Talon Mailing & Marketing

561 Acorn Street
Deer Park, NY 11729

(631) 667-5500


Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing July 2016 Newsletter.

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Five Tips For Successful Direct Mail Marketing

From: entrepreneur.com

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.

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 purchase.

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?

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.

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 outsource.

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.

Six 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 marketing.

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 time.

5. You donít have the technology needed to deliver key marketing reports
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 Pursue

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 small businesses.

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 business.

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. 

All 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. Orioles 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.

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In this Issue:

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

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:
  • Securicom

  • 3D Barrier Bags

  • 3 New Lists From Statlistics

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 & luxury.

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.

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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