Talon Mailing & Marketing

561 Acorn Street
Deer Park, NY 11729

(631) 667-5500


Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing April 2014 Newsletter.

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Tracking Your Direct Mail Campaigns

By Craig Simpson, entrepreneur.com

In his book The Direct Mail Solution, marketing expert  Craig Simpson provides easy-to-follow solutions for creating direct mail campaigns that work!

In this edited excerpt, the author outlines the importance of the information you need to accumulate after each direct mail campaign has been sent out.

OK, so you just spent $3,000 on a direct mail campaign. Now it's back to business, just waiting for all those customers to flood into your store or call you on the phone, right?


Now comes one of the most critical parts of the entire campaign--assessing the results so you know:

  • Was it worth it to spend the $3,000 in the first place?
  • Of the two versions of sales pieces you tested, which one did better?
  • Which of the mailing lists did better?
We're talking about tracking your mail campaigns. Tracking is about understanding every element of the mailing you just sent out so you can refine everything you do for future mailings. That's the only way to systematically get better results as you grow your business.

There are two things you can do to make tracking really easy:

1. Use a dedicated phone line and/or URL/landing page. That way you know that 100 percent of the leads/orders came in from your direct-mail campaign.

2. Put a tracking code or coupon on the mailing piece.

The next step is to collect that information from every customer or order that comes in. Whether it's printed on the coupon or the order form, or an operator requests it when people phone in, get that code every time.

But not only do you need to know the overall response from the mailing, you also need to know how many leads or sales were in response to each mailing list, each segment and each sales piece, if you're using more than one.

If you're testing the effectiveness of a new sales piece vs. the piece you're currently using--your control piece--you need to know which one performed better and which lists it performed better on.

To properly track each version of the sales piece and each list, it's critical that you do a good job of list segmentation, which is the process of systematically splitting up lists into smaller units to keep track of your different parameters.

For example, let's say you have three lists with 10,000 names each and you want to mail two sales pieces, a 16-page letter and a 32-page magalog. Here's one way you can effectively segment your lists:

In this example, you have two formats that you use on three different lists. That gives you six possibilities. You assign a code to each of them.

In the Code Assigned column, the Letter "M" represents your offer (product/service). The number (1000 to 1002) represents the list. And, the last letter (A or B) represents the version of the sales piece (or price, etc.) you're testing. That code is printed on each of the pieces you send out--either as part of the address label or directly on the piece itself.

When orders start coming in, determine which of the six groups the buyer was in. If buyers return a coupon or order form, have the buyer write the code on the form; if the order form is the overleaf of the address panel with the printed code, it will automatically be included. If customers call in their order, ask for the code.

Keep track of how many orders came in from each group. After a certain number of days or weeks have passed, you can easily see which of the six possibilities brought the best results.

Was the Mailing Worth It?
When tracking the profitability of a direct mail campaign, make sure you track all the costs associated with the mailing. That means tracking the cost for the printing, list rental, data processing, mail processing and postage. If you're directly selling a product, you'll also want to make sure you take out the product cost for each order fulfilled.

Taking out the costs associated with the mailing and the product fulfillment will help show you the true profit/loss for each mailing. You need these accurate numbers so you can determine your cost per acquisition (CPA) or your cost per inquiry (CPI).

You also need to keeping track of the list history so you'll know which lists to order in the future. Keeping a list history means you track the performance of one specific list over the course of each of the times you've mailed to it. Watch the response rate. Do you see a lift in response when you mail it in one month vs. another? Do you see a decline in response the more frequently you mail it? Does it give your business a boost in your slow season? Is it worth mailing each month?

Keeping track of list history helps you identify which lists perform consistently well time and time again, which lists are on a downward trend, and whether there are any lists that work better in one season than others.

Craig Simpson has managed thousands of direct mail campaigns and grossed hundreds of millions in revenue for his clients over the past 15 years. Simpson is the owner of Simpson Direct Inc., a Grants Pass, Oregon-based direct marketing firm.  
The Key to Successful Marketing Programs? Trust Your Data

By Lauren Brubaker

You're next campaign won't be successful without a complete and current database that you can trust.

Today, marketers are struggling to keep their contact databases clean, accurate and up-to-date. Incomplete databases prevent marketers from building advanced programs in their marketing automation systems and it affects their ability to deliver results. Keeping a marketing database in pristine condition can prove particularly difficult for complex companies with global offices and multiple products. However, no matter how big a company is, brilliant programs can’t be successful without a complete and current database that a marketer can trust.

So how can we as marketers make our data trustworthy and ready for action? Follow these tried and true steps to achieve healthy marketing data management:

  • Assess: Understanding what issues exist in a company’s marketing data is the first step to getting ahead of them. Unless marketers obsess over their database every week, it’s probably riddled with duplicate contacts, incorrect email addresses and phony phone numbers. The good news is that it is simple to get a clear picture of what’s already there without having to review the database on a constant basis. Marketers can run a Data HealthScan and find out the state of their data in minutes. Much like an annual doctor’s appointment, by assessing the health of their data, marketing teams will have a clearer picture of what they need to invest in for optimal data health.

  • Cleanse: Once marketers have reviewed their database, it’s time to clean it out by finding and fixing the bad records. Marketers can hire companies to handle it for them or go the DIY route. A key point to remember is that data quality is not a one-time event. Marketers must define their data management habits and then wash, rinse and repeat, as people change jobs and get promoted all the time.

  • Enhance: Once the dirty work is over, marketers can finally take a breath, as they’ve just taken the major steps necessary toward best-practice level data management. Next steps? Appending their data with things like industry, location and company size to ensure they can trust their marketing automation programs to reach the right people, while delivering the best message.
Assess, cleanse, and enhance. Those are the three steps to ensure marketers have a healthy marketing database that can be trusted for even the most advanced marketing automation programs. Only then can marketers successfully unlock the full potential of their marketing programs and make greater contributions to overall revenue and sales.

Direct Marketing Really Works!

Direct mail marketing helps train the consumer to think of your brand when they are ready to buy.

When I heard the title of the book Waiting For Your Cat to Bark? by Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg, it reminded me why direct mail marketing is an effective workhorse in the marketing tool belt. It has interesting merit because it is based on the fact consumers are no longer responding to marketing messages the way Pavlov’s dog did to the ringing of the bell.

Whether the sound of the proverbial bell has become annoying to the consumer or they are just ignoring the marketing noise, consumers are requiring more and more personal touches and direct mail can do just that.

One of the many reasons direct mail works is it creates a direct “dialogue” with the consumer and through consistent mailings, the offer or brand messaging breaks through the marketing clutter.

As mentioned in the book, Mark Huffman, Advertising Production “Dean of How” at Proctor & Gamble put it this way.

“The mass marketing model is quickly breaking down. It was developed in a time when there were only three major TV networks and far fewer magazines – no Internet, no cell phone, no video games. National advertisers could decide when and how they engaged viewers by choosing in which TV programs and magazines they placed their ads.”

With the addition of iPads, Smartphones, and e-book readers, such as Kindle, consumers are receiving marketing messages from everywhere. Expecting the consumer to react to a marketing message with immediate response is like waiting for you’re your cat to bark. Your cat will never be a dog. Your dog can easily be trained to play fetch. Your cat may after a much longer training session be taught how to play fetch, but will only play fetch for as long as he/she wants to play fetch.

Consumers are no different. They make their purchase selections based on a whole new set of information gathering than they did in previous years and marketing messages need to adapt. It boils down to being in the mind of the consumer when they are ready, willing, and able to buy.

Direct mail when used properly, can deliver the right messages in the right time to the right people. Direct mail marketing accomplishes that through the targeted lead list, the right offer, at the right time when the consumer is looking for your services.

Much like a cat will allow you to pay attention to them when they want you to, consumers will respond to your marketing messages when they want to. Fine tuning your lead list and using direct mail marketing can insure that your message is in front of them, when they are ready to “play”.

Win Yankee Tickets!  

Enjoy a great day at Yankee Stadium!

We are giving away two tickets to see the New York Yankees. 

All you have to do to win is be the first telephone caller (please don’t 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.  These tickets are great seats and close to the field! 

  • Tuesday April 29th, 2014.  Yankees vs. Seattle 7:05 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.com or contact Michael Borkan at (631) 667-5500 x 11.

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In this Issue:

Tracking Your Direct Mail Campaigns

The Key to Successful Marketing Programs

Direct Marketing Really Works!

Ticket Giveaway!

New Clients

Mike Borkan's Links - 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:
  • Forchelli Law

  • Verisign

  • 4 New Lists from Statlistics

Mike's Favorite Links:

Some interesting links...

connect.com - A map and address book of all your friends. It syncs your contacts from many sources (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Foursquare, your iPhone, and more) and lets you know when they travel and check in nearby.

trendland.com - A blog reviewing trends in fashion, design, art, illustrations, technology, celebrities and music.

bidvoy.net - Bidvoy browses over 100 million eBay auctions and shows you the value of your item.

bluepromocode.com - The web's most reliable coupon search engine.

wakerupper.com - Simple telephone reminders. Set a wake-up call at a specific time or remind yourself of important events.

lettermelater.com - The site helps you to send emails at any future date and time you choose.

ohdontforget.com - This site will help you send a text message to someone's phone.

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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