Talon Mailing & Marketing

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Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing June 2020 Newsletter.

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Build Brand Awareness Through Storytelling

By The Business.com Editorial Staff, Business.com

Telling focused stories can drive traffic to your business.

Does your brand tell a story? If not, there may be a loss of connection between the brand and your consumers.

A focused, simple, yet informative story that is packed with emotion can lead to empathy, which ultimately leads to consumers.

Brand storytelling should have a beginning, middle and an end. A good brand story will increase the chances of your brand being remembered; it should relate a problem to a solution to a successful ending.

Brand storytelling and why it’s important

Brand storytelling allows you to bridge the gap between your company and your consumers. Storytelling has been a part of most people's lives for as long as humans have existed. Telling and hearing a story promotes an emotional stimulation of empathy in your brain. Humans are social creatures, so empathy is a powerful thing; it allows humans to assess a situation and decide where or if they are going to go further. When you meet someone for the first time, it's their story that provides you with an assessment of them as a person; their story tells you where they've gone, where they are going, who they are and what they believe in. If you have a connection to the story they are telling, it helps you decide whether or not you are going to move forward with this new relationship.

Brand storytelling is another way of telling your story, but instead of it being a story based on you, it is a story that can be related to your brand. If the story promotes empathy among consumers, it will help them to remember. The reason for this is because they will associate the story with the brand, and if they felt empathy for the story, it is the deciding factor on whether or not they are going to continue the relationship (buy and promote your brand).

Brand storytelling must be packed full of personality; no one wants to hear a rehearsed list of the events that led up to the development of the brand, they want to know who the hero is, who the villain is and the struggles or the odds that were overcome. Brand storytelling is emotional and promotes empathy and if the brand has this and more, consumers will remember it and they will want to experience the story through the brand.

Petal structure storytelling

Petal structure is a known technique of storytelling where you take unrelated stories and tie them together with one idea. Each story has its own narrative by itself but its foundation is the same, like the other story nodes that you have been telling.

The process of telling a story using this technique says you need to tell each story as a stand-alone tale, but eventually drive the focus back to the main plot. When you manifest how extraneous stories are connected through the same baseline, you emphasize the importance of the main plot and forge your message.

Mark out clear, differentiated territory

If the topic you're writing on isn't focused on your core product, you will likely be competing with someone who is writing about their core product. Make sure you differentiate what you’re offering – even if you end up in a very small niche. This will allow you to carve out a distinct space of ownership and authority and neatly avoid jostling for awareness with a massive competitor.

Ride wider national or international trends

A mainstay for getting exposure for your product after the first wave of interest has died down is latching on to topical issues covered in the press. They don't necessarily have to be related to your industry, but your content has to work as a bridge between the two.

Brand storytelling should be kept simple; leave the twists and turns for the next bestsellers list. In brand storytelling, the story you tell should be kept as simple as possible; focus on the problem and solution and the success within the story you are telling. The beginning of the story should be focused on the problem, the middle of the story contains the solution, and the end is the success.

Having access to unique content is great, but it doesn’t guarantee attention or press coverage. The success in getting your product noticed lies in building the right story around it.

Deciding What to Insert With the Sales Letter in Your DM Package

By Robert W. Bly, Bly.com 

Placing an additional insert into your mailing package can boost response rates. Here's what you need to know:

When creating a DM package selling a newsletter subscription, you know you’re going to have an outer envelope, a sales letter, an order form, and a business reply envelope. But what else? Should you use a sample issue or specimen issue? Or is a sales brochure better? Here are the options available and guidelines for selecting the right one for your package and your product:

Sample issue. Use a sample issue when there is something inherently appealing about the format of the newsletter itself. One example is Communication Briefings, whose presentation of bite-size tidbits of information can only be communicated effectively with a sample issue. Likewise, the major advantage of Bits & Pieces -- the fact that it fits easily in a shirt pocket -- is best demonstrated with a sample.

Specimen issue. A “specimen” issue is a sample issue that is not the actual newsletter from any particular month, but rather a sample composite assembled from articles taken from multiple monthly issues. You can use an actual issue as your sample if you have an issue with broad, strong, almost universal appeal to the entire base of potential subscribers. Avoid using actual issues whose main cover story or theme is of interest only to a limited portion of the potential subscriber base; in such cases, a specimen is preferable.

Full-size brochure. The full-size brochure is an 11 X 17-inch sheet folded to form four pages. Use a full-size brochure when you want to reprint sample pages from the newsletter large enough to be readable; call-outs can indicate the unique editorial features contained on each page. A full-size brochure is also useful for illustrating multimedia products; e.g., a loose-leaf service with multiple components such as a binder, tabs, supplements, special inserts, and a CD-ROM.

Slim jim brochure. A slim jim brochure is typically an 8 1/2 X 11-inch sheet of paper folded twice to form six panels. You can also use an 8 1/2 X 14-inch sheet folded three times to form eight panels. Use the slim-jim when there is a limited amount to say or illustrate beyond what is already included in your sales letter.

Premium sheet. A premium sheet is typically an 8 1/2 X 11-inch sheet of paper printed on one or both sides. It is used to highlight premiums and their contents, although other information, such as an editor’s bio, may also be included. Premium sheets are used when there are multiple premiums (usually three or more) that need to be pictured and described in some detail.

Buck slip. A buck slip is typically a 4 X 9-inch sheet of paper printed on one side. Buck slips are used to highlight premiums. They work best when you have only a few premiums (three or fewer) that need minimal copy to describe.

Lift letter. The lift letter is a second letter inserted with the package, usually Monarch size. It can be used either to reinforce a point made in the main sales letter, or introduce an additional selling point or supporting sales information not included elsewhere in the package.


Robert W. Bly is a freelance copywriter with 4 decades of experience in direct marketing. He has written copy for over 100 clients include AARP, Motley Fool, Agora Publishing, IBM, Institutional Investor, John Wiley, and Medical Economics. McGraw-Hill calls Bob Bly “America’s top copywriter.” He can be reached by phone at 973-263-0562 or via e-mail at rwbly@bly.com. Bob is the author of 100 books including The Direct Mail Revolution, published by Entrepreneur Press.  Please visit Robert Bly's website at www.bly.com.

Direct Mail Provides Opportunity to Cut Through the Noise

With people spending so much time at home, being able to get your mail piece directly into their hands can be a big advantage.

The continuing challenges of Covid-19 and its tragic effects has left very little of the business world untouched.

The combination of an economic lockdown and staff either furloughed, laid off or working from home has completely transformed many industries.

There are however, glimmers of light in the darkness. There is an opportunity for direct mail.

Brand in the hand

With most people spending the vast majority of their days at home, being able to get a piece of mail directly into their hands is a big advantage for any brand, particularly at a time when marketing is dominated by TV and online. Offering something physical that communicates an appropriate message can be a powerful way to build a brand or ensure loyalty once this is all over. And for charities whose donation levels have been hit hard by the virus, direct mail offers valuable levels of engagement and ROI.

“[Direct mail] will certainly have more attention now from people than it’s ever had in the past,” said Simon Biltcliffe, Chief Executive of marketing agency Webmart, in an interview with PrintWeek. “People are at home and if something comes through their letterbox, they will look at it. Print will be a really strong medium for people to build their brand and awareness.”

The Opportunity for Direct Mail

Brands should understand the power and effectiveness of print. While TV has the reach, it remains a highly expensive option for many companies and organizations, plus it lacks the targeting power of DM and partially addressed mail. Of course, right now many people are living their lives online, but the constant bombardment of online ads and content makes it difficult for any company to really cut-though and engage a consumer.

Done well, direct mail has the power to stop people in their tracks, grab their attention and compel them to take action. The physical nature of the medium also means that it’s likely to stay around in the home for longer – 17 days according to the Royal Mail study ‘The Private Life of Mail’.

What’s more, direct mail has a perceived value and importance that virtual media simply doesn’t, which is why the Government and the National Health Service, have been using it to communicate key messages and health advice to the population throughout this crisis.

Ahead of the curve

In any crisis, marketing is usually the first budget to be slashed. But marketing experts agree that continuing to communicate with customers during a crisis is vital for brands, keeping them front-of-mind for consumers that will want normal life to return as quickly as possible once this situation is over.

“The best time to market to people is when others are not,” said Robin Sumner, Managing Director of marketing agency Romax. “After the initial panic subsides and the society accepts the ‘new normal’, then trade will return swiftly – those that have continued to promote during that time will be ahead of the curve.”

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:

Build Brand Awareness Through Storytelling

Deciding What to Insert With the Sales Letter in Your DM Package

Direct Mail Provides Opportunity to Cut Through the Noise

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:
  • Autism Speaks

  • Navellier Growth

  • 2 New Lists From Various List Managers and Owners

Mike's Favorite Apps & Links:

Some interesting things to check out...

Cargo.site - Cargo is a professional site building platform for designers and artists.

Spatial.io - How Work Should Be. Collaborate from anywhere in VR, AR, Desktop & Mobile. Create a lifelike avatar. View 3D models, presentations, videos, & photos,

Gramara.com/en - More than just grammar correction - Gramara helps you write with fluency and clarity.

Outsidesimulator.com - Sick of staying at home? Me too! Go to a virtual beach, walk the streets of Amsterdam, sit at a coffee shop, and visit so many great places. This free app works best on a desktop monitor.

Isolation.is - You can choose from many "postcards" and then email them to your family and friends. A perfect way of staying in touch during the Covid 19 stay-at-home period.

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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