Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing May 2014 Newsletter.
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Why Direct Mail Is A Smart Choice For Any Business
by Tom Chu
According to Direct Mail News, the average response rate for direct mail
in 2012 was 4.4 percent while email has a standard response rate of just
While it seems like both technology and business
publications are constantly writing about the latest social media trends,
direct mail isnít a topic thatís known for making headlines. However, just
because the press isnít infatuated with direct mail doesnít mean itís not
a valid marketing option. On the contrary, itís a tried-and-true marketing
tool that still works quite well.
Just how well does direct mail work? According to Direct Mail News, the
average response rate for direct mail in 2012 was 4.4 percent. That number
applied to both B2B and B2C mailings. To put it in perspective, email has
a standard response rate of just 0.12 percent. If youíre wondering how
itís possible for direct mail to engage so many prospects, itís because
contrary to popular belief, people do still like receiving things in the
mail. In fact, 73 percent of U.S. consumers said they prefer direct mail
for brand communications because itís more convenient.
As if the high response rate and receptiveness of consumers wasnít enough,
the icing on the cake is that direct mail is very cost-effective.
According to statistics from the post referenced above, U.S. advertisers
spend $167 per person on direct mail to earn $2,095 worth of goods sold.
That translates to an ROI of 1,300 percent!
Since direct mail is engaging, well received and cost-effective, itís a
practice all businesses should try for themselves. But even once they get
past all the common misconceptions and find out that this marketing
channel actually does work, many businesses are at a loss for where to
start. If thatís the position youíre in, the good news is weíre going to
cover exactly what you need to do to get started:
Buy or Build a List
Before you can send anything out, you need to have a list of recipients.
There are two basic options for obtaining a list. The first is to buy it
from a broker. The main advantage of buying a list is you can get a
targeted set of recipients fairly quickly. The main downside is itís often
challenging to find a reputable broker that can actually deliver the
quality you expect.
Your other option is to build a list yourself. Although you may not think
you have many people to reach out to, once you start compiling current and
potential customers, friends, social media contacts and other possibly
interested parties, you may have more than you expected. And once you make
building a list a priority, youíll likely find that you have lots of
opportunities to add targeted contacts to it.
Come Up with the Right Message
When it comes to making your message as effective as possible, the most
important thing to remember is to be clear. Avoid using overly complicated
language or feeling the need to compose the equivalent of an essay. In
fact, the more you can edit for clarity and conciseness, the better
results you will generate.
Other tips for crafting a great message include speaking directly to the
recipients, giving them an incentive to take action and telling them more
than once exactly what you want them to do. Taking that approach will give
you the best chance of grabbing their attention, raising their interest
and, ultimately, getting them to take action.
Choose the Right Mailing Option
After you have your message, you need to decide on what youíre going to
print it. If you want to save money on postage, avoid spending time
folding and stuffing envelopes; utilize an attractive design and even help
the environment by using less paper with postcards. Whatís great about
choosing postcards is not only will you reap all those benefits, but itís
quite easy to place an order online through a postcard printing company
for exactly what you want.
Send, Measure, and Adjust
Once you have your postcards, itís time to send them out. Based on the
response you receive, it shouldnít be difficult for you to accurately
pinpoint what worked great and what didnít go as well as expected. Based
on that information, you can make the necessary targeting and messaging
adjustments for your next mailing.
Now that you know why your business should try direct mail, as well as the
steps you need to take to make that happen, all thatís left is to add the
steps to your to-do list and start completing them!
Print Isn't Dead: How to Use It in 2014
Some have been announcing the death of print for nearly two decades. Yet,
today, print matters even more to marketers who are looking for ways to
target customers, stand out in crowded competitive fields or complement
online marketing efforts.
ďAs technology continues to develop ó and change the way we do business ó
many have considered print a dead medium and online marketing the wave of
the future. Nevertheless, the print industry is not dead; in fact, print
marketing has only continued to grow and evolve alongside the upsurge of
new technology,Ē print marketing advocate Vladimir Gendelman wrote in a
recent article for MarketingProfs.
Here are three innovative ways to use print effectively today as part
your creative services strategy:
They go together like peanut butter and
Print ó especially direct mail ó shares a symbiotic relationship with
online marketing. In a Pitney Bowes study, 76 percent of small businesses
confirmed that their ideal marketing mix is a combination of print and
digital communications. That sentiment is echoed in other research, too.
More than half of the 500 U.S. digital marketing and media professionals
who responded to a 2013 Nielsen survey studying paid social media said
they used a social media advertising campaign in conjunction with print
Two ways to build a tighter relationship
between print and online marketing:
Add customer comments and testimonials
from your social networking profiles to your print designs
- Promote your social media
channels on all collateral, including business cards
Customers want to feel special
To paraphrase Dale Carnegie, a customerís name ó to that customer ó is
the most-important word in any language. So why not personalize print?
With variable printing, you can customize collateral by changing certain
elements from piece to piece.
ďFor example, you could run a mailer campaign and personalize each
postcard with the name of the recipient, or create unique coupons with
individual serial numbers so that you can track which customers used
them,Ē Gendelman suggested. ďWhen this technique is used with variable
images, for example, you could create a series of assorted business
cards, each with a different photo background.Ē
From paper to pens and beyond
Print marketing encompasses more than a collection of business cards,
brochures and presentation folders. It includes promotional products,
too, such as branded magnets, stickers, pens, key chains, coasters or
ďIf itís an inanimate object, thereís a good chance it can be emblazoned
with your brandís logo and integrated into your marketing campaign,Ē
Gendelman said. ďThe items donít even have to be something that your
audience takes home with them to make an impression: You could, for
example, use branded napkins and cups at a gala dinner, or display a
promotional banner on your podium while giving a presentation.Ē
Why Online Retailers Mail So Many Catalogs
By Elizabeth Holmes, The Wall Street Journal
When everything's available for sale on
your smartphone, here's why catalogs still fill your mailbox.
The old-school marketing format has survived to play a
crucial creative role in modern e-commerce. Today, the catalog is bait
for customers, like a store window display, and a source of inspiration,
the way roaming through store aisles can be. The hope is shoppers will
mark pages they like and then head online, or into a store, to buy.
Today's catalogs are no longer phone-book-size compilations of every item
a retailer sells. Instead, they have fewer pages and merchandise
descriptions, and more and bigger photos and lifestyle images.
The potential for boosting sales has brought new interest in print
catalogs. Some retailers founded primarily online are entering the fray,
including Bonobos, the menswear brand built on the idea of better-fitting
pants. And many traditional store retailers with a history of catalogs
remain as committed as ever.
"It's still a very, very important part of our marketing mix," says Pat
Connolly, chief marketing officer at Williams-Sonoma Inc., parent company
to seven brands with catalogs including Pottery Barn and West Elm.
Consumers "look through it to get ideas and inspiration. And if we do a
good job, they get ideas for things they didn't even know they wanted
before they got there."
Marketers mailed 11.9 billion catalogs in 2013, according to the Direct
Marketing Association, marking the first up tick in years. Total catalog
circulation is still far below the 2007 peak of 19.6 billion. The 2008
recession forced catalog companies to cut dead wood out of their mailing
lists and get smarter about how and when they mail.
Bonobos mailed a test catalog just over a year ago to a small number of
current and potential customers. Results prompted the brand to try
several more, gradually increasing circulation each time. Now, some 20%
of the website's first-time customers are placing their order after
having received a catalog, says Craig Elbert, vice president of marketing
for Bonobos. They spend 1.5 times as much as new shoppers who didn't
receive a catalog first.
Online tools to attract new customers, like display ads and emails, often
have just one image or text line. "A catalog gives us a bit more
breathing room to grab folks' attention," Mr. Elbert says. "We're able to
tell a bit of a fuller brand story."
Bonobos intentionally limits the amount of descriptive text in its
catalogs, skipping measurements and care instructions. Mr. Elbert says
customers go online for that information.
The retailer has studied catalog responses to understand sales patterns,
such as what was driving strong sales of casual shirts. Its first
catalog, in March 2013, featured a model wearing a blue-and-green checked
shirt with white jeans. Many men ordered both. As a result, the brand now
routinely emphasizes full-outfit shots.
Many retailers can pinpoint exactly when their catalogs land in mailboxes
because of a spike in activity in stores and online. "We see an immediate
sales lift," says John Koryl, president of stores and online at Neiman
Marcus. The catalog's halo effect reaches beyond the contents of the book
to the brand's broader offerings.
Shoppers "may not buy what's on the cover of the catalog. They may not
even buy in the category that the catalog covered," Mr. Koryl says. "But
it is this inspirational moment to remind them" to shop.
The average catalog costs much less than a dollar to produce, including
printing, mailing, the purchase of new addresses and fees for an outside
mailing house or project management, says Polly Wong, managing partner
for strategic e-commerce and creative services at Belardi/Ostroy, a
retail marketing consulting firm. Response rates and order sizes run the
gamut, but typically each catalog mailed results in about $4 in sales,
Breegan Harper, a 22-year-old recruiter who lives in Seattle, gets
catalogs including from Anthropologie and J. Crew and browses them while
watching television. "I can pick up a magazine or I can pick up a
catalog, because they are going to both have fashion in them," she says.
Rather than toss catalogs directly into the recycling bin, Ms. Harper and
her five roommates often hold on to them. "We have them out on our coffee
table," she says. "The cutest ones go in the living room."
Boden, the U.K.-based clothing retailer, ships millions of catalogs
around the world each year. Shoppers spend up to 15 to 20 minutes with
the catalog, says Shanie Cunningham, head of U.S. marketing, compared
with an average of just eight seconds for a Boden email and about five
minutes with the Boden iPad app.
To encourage shoppers to spend even more time, Boden adds content to its
catalogs, such as a pithy Q-and-A with its models. Some of its recent
children's catalogs include a page of stickers; other catalogs have had
sticky tabs that can mark pages with sayings like "Must Have" or "I Need
More catalogs are tailored for individuals, meaning the one you get could
look very unlike the one your next-door neighbor gets. "We definitely are
targeting and personalizing," says Ms. Cunningham. Boden will change the
theme, the size of the book and even the discount it offers to the same
address. A recent catalog offered one spouse 15% off and the other just
L.L.Bean is playing with the page count of catalogs it sends to regular
website shoppers, says Steve Fuller, chief marketing officer at the
outdoor and apparel retailer. Many of its catalogs come in different
versions. So instead of sending every customer the largest book, Mr.
Fuller looks for frequent website visitors and asks, "Can I only send her
50 pages, or 20, as a reminder of, 'Oh, I've got to go to the website'?"
Win Yankee Tickets!
Enjoy a great day at Yankee Stadium!
We are giving away two tickets to see the New York Yankees.
you have to do to win is be the first telephone caller (please donít 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. These tickets are great seats and close to the field!
Wednesday June 4th, 2014. Yankees vs.
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Learn Why Direct Mail is a Smart Choice For Any Business
Print Isn't Dead: How to Use It in 2014
Why Online Retailers Mail So Many Catalogs
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