Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing April 2019 Newsletter.
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for Leads? These Four Direct Mail Offers Are Your Answer
By Robert W. Bly. Bly.com
When it comes to lead generation, there are
only four types of leads that work. Here's a look at all four of them:
The following excerpt is from Robert W. Blyís book The
Direct Mail Revolution: How to Create Profitable Direct Mail Campaigns in
a Digital World. Buy it now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, and
Soft Offer for Lead Generation
In a two-step direct-mail campaign, where youíre trying to generate leads
rather than direct sales, there are four basic offers you can make: soft,
hard, negative, and deferred.
In lead-generating direct mail, the simplest and most common offer has
traditionally been a free brochure and other information describing the
product or service. In direct mail, this typically reads, ďFor a free
brochure on the Widget 3000, complete and mail the enclosed reply card
What the prospect gets is a brochure describing your product. What they
have to do to get it is fill in and mail a reply card. The key to the soft
offer is that the odds of your prospect being ready to buy the minute they
open your mailer are low. Itís the ideal response option for prospects who
might be interested in your product in the future but not today. They can
get sales literature that tells them more about the product without
speaking to a salesperson, which they are probably reluctant to do at this
early stage in the buying cycle.
Hard Offer for Lead Generation
The soft offer is for prospects not yet ready to buy; the hard offer
attracts those who are more likely to purchase. In the hard offer, the
marketer encourages the prospect to call or request that a salesperson
contact them. The offer is made more attractive by calling it a briefing,
demonstration, initial consultation, evaluation, free estimate, needs
assessment, or initial appointment.
These hard offers all involve direct person-to-person contact between the
buyer and seller, either over the phone, in a face-to-face meeting, or via
Skype. During these conversations, the salesperson attempts to persuade
the prospect to buy the product or service.
The Negative Offer
The negative-offer option on the reply card reads as follows:
[ ] Not interested right now because: _________________________
Typically, the sales letter refers to the negative offer using the
P.S. Even if youíre not interested in [name of product or service], please
complete and return the enclosed reply card. Thank you.
The negative offer provides a response option for people who are prospects
(that is, they have a need or problem your product addresses) but for some
reason donít want to buy from you right now.
Normally, people who are uninterested in your offer will not respond to
your mailings. But by adding a negative-offer option, youíll get responses
from a small portion of them. And often, by following up, you can answer
their objections, overcome their hesitancy, and convert some of them to
actual leads, increasing the total number of leads generated by the
The Deferred Offer
The deferred offer encourages responses from prospects who donít have an
immediate need but may have a future requirement for your product or
service. The deferred-offer option on the reply card reads as follows:
[ ] Not interested right now. Try me again in: ______________________
(fill in month/year)
The deferred-offer option box tells the prospect, ďIf you donít need us
now but may in the future, you can use this box to let us know, without
getting calls and annoying follow-up from salespeople now.Ē
Use the deferred offer if you think a significant number of prospects are
more likely to need your services in the future. Note: If they say to try
them again in June, call them in May. That way, you are more likely to
reach them before they have made a purchase decision.
About the Author: Robert W. Bly is an
independent copywriter and marketing consultant with four decades of
experience in B2B and direct response marketing.
He has worked with over 100 clients including IBM, AT&T, Embraer,
Executive Jet, Intuit, Boardroom, Grumman and more. He is the author of 85
books, including The Marketing Plan Handbook (Entrepreneur Press 2015),
and he currently writes regular columns for Target Marketing Magazine
and The Direct Response Letter. To contact him, visit his website:
to Successfully Track the Results of Your Mail Campaign
By Craig Simpson, Author and Owner of Simpson Direct, Inc.
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 whole operation. Assessing
the results of your campaign so you know:
In other words, you need to start tracking your results. Tracking your
mail campaigns helps you understand every element of the campaign so that
you can refine everything you do for future mailings. Thatís the only way
to systematically get better results as you grow your business.
- 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 list of names did better?
I canít tell you how many companies Iíve talked to who tell me they donít really
know the results of their direct mail campaigns. They have a sense that
orders picked up after sending out a mailing, but they donít have any hard
data. And maybe they tried several different sales pieces over the years,
but they donít really know which one did better.
That kind of lackluster effort doesnít allow you to make any progress.
Sometimes a mailing works, sometimes it doesnít, but if you donít know why
you canít use the information to create more effective campaigns. After
mailing more than 200 million sales letters, I am certain of one thing:
Direct-mail is no place for guesswork.
Tracking your mailings down to the smallest detail, every sales piece
youíve sent out, and every mail date youíve used, will all help you refine
your mail methods and increase your response rate.
Many businesses find that there is a best and worst season for their
direct mail campaigns. They know this because they tracked their results,
and now they can use this information to help boost their response rates.
Getting helpful information like this requires tracking every single
mailing, for every single campaign.
If you canít easily look at and compare your mailing list history,
seasonality, and sales piece trends, you are leaving money on the table.
You need to track every single detail.
About the Author:
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. Please visit his website at
Common Marketing Campaign Mistakes to Avoid
Below are common marketing errors to avoid
which will help improve your results:
1. Trying to Please Everyone:
As much as we hear over and over that you canít please all the people all
of the time, itís human nature to try to do just that. The key to finding
success, however, lies in accepting that thereís truth in these words - no
matter how hard you try, your product/service/brand wonít be the right fit
As such, rather than creating a campaign that seeks to appeal to everyone,
figure out your target audience and work on pleasing them.
2. Failing to Connect with Your Audience:
Step one of a successful marketing campaign may be targeting the right
audience, but then itís time to connect with them. Marketing is not just
the logical presentation of data - you can explain all you want about how
good your product is, or why people should like your brand, but that logic
is unlikely to drive action. Instead, create campaigns which connect with
your audience on an emotional level.
You can use logic to sell, but you need emotion to hook people - emotions
are far more likely to trigger action than logic.
3. Failing to Diversify your Marketing Approach:
There are many avenues of marketing, but if you put all of your eggs in
one basket (say creating a campaign that is entirely digital), youíre
limiting your reach with your target audience.
Although digital may be king (for some), print and advertisements still
work. Plan and budget for a diverse marketing campaign.
4. Failing to Live up to
Expectations: All brands make claims about the features,
benefits, and values of their company, products, and services. However, if
you over-promise or over-sell yourself, and then fail to deliver, there
are few things that can ruin your relationship with your customers faster.
Be honest and transparent, and always live up to your word as a company.
This is especially true in the social media age.
5. Ignoring the Competition: Like it
or not, the competition is there, and itís a good idea to know what
theyíre doing, and even how well theyíre doing it.
This is not so that you can try to do the same thing, mind you, but it may
well be so that you can make sure that youíre not doing the same thing. To
be successful, you must understand the playing field innately.
6. Limiting the Marketing Campaign Budget:
Finances are a crucial part of business success, and delivering on a small
budget may earn you some kudos. But if your budget isnít enough to
adequately market your product/brand/service, then those kudos will be
Be realistic about the amount of money youíll need to launch a successful
campaign. If things go as planned, that money spent will translate into
much more coming in. Know what youíre going to spend, and how youíll
recoup your costs.
7. Ignoring Your Website: In this day
and age, a website is a must for any business, so make sure yours is
getting the attention it deserves.
A digital campaign should not be so focused on your social media presence
that your company fails to maintain an up-to-date website that's both easy
to navigate and fast to use. Most of your marketing traffic will lead to
your website, so make sure your customers have a positive experience once
they get there.
8. Failing to Track Your Marketing Campaign:
Once your marketing campaign launches, you might feel a sense of relief
and completion. But remember, your work isnít done yet.
Almost every campaign needs tweaking along the way, and the best way to
know what adjustments are necessary is by tracking the campaign. Figure
out whatís working, and whatís not, and act accordingly.
9. Giving Up on Your Marketing Campaign Too
Early: Weíre a society that craves instant gratification, so if
we donít see the results we want, as fast as weíd like, we tend to throw
in the towel.
Understand that a marketing campaign is not likely to drive immediate
action - give your campaign some time to garner its success. Pull a
marketing campaign too quickly and all of your hard work might be for
10. Failing to Use a Review and Approval Process:
Letís end this dozen of marketing campaign mistakes with one that many
marketing teams overlook - implementing a review and approval process.
The review and approval process should be regarded as business-critical,
and must be optimized to bring the highest level of value for you, your
clients and organization. It's part of the project management process that
requires more strategic follow through than simply checking off a box on
the project timeline - failure to properly review and approve content
marketing materials could result in embarrassing errors, costly fines,
product recalls and even lawsuits.
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If you do not wish to receive the Talon Mailing & Marketing Newsletter
Looking for Leads? These Four Direct Mail Offers Are Your Answer.
How to Successfully Track Results of Your Mail Campaign
10 Common Marketing Campaign Mistakes to Avoid
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:
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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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