Talon Mailing & Marketing

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Deer Park, NY 11729

(631) 667-5500


Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing April 2019 Newsletter.

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Looking 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 IndieBound.

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.

Soft Offer for Lead Generation

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 today.Ē

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 following language:

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 mailing.

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:

How 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:

  • 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?
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.

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 Simpson-Direct.com.

10 Common Marketing Campaign Mistakes to Avoid

By Michael Jaccarino, Socialmediatoday.com

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 for everyone.

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 short-lived.

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 naught.

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.

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-mailing.com or contact Michael Borkan at (631) 667-5500 x 11.

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In this Issue:

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

New Clients

Mike Borkan's Apps & Links - Apps & 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:
  • KPBS

  • Silver Inner Circle

  • 3 New Lists From Statlistics

Mike's Favorite Apps & Links:

Some interesting things to check out...

Mysiteauditor.com -  Enter the name of any website landing page and see how optimized it is for one keyword or phrase. Embed a free SEO audit tool on your website and can help you get more leads and sales.

Dpth.app - Adds depth to your photos and videos using state of the art AI to predict depth information. It allows you to create a very realistic Depth Of Field.

Astoundthem.com - Astound is voice & speech coaching iOS app that teaches you how to strengthen your voice, and become the best communicator you can be. Users report hearing a difference in their voice after their first practice.

Photoworks - Powerful image editor for PC that uses AI to make photo retouching easy and fun. You'll love the intuitive interface, 1-click auto enhancement, the smart face editor and 150+ instant effects. Ready to make your shots awesome?

Landingstock.com - A collection of free images for landing pages. Discover your perfect landing page image.

Google Photos - Back up unlimited photos and videos for free, up to 16MP and 1080p HD. Access them from any phone, tablet, or computer on photos.google.com Ė your photos will be safe, secure, and always with you. Never worry about running out of space on your phone again. Photos that are safely backed up can be removed from your deviceís storage in just a tap.

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.

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