Talon Mailing & Marketing

561 Acorn Street
Deer Park, NY 11729

(631) 667-5500


Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing June 2017 Newsletter.

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How the Seasons Affect Your Direct Mail Campaigns

By Craig Simpson, Author and Owner of Simpson Direct, Inc.

For the best results from your direct mail campaigns, learn how responses vary according to the time of year.

Some direct mail marketers focus so much on what they mail to whom, that they lose sight of another variable that’s just as important: when they mail. In my experience, most industries have a good time of year to mail (when they get stellar results), and a bad one (when you wonder if anyone out there is listening).

Do you know which season is best for you?

While you may have a general idea of good times to mail, you may not know those weeks or months to avoid – when your response rate falls like a stone. As an example, one of my clients mails sales letters about commodities. You know, corn, wheat, sugar, etc. They teach people how to trade commodities based on technical principles.

As you can imagine, one of our target prospects for this offer is farmers. The idea is that they can learn how to “hedge” their crops by buying and selling commodities. This makes them less vulnerable to changing market conditions. When I first started mailing this commodity offer to farmers, I had tremendous success. But...it didn’t last! After a few months, the response rate dropped off the table, to almost zero. Why?

After testing exhaustively, month after month, I figured out the problem. It was very simple. Farmers were NOT responsive during their harvest season.

Why? They are working 20 hours a day, 7 days a week. They don’t have time to read the mail. Or think about learning something new. But...they are HIGHLY responsive in the off-season, after the harvest. Knowing about this seasonality allowed me to aggressively mail farmers in the off-season, and avoid mailing them during harvest season.

Here’s another example. If you are a financial planner, do you know the best and worst times of year to mail?

Financial planners get the worst response rates during holidays – Memorial Day, Labor Day, 4th of July, etc. Their response is especially poor in November and December when most families are super busy planning and spending their money on gifts, travel, and food. What’s the BEST time for financial planners to mail? The first quarter of every year. January is best since families are evaluating their finances, and trying to find better ways to save and manage their money.

I send out over 250 mailings per year. I ALWAYS have something in the mail – every day, every week. I’ve identified money-making seasons for dozens of industries. And by mailing at just the right times, we are able to make the most out of our mailing. Experiment with small mailings and compare responses over time.

Armed with information on the best times to mail, you can make the best use of your advertising budget.

Craig Simpson has managed thousands of direct mail campaigns and grossed hundreds of millions in revenue for his clients. Simpson is the owner of Simpson Direct Inc. and a respected speaker/presenter on the topic of direct mail. He blogs at http://www.simpson-direct.com/blog/.

Direct Marketing Still Works in an Electronic World

By Shana Richardson, Cuinsight.com

There’s no denying that the world has dramatically shifted toward electronic communication, so many people wonder if direct marketing still works?

The answer is a resounding yes, mainly because direct mail has an 80 percent-plus open rate!

Google, the world’s most popular search engine, regularly uses snail mail marketing to promote coupons for its AdWords programs and other services. Credit unions are also finding that direct snail mail marketing is helping them grow their loan portfolios, including mortgages and home equity loans, as the real estate market continues to gain positive traction.

While the huge demand for email marketing services continues, credit unions have seen success from direct marketing mailers, postcards and letters. Credit unions have felt a resurgence of sorts in their return on investment (ROI) when it comes to direct mail marketing.

Direct mail response rates took a tremendous leap in 2016 with a 5.3 percent response rate to house lists and 2.9 percent to prospect lists. These are the highest levels the DMA has tracked since 2003. For comparison, in 2015 the rates were 3.7 percent and 1.0 percent respectively. In 2010 it was 3.4 percent and 1.4 percent.

“Some people say that direct mail is dead or it doesn’t work, but we’ve seen just the opposite,” said Jackson Hunt, Vice President of Marketing at Ser Technology. “When you customize the direct marketing pieces, members feel they are part of the credit union. We have seen personalization outpace standard direct marketing pieces without any personalization. There’s plenty of research out there on the effectiveness of this.”

One advantage of direct mail campaigns is that they can be far more cost-effective than mass marketing initiatives for small and midsize credit unions, allowing them to cross-sell, deepen relationships with members, loan growth and member retention.

Almost any type of marketing campaign has two interrelated objectives — produce accounts and balances, and have a positive impact of underlying customer relationship. The credit unions that do manage to track campaigns focus almost exclusively on counting accounts and balances in promoted products. However, without the broader relationship component, they may be missing a material portion of the profit generated by a campaign

According to the Direct Marketing Association, Industries with the highest use of direct mail are Financial Services — Banks or credit unions at 71 percent, Consumer Packaged Goods at 63 percent, Retail at 55 percent, Travel or Hospitality at 55 percent, and Publishing or Media at 54 percent. Furthermore, 48 percent of people prefer direct mail for receiving marketing from credit unions, and it’s not just the mid-life members who want the information sent to their actual mailbox.

A study fielded by Experian shows that nearly every Millennial (ages18-35) owns a smartphone, and 43 percent say that they now access the internet more through their phone than a computer, compared with just 20 percent of adults ages 35 and older. However, despite their hyper-wired digital connectedness, Millennials as a group report that the last time they responded to direct mail campaign was within 2.4 months. That’s less than the average response time for all respondents. Similarly, Millennials open the direct mail they receive at the same high rate of 66 percent as recipients overall.

To be successful, your direct marketing campaign should enable a high degree of variability to service end consumer recipients with information that is highly relevant and personalized to their needs, ultimately leading to an improved customer experience. “Direct marketing is an incredible tool that can add tremendously to the advertising plans of most Credit Unions,” Hunt explained. “Today’s world may be more digital than ever, but consumers still very much appreciate having tangible products in their hands.”

In Marketing, Connecting Is More Important Than Data

By Dave Wakeman, Business2community.com

In the future, our marketing has to be more about connection and less about analysis.

We live in a world where everything is “Big Data” or data of some sort. You see this data obsession trickle down into everything we do, especially the way we market and sell things.

Recently I was at a ticketing conference in the UK, giving the keynote address on the future of live ticketing. 

What was amazing in the days leading up to my keynote all of the conversations I had with people from around the globe about the challenges and opportunities in the world of tickets.

There was a lot of talk about knowing your buyers better. There were discussions about improving the experience for them when they visit. There was a lot of interest in helping make the buying journey easier.  The thing that was amazing was that these conversations mirrored some of the conversations I had with executives and leaders in other areas.

Everywhere we go, we are trying to understand and know our audience better. Everywhere we look, we see how our customers feel less connected. We see our communities not be as tightly knit. This also plays out in our marketing and selling.

At every corner, we see a new “ninja” or “jedi” talk about how to maximize our SEO, our keyword placement, or some other digital technique that is guaranteed to triple our results.  The truth is, these optimization strategies work on a strictly practical level. But the thing is, if you are just transacting, are you sustainable.

Because more and more, our buyers are picking experiences over stuff and connections over commodities. In the future, our marketing has to be more about connection and less about analysis. More electricity and less zeros and ones. Because data is great for analysis but not great for creating connections and compelling stories.

What our marketing needs now more than ever is more connection, more humanity, and more sizzle. Sizzle, not being something you can measure in a spreadsheet. How can we get there?

Use Stories:

If everything is about data and analysis, where is the emotion? If we don’t have emotion in our marketing, there is no reason to act. That’s where stories come in. Stories help us make sense of the world. They help us know what to notice and what to ignore. Most importantly, they give us the emotional energy necessary to take action.

Don’t Look At Big Group, Go Small:

We are infatuated with large data groups, but we often miss really relevant and actionable items because we are looking only for the large things. In the 2012 election, there was a story about the Obama data team using a combination of data and message to target a specific bus route in a swing state, making ad buys to hit that specific route over and over again.

In Martin Lindstrom’s book, Small Data, he writes that he learned everything he needed to know about how to fix Lego’s brand by talking with a kid that also skateboarded and noticed that one shoe was more worn than the other, which signified that the kid had a perfectionist streak in him and that he was part of a group that had that same feeling. Which led to the insight that the path forward for Lego lay in more complex models, not less complex models.

For us, we can look at the moments that we can delight, connect, or wow our fans and customers. It is likely the small things that drive their amazement as much as any of the mass things. And, in those small moments, we learn a lot.

Make Your Marketing More Personal:

As we see more ads being created with less and less impact from the spend, we see this being more and more true. The answer is not to double down on volume, but to cut back on volume and amp up the personal or the meaningful.

In Miami, the Marlins’ B2B sales team took part in a number of “sprints” where they mailed interesting or unusual items to their prospects to help start sales conversations. Things like signed balls, bases, and merchandise. This personalization paid off as they increased their B2B sales over 300% in one season.

All of us have the chance to be more personal. It means taking a step back and not trying to reach everyone, just the most specific.

My friend, Stu Heineke wrote a great book last year called How To Get A Meeting With Anyone. In that book, he said that your marketing success lies in being personal, being unique.

That’s the thing about making your marketing more about connection, connection means different things to different people. Personalization, stories, and understanding the uniqueness of your targets enables you to make that real.

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 20th, 2017.  Yankees vs. Angels 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-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:

How The Seasons Affect Your Direct Mail Campaigns

Direct Marketing Still Works in an Electronic World

In Marketing, Connecting is More Important Than Data

Ticket Giveaway!

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:
  • Global Marketing Solutions

  • Sisters of St. Benedict

  • 2 New Lists From Statlistics

Mike's Favorite Apps & Links:

Some interesting things to check out...

Hemingwayapp.com - Want to improve your writing for blogs, marketing, and emails? This free app is excellent for keeping your writing to the point and clear.

Interfacelovers.com - An online magazine for creative professionals. They put the spotlight on designers that are creating the future and touching the lives of many.

100millionbooks.org - If you're looking for something to read - checkout: 100 Million Books - discover a new book every time you open a new tab.

Oldcomputers.net - Take a stroll down memory lane and relive past memories of personal computers. Perhaps like me, you've owned or used some of these models.

This-day-in-history - Festinating site by the History Channel that details many historical events. You can even choose categories such as World Wars, sports and politics.

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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