Talon Mailing & Marketing

561 Acorn Street
Deer Park, NY 11729

(631) 667-5500


Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing May 2020 Newsletter.

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Ensuring Your Mail Piece’s Success

By John Leininger, Mailingsystemstechnology.com

Follow these suggestions and watch your response rates climb:

Every piece of mail has a purpose — the mailer may want to sell something or promote a sales event, ask for a donation, promote a new product, announce an event, or mail out something that keeps your company top of mind. The term “failed mail” could apply to any piece of mail that does not make it to the address, is not opened, or does not accomplish the task it was intended to do.  If you send out a mailing, no one expects 100% of the people to engage with you, but you also need to recognize that many people never even open the mail piece, which means that the purpose of the mailing had no chance of succeeding with these recipients. The challenge with every mailing is to at least present the message in a way that the recipient will consider opening the envelope and reading the message.

The first element every mailer should consider (and the USPS now requires) is to validate the addresses. Does the person actually still live there? Then the address needs to be formatted properly so the USPS equipment recognizes the address. These two steps are the easiest part of the task to prevent failed mail.

The second factor of the process is a bit more challenging — is the message relevant to the recipient based on their age, gender, whether they own a home or rent, own a pool, travel a lot, etc.?

Separating the Successes from the Failures

Another vital element is the design and strategy of the mail piece. That does not take away any of the importance of making sure the address is right, but it does put more value on targeting the message that so it can be more focused and directed to the particular audience. You need to design a mail piece differently depending on whether you are sending to a Baby Boomer, Gen-X, or a Millennial.

Let’s say you are selling something that would be relevant to either all three generations, such as an activity tracker. All generations use them, but they use them in different ways. The imagery and text of the mail piece has to be adjusted to show relevance to each group. Design is more than just the aesthetic of a mail piece; it has to be integrated with the images, the text, the offer, and the listed benefits for the precise audience to which the mailing is targeted. In the past, this would have been done with different versions, but this has limited effectiveness and cost benefits. Today, with the use of variable data printing on toner-based digital presses and high-speed inkjet printers, a mailer can make each piece unique for every single piece in a multi-million piece mailing.

When one talks about the design of a mail piece, they typically think about what the graphic designer does to make the piece look attractive. That is only half of the design component. Designers may have a good sense of balance, proportion, rhythm, contrast, and unity — but communicating effectively is about more than making the piece look pretty. The design cannot get in the way of the message and the action you want from the recipient once they look at the mail piece.

There are a number of things to consider in your design, the first being the goal you hope to accomplish by sending it. It surprises me how many times people cannot quickly state that goal or are only thinking in the short term and not the long-term results (ex. what is the lifetime value of the customer?). What is the call to action? What is going to make the recipient want to respond? Giving recipients an option to connect further online is an additional tool. Is there a time frame for them to respond? If you do not give them a deadline, it is easy for them to put things off and forget about it.

If you want to create an effective mail piece, think like a salesperson or a marketing manager, not just as a printer or mailer. The plan is the most critical element of any designed mailpiece. Knowing the audience, knowing the product, and understanding the value to the customer results in a targeted message that calls recipient to the offer.

Additional Resources

If you are looking for a strategy on how to better serve your customers, consider reading the following four books:

1. Steal These Ideas!: Marketing Secrets That Will Make You a Star, by Steve Cone. This book focuses on how to look at great ideas that you can repurpose to serve your needs. You do not need to reinvent the wheel; there are already great ideas that can solve the problems you are working on.

2. Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity, by Josh Linkner. For years, companies have been trying to systemize their production process, and this has stifled the creative and innovative initiative in their employees. This book can help to energize the creative talents in your company.

3. The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation, by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson. This book focuses on how sales is more than just selling a service, it is selling a solution and how to engage the customer to understand what they really need.

4. Strategic Database Marketing 4th Ed: by Arthur Hughes. This book is all about personalization, Hughes was doing personalized mailings long before Xerox invented the DocuTech in the 1950s.

Ten Headline Styles That Work

By Brian Clark, Copyblogger.com

Move beyond common headlines you see over and over — like “how to” — and bring new blood to the mix with these 10 examples:

1. Who Else Wants... Starting a headline this way is a strategy that implies an already existing consensus desire.

  • Who Else Wants More People to Read Their Writing?
  • Who Else Wants a Higher Paying Job?
  • Who Else Wants More Fun and Less Stress When on Vacation?

    2. The Secret of... This one is used quite a bit, because it works.

  • The Secret of Successful Podcasting
  • The Secret of Protecting Your Assets in Litigation
  • The Secret of Getting Your Home Loan Approved

    3. Here Is a Method That Is Helping.... Identify your target audience and the benefit you can provide them.

  • Here Is a Method That Is Helping Homeowners Save Hundreds on Insurance
  • Here Is a Method That Is Helping Children Learn to Read Sooner
  • Here Is a Method That Is Helping Content Marketers Write Better Titles

    4. Little-Known Ways to... An intriguing (and less common) way of accomplishing the same thing as “The Secret of …” headline.

  • Little-Known Ways to Save on Your Heating Bill
  • Little-Known Ways to Optimize Gmail
  • Little-Known Ways to Lose Weight Quickly and Safely

    5. Get Rid of .... A classic. It identifies either a painful problem or an unfulfilled desire that the reader wants to remedy.

  • Get Rid of Your Unproductive Work Habits Once and For All
  • Get Rid of That Carpet Stain Once and For All
  • Get Rid of That Lame Mullet Hairdo Once and For All

    6. Here’s a Quick Way to... People love quick and easy when it comes to solving a nagging problem.

  • Here’s a Quick Way to Get Over a Cold
  • Here’s a Quick Way to Potty Train Junior
  • Here’s a Quick Way to Back Up Your Hard Drive

    7. Now You Can Have... The classic “have your cake and eat it too” headline — and who doesn’t like that?

  • Now You Can Quit Your Job and Make Even More Money
  • Now You Can Meet Smart Singles Online Without Spending a Dime
  • Now You Can Own a Cool Mac and Still Run Windows

    8. Do Something Like... Gatorade did the “Be Like Mike” campaign featuring Michael Jordan in the 90s.

  • Speak Spanish Like a Diplomat
  • Party Like Mick Jagger
  • Blog Like an A-Lister

    9. You Can Be Proud Of... Appeal to vanity, dissatisfaction, or shame.

  • Eat a Healthy Diet You Can Be Proud Of
  • Have a Smile You Can Be Proud Of
  • Build a Professional Network You Can Be Proud Of

    10. What Everybody Ought to Know About... Big curiosity draw and a challenge to the reader to see if they are missing something.

  • What Everybody Ought to Know About SEO
  • What Everybody Ought to Know About Adjustable-Rate Mortgages
  • What Everybody Ought to Know About Writing Great Headlines

    Looking for more headlines that work? Pick up Brian's free, comprehensive ebook on Magnetic Headlines.

    Old School Marketing Techniques Are Making a Comeback

    By Rob Starr, Smallbiztrends.com

    Old-school marketing is enjoying a resurgence and bumping up ROI. Here's why:

    Old-school marketing tools like store signage and direct mail are enjoying a new popularity. In fact, 83% of marketers surveyed say using tools like direct mail bumps up ROI. Small Business Trends contacted John Patinella, CEO of Money Mailer, and Kristin Gallucci, Director of Marketing of Signarama, to find out why these are popular again.

    Patinella started by supplying a definition of direct mail for younger people who might not be familiar with it.

    “With direct mail marketing, businesses can deliver messages physically to a consumer’s mailbox through the United States Postal Service or other delivery service. Postcards, flyers, and catalogs are common examples.”

    He says part of the reason for this new surge is a kind of online overflow at the hands of social media.

    “Digital marketing has oversaturated the market, leaving consumers fatigued by the process. It no longer has the ROI it once did. Consumers do not engage with these ads or they block them entirely. Today, businesses are looking for marketing campaigns offering a mix of traditional online complimented by ‘digital-to-print’ options. These boost engagement of first-time customers and retain current customers as well.”

    He says businesses are looking to market by using “digital to print” techniques. These can combine things like a print brochure that points to an online app.

    Money Mailer has created a smartphone app so consumers can find deals first offered through direct mail.

    Patinella says this tool is trending in many different industries for small businesses. However, a few verticals stand out.

    “We are particularly seeing it in retailing, the salon and spa industry, health and fitness and the restaurant industry,” he says.

    Physical signs are another tool making a comeback. Gallucci describes how their flexibility as a marketing tool makes a difference.

    “When it comes to brand recognition and awareness, signs and graphics are an essential part of any business marketing strategy,” she writes. “Whether it’s a sign in a window, a vehicle wrapped in a company logo or a graphic displaying a promotion. Signage draws attention to the business and conveys important information quickly.”

    She also says they are cost-effective. Exterior signs, for example, are visible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Gallucci backs up her claim with facts.

    “Numerous studies have supported the customer reach that signs provide,” she says. “In 2011, a national survey of more than 160 large and small businesses found signage was a main factor in their marketing plan. Both saw better results due to the communication benefits.”

    She says this tool does some things better than digital marketing.

    “There’s an opportunity for these more traditional techniques, like signs and graphics, to cut through the noise. Signage goes beyond the name of a company and its logo on the window.”

    One of the other advantages are the places you can use signs.  “Through features like messaging on the walls or murals, these also allow business owners to utilize a highly creative space. They can show the personality of their brand and make a lasting impact on their customers.”

    Gallucci also supplied some interesting stats on how effective signs are.

    “70% of Americans say they’ve seen a digital display in the last month,” she says. “While 47% remember a specific sign or message, and 80% of shoppers say they have entered a store because a digital sign caught their interest. “

    So, are there industries that will get more from these old school techniques than others? Gallucci says the appeal is across the board with a few notable exceptions.

    “Signage is trending with all different types of small businesses that are looking to bring personality to their space at a lower cost,” she says. “Restaurants, schools and even coffee shops are communicating with their consumers through messaging on walls and windows that still showoff who the brand is.

    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.

    If you do not wish to receive the Talon Mailing & Marketing Newsletter please click here: 



  • In this Issue:

    Ensuring Your Mail Piece's Success

    Ten Headline Styles That Work

    Old School Marketing Techniques Are Making a Comeback

    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:
    • OLV Charities

    • Essentials 360

    • 4 New Lists From Various List Managers and Owners

    Mike's Favorite Apps & Links:

    Some interesting things to check out...

    Pragli.com - A virtual office for remote teams with no invitations needed. Start conversations instantly with a single click, similar to a walkie-talkie. Enter your #office channel to signal that you’re available for a chat. Introduce serendipitous conversations to your team.

    Flexibits.com/cardhop-ios - A contacts app that you'll actually want to use. Search, add, edit, and interact with your contacts. Simple to use, powerful and fun.

    Soundofcolleagues.com - This website plays the white noise of an office, and it might be the closest thing to actually being back at your place of business.

    Virtualmuseums.io - Explore the world's museums, virtually. Take a trip through the world's best virtual museums and galleries, all without leaving the house.

    Netflixparty.com - A new way to watch Netflix. Watch Netflix with your friends online. This site synchronizes video playback and adds group chat to your favorite Netflix shows. Join over 1,000,000 people and use Netflix Party to link up with friends and host long distance movie nights and TV watch parties today!

    Radiooooo.com - An amazing site that allows music lovers to listen to songs selected by geography and decade!

    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.

    Newsletter Archives:

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    If you do not wish to receive the Talon Mailing & Marketing Newsletter please click here: