer by opting to share their
information with your company, usually with the understanding that they
will be contacted.
To increase your conversion rates, you should review
your calls-to-action (CTAs) to make sure there is a clear value
proposition and people know exactly what will happen after they click.
Optimize your CTAs by testing out different creatives (design and copy) to
find a winning creative that is both eye-catching and compelling.
be done by A/B testing both your email and landing page content. Also, be
sure to account for the audience personas you built out. While one CTA
might perform well for one segment, it’s possible it can cause friction
3. Walk, Don’t Run
Just as kids tend to get excited and want to run from point A to point B,
marketers can have similar reactions with wanting to convert a newly
acquired lead to a sale. Jumping into a hard sell too quickly is only
going to push your prospective customers to want to make a run for it
themselves, away from you! So map out a lead nurturing process to develop
a relationship with your prospects and walk with them through their
If you start off with smaller asks, like watching a
video, attending an event, or signing up for a newsletter, you can create
a pattern of behavior that makes it easy for your prospect to follow
through with the final CTA, the sale. It’s all about the baby steps!
4. Clean Up
This is one task that kids and marketers alike are inclined to put off,
which never really does anyone any good. Your database is one of your
organization’s most valuable assets. However, its value can quickly
diminish if you don’t keep it clean. In order for your data to be
actionable, it needs to be accurate and up-to-date, or it will cost you
both time and money. In fact, neglecting to clean up your database can
cost your company as much as 10-25% in revenue, according to information
governance expert Larry English. Scary, huh!?
Scrub dirty data from the
start and standardize the data that comes into your system as often as
possible. Make sure you validate email addresses at least once a year to
get rid of inactive accounts that are most likely skewing your metrics and
remove duplicate leads to get a clear picture of your audience size.
5. Treat Others as You Want to Be Treated
We all know this “golden rule,” and it’s named that for good reason. It
should be carried with us from kindergarten throughout our lives and into
our careers. Remember that you are marketing to people, so put yourself in
your customers’ shoes as you think through the engagement process. Are you
emailing them too often? Are you providing appropriate content and offers?
Are you helping them connect the dots on why they should buy from you?
you only think of things from your own perspective, you are most likely
going to have a hard time growing and maintaining your customer base.
As we kick off the New Year, now is the perfect time to reinstate those
maybe forgotten best practices back into you lead generation plan.
Talon has great seats for you to win.
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win, be the first telephone caller (please don’t hit reply or
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Call Michael Borkan at 631-667-5500 x 11.
Monday March 14th, 7:00PM.
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Avoid These Direct Marketing Mistakes For Success
Ten Marketing Resolutions to Make For 2016
Five Lead Generation Lessons You Learned in Kindergarten
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