Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing March 2018 Newsletter.
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Sales by Improving Catalog Circulation
By Tanya Hansel, Multichannelmerchant.com
Catalogs can be an important driver of sales
for certain types of customers and merchandise categories.
Catalogs capture the attention of consumers, engaging them
in your content differently than other channels like e-commerce and social
shopping. The key is to understand which customer segments contribute most
to your annual sales and evaluate their key metrics, including order
frequency, retention rate, and catalog sales attribution rate, before
developing your catalog circulation plan.
Whether you have an existing print catalog channel for your
business or are seeking to start one to complement your ecommerce or
multichannel strategy in 2018, developing a solid plan or blueprint for
its circulation will considerably improve the return on your investment.
Does your catalog already have a strong circulation plan or could it use a
Six Steps for Seamless Catalog Circulation
What might seem like a daunting task when starting out becomes routine
with a bit of planning and practice. Get a plan that includes the
consideration of these Six Steps and related questions:
Who should receive your catalog?
Consider the optimal mix of internal/house and rental lists that you can
use for each catalog mailing. Your ratios of these two list types will
differ based on the purpose of your mailing. Catalog start-ups and
established businesses that have low-customer retention rates will require
a higher percent of prospects in their circulation plan.
Incorporate Recency, Frequency and Monetary Value
(RFM) as part of your circulation planning strategy. RFM
segmentation allows us to extract the top-performing buyers from a
customer database. More advanced circulation techniques include
incorporating other key variables such as email opt-in status,
transaction-channel preference, customer scoring, products or categories
purchased, and/or customer type.
Develop a sales forecast for catalog orders and
revenue. Once you have gathered the basic metrics from any past
catalog mailings, it becomes easier to develop an annual circulation plan
that accurately forecasts customer revenue by segment. Pros use the same
RFM logic in every catalog mailing. This consistency allows us to group
and track the performance of like segments year over year, measuring and
celebrating our successes.
If you have an existing e-commerce business and a high percentage of your
new customer acquisition is sourced via digital programs, then you need to
calculate your catalog sales attribution rate.
Hold-out tests help us understand what percentage of match-back sales
should be attributed to the print catalogs. Data from a hold-out test
enables circulation managers to determine the best contact frequency by
customer segment. High frequency, high-spend buyers might be eligible to
receive all your promotional offers. One-time, low-dollar purchasers who
have opted-in for your emails might qualify for just one offer per season.
This segmentation and further analysis is really meaningful for catalog
distribution. It can save a significant amount of money that can be used
to fund more profitable programs, such as acquisition.
Create a horizontal circulation-matrix spreadsheet to
track results from each catalog mailing.
The matrix organizes the results and allows you to track individual
segment performance throughout the year and compare to prior years. Some
metrics to look at regularly include the following:
Average order size.
Dollars of revenue per catalog.
Customer acquisition cost (if prospecting).
Signs of any list fatigue.
Refine your future catalog circulation planning
and develop a customer contact strategy based on the prior catalog
campaign and test results. The idea is that you can improve catalog
circulation in a way that optimizes the target customer reach and grows
your brand in all channels. Over time, optimize a plan with a series of
How many catalogs should each customer segment receive during the year?
What is the catalog sales attribution rate by segment?
How reliant is your business on new customer acquisition?
Should you create different catalog formats or page counts for certain segments?
Is there an opportunity to mail deeper into your customer file?
Think of the catalog circulation plan as a blueprint for your catalog
mailings. Driven by your data and a clear understanding of past catalogsí
results, itís a plan that addresses key areas 1) who you should mail to,
2) how frequently, 3) how many catalogs you should print, and 4) how to
accurately track results so you can design and refine catalog circulation
in a way that optimizes target customer reach and grows your brand.
A winning catalog circulation plan with a focus on circulation details,
order and revenue forecasting, and implementation enables you to leverage
all your marketing data for not only an executable mail campaign but also
one that generates success across all marketing channels.
Savvy Marketers Can Make the Most of Direct Mail
With a clever campaign design and careful targeting,
you can tap into the strong ROI potential of this long-lost art.
Direct mail marketing isnít dead. Despite rumors to the
contrary, direct mail is still an effective way to reach consumers.
In 2008, 93.1 billion pieces of direct mail were sent.
However, direct mail campaigns can be expensive, and in the years that
followed, direct mail felt the effects of the economic downturn, leading
to a sharp decline in volume.
Direct mail began to stabilize between 2010 and 2014 and has shown modest
growth. While it hasnít matched previous highs, thatís not necessarily a
bad thing for marketers trying to stand out.
Direct mail marketing is expected to show continued modest growth through
Direct mail has a few other advantages: Since your targets can hold
mailers in their hands, they are easy to keep and can be revisited later,
and unlike some other forms of traditional marketing, direct mail results
can also be easy to track.
Here are seven tips for any organization investing a direct
1. Create eye-catching visuals.
The human brain can process visuals 60,000 times more quickly than copy.
Attention spans arenít getting any longer, but crisp visuals and powerful
creative content are more likely to get busy readers to pause.
2. Donít overcomplicate it.
Simplicity is king. The average attention span is just eight seconds, and
people donít want to read a lot of copy. Give them the simple, short
version they have time for.
3. Be creative. Eye-catching
photography isnít the only way to engage your target audience. Now, there
are direct mail options that integrate the other four senses. Some even
include videos instead of photos.
When you appeal to multiple senses, you will increase the possibility that
recipients will remember your message.
4. Home in on your target. Aside
from strong visuals, successful direct mail campaigns are also heavily
dependent on careful targeting. Direct mail can be a great tactic to lead
customers to your website or get them to make a purchase online, but to
get these results, you need to reach them with precision.
This means using traditional and digital marketing as complementary
tactics. Effective direct mail marketing now calls for an understanding of
and targeting based on digital data that shows browsing behavior and
5. Make it personal and relevant.
Personalization and relevance are extremely important to
recipientsóespecially millennialsóand theyíre necessary if you want to
6. Take a multipronged approach to your direct
mail marketing strategy. Direct mail can boost your
marketing results when used as part of a multifaceted campaign, because it
gives your audience numerous opportunities to engage with your brand and
its message. For example, you can time carefully positioned email
marketing to hit inboxes after your direct mail postcard arrives in
7. Test and refine. Above all
else, always leverage the trackable nature of direct mail, and adjust as
needed. You can try new visuals and copy or create a new offer. However
you decide to adjust, donít be afraid to switch things up and see what
Think about the promotional emails sitting in your inbox. Email marketing
is a great marketing tactic, but sometimes consumers can, and do, get
overwhelmed. Direct mailís response rate may have decreased over the past
decade, but this figure can still be 10 to 30 times higher than the
response rate for email marketing.
Direct mail can also be effective for a wide range of demographics;
millennials may not have experienced rotary phones and a life without
technology, but they can appreciate direct mail as a simpler form of
marketing. Theyíre not alone, either. Forty-one percent of adults between
50 and 64 look forward to checking the mail every day.
Marketing: Itís Not What You Think
For many small businesses, the
term Ďdatabase marketingí conjures images of a complex and highly
specialized endeavor, practiced by brainiacs in large corporations yet
practiced quite rarely in mid sized firms.
And never used by small sized organizations.
This and other misconceptions could be holding you back, says an article
from InTouch CRM.
Rocket Science or Not?
At its core, the author notes, database marketing is simply the practice
of collecting information, analyzing and learning from it, and using
insights gained to target and follow up with customers. Chances are you
already have most of the data you need in-house to start or improve your
For example, customer data, such as name, address, email address, purchase
history and so on probably exist in some form, somewhere on your server
(likely several "somewheres," if youíre like most small businesses). The
trick, of course, is assembling the data into one location (or software
package) and making it easy for your marketers to access. It can be more,
of course. But this is database management in its simplest form.
Strike Two: Itís Costly
Data is a business asset. Database marketing helps you maximize returns by
leveraging its strategic value. As with any technology, you can spend a
lot, and a big-boy implementation may require significant infrastructure
upgrades. But stepping up your game doesnít necessarily have to be
expensive. The cost of many entry-level software packages is nominal,
especially considering the potential paybacks in business efficiency,
intelligence and insight.
Third Mistake: Not for Me
Itís possible that you could do just fine relying on current database
marketing methods. But the more you know about customers, the easier it is
to connect with them in a meaningful and relevant way.
The key to growth, loyalty and retention, then, lies in what you do with
your data, which arguably makes database marketing essential for any
profit-minded business. Changing your perspective about this most
promising practice could lead to improvements in how well you engage
current and future customers.
Win Brooklyn Nets Tickets!
Enjoy a great day of Basketball!
We are giving away two tickets to see the Brooklyn Nets.
All you have to do to win is be the first telephone caller (please donít
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.
Tuesday March 13, 2018.
Nets vs. Toronto 7:30 PM.
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Boost Sales by Improving Catalog Circulation
How Savvy Marketers Can Make the Most of Direct Mail
Database Marketing: It's Not What You Think
Mike Borkan's Apps & Links - Apps & Web sites you probably
View Samples of Our Work
Direct Mail Humor!
Talon welcomes the following new clients this month to our growing roster
Mike's Favorite Apps & Links:
Some interesting things to check out...
- Now this is useful! A free app that allows you to scan any muted live
TV, allowing you to stream it's audio directly to your device. Use it to
hear any TV in a bar, gym, airport or waiting room.
Omnicalculator.com - 376 free calculators. Use for such diverse
challenges as finance, business, health and many others. It's so fast and
easy you won't want to do the math again!
Software - Download free antivirus and malware protection. Tune up
your PC, Mac and Android devices for peak performance. Surf safely and
privately, wherever you are.
- A web publication that offers technology news, analysis, and
commentary, with a focus on Silicon Valley and startup companies. It
billed itself at launch as "the site of record for Silicon Valley".
- The news as it hasn't been covered before, shaped by you. Beme News is
unfiltered and unbiased.
Hyperspektiv.com - An app that let's you distort reality with your
iPhone. It's a powerful video & photo tool. You can create music videos,
make your Instagram look super cool, use for VJ visuals, or take next
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
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