Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing July 2016 Newsletter.
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Tips For Successful Direct Mail Marketing
Here are five important tips to help you get the
most out of your marketing promotions.
Direct mail can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool.
It can also be a black hole into which you pour money without a return on
your investment. Below are five tips to help you ensure that you remain on
the right side of the ledger.
While testing, choose your sample size carefully. Testing a
very large sample can be expensive. After all, the fact that you are
testing means that performance is unproven. On the other hand, if your
sample size is too small, results may not be statistically meaningful.
Youíll need to strike a balance.
1. Identify your mailing list.
If youíre going to mail, an obvious factor is your list of names and
addresses. There are many sources here. If youíre offering a credit
product, the credit bureaus are an excellent source of names. However,
there are rules about the types of offers you can make, and the penalties
for non-compliance can be severe. So, know and follow the rules. Beyond
that, you'll find literally hundreds of vertical lists that you can
2. Test and learn.
Direct mail should be a never-ending cycle of testing and learning.
Dimensions youíll want to test include:
- Market segments. Blindly mailing a list of names will not likely be
fruitful. Instead, identify segments of the list you expect to perform
better than others, based on the specific offer you are making. When you
buy a list, it may lack the data you need to ensure effective
segmentation. There are services, such as Epsilon, that allow you to
append additional information to the lists you purchase to enable
segmentation. For example, you may have names and address, but still want
to add income or net worth to improve targeting.
- Offers. Test multiple offers, all substantively different. For example,
if you reduce your price by 10 percent, does volume increase enough to
cover the lost margin? Remember: One offer may be more profitable with a
particular segment, while another may win in a different segment.
- Creatives. Does a "stealth" envelope (whose contents aren't discernible)
deliver better results than one that highlights the offer on the outside?
Continuously test your current champion against new challengers. Even
champions' performance will degrade over time. Ultimately, you need a
group of proven winners that you can rotate in and out, testing new
challengers at each step.
- Cadence. How often do you plan to mail? Since you are driving response
to a call center, youíll want to create a relatively smooth volume of
calls. Response models can be built that will allow you to predict call
volumes based on a particular mail-drop strategy. Youíll want to test
re-mail strategies. How long should you wait after you have mailed a
non-responder to mail recipients again?
3. Analyze your results.
If you are going to learn from your testing, youíll need to analyze the
results carefully. Make sure you understand the full economics of your
testing. It is great to have a high gross-response rate, but youíll need
to understand your close rate and the amount of money you make from each
closed sale. Consider all of your costs, not just your mail costs. We
suggest building a profitability model to ensure that your direct mail
program is profitable when all costs are considered.
4. Roll it out.
Once you have identified which segments are clearly profitable, youíll
want to roll them out with the maximum volume you can handle
operationally. This is why you need to be sure that you fully understand
the economics. You may go from dropping 15,000 pieces of mail in a test
cell to rolling out with 1.5 million pieces. If you thought you were going
to make 10 cents per piece mailed, but instead lose 10 cents per piece
mailed, the results may be devastating.
5. Work with an expert.
Pitfalls surround direct mail. We strongly advise you not to go it alone.
Work with someone who knows what to do and not do. The money you spend on
good advice will be worth every penny. Once you learn the ropes, you may
find that there are pieces of the process you will want to take over.
There will also likely be parts of the process you will continue to
In the right industry, a well-managed direct-mail program can be very
profitable. Unfortunately, a mismanaged rollout can bankrupt your
company. The tips above will help you have a successful campaign.
Signs You Need To Invest More Money In Marketing
By Ryan Nelson, business2community.com
Are sales flat? If any of the six items below are happening in your
organization, it's time to invest more in marketing.
Should you invest more money into marketing? If you are like many
executives out there, youíre probably thinking, ďAll marketing does is
spend money.Ē Contrary to popular belief, marketing is more than the ďmake
it prettyĒ department and it requires strategic investments.
There are a few signs itís time for your organization to invest in
1. Competition begins to out rank you
What rank means in this case is how your company performs among your
competitors on search engines like Google. If youíre finding yourself
below your competitors in search results, it could mean that they are
investing in SEO. They could be hiring content experts to create superior
copy or investing in PPC advertising in conjunction with a better keyword
targeting strategy. Even if this isnít the case, you can get your rank
back by focusing your investments on content marketing and SEO services.
2. You donít have a marketing plan
This is the starting line. Do you have a marketing plan in place? If you
hesitate for even one second, odds are you donít or it is underdeveloped
and not embraced and supported throughout the company. Itís not unusual
for a company to not know where to begin or have one-off goals that do not
have the bigger picture in mind. If you are stuck in these stages it is
time you invest in creating a marketing plan that will progress you
through the Revenue Marketing Journeyô.
3. Your email marketing is stale
I donít mean you arenít doing anything; I mean youíre set in your ways and
only sending out that basic once a month newsletter with every company
update you can squeeze in and blasting it to your entire database.
Alternatively, you come up with a single email to send on a topic and
again, send it to your entire database. Itís time to look into email
personalization, A/B testing, and the creation of targeted messages around
your prospectsí actions. You should be making informed decisions based on
your personas and sending them information that is relevant to their
interests and activities. Emails are no longer one size fits all; they
should be personalized, targeted and optimized. If this is something you
or your team doesnít feel capable of implementing on your own, itís time
to invest in a partner who can train your team or tackle it for you.
4. You donít have a company blog or it is rarely updated.
It interesting how many companies cringe at the idea of having a blog. Who
is going to update it, what are we going to say, why do we need this?
Blogging provides an ongoing stream of updates that tells Google your
website is current and tells your website visitors you are an expert in
your industry. Your content strategy should include a blog strategy. You
donít need to update it every day, or even every week; determine a cadence
that works for your companyís resource availability and invest the time
and commitment to stick to it. Youíll be seen as a thought leader in no
5. You donít have the technology needed to deliver key marketing
Bounce rate, call-to-action, click through, and impressions are key terms
in the evolving marketing world. These are terms used daily when reporting
and planning your past, current and future email campaigns. You need to be
capturing this data and analyzing it. If you are not using an adequate
marketing platform to track this, itís time you invest in a new platform
such as Marketo or Oracle Marketing Cloud.
6. Your company lacks synergy
A huge part to marketingís success is the alignment of sales and
marketing. As marketing channels grow and evolve, just like your marketing
team, synergy ensures everyone is on the same page. Investing in an
outside partner on this process can help take the emotions out of it. An
unbiased perspective has one goal in mind: sales and marketing alignment.
A common mistake companies make is continuing their marketing like they
always have while the rest of the industry advances and grows. This can
only cut it for so long before you begin to fall behind your competitors
and your workers begin to feel overwhelmed. If any one of the above items
are true for your organization, it is time to invest in marketing.
Three Marketing Goals Every Small Business Should
By Brian Morris, www.scholar.aci.info
Have you set marketing
goals for your small business? Setting goals is important for maintaining
focus so you can grow your business.
To that end, the following details three marketing goals every small
business should pursue.
1. Attend new networking events
Face-to-face networking is one of the most powerful ways to get your name
(and your brand) in front of targeted prospects. It helps establish
trust, earn credibility, and leads to word-of-mouth referrals Ė the best
kind of advertising.
Look for local business networking groups and seek out industry trade
shows, conferences, and seminars. If you already attend such events, find
new events to explore. Think outside the box and attend events your
customers will be at, not just events in your own industry.
You can also join civic organizations and non-profit groups Ė or simply
volunteer for a good cause Ė to increase your networking reach. Always be
sure to have business cards on-hand to give to new connections.
No matter what networking events you attend, donít go in looking to make
a sale. Instead, add value to othersí lives and make yourself part of the
conversation. If you impress prospects, the follow-up calls will take
care of themselves.
2. Try direct-mail marketing
Postage prices have caused some small businesses to shy away from
direct-mail marketing, but you have to remember every direct-mailer is an
investment that carries the expectation of return. That is to say, a good
direct-mail campaign is designed to make money, not lose it.
Though there is no exact science, you can follow proven direct-mail best
practices to exponentially increase your chances of success: a
well-targeted audience, a canít-miss special offer, and a compelling call
to action, for example.
Not sure what type of direct-mail campaign to launch? Postcards often
yield good response rates and are the cheapest type of direct-mailer to
print and send, which makes them an excellent choice for budget-minded
3. Get serious about social
Your small business probably has a Facebook page by now (if not, get
one), but do you really work it to your advantage? If youíre just posting
your special offers every week, youíre not engaging your audience and
youíre largely wasting your efforts.
Instead of focusing on selling, focus on building relationships. Add
value to your Facebook fansí lives with interesting and relevant content.
Post pictures and encourage follower involvement. Host contests and be
part of the conversation Ė be one of your customers, instead of the
company trying to sell to them.
If you donít know social media marketing best practices, either learn
them or hire someone who does. Then, get serious about using Facebook and
other social media platforms (such as Twitter and Pinterest) to grow your
Of course, these arenít the only ways you can grow your business, but
itís fair to say many small business fail to take advantage of proven
marketing strategies. Set goals for your marketing now to maintain focus
and earn more customers and more sales.
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 donít 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!
Wednesday July 20th, 2016. Yankees vs.
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Five Tips For Successful Direct Mail Marketing
Six Signs You Need To Invest More Money In Marketing
Three Marketing Goals Every Small Business Should Persue
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...
spark.adobe.com - A free website by adobe to turn your ideas into
impactful social graphics, web stories, and animated videos - in minutes.
soonforever.co - This is your everyday bucket list and the best way to
keep track of all the things you want to do.
observer.com - A sophisticated take on news, culture, politics &
smartnews.com - The fastest, most efficient way to get all your news
now. Your news in one minute. Zero loading time, a beautiful interface.
nameless.tv - A video platform that broadcasts the best videos on the
web allowing viewers to watch and chat in real-time.
Did you know Talon offers the following services?
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Direct Mail Humor!
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