Talon Mailing & Marketing

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Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing June 2015 Newsletter.

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Disney's One-to-One Content Points to the Future of Content Marketing

By Marc Cowlin, socialmediatoday.com

See how Disney creates marketing magic with one-to-one communications.

Very soon I will board a plane bound for Orlando with my family — yes, we're headed to Disney World. On the surface there's nothing remarkable about this trip or my planning process: it's a family trip, I made the reservation online, received an email confirmation and now we wait for our departure date. Then, out of the blue, things got exciting. So exciting, in fact, that my experience brought about a glimpse of the future of one-to-one content marketing, and it was beautiful.

One-to-one content via snail mail?

What was this magical moment?

Direct mail.

Yes, direct mail.

But, not just any direct mail, personalized direct mail relevant to my family and our vacation that eventually moves us to an online and mobile experience.

Sure, we've all seen the glories of mail merge and one-off customized printing, it's not terribly new, but when you receive it, and it's about you, it makes an impact. My mini book had a custom cover, reservation information, info about my hotel (not all of the others), info about each of the parks, and, most importantly, it's all about MY TRIP.

Brilliantly, they move me from the book to the website with the promise of customizing "My Disney Experience." Once online I can order MagicBands and reserve attractions ahead of time via FastPass+. Disney is allowing me to use technology to customize my vacation, right down to what ride I want to experience on what day and at what time. From there, I am asked to download an app for my mobile phone that will make all of my plans available once I begin traveling. What future Disney visitor wouldn't love this experience?

Three one-to-one content tips from Disney

It comes as no surprise that Disney and team are brilliant marketers. So brilliant, in fact, that this one experience gives all marketers a few lessons about how to harness content and technology to build one-to-one content marketing campaigns that work – really well.

  • Build excitement: Let's face it; Disney is not a cheap vacation. Generally, when you make reservations for a trip, you receive a nothing more than a generic email confirmation. As time passes many think about the money spent, maybe search online to find things to do, but if excitement is building it's because the customer is building it on their own. By providing custom touch points filled with useful and exciting content, unique to my family post-purchase, Disney is helping to build excitement. It works, and it's brilliant.

  • Personalize: All customers are unique, have different needs, especially in travel. Since this is not a one-size-fits-all world, what I need for my trip is different from just about every other person. Disney knew that and delivered a book that is unique to my trip. Rather than sending a generic 40-page book that explains ALL hotels, and all attractions, Disney sent a book that was specific to my hotel and my reservation details. I received all the information I need in a custom 15-page book. It works, and it's brilliant.

  • Be Helpful: Most people don't often travel, and most people don't go to Disney parks on a regular basis. As such, the experience can be very overwhelming, and in some cases stressful. By sending this book, connecting to a custom online experience and urging use of an on-the-go app with every last detail, Disney is eliminating some of the anxiety that comes with travel. And more than that, they are making the experience of planning time and attractions fun and interactive. One of the key pillars of content marketing is to ALWAYS to be helpful. Everything content marketers do should be designed to serve the customer, not market to the customer. In the case of Disney, every bit of information is designed to help my family on our journey to Florida. It works, and it's brilliant.

    What this means for the rest of us

    Of course, not all of us have the marketing budget of Disney or a product as exciting as the "happiest place on earth." So, what are we to do with these one-to-one content lessons from Disney? If you break it down, it becomes clear that what Disney has done to support one-to-one marketing is pretty simple:
    • They created a repository of content
    • They gathered all of my travel details (dates, hotel package, etc.)
    • They selected content based on my travel details
    • They sent it to me in the form of a personalized book that drives me to an online experience

    Imagine how powerful this model would be if a salesman held these tools in the palm of their hand. If they could marry the needs of their customer with content and send it in real-time, exactly when it's needed to whatever device makes sense. That salesman would have the ability to create one-to-one sales materials on-the-go.

    The good news is that they can; it's a product and its available now. In the spirit of full disclosure, it's a Thismoment solution and we call it Content on Demand. But that is not the point of this article. The point of this article is to promote the power of thinking differently.

    How so?

    This model works for any industry; the key is content, data and technology to marry the two into a deliverable piece of content that will truly mean something to ONE customer. In the end, any purchase, be it a trip sold to an individual or software sold to an enterprise, is about the purchaser.

    As marketers we need to:

  • Stop thinking solely about how we serve a broad audience and start thinking more about how we can serve the individual customer
  • Pay just as much attention to post-sale as we do pre-sale
  • Explore beyond the obvious channels
  • Think about how to tie content to other teams within the organization

    Taking a page out of the Disney playbook, we need to ask ourselves how we can transform our marketing strategy into exciting, useful and helpful content aimed at helping ONE customer. If we do this, we will create powerful connections like the one Disney created with me, and in the end, that's what it's all about, creating connections that build experience and long-term advocacy.

    Why So Many Small Businesses Don't Spend Enough on Marketing

    By Jose Vasquez, Huffingtonpost.com

    A majority of small businesses neglect their marketing strategies, restricting spending and ultimately limiting their true potential.

    It's a problem I see almost every day; small businesses don't have as much revenue or capital as they'd like to have, so they're forced to make cuts and avoid investing in things they feel they don't need. And all too often, marketing and advertising dollars are the first to go.

    Why is this? There's a perception that marketing is nice, but unnecessary for a business. As long as you're producing something of value (a product or a service), every other strategy your company uses must be superfluous. There's some degree of truth to this assertion -- it is necessary to get your operations down before investing heavily in a marketing campaign -- but that doesn't mean you can get away with avoiding marketing altogether.

    Marketing is the only way to get more exposure for your brand, and the only reliable long-term strategy to attract more business to it. That's why success in marketing is defined in terms of ROI, your return on investment. It's a measure of the amount of business you bring in relative to the amount of money you spent to do it. In effect, as long as your ROI is positive, your investment pays for itself and then some.

    Therefore, the problem with spending "too much" money on marketing is nonexistent. As long as your ROI is positive, every dollar you put into marketing will yield more than a dollar in return. The only time there's a problem is if your ROI is negative, in which case you may not be handling your marketing campaign effectively.

    The solution, then, is to work with a professional with experience in running successful, positive-ROI campaigns. That could mean hiring someone with years of experience or outsourcing your work to a quality marketing and advertising firm -- however you choose to do it, you will be taking a risk, but the potential payoff is worth it. Once you've stabilized a successful, positive-ROI marketing strategy, you'll basically be making free money off of every dollar you put into it.

    The next time you think about cutting your marketing spend or work on reallocating your existing company budgets, remember -- marketing isn't a way to spend money, it's a way to invest it.

    Jose Vasquez is an entrepreneur dedicated to helping startup technology companies get the direction and momentum they need to succeed. As the founder of Build. Brand. Blast., Jose has established a collective resource for tech entrepreneurs to consult when brainstorming, creating, launching, or expanding a new business.

    Seven Tips to a Successful Direct Mailing

    By Alice Brown

    These top tips will increase response rates and grow your revenue.

    1. Use a Quality, Targeted Mailing List

    Every successful direct mail campaign begins with a quality, targeted direct mail list.

    Why? Because a ‘great’ direct mail list maximizes the number of people who receive your offer, it increases your response rates and ultimately, it helps boost the return on your investment!

    Quality, up-to-date (correct) records help maximize the number of mail pieces that get delivered to your customers and in turn, help maximize the number of mail pieces that get seen by the people/businesses who are likely to want your products and services. If your direct mail list includes old or incorrect addresses, you will have a higher number of undeliverable and returned mail pieces, and unfortunately a lower return on your investment. That’s the last thing you want!

    Targeted data gets your message/promotion in front of the people who are most likely to purchase your product or service.

    For example: If you own a yoga studio and are looking to mail a postcard that offers a ‘free’ class to every new student, do you think it would be better to mail the postcard to everyone in your state, or to people who are living within 5 miles of your studio and who are women between the ages of 18-65?

    2. Write a Compelling “Call to Action”

    A successful direct mail postcard/flyer/brochure etc must include a compelling ‘call to action’ that drives the reader to ‘act’ and ‘respond’ to your mailing.

    A ‘call to action’ can be anything from asking your customer to go online to your website and fill out a form, to picking up the phone and calling you before the end of the month, or to stopping by and visiting your store.

    No matter what your ‘call to action’ is, it needs to be obvious and compelling, so there’s no doubt in the reader’s mind about what they need to do to be able to take advantage of the promotion that you’re offering them.

    3. Give them an Offer they Can’t Refuse

    Create a compelling offer that will drive your customers to take action and respond to your message. Your promotion can be ‘buy one get one free’, or ‘$20 off your first order’ or simply a discounted price for a limited time.

    The key thing to remember when you’re creating an offer, is that the more valuable and enticing your offer is, the more likely it is that your reader will respond.

    Offers with ‘expiration dates’ yield quicker results and drive customers to take action, sooner rather than later.

    4. Use Bold, Simple Designs & Layouts

    The colors, fonts and images that you use on your mail piece can impact how your customer will respond to your message. After all, first impressions are lasting impressions, and if someone has never heard of your company before, it’s very important for your mail piece to accurately reflect your business, and make you stand out (in a good way!) and leave your reader with a positive, lasting first impression.

    Use the ‘less is more’ principle when it comes to the design and layout of your mailing and use simple bold fonts, hard hitting, punchy copy, and clear appropriate images to engage your readers and keep them focused on your offer.

    5. Be Honest!

    Don’t use gimmicks or ‘small print’ to trap your valued customers and potential new clients.

    Be honest with them about who you are as a company and what products you offer. Honesty and transparency are paramount and can be the difference between earning a good reputation and building a steady, loyal group of repeat customers, and creating a bad reputation that’s hard to break.

    6. Get your Timing Right

    Watch your competition closely, learn from their mistakes and keep an eye on their marketing and advertising efforts; boost your marketing campaigns when your competitors are lying low and economizing, and take advantage of the opportunities this creates to win over new customers.

    Repeat mailings deliver higher response rates than one-time mailings; when you increase the number of times a customer sees your offer, you also increase the chance that your customer will respond to it. Think about running repeat mailings and sending out one campaign once/week for 3 consecutive weeks to get maximum results.

    7. Track your Results

    Track your campaigns and the responses you get so that you know how effective each campaign is.

    Make sure you ask new customers where they heard about your services – was it online, driving by, or from a postcard mailing? If you run several different marketing campaigns throughout the year, keep track of which campaign delivers the best results and boost the number of mailings on the next campaign and watch your sales soar and your business grow!

    About The Author:
    Alice Brown is the Editor in Chief of 'Be Direct', the monthly newsletter for www.LeadsPlease.com. 'Be Direct' is dedicated to providing direct mail industry news, trends, updates and direct marketing tips and tricks.

    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 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 June 23rd, 2015.  Yankees vs. Phillies 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:

    Disney's One-to-One Content Points to the Future of Content Marketing

    Why Many Small Businesses Don't Spend Enough on Marketing

    Seven Tips to a Successful Direct Mailing

    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:
    • Rodman Media

    • MEC Global

    • 4 New Lists from Statlistics

    Mike's Favorite Links:

    Some interesting links...

    flowvella.com - Free Presentation Software that Engages and Gets Better Results.

    canva.com - Canva makes design simple for everyone. Create designs for Web or print: blog graphics, presentations, Facebook covers, flyers, posters, invitations and more.

    opinionpodcasting.com - The world's only easy to use podcast maker. Record, edit and publish online for free – ready for Twitter, Facebook, iTunes Podcast Directory, and any listening app! They also give you a great homepage and an RSS-feed.

    resnap.com - Creating a photo book has never been so easy. Edit, save and share your own photo book on social media or embed it on your website.

    reddit.tv - Watch the newest, coolest videos the web has to offer in one place.

    theleadsports.com - A refreshingly honest sports newsletter for busy people.

    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: