Talon Mailing & Marketing

561 Acorn Street
Deer Park, NY 11729

(631) 667-5500


Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing April 2015 Newsletter.

To view this newsletter using your Internet browser click here:

CAN-SPAM Mistakes To Avoid In Your Email Marketing

By Christina Bockisch, Business2community.com

Some businesses may not fully understand CAN-SPAM laws and how they apply to their email marketing efforts.

A fun fact about me: I’m engaged, but I’m also one of those girls that never really thought much about what her wedding would be like. Right after getting engaged, I started doing some research on different vendors in my area that I could use for my wedding.

I signed up for a bridal show (that I never attended), requested information from vendors I liked, and then decided that I’d rather get married in Las Vegas.

Now, my email inbox is flooded with emails from all of these different vendors that want to know if I’ve picked a date and if I’m interested in using them for my wedding.

But here’s the problem: Not all of the businesses I requested information from have ways for me to easily unsubscribe from their emails. Even worse, some businesses are still sending me emails even after I’ve asked to be unsubscribed.

As an inbound marketer, it’s my job to stay up-to-date on CAN-SPAM laws and to make sure that I’m complying with all of the rules when I send out emails for my clients. However, I realize some business owners may not fully understand CAN-SPAM laws and how they apply to their email marketing efforts.

Disclaimer: I want to stress that I am not a lawyer. This post is not intended to be legal advice, and you should always consult with an attorney on how to interpret CAN-SPAM laws.

What is the CAN-SPAM Act?

CAN-SPAM stands for Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing. The CAN-SPAM Act was enacted in 2003 and regulates all commercial email messages. In the eyes of the law, a commercial email message is any electronic mail message where the primary purpose is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service.

Even though some parts of the CAN-SPAM Act are fairly straightforward, there are others that are a little bit more confusing. Here’s a breakdown of CAN-SPAM’s main requirements.

Your recipients must have a way to unsubscribe

Out of all of the emails I’ve received from wedding vendors, this is by far the biggest mistake businesses are making. Most of the vendors I talked to are sending out emails from their personal email account rather than going through an email service provider such Constant Contact or Mail Chimp. In turn, they don’t have unsubscribe buttons at the bottom of their email, and there’s no way for me to opt-out of their emails.

Did you know that it’s actually illegal to not have a way for your recipients to unsubscribe? At the bottom of your emails, there should be clear button that allows someone to unsubscribe from email communications.

You must unsubscribe people from your email list if they ask

Even if you make it easy for people to unsubscribe, you still need to follow through and make sure they’re opted out of your emails. You don’t have to do it that day, but you must make sure they’re opted out within 10 days of their request. Most email service providers have a way to automate the unsubscribe process, making it easy to ensure you don’t accidentally send an email to someone who has unsubscribed.

You need to make it clear who the email is coming from

When you send out an email, you need to make sure it’s clear who the email is coming from. This should be conveyed in the “from” and “reply-to” lines of the email as well as in the contact information in the footer of your email. All of this information helps to accurately identify the person or business sending the email.

Your subject line needs to reflect what the email is about

In addition to making sure you clearly identify yourself when you send out an email, it’s also important to make sure your subject line reflects what the email is about.

As you create your emails, find ways to make it clear what you’re sending them. Think to yourself, “If I were to receive this email, what would I want the subject line to be?” Always make sure that your subject line is a reflection of what your email is about, and never mislead your customers in your subject line.

Other important CAN-SPAM requirements

  • If you’re sending out an advertisement about one of your products or services, you must clearly identify the message as an ad. There’s a lot of leeway with this, and there are many different ways to identify an email as an advertisement.
  • Your emails always have to include your valid physical address. This can be your current street address, a post office box, or a private mailbox.
  • If you outsource your email marketing to an outside agency, make sure you monitor what they’re doing. If something goes wrong, both your company and the agency you hired will be held responsible.

The best way to avoid any CAN-SPAM violations is to do your research about the law and to understand how it applies to your email marketing efforts. The Federal Trade Commission has some great information about the CAN-SPAM Act on their website, and it’s a good place to start if you want to learn more about how to remain compliant.

This article is designed to help you understand some of the legal issues surrounding email marketing. However, legal information is not the same as legal advice, and I  insist that you consult a lawyer if you want professional assurance that my  interpretation of the law is accurate.

Christina Bockisch is an inbound marketing consultant at Impulse Creative. As an IMC, it's her job to create remarkable and compelling content for her clients.

Improve Direct Mail Response With Personalized URLs

By Patricia Odell, Chiefmarketer.com

Integrating direct mail with digital technologies to improve response is a strategy gaining momentum.

This strategy is ideal for direct mailers looking to drive better ROI while cutting down on the heavy burden of rising postage and printing costs.

For one University, the goal was straightforward: Montclair Kimberley Academy University wanted to develop and execute a fundraising campaign targeting alumni. The strategy was to build buzz and awareness leading up to one single giving date last October. The effort was marketed with a combination of print, email and social media touch points.

Two postcard mailings targeted alumni who had donated in the last five years and those who had given within the last year. Photographs of alumni from years gone by were displayed on the postcard to revive fond memories of their days at the school and encourage donations.

PURLs, or personalized URLs, drove recipients to a landing page that provided targeted and personalized information. Three email blasts deployed to all alumni that also contained the PURLS. A social media push on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube were also in play. A staggered approach for the mailings and e-blasts meant that alumni would receive communications about the “MKA Day” campaign through a different medium each week. Spectacular results ensued. The University surpassed its goal by 150%, with 460 donors resulting in more than $220,000 raised.

Therein lies the sought after power of combining direct and digital marketing.

“Combining direct and digital marketing is most successful when you play to each channel’s strengths in a cohesive campaign,” says Director of Marketing Ryan Coté at Ballantine, a print a digital direct marketing company, which ran the “MKA Day” campaign.

PURLS, or personalized URLs, puts the person’s name in the URL and directs them to a personalized landing page where copy and images can be swapped out for a more customized look. A response form on the site can be prepopulated with the data from the mail file. PURLS work best for capturing leads, not necessarily pushing a sale.

“Previously, it was mainly used with direct mail,” Coté says. “Now, it’s more and more common that we do direct mail combined with an email piece both pushing the PURL just to get that extra bump in response.”

For its non-profit client MAG America, Ballantine bridged direct mail and email by announcing the direct mail piece was coming with two email blasts, both driving the recipient to a PURL. One blast deployed the day the direct mail piece mailed, the second one a week later.

An alternative way to use a PURL in direct mail is with a redirect to whatever website or landing page URL the brand or client wants.

“You know who visited their PURL and who is actually engaging with that direct mail piece. It creates a list of warm leads,” Matt Coté, director of business development at Ballantine, says.

Marketers can also add remarking code to a PURL landing page. After a visitor hits the landing page, he or she gets tagged with a cookie and then, as a result, they’re shown the brands’ banners as they browse the Internet on sites like Pandora, Forbes and Weather.com.

“They’re going to the website, they might not respond, but they’ll see your banners after they leave and hopefully they’ll click the banner and be retargeted back to your site,” Ryan Coté says.

A new and innovative way to retarget is by appending IP addresses to a direct mail postal file. As a result, you’re not relying on website visitors getting tagged with cookies, instead you’re retargeting the IP addresses. The IP match success rate is currently about 50% and the number of banner impressions that each person will be served can be customized.

“It’s an easy way to give your direct mail a boost, because you’ve got this piece going out and you’re able to serve about 50% of the same people banner ads that reflect the same campaign,” Ryan Coté says.

An important step is to coordinate all of the creative with similar messages, colors and formats for a cohesive theme that becomes recognizable to the target.

Another digital integration to consider is sending direct mail to a targeted niche, like lawyers in a specific set of zip codes and then serve Facebook ads targeting lawyers in those same zip codes.

“You can drill down specifically with Facebook ads to mirror the targeting of the direct mail piece,” Matt Coté says.

Five Tips To Improve Your Direct Marketing

By Melissa Thompson, smallbiztrends.com 

Erich Kominsky, CEO of US Data Corporation - “For every dollar spent on direct email marketing the average ROI is $44.25...."

Here are five tips that will improve your direct-mail marketing business:

Target Your Audience

A very important rule of direct marketing is knowing who your audience is and being able to target that audience with your direct marketing. This will save you a lot of money and increase your return on investment.

Building your own list can be tedious and unscientific at best, and it’s easy to get scammed by online companies selling dirty lists full of false leads that cost you a lot of money. Make sure you get your lists from a reputable list broker. Consider renting a list if you don’t think your budget can afford buying one.

Create a Memorable Look

Having a great design that stands out and also reinforces your message is essential to your marketing success.

Make sure you follow basic design rules, but don’t be afraid to get creative. If you don’t have the software or inclination to create stunning professional designs, hire a graphic designer. The credibility that a professional design lends to your direct marketing message is well worth the investment.

You’re Selling Solutions, Not Products

No one cares about your widgets. What they care about are their own needs and wants. For instance:

  • Bob doesn’t want a new drill, he wants to finish his to-do list faster so he can go golfing.
  • Mary doesn’t want a dress, she wants to look thin at the party this Friday.
  • Alice doesn’t want an investment newsletter, she wants to find a great investment so she can retire at 45.
  • Ted doesn’t want a recipe book, he wants new ways to impress his friends at dinner parties.

The Heart Comes Before the Brain

Most direct marketers are number-crunching, logical people. It’s easy for them to fall into a cold, left-brain, bullet-pointed, 714-reasons-why type of sales pitch. However, people make decisions in the right brain based on emotion. Then, they justify that decision with logic. To set up a sale, appeal to emotion first. Then, to close and confirm the sale, use logic.

Remember the Basic Elements

Every direct marketing message includes three basic elements:

  • An offer
  • Enough information for immediate acceptance of the offer
  • A mechanism for responding to the offer
Without each of these, you are not doing direct marketing but merely using a medium associated with direct marketing. And for direct marketing, the response button must be prominent and not make customers jump through hoops. Each second of delay will see more of your prospects back out of the sale.
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! 

  • Wednesday April 8th, 2015.  Yankees vs. Blue Jays 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.

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



In this Issue:

CAN-SPAM Mistakes To Avoid In Your E-mail Marketing

Improve Direct Mail Response With Personalized URLs

Five Tips To Improve Your Direct Marketing

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:
  • Virginia Medical Plans

  • Waldman Writes

  • 4 New Lists from Statlistics

Mike's Favorite Links:

Some interesting links...

shortstack.com - Create Facebook apps and build engaging social media marketing campaigns — contests, promotions, and much more.

postplanner.com - Post Planner saves you hours a day on Facebook Marketing. With their Viral Content, you can triple your Likes, Shares & Clicks.

ted.com - Absolutely amazing site. TED is a nonprofit site devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less).

stampsy.com - A single place to share, curate and discover visual content that tells a story.

recapguide.com - Very cool site! Browse your favorite TV show episodes as a sequence of thumbnails and see what you have to watch next.

1000.chromeexperiments.com - A celebration of the first 1,000 experiments submitted to ChromeExperiments.com by the creative coding community.

dashradio.com - 24 Hour and commercial free. The site was created by the world's biggest DJ's who became fed up with the limitations of regular FM radio.

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.

Newsletter Archives:

Click here if you wish to see past newsletters.  

Click on These Links to Learn More About Talon:

The Tour


Our Services

List Rentals

Postage Rates


Archived Newsletters

Contact Us


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