Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing May 2016 Newsletter.
To view this newsletter using your Internet browser click here:
Mail Postcards: Design vs. Copywriting
By Brian Morris, business2community.com
When it comes to direct-mail postcards, which is more important: design or copy?
This is a debate worth exploring, as all of us have seen
poorly-designed postcards with great copywriting and well-designed
postcards with poor copy. In a perfect world, your postcards will feature
outstanding design and copy, but if you’re on a limited budget you might
be forced to choose between hiring a designer or a copywriter. Which
should you choose?
Consider the 40-40-20 rule:
The 40-40-20 rule of direct-mail marketing states that:
If those figures are universally true, then it seems slapping your offer
(“Save 20% on product XYZ!”) in 12-point black Times New Roman on a white
postcard would be sufficient; but if it were, companies wouldn’t
continually invest in copywriters and designers. They wouldn’t have to!
- 40 percent of your success is dependent on the quality of your mailing
- 40 percent is dependent on your offer
- 20 percent is dependent on everything else
I think the 40-40-20 rule is a bit misleading because, as stated, it
minimizes the importance of good design and copy. You might think the “offer”
represents copywriting, but it doesn’t – your offer is simply a statement.
Copywriting refines that statement and incorporates supporting evidence to
bolster it, make it meaningful to customers, and ultimately influence
The real role of design and copy in direct-mail
So if design and copy are relegated to the 20 percent of “everything
else,” why bother in the first place? Good design helps set the tone of
your marketing pieces. It can showcase products and happy customers, and
visually depict customer benefits. Good copy reinforces those benefits,
helps create desire for your products and services, and can motivate more
Those are all excellent goals for any direct mailer, but if they’re not
nearly as important as delivering a great offer to a targeted audience
then it seems their impact might be minimal. The debate isn’t design VS
copy, because they work together to create desire and influence action.
It’s whether the additional investment is worth the return in the first
All of these points omit one critical factor: a great offer is
meaningless, even if delivered to a well-targeted audience, unless it’s
noticed. That’s the real role of great design and copy.
It’s so easy to toss a postcard aside with barely a glance, or to sift
unopened sales letters directly into the recycled bin. The offer might be
there, but your audience never notices unless you incorporate compelling
design and copy into your direct-mail marketing materials.
A powerful headline that conveys a critical benefit and a can’t-be-missed
offer with a time-limited call to action is a great start. Wrap that
headline in a bold, colorful font and augment it with an
attention-getting, unique image, and your audience will take pause.
They’ll read your postcard or sales letter. They’ll be drawn into your
benefits, and they’ll take action: they will become customers.
Where to invest your marketing dollars?
Ideally, you’ll hire both a designer and a copywriter, who will work
together to craft a compelling direct-mailer that gets noticed and
maximizes ROI. If you’re tight on your budget, you still have options,
There should never be a debate on whether to invest in good design or
copy; both are equally important and intertwined. Ignore the 40-40-20
rule: design and copy influence far more than 20 percent of your success.
Without them, the 40 percent attributed to your offer will never be
realized, because customers will never get around to reading it.
- You can use well-designed direct-mailer templates
- You can study competitors’ direct-mailers, and direct mailers from other
industries, and “steal” their ideas (every copywriter has a swipe file
just for this purpose)
- You can hire design students who need to fill their portfolios for pennies
on the dollar compared to seasoned pros
- You can learn direct-mail copywriting skills to apply them on your own
Mail is Back From the Dead
By Mike Ciccolella, customerthink.com
Direct mail can break through the digital overload, which your target
contacts experience daily.
Results, however, will depend on
how you execute your campaigns!
Over the years I have witnessed many demand generation marketers, lead
generation reps, and sales reps wasting time and money sending shocking
amounts of letters, brochures, gifts, and single direct mail packages —
with poor results. One of the downsides of the gift-route is
inconveniencing target contacts or executive assistants, who have to
return gifts to senders due to strict no-gift policies within their
organizations. Another downside is that contacts can perceive gifts as
weak gimmicks and conclude that you and your company must have nothing
substantive to offer their business.
The good news is that, using a few tested tactics, I have experienced a
50% response rate and many scheduled discovery calls using a simple
system. Here are the steps:
1. To ensure outstanding mail delivery rates, mailing addresses should be
verified via phone. Address verification can be outsourced. I have had the
greatest success with in-house verification, when there has been
administrative staff to support the process.
2. To prevent printing and shipping costs escalating beyond budget,
determine a monthly send allowance limit, and communicate that number to
all corporate headcount, who may utilize this approach.
3. In each letter, be sure to reference whoever else you sent packages to,
explaining that you thought there may be additional stakeholders involved
with the subject matter you’d like to discuss.
4. If you want to insert technology into the mix, consider adding
personalized URLs. You can drive folks to a video, Website, blog, social
media page, vertical-specific microsite, etc. You can also take advantage
of video-in-a-card technology.
5. A letter along with a high quality brochure works. Printing a helpful
article relevant to the contact or organization will improve your odds of
success. Reference the article in the letter, or handwrite a note in the
margin. The customized letter and follow-up phone call (see #8) does the
6. Send the package via FedEx, as this signifies importance and increases
open and response rates. Depending upon your budget you can expedite
7. Track delivery and create tasks in your SFA/CRM to follow up after
8. Often you will need to interact with executive assistants and other
support staff for your recipient – be respectful and create allies. These
employees have extensive insight into an organization and its chain of
command. As powerful gatekeepers and influencers they can tell you if the
response was favorable, is in process, was forwarded on, and if the
forward included notes or not. In many instances you may end up scheduling
discovery time with your prospects at a later date via that same executive
9. Response times to a letter will vary. Interested or not, contacts may
respond the same day, days later, weeks later, or up to three months later
in massive organizations. If it is a later response, it is usually because
the information was forwarded multiple levels up or down the chain of
Set Your Pipeline on the Path to Vibrant
I have experienced success with this
technique with strategically selected organizations. Implement this system
and you, too, will see improvement — a healthy sales pipeline designed to
accelerate revenue growth. Direct mail is not dead!
Ways To Get Your Marketing Database In Order
By Michael Borkan, Talon
Mailing & Marketing
Accurate data is imperative if
you and your company want to achieve successful integrated marketing.
Clean, well-managed, and deduped
database records keep qualified leads flowing and sales and profits
Companies know the statements above quite well, yet, many organizations attempt to
run marketing campaigns on a foundation of inaccurate and old data.
Unfortunately, this sets them up for costly and disappointing results.
How Does Data Become Inaccurate?
Before examining how databases get outdated and inaccurate, realize
you’re not the only organization facing these problems and challenges.
In its 2015 “State of Data Marketing” analysis, covering over 200 million
customer records, Dun & Bradstreet NetProspex reported that more than 80%
of data files it examined, were in some way incomplete. Additionally, more
than 50% of the data files were missing important elements such as a contact phone number.
Some ways data-quality starts out or becomes outdated include: –
files often rely on manual updates, which exposes them to data entry
errors, unintentional and otherwise. It's easy to imagine a rushed,
overworked sales person leaving blank or guessing at one or more
important data fields.
The pace of change –
shocking how often people change jobs, home and email addresses, and
other personal information. The pace of such changes makes it difficult
for businesses to keep contact records current.
Inconsistent data –
members and groups in your organization should capture and enter the same
data in a standardized fashion. Slight differences, such as using St. for
Street; US for U.S.; or dashes instead of spaces can send deliverability
to the basement, add unnecessary duplicate records, and create high bounce-rates.
Tips To Fix Your Database
an individual or team to tidy up current records, or use a reliable
third-party data-cleanup company such as Talon to help.
- Update existing prospect and customer data
Ensure that data records are complete – ID
the most important and relevant fields for marketing, and implement
repeatable processes and controls to ensure consistent quality.
Be very consistent –
formatting of all key information, including abbreviations. Make sure to
train everyone who’s involved with data upkeep and have a second pair of
eyes review the data files for proper standardization.
Deal with the duplicates –
tiny differences can generate duplicate records
(and analytics issues). While many CRM and MA platforms have
match-and-merge capabilities, they often fall short. Talon can help
you identify duplicates and then merge important data fields from the
duplicate records back into a single standardized record.
You may want to speak with Talon about how
we can clean your data files. Talon can update and standardize mailing addresses
and names; identify and eliminate costly duplicate records, and so much more.
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 don’t 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!
Tuesday May 24th, 2016. Yankees vs.
Blue Jays 7:05
Do you know of anyone else who would be interested in receiving our
newsletter? Please let us know by email:
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.
If you do not wish to receive the Talon Mailing & Marketing Newsletter
Direct Mail Postcards: Design vs. Copywriting
Direct Mail is Back From the Dead
Four Ways To Get Your Marketing Database In Order
Mike Borkan's Links - 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 Links:
Some interesting links...
- MailTime makes email as easy as text messaging. We reformat your
cluttered email threads into clean chat bubbles! MailTime works with your
favorite email program.
logomakerapp.com - Logo Foundry
is a professional Logo Design Suite App for Android and iOS that let's you
create professional branding for your business in Minutes.
google.org - The charitable arm of Google, an
Internet search engine company. As of May 2010, the organization has
committed over US$100 million in investments and grants.
alertfilm.com - Never miss a movie
again! An app that's as compelling and immersive as your favorite movie.
They aggregate all the content from all the streaming platforms -
subscription and free - so can quickly discover new films and
entertainment, and get the latest news about your favorites.
paranormalmind.com - Looking
to have something different at your next meeting?
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
Click here if you wish to see past newsletters.
Click on These Links to Learn More About Talon:
If you do not wish to receive the Talon Mailing &
Marketing Newsletter please