Talon Mailing & Marketing

561 Acorn Street
Deer Park, NY 11729

(631) 667-5500


Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing March 2018 Newsletter.

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Boost 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 boost?

Six Steps for Seamless Catalog Circulation Management

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:

  • Response rate.
  • Average order size.
  • Dollars of revenue per catalog.
  • Seasonal influences.
  • 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 key questions:

  • 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.

    How Savvy Marketers Can Make the Most of Direct Mail

    By Vivian Mize, Prdaily.com

    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 2020.

    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 mail campaign:

    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 preferences.

    5. Make it personal and relevant. Personalization and relevance are extremely important to recipientsóespecially millennialsóand theyíre necessary if you want to stand out.

    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 mailboxes.

    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 resonates.

    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.

    Database Marketing: Itís Not What You Think

    From Marketingtango.com

    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 outreach.

    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.

  • 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.

    If you do not wish to receive the Talon Mailing & Marketing Newsletter please click here: 



    In this Issue:

    Boost Sales by Improving Catalog Circulation

    How Savvy Marketers Can Make the Most of Direct Mail

    Database Marketing: It's Not What You Think

    Ticket Giveaway!

    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:
    • BioCeuticals

    • Healthy Directions

    • 2 New Lists From Statlistics

    Mike's Favorite Apps & Links:

    Some interesting things to check out...

    Tunity.com - 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!

    AVG Antivirus 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.

    Pando.com - 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".

    Beme.com - 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 level selfies.

    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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