Talon Mailing & Marketing

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Deer Park, NY 11729

(631) 667-5500


Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing April 2021 Newsletter.

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Five Tips for Direct Mail Marketing

By Doug and Polly White, Entrepreneur.com

Direct mail can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool. But done poorly, it can be a black hole into which you pour money without a return on your investment.

Below are five tips to help you ensure that you remain on the right side of the ledger.

1. Identify your mailing list.

If you池e going to mail, an obvious factor is your list of names and addresses. There are many sources here. If you池e offering a credit product, the credit bureaus are an excellent source of names. However, there are rules about the types of offers you can make, and the penalties for non-compliance can be severe. So, know and follow the rules. Beyond that, you'll find literally hundreds of vertical lists that you can purchase.

2. Test and learn.

Direct mail should be a never-ending cycle of testing and learning. Dimensions you値l want to test include:

  • Market segments. Blindly mailing a list of names will not likely be fruitful. Instead, identify segments of the list you expect to perform better than others, based on the specific offer you are making. When you buy a list, it may lack the data you need to ensure effective segmentation. There are services, such as Epsilon, that allow you to append additional information to the lists you purchase to enable segmentation. For example, you may have names and address, but still want to add income or net worth to improve targeting.

  • Offers. Test multiple offers, all substantively different. For example, if you reduce your price by 10 percent, does volume increase enough to cover the lost margin? Remember: One offer may be more profitable with a particular segment, while another may win in a different segment.

  • Creatives. Does a "stealth" envelope (whose contents aren't discernible) deliver better results than one that highlights the offer on the outside? Continuously test your current champion against new challengers. Even champions' performance will degrade over time. Ultimately, you need a group of proven winners that you can rotate in and out, testing new challengers at each step.

  • Cadence. How often do you plan to mail? Since you are driving response to a call center, you値l want to create a relatively smooth volume of calls. Response models can be built that will allow you to predict call volumes based on a particular mail-drop strategy. You値l want to test re-mail strategies. How long should you wait after you have mailed a non-responder to mail recipients again?

    While testing, choose your sample size carefully. Testing a very large sample can be expensive. After all, the fact that you are testing means that performance is unproven. On the other hand, if your sample size is too small, results may not be statistically meaningful. You値l need to strike a balance.

    3. Analyze your results.

    If you are going to learn from your testing, you値l need to analyze the results carefully. Make sure you understand the full economics of your testing. It is great to have a high gross-response rate, but you値l need to understand your close rate and the amount of money you make from each closed sale. Consider all of your costs, not just your mail costs. We suggest building a profitability model to ensure that your direct mail program is profitable when all costs are considered.

    4. Roll it out.

    Once you have identified which segments are clearly profitable, you値l want to roll them out with the maximum volume you can handle operationally. This is why you need to be sure that you fully understand the economics. You may go from dropping 15,000 pieces of mail in a test cell to rolling out with 1.5 million pieces. If you thought you were going to make 10 cents per piece mailed, but instead lose 10 cents per piece mailed, the results may be devastating.

    5. Work with an expert.

    Pitfalls surround direct mail. We strongly advise you not to go it alone. Work with someone who knows what to do and not do. The money you spend on good advice will be worth every penny. Once you learn the ropes, you may find that there are pieces of the process you will want to take over. There will also likely be parts of the process you will continue to outsource.

    In the right industry, a well-managed direct-mail program can be very profitable. Unfortunately, a mismanaged rollout can bankrupt your company. The tips above will help you have a successful campaign.

    Four Ways to Use Winning Content for Effective Direct Mail

    By Rhonda Basler, Customerthink.com

    Content marketing sells.

    In fact, it sells so well that most brands rely on a proprietary combination of traditional 都alesy advertising and more creative, education-focused pieces. How many times do you receive an offer to download a whitepaper, read an intriguing article, or watch an exclusive behind-the-scenes video, for instance?

    These fall under the umbrella of content marketing, and they池e useful. But they also beg this question: Does successful content have to be virtual? In a perpetually busy digital world where everyone痴 inbox is chock-full by 8:02 a.m., the answer is definitely 渡o.

    Ideally, positioning and delivering relevant content should exist across numerous channels, both online and in the tangible world. A company that relies only on internet-based marketing solutions is missing the power of offline strategies (think direct mail postcards, billboards, clever flyers in product shipments, and even greeting cards). In fact, the more society becomes devoted to screen time, the more primed your audiences are to see something unique and tangible.

    That痴 where mail comes into the picture as an effective, profit-producing delivery system. To be sure, sending 100,000 direct mail advertisements doesn稚 have the immediacy of blasting 100,000 emails. However, call-to-action conversions tend to be higher for direct mail marketing. Plus, consumers appreciate getting a handwritten note in the mail more than receiving the same sentiment via text. After all, mass digital messages are often missing a human element.

    As USPS statistics show, receiving a letter or card means more to 58% of people than getting an email, especially in uncertain, worry-infused times. In other words, as long as your offline content is valuable to the recipients, it痴 a terrific way to communicate, inspire, educate, forge awareness, and grow sales.

    Improving Return on Ad Spend With Integrated Digital and Direct Mail

    Of course, you can稚 (and shouldn稚) just ditch your digital marketing. You simply need to develop a content strategy that flows seamlessly from digital to print and vice versa. When you strike a perfect rhythm, you値l see a noticeable boost in your returns.

    So what should you send to prospects? Ideally, your offline marketing content should mimic the overall aesthetic of your brand. But it also needs to be insightful, interesting and targeted to really add to the customer experience. That痴 where following a few techniques for developing engaging direct mail advertising comes into play. Here are a few great ways to start:

    1. Look toward top-performing digital content for ideas. To create mailer content, look first to your high-return digital collateral. Which webpages, case studies, infographics, and blog posts continuously generate interest, sales, or new customers? Are there any elements on your website that appeal to viewers as shown by heat mapping software? The content on those digital pages obviously has merit, so feel free to repurpose it in your offline messaging. Just make sure any content you upcycle has relevance for your audience and translates well into the printed piece you池e sending.

    2. Draft up a suitable CTA for mailed items. Of course, the CTAs you use for online content (think swiping or clicking) aren稚 suitable for direct mail recipients. Instead, you値l want to pick a CTA that痴 intuitive for offline. This might mean asking the recipient to schedule an appointment, use a coupon, request a quote, or fill out a survey. Spend time brainstorming CTAs that not only make logical sense for the medium but also help your team achieve its goals. And don稚 forget that it痴 fine to have your audience jump online to a special landing page to add a digital and trackable element to their experience.

    3. Engage recipients with QR codes and microsites. Engaging elements are a winning solution for any type of content marketing. So if you want to surprise your print mail recipients, embed a QR code in whatever they receive. QR codes are gaining prominence with shoppers who are spending more time at home (and are therefore more open to receiving interactive content marketing). When consumers scan a QR code, they should have a mobile experience that seems to be constructed just for their individual tastes (e.g., a recommended list of articles or videos).

    4. Spark further interaction with scratch-off mailers. Scratch-off mailers might be the ideal solution for your direct mail marketing campaigns because they truly entice consumers to engage with your pieces. You can place anything you want under the scratch-off surface, such as a link or special discount generated via variable data printing. In fact, you might be incredibly surprised at the results this kind of gamification can bring you!

    The digital sphere痴 role in our lives continues to evolve, but it hasn稚 eclipsed our openness to tangible content marketing. In fact, some organizations have seen a 50% higher return on advertising spend simply by turning to offline channels.

    About the Author:

    With more than two decades of marketing experience, Rhonda Basler leads the Customer Engagement team at Hallmark Business Connections. Rhonda's true passion in business is data-driven marketing because it is a combination of analysis, creative, strategies and is results-oriented. Rhonda is also passionate about new technologies in direct marketing, and integrating offline and online marketing for the greatest return on investment.

    Avoid These Top Five Marketing Mistakes

    By Laura Lake, Thebalance.com

    Avoid these five mistakes and your marketing campaign will take off.

    A marketing campaign can not only connect you with the right prospects, but it will also get everyone talking about your company, your product or your service at least if it's properly developed and done right. Marketing mistakes can do the opposite and perhaps result in disaster, costing your business thousands of dollars in lost revenues and other expenses.

    Here's a checklist of five mistakes commonly made in marketing and how you can avoid them.

    1. Lack of Research and Testing

    Market research and testing are critical because they can determine the performance of each of your marketing efforts. They take the guesswork out of what your potential customer or client wants from you. Always make sure you've done your due diligence when it comes to testing different offers, prices, and packages, then get the input of your customers to see how they react to each.

    2. Improper Focus and Positioning

    Don't market just to build up the company, neglecting brand awareness in the process. Create marketing that will demand an immediate response from the recipient. Improper focus and market positioning can be avoided by following the proper solution positioning of marketing.

    3. Marketing Without a USP

    Your USP is your unique selling proposition. It's the one single statement that will single you out from the competition. It should be used in every piece of marketing material. Think of your USP as the philosophical foundation of your business. Don't market without it!

    4. Failing to Capture Repeat Customers

    Keep in mind that 80 percent of your business comes from existing customers and 20 percent is the result of new customers you've attracted. Failing to resell to your current customer base could have a detrimental effect on your profits. It will cost you five times the expense to sell to a new customer than to sell to an existing customer.

    5. Lack of Focus on Potential Customers' Needs

    Do you really know what your potential customers need and want? You're way ahead in the ballgame if you do, but the truth is that very few businesses have a good grasp of what it is that their customers need and want from them. The secret to avoiding this common error is to find a need that you can fill, then fill that need better than anyone else.

    Marketing Mistakes Happen

    Unfortunately, it happens. You plan, you research, you launch and your campaign fails. What could you have missed? What do you do now? The first thing you should do is step back and breathe deeply. Yes, breathe. The worst thing you can do at this point is think you're the only one who has ever experienced this. You're not. The following questions will help you zero in on where you've made mistakes. Did your marketing message reach your target? Could they have perceived your marketing message wrong or misunderstood the message? Did you miss the pain questions? Did you do adequate research?

    Lack of research is the reason most campaigns fail. Could your marketing copy or design be at fault for the lack of response? Did you follow the tried-and-true rules of marketing execution when it came to the presentation? Honestly asses your answers and go back to the drawing board. Don't give up. You can get this right.

    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:

    Five Tips for Direct Mail Marketing

    Four Ways to Use Winning Content for Effective Direct Mail

    Avoid These Top Five Marketing Mistakes

    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:
    • Nissan

    • Botanic Choice

    • 2 New Lists From Various List Managers and List Owners

    Mike's Favorite Apps & Links:

    Some interesting things to check out...

    The Listed App - Spend your time doing things and reaching your goals. Stop wasting your time classifying things or measuring productivity. Focus on what matters, from small tasks to life goals. Just the details & features you need. Clear & easy to use thanks to a minimalist & delightful design.

    Listentopodz.com - Discover an infinite playlist filled with 60 second highlights of podcasts you love. If you like what you hear, just tap to play the full-length episode.

    Nova - The Easiest Way to Reach Your Saving Goals. Nova is an AI that simplifies the way you track your finances to help you improve your spending habits.

    Itstillworks.com - Just because it痴 outdated doesn稚 mean it痴 broken. It Still Works celebrates old technology and provides resources to those who don稚 plan on upgrading any time soon.

    AquaSoft SpotOn - Video software for YouTube, Facebook and WhatsApp. Videos are one of the most popular ways to connect with others. Get started with AquaSoft SpotOn. This will help make your videos look professional. Add pictures, cut videos, create effects and animations and give your video an intro and credits.

    Justwatch.com - I've been waiting for a website like this! A streaming search engine to learn where to watch movies and the streaming TV shows you want to see.

    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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