Talon Mailing & Marketing

561 Acorn Street
Deer Park, NY 11729

(631) 667-5500


Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing May 2014 Newsletter.

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Learn 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 0.12 percent.

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

From Marketingtango.com

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 chocolate

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 media.

Two ways to build a tighter relationship between print and online marketing:

  • Promote your social media channels on all collateral, including business cards

  • Add customer comments and testimonials from your social networking profiles to your print designs

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 even apparel.

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, she says.

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 This Now."

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 11% off.

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. 

All 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. Athletics 7:05 PM.

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

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In this Issue:

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

Ticket Giveaway!

New Clients

Mike Borkan's Links - 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:
  • Prime Marketing

  • Academy Mortgage

  • 3 New Lists from Statlistics

Mike's Favorite Links:

Some interesting links...

ghost.org - Free, beautifully designed, completely customizable and completely Open Source. Ghost allows you to write and publish your own blog, giving you the tools to make it easy and even fun to do.

office.com - Save documents, spreadsheets, and presentations online, in OneDrive. Share them with others and work together at the same time. It's free!

informationisbeautiful.net - Ideas, issues, knowledge, data ó visualized!

allpaws.com - The fastest and easiest way to search for your next Pet. Over 2,500 pets added each day. When you adopt a pet you bring a new member into your family so think of how happy you and your new pet will be together!

projectshoe.com - Design and order your own kind of shoes. Create your own Custom Pumps, High Heels, Wedges, Ankle Boots, Loafers, Oxfords, and many more!

bluepromocode.com - Get the morning's best coupons delivered daily to your inbox.

first-listen - Enjoy previews of select, upcoming albums, in their entirety.

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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