Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing April 2015 Newsletter.
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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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
“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.
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
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,
No one cares about your widgets. What they care about are their own needs
and wants. For instance:
The Heart Comes Before the Brain
- 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
- 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.
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
Remember the Basic
Every direct marketing message includes three basic elements:
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.
Enough information for immediate acceptance of the
A mechanism for responding to the offer
Win Yankee Tickets!
Enjoy a great day at Yankee Stadium!
We are giving away two tickets to see the New York Yankees.
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
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CAN-SPAM Mistakes To Avoid In Your E-mail Marketing
Improve Direct Mail Response With Personalized URLs
Five Tips To Improve Your Direct Marketing
Mike Borkan's Links - 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 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.
- 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.
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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