Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing April 2016 Newsletter.
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Rates To Drop 4.3% In April
By Mark Hrywna, Thenonprofittimes.com
Get ready to take advantage of lower postage
costs. The reduced rates will help boost marketing ROI's and bottom
More than two years after it first went into effect, the
4.3-percent surcharge on postal rates will disappear as of April 10.
Barring any congressional or court action, it would be just the third time
in its history that the United States Postal Service (USPS) lowered
A four-page notice of a removal of the exigent surcharge was filed
recently with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), citing the specific
date. The USPS estimates that it collected $4.347 billion in surcharge
revenue as of Feb. 14, and at $6-million a day, projects April 9 as the
day it will reach the $4.634 billion limit set by the PRC. The surcharge
went into effect in January 2014.
USPS announced the move would worsen its financial condition by reducing
revenue and increasing net losses by about $2 billion per year. “The
exigent surcharge granted to the Postal Service last year only partially
alleviated our extreme multi-year revenue declines resulting from the
Great Recession, which exceeded $7 billion in 2009 alone,” Postmaster
General and CEO Megan J. Brennan said. “Removing the surcharge and
reducing our prices is an irrational outcome considering the Postal
Service’s precarious financial condition,” she said.
The USPS ended Fiscal Year 2015 in October with $68.9 billion in total
revenue against total operating expenses of $73.8 billion, for a net loss
of $5 billion. The net loss follows losses of $5.5 billion in 2014 and
$4.9 billion in 2013.
Most mailing rates will come down, including classes and categories
heavily used by nonprofits, such as nonprofit Standard Mail and
Periodicals, according to Stephen Kearney, executive director of the
Alliance for Nonprofit Mailers (ANM).
The rollback of the exigent case is rational because it follows the rule
of law and the regulatory process as affirmed by the U.S. Court of
Appeals, Kearney said. “It also makes common sense that businesses and
nonprofit organizations must adjust their operations and cost structures
to economic cycles,” he said, including the 2007-09 recession. “On the
other hand, it’s hard to blame anyone for trying to get a $2 billion
lifetime annuity valued at $60 billion. It’s just not in the cards,”
Kearney said, hoping the reduction will stimulate more use of the mail.
“We think nonprofits will mail more,” he said.
The USPS announced adjusted rates on Feb. 5 and was required to provide 45
days’ notice before any switch. First-Class postage for a letter, for
instance, will drop from 49 cents to 47 cents. The Postal Service filed
with the PRC for a 4.3-percent surcharge in 2010, ultimately granted and
put into effect in January 2014 but capped at $4.6 billion.
Annoying Your Customers: Use Direct Marketing That Works
By Joan Patrick, B2bmarketing.net
Joan Patrick, director of marketing for NewMoversMail, describes the
most effective ways to tackle direct marketing.
marketing is still relevant in a digital world, but it needs to be
deployed in smarter ways. What worked 20 years ago will not fly with
today's more savvy prospects. Want to assure that your offerings persuade
instead of annoy? Avoid these direct marketing don'ts:
1. Phoning in the headline
Think you can explain your offer later in
your mailing and still nail the sale? It’s crucial to hook audiences as
quickly as possible to keep them reading down to your call to action.
2. Failing to make your piece 'skimmable'
Most people prefer to glance at a direct mail
sales letter or brochure first to determine whether they are interested.
Make it easy for them to glean the most important points through bullets,
charts and call outs.
3. Not segmenting your list
In the past, marketers used the shotgun approach, sending direct mail
pieces to as many prospects as possible. With the rising costs of postage,
it's important to choose exactly the right list to ensure your
profitability. For instance, when you are announcing a sales event, you
can get a great return by sending a special invitation to your most
frequent buyers. Target mailings at new movers advertising services that
they'll need in their new homes.
4. Failing to personalize offerings
At the very least, your direct mail piece should be addressed to a
resident instead of "our neighbor" or, even worse, "current resident."
Personalized direct mail pieces have a response rate that is as much as
six times as high as generic direct mail. Carry your personalization inside with a salutation
that uses the recipient's name and even references the city where he/she
resides, and other demographic details.
5. Not putting enough in the envelope
When sending a sales email, it’s important to be careful about how much
additional material is included. Attachments can send a piece straight to
spam; or, if your recipient ever sees it, make him/her far more cautious
about opening the message. With direct mail, you can include a number of
additional elements including: coupons, small pages with charts and
comparison sheets, a personal note, or a fridge magnet to keep contact
information close at hand.
6. Not setting your mailing apart
Five hundred million pieces of mail get sent each day in the U.S. To stand out
from the pack, you need to make your mailing eye-catching and appealing.
Experiment with unusual envelope sizes, bright colors and window envelopes
that allow your prospect to get a tantalizing peek inside.
7. Forgetting a clear CTA
Each mailing should include a single, clear, call to action that is easy
for your recipient to complete. Do you want him/her to call you for a
quote? Visit your website to buy a product? Make it easy to understand
exactly what you want a recipient to do. Also, don't think that your call
to action needs to be at the close of your pitch. Often, you can get even
better results by putting your call to action above the fold on the first
page of your mailing.
8. Not tracking results
If you just go off your gut reaction, you'll never have any idea what
ideas are effective and which ones are not. Measure the results of every
mailing. Divide your cost by your number of responses to find out how much
each sale costs. By tracking how much is spent on each sale, you can
determine which campaigns are most successful and what you need to do more
of in the future.
While digital has become an indelible part of our lives, direct mail still
has the power to bring in new business and strengthen your relationships
with the customers you currently have. Approach your prospects right to
win their trust and their business.
Essential Steps To Maximize Direct Marketing
By Clare Mylan,
Direct marketing is experiencing
a resurgence as brands realize its capacity for delivering personalized
messages, increasing sales to current and lapsed customers and improving
Used effectively, direct marketing
gives the user the ability to identify precisely the impact of any
promotion. In doing so it establishes a strong foundation upon which
future successful activity can be built.
No matter what sector you’re in, if you need to reach customers and
prospects under the radar of your competition, there are 7 basic but
essential steps to take to maximize success.
1. Have a clear objective:
This might sound obvious, but you really need to pinpoint exactly what
you’re looking to achieve. Frequently this is to raise sales, but is it
to produce profit or to shift stock or perhaps retain customers who are
lapsing or a combination of objectives?
2. Count every penny:
Make sure you’re aware of the TOTAL cost of delivering the promotion
remembering to cover everything which could be included such as data
lists, creative, design, print, postage etc. Calculate the volume of
incremental/additional sales required to break even. For this you will
need to know the full cost of the promotion, your ATV, margin and average
frequency of purchase.
3. Pay attention to your copy:
Direct marketing should not be a
longwinded, one sided conversation. It should be a dialogue between the
brand and the customer. Use your data insights to speak to your customers
in a way which will appeal to them.
4. Make sure you measure up:
Make sure you designate test cells against which measurement can be made
so that you can see where added value is coming from. A typical split
might look like this:
- Not mailed
- Mailed with basic proposition
- Mailed with enhanced proposition
- Mailed with different creative
5. Use your data:
The wealth of data businesses now possess should make it possible for you
to segment your customer base into essential categories and include
variable messages recognizing the differences. For example you would
expect to talk to a high value customer differently to one you haven’t
seen for over a year. A most recent, frequency and value analysis will
give you the platform to develop this. In the past, our aim was on the
6. Close the deal:
You must have a clear call to action with a response mechanism and a
robust method of capturing the responses as this is the only way in which
you can measure the success of the activity and deliver meaningful
7. Time is money:
Consider an automated platform for your direct mail campaigns. It can
deliver a considerable saving on from both a time and money perspective.
Following these seven steps will enable you to identify what works and
what doesn’t and where changes are needed. With this as the basis you can
begin to develop a very rewarding direct marketing strategy or program
which will, over time, become more sophisticated and potentially even
Talon has great seats for you to win.
are giving away a pair of tickets to see the New York Islanders! To
win, be the first telephone caller (please don’t hit reply or
email). Voice mail messages count so it's fine to leave a voice mail.
Call Michael Borkan at 631-667-5500 x 11.
Monday April 4th, 7:00PM.
Islanders vs. Lightning
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Postal Rates To Drop 4.3% In April
Stop Annoying Your Customers: Use Direct Marketing That Works
Seven Essential Steps To Maximize 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...
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customize and play Personalized Video Workouts.
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incredibox.com - Free musical app in which you can easily create a mix
by running a band of beatboxers. Record your mix, share it, then get tons
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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