Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing April 2018 Newsletter.
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Reasons Why Direct Mail is More Effective Than Emails
By Heidi Tolliver-Walker,
It’s an age-old debate, however the latest
data makes a strong case for printed direct mail.
Supporters of digital media will say why drain your
marketing budget on direct mail campaigns that nobody reads when you can
contact your customers using the channels they prefer — television, social
media, and mobile?
However, the latest data makes a strong case for printed direct mail.
Sure, social media and mobile marketing are on the rise. But that doesn’t
mean that customers aren’t responding to direct mail or that this channel
is losing its effectiveness. That’s just plain false.
The reality is, direct mail remains a critical part of the mix. So the
next time someone tries to tell you direct mail is dead, remember:
1. Direct mail doesn’t require opt-in
Unlike email and text messaging, you don’t have to get a
recipient’s permission to send them direct mail. This means, even if a
customer doesn’t subscribe or unsubscribes from your email list, you can
still get in touch with them. (Which is why it’s always a good idea to get
physical addresses from those on your email lists!)
2. Direct Mail Doesn’t Get Caught in the Spam
“Yes, it may be skimmed by a gatekeeper,” notes Roger Buck, former
director of marketing and new product development for The Flesh Company.
“However, the odds are still much better – and it doesn’t contain a
3. Direct mail remains effective long after it
lands on the desk
It’s the equivalent of taping things to your audience’s fridge. “We’ve had
people tell us that they had one of our mailings sitting on their desks
for months,” notes Andre Palko, president of Technifold USA. “Although
they didn’t act immediately, we remained top-of-mind until they were ready
to act. You don’t get that kind of staying power – or attention – with
4. It’s still effective when the target recipient
has moved on
“If you send an email to someone who’s no longer at a
particular company, it bounces. If you send a postcard, the new person in
that job sees it — and you’ve just introduced yourself as a vendor,” says
5. Direct mail doesn’t have to compete for
Email is an effective tool, but it can be overwhelming for your target
audience. In 2014, The Radicati Group found that business users sent or
received 121 emails per day. By 2018, this is expected to rise to 141.
Larry Bradley, owner of Proforma Sunbelt Graphics, writes, “The
overwhelming volume of email received at work is a huge hurdle for
legitimate email marketers. It’s hard to separate the junk from the
legitimate email. As a result, a huge percentage of email sent to
businesses is never read. Businesses don’t receive nearly as much
marketing mail as they did a decade ago. That’s a unique benefit for
6. Certain offers just won’t get traction by
There’s a reason businesses are more likely to get lending offers in the
mail than they are by email. B2B decision-makers trust direct mail more
than email, especially for high value products and services. Mailers can
also include a wide variety of trust-building content not possible (or
reasonable) to include in email. Yes, you can provide links. But with
direct mail, you get that content in front of them in a tangible way right
out of the gate.
7. Direct mail can reach high-level
There are only so many things you can do to make email look more
important. But beyond writing a compelling subject line, most of them look
hokey. Direct mail offers options like kits, dimensional mail, and unique
packaging options that, by their nature, get past the gatekeepers. (Palko
has used everything from metallic envelopes, lunch bags, packing list
pouches and prescription bottles to mail letters. “They are not only fun,
but they get opened!” he says.) While these mailings may have higher price
tags, they can also get near 100% open rates. When you’re trying to reach
the C-Suite, that’s worth a lot.
8. Direct mail drives social media and online
Many people believe you don’t need direct mail when you have social media
and mobile marketing. What they’re overlooking is how social media and
mobile marketing relationships get captured in the first place. Very
often, it’s through print. Saying that you only need social and mobile is
akin to saying that when you buy a house you only need the upper stories
and not the foundation. Without print, getting social and mobile
engagements is much more difficult.
Don’t let digital marketers get away with stealing your customers based on
false contrasts. Open the discussion about the benefits of direct mail
versus email—and when to use each. Be proactive and let direct mail
showcase what you can do.
to Transform Direct Mail in 2018
By Jason Sullock,
With the rise in companies turning to direct mail,
the technological advances and developments in the industry are
Direct mail is one of the more traditional forms of
marketing - one that had been put to bed but has now been resurrected. In
the digital age, direct mail is experiencing a boom, with even the world’s
biggest social media platform, Facebook, turning to the advertising
In 2018, consumers expect more from brands and,
subsequently, their marketing campaigns. Their digital footprint reveals
their buying habits, wants, needs and even the photos they take, and
companies need to produce innovative ads to hold onto their existing
customer base, while expanding their reach. Washington Direct Mail, a
leading direct mailing house in the UK, are revealing the trends they are
witnessing change the face of the industry permanently.
According to recent studies, more than 269 billion emails are sent daily.
The chances of your marketing campaigns getting lost in the sea of spam is
only set to increase as we rely more on technology. However, compared to
that statistic, direct mail is said to be kept in the house for 17 days,
with 87% of consumers trusting messages within direct mailing, and only
48% trusting what is said in emails.
With the rise in companies turning to direct mail, the technological
advances and developments in the industry are staggering.
Multi-channel integration refers to the combination of the primary forms
of marketing: digital and direct mail. While they both drive results on
their own, we are seeing more examples of companies integrating the
advertising methods. The synergistic advantages of doing so are almost
unlimited, with recent surveys demonstrating a 118% lift in response rates
for those adopting multi-channel integration. By utilizing the technology
of digital and direct mail and coordinating your message, you can hold
onto your existing consumer base but further expand your reach.
Multi-channel integration can be achieved via a number of methods. For
example, QR codes can be incorporated into the design of your mailing. The
prospects can then scan the QR code to reach a targeted landing page,
taking them to exclusive discounts and offers (their call-to-action).
Alternatively, instead of placing a QR code on the direct mail, you can
highlight a specific URL, encouraging them to visit for discounts.
From those URLs, or even QR code, you can track the amount
of visits the landing page received, thus measuring the success of your
campaign and whether to replicate it in the future. However, a
call-to-action is crucial to the marketing campaign, as your consumers
need a reason to visit your site. Without promising them an offer, for
example, why should they do your company a flavor?
For those in the direct mail industry, programmatic mail is the current
buzzword. Programmatic mail provides companies with the power to transform
online activity into hyper-personalized mail. For example, if a consumer
was to browse your website, place something in their cart but abandon the
cart at the last minute, you would, most likely, send an email reminding
them to complete the purchase. While this may have sufficed several years
ago, it doesn’t today. The email could get lost in your consumer’s inbox,
or they may even delete it altogether. However, it’s difficult to ignore
direct mail addressed to you and delivered through your front door. At
some point, the consumer will pick up that piece of direct mail and this
is where you stand out and utilize the power of images and call-to-action,
with only a three second window to grab their attention.
Augmented reality (AR) and direct mail are two methods of advertising
thought to never cross, but the trends are spelling the rise of augmented
reality - and direct mail is following suit. Pokemon Go were the pioneers
and Ikea have recently launched an AR app, allowing users to place
furniture in the room and ‘try before they buy’. Adding a QR code to your
direct mail is a method of incorporating AR to your direct mailing. Once
they scan the code, a particular logo illustration or video comes to life.
Dimensional mailers should be considered by all brands looking to build
interaction with their consumers. Dimensional mailers are exactly what you
would expect: direct mail outside the envelope. Smart are a fantastic
example, sending out cardboard helmets to consumers, encouraging them to
construct a recyclable helmet. Dimensional mailing actively increased
their web traffic and social media shares, proving direct mail can still
increase engagement and, subsequently, revenue.
You must also note the importance of personalized direct mail when
producing any form of direct mail. Personalized data is easily obtainable
- from your historic customer database or to purchase online - and you
should actively utilize this technology. If you do not target the correct
consumers, or have an idea how to do so, you are wasting staff labor and,
effectively, throwing away money.
Direct mail is strongly recommended to stand out from your competitors and
engage with consumers. With the technological developments, these trends
enable you to produce creative marketing campaigns to improve revenue.
Your Customers, Understand Your Brand
By Marcy Riordan, 1to1media.com
Below are four ways to activate
the valuable insight customers are already giving you to elevate your
Today’s customers don’t just want to consume products and services. They
want experiences that over-deliver on their expectations and they are
happy to recommend their favorite brands to others. And brands that
encourage customer feedback, collaboration, and co-creation often reap
impressive rewards. For example, 70 percent of companies that deliver
best-in-class customer experience use customer feedback, according to
research from customer experience analyst Esteban Kolsky.
Tapping into customer voices isn’t a new concept. The dawn of the internet
age brought with it unique ways to listen to customers and understand
their needs. The practice only grows as new channels emerge. In fact, 95
percent of companies say they regularly listen to their customers,
according to CMO.com. But in reality, valuable customer insight is not
being used to advance the customer experience. Only 29 percent of
companies with VOC systems in place actually use those insights as part of
their decision making. Things are even worse in the marketing space, where
VOC data is used only 11 percent of the time by Fortune 100 leaders to
make decisions that affect customers, says a recent Harvard Business
Customers already generate valuable data and want to be part of a shared
brand experience. How can companies leverage such a wealth of information
to create experiences customers crave and live up to a brand’s promise?
Four ways to connect data to your brand
With more data being generated every day and new ways to analyze it to
create insight, data analytics can be used to help improve brand
perception and strength based on customers’ own behavior and preferences.
We see four distinct areas of opportunity:
know your customers.
The combination of traditional customer data sources (demographics,
transaction history, profile information) with next-gen sources give
companies a much deeper understanding of who their customers are. While
the data may live in many places across your organization, it’s critical
to pull together as much relevant data as possible to create a robust,
holistic data set. This includes online and mobile behavior, unstructured
voice and text data, VOC system data, and other emerging data that may
come from wearables, the Internet of Things, and the like.
Remember that often what’s most valuable isn’t the answer to the specific
questions you’ve asked, but the unstructured insight found in open-ended
survey answers or conversation transcripts.
Example: Recently, a company initiated a large-scale outreach campaign
about a product recall. Yet unstructured data analysis showed that a large
number of the customers contacted were not owners of the product anymore.
Further communications were needed to connect with second-generation
owners with slightly different messaging.
2. Align your brand
promise to your customer reality.
In today’s fast-paced marketplace, sometimes the direction of the brand
doesn’t always match the reality of that brand’s customers. Analytics can
help understand the current profile of a brand’s customers to see how they
align to the brand today, and if they can be part of the brand’s future.
Some brands may aspire to attract a different type of customer than they
have today. Yet a deep understanding of current customers can help
marketers discover how to be relevant and bring them along as a brand
evolves. What are common areas of behavior or interest among current and
future customers that can be leveraged? Analytics can help fuel
prospecting activities to match the future brand promise without
alienating current customers.
Example: Cadillac is in the midst of a transformation to reach younger
customers. Its CMO says the luxury car’s branding is more
“entrepreneurial, fashion-forward and art-focused” to entice younger,
affluent customers. That positioning may also keep older, more traditional
customers interested in the brand, as well.
research and create a dialogue with customers.
Market research, surveys, focus groups, and other primary research tools
are well known to marketers when working on brand strategy. There will be
specific things you will need to know about brand perception and
preferences before making brand decisions. Invite customers to participate
in these activities to fill in insight gaps and keep research dynamic.
Whether it’s research panels, customer communities, or influencer
outreach, complement primary market research with actual customer voices
to gain even more insight than before. Of particular note are
investigations into what motivates customers to act in a positive way
about your brand, along with what barriers may prevent them from doing so.
Example: A retailer struggled to quantify the ROI of a product-specific
loyalty program. Traditional test versus control data was not available,
because the program was universally offered. Research was conducted with
customers following product purchases to ask the question, “would you have
purchased this item in absence of the loyalty program?” The answers
supported the business case for the program. Even better was analysis of
the open-ended text provided about problems and desired benefits, which
helped improve the program’s value proposition.
Understand the entirety of the customer experience.
The customer journey has both negative “pain points” to be fixed and
positive “moments of truth” that can be optimized to impact satisfaction
and loyalty. More and more, companies are mapping the customer journey to
understand where those areas of opportunity exist.
However, it’s not enough just to map the journey. Analysis of each of
those moments is needed to determine the right actions necessary to
improve the experience at those specific points, as well as how to
prioritize investment to make the most impactful decisions. Customer
journey analytics can help tie NPS, brand perception, and other customer
metrics to actual financial outcomes like sales and profitability.
Historical analysis can help companies develop forecasts of future growth
based on customer journey enhancement. Yet it can be difficult, since many
of the outcomes may not appear quickly. The financial impact of customer
experience efforts can take one to three years to see results.
Example: An online service company was looking for a way to utilize
contact center associates to improve the customer experience and also
generate revenue. Through a journey mapping exercise, several pain points
in the customer service process and missed revenue opportunities were
identified. Too many, in fact, to implement. Using analytics to create a
rigorous business case for each modification to the journey was the only
way to establish prioritization. The output enabled quantification of the
impact to NPS and customer retention for each proposed initiative.
These four steps will help set your company on a journey to better
understand what customers are already telling you, both directly and
indirectly. This should be used to inform decisions about your products,
services, messaging, and company culture. All of these roll up into the
brand positioning, which is a dynamic entity. Consistent, continuous
customer insight will keep the brand fresh and relevant.
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 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.
Monday April 9, 2018.
Nets vs. Bulls 7:30 PM.
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Eight Reasons Why Direct Mail is More Effective Than Emails
Technology to Transform Direct Mail in 2018
Understand Your Customers, Understand Your Brand
Mike Borkan's Apps & Links - Apps & 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 Apps & Links:
Some interesting things to check out...
Inboxwhenready.org - This Chrome extension will help you check your
inbox with reasonable frequency, batch process your email on a regular
schedule and minimize the total time you spend in your inbox.
Witeboard.com - A real-time whiteboard for your team. No signups
Laserlike.com - An interest search engine designed to find relevant,
timely and engaging content for all your interests.
Robokiller.com - RoboKiller automatically blocks over 100,000
telemarketers and robocalls from ringing, even if they are spoofing or
changing their numbers. Take back your phone & get revenge on the
spammers. Note: this app costs $2.99 per month and there are some that
work well that are free.
Podcast App - A powerful podcast search combined with a design that
makes it extremely easy to use.
Mirror-ai.com - The world's most personal emoji. Take one selfie and
create hundreds of personal emojis of you and use them in all messages.
Did you know Talon offers the following services?
Click on the links below to see samples.
Direct Mail Humor!
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