Talon Mailing & Marketing

561 Acorn Street
Deer Park, NY 11729

(631) 667-5500


Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing September 2021 Newsletter.

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The First Direct Marketing Campaign 800 Years Ago

By Denny Hatch,  DennyHatch.blogspot.com

Here are the details of the very first instance of direct mail marketing. It occurred in 1194.

On June 15, 1194, in Chartres France, lightning struck and kindled a massive fire. Chartres Cathedral burned to the ground. The only elements intact were the façade, west towers and the crypt.

For the community of Chartres this was a catastrophe. The very symbol of the city was in ruins. Worse, lost for all time was one of Christianity’s holiest relics—the robe believed to have been worn by Mary when she gave birth to Jesus Christ.

The Bishop of Chartres, Regnault de Mouçon, wanted to start rebuilding immediately. But the townspeople, devastated by the huge loss, had no stomach for such an undertaking.

Mary’s robe was not only holy, but also had the mystical aura of being the city’s amulet—or good luck charm. It kept everybody safe. To the residents of Chartres, rebuilding was a non-starter.

A couple of days after the fire, Bishop de Mouçon was at the smoking ruins delivering a passionate plea for rebuilding to a small collection of villagers. Suddenly a procession of monks, nuns and priests appeared, slowly marching up through the smoke from the crypt bearing the reliquary with Mary’s robe intact. It was saved!

To Regnault de Mouçon and the God-fearing folk of Chartres this was a sign from the Almighty the cathedral must be rebuilt. The bishop launched a furious letter-writing campaign to French nobility and rich people all over Europe.

In addition, Regnault cut a deal with Richard the Lion Hearted (with whom France was at war) enabling him to send fund raising mailings into England.

The rich noble families of France and England responded with cash and gifts. So did the many guilds of workers, the equivalent of unions back then—shoemakers, wheelwrights, bankers, vintners, coopers, furriers, bankers, etc.

Chartres was rebuilt bigger and better than before. As an eternal “thank you,” the donors’ portraits and coats of arms were included in the magnificent 2600 square meters (172 bays) of stained glass windows of the new Chartres, where you can see them today.

This was the very first instance of direct mail marketing.

Takeaways to Consider

• Direct Mail/Direct Marketing is a discipline going back more than 800 years.

• No other advertising medium can claim 800+ years of testing what works and what does not.

• Direct mail is “intimate advertising.”
—Stan Rapp, Rapp & Collins

• Direct mail is "theater in print.”
— George Duncan, freelancer

• "Always say Thank You! It's the polite thing to do." —Roger Craver, Legendary fundraiser

Leveraging Direct Mail to Engage Multiple Senses

By Eve Padula, Whattheythink.com

Electronic communications fall short of well-designed printed direct mail in terms of tactile impact.

Electronic messaging now substantially outnumbers printed communications and  direct mail is clearly the less cluttered channel. Direct mail is a tactile form of communication that can appeal to multiple senses, including touch, sight, and even smell.  Despite their popularity, electronic communications fall short of well-designed printed direct mail in terms of tactile impact.

Marketers of printed communications can and should incorporate the sensory elements of direct mail to create messages that stand out and prompt engagement even in today’s digital world.

Cutting Through the Clutter

Savvy marketers understand that targeted and relevant direct mail can stand out and attract attention. When used correctly, direct mail communications can also be more impactful than electronic messaging. The statistics tell the story:

  • According to a report from Data & Marketing Association (DMA), up to 90% of direct mail gets opened, compared to only 20% to 30% of emails.
  • Data from Canada Post suggests that direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than email.
  • Based on direct mail statistics from Marketing Profs, three-quarters of consumers can recall a brand after viewing a piece of direct mail. Meanwhile, only 44% can do the same after seeing a digital ad.

    Because many consumers have become overwhelmed with digital communications, printed direct mail is considered a trustworthy marketing channel. When consumer respondents to Keypoint Intelligence’s most recent marketing communications research were asked to specify their reasons for reading direct mail rather than digital marketing communications, 15% believed that providers who sent printed communications were more serious about winning and keeping their business.

    Appealing to the Senses

    Whereas most digital communications primarily appeal to the sense of sight, printed direct mail offers a tactile experience that electronic messaging simply can’t match. Thanks to ongoing technological innovations, today’s digital inkjet devices can now produce printed communications that deliver eye-catching special effects and embellishments. Images as well as text can be enhanced with attention-grabbing neon colors, an embossed finish for a 3D effect, metallic inks, or glitter effects that will really shine when exposed to light, or foil stamping for an elegant appearance. Because of the way it changes in certain lighting conditions, a direct mail piece with metallic ink, glitter, or foil stamping delivers a more interactive visual experience than an email.

    Unlike electronic communications, printed direct mail pieces literally land in the consumer’s hands and therefore engage the sense of touch. Direct mail that is treated with a velvety coating will feature a highly appealing soft touch, but these communications can also be produced with a rougher coating for a different effect. Printed communications can also incorporate special textures to make certain elements stand out. Some examples might include a furry coating on an image of an animal or a dimpled rubber feel to enhance a picture of a basketball. Coatings or textures can create a unique look and feel that the recipient can’t help but notice.

    Direct mail can also engage the sense of smell. Although many of us print geeks might say that we simply like the smell of paper itself, there’s really no reason to stop there as direct mail can be infused with all sorts of scents. For a personal example, I’ll admit to having a minor obsession with shower gels. I often wonder why the large bath care chains don’t send more direct mail pieces that highlight their newest scents. Think about it… emailing me about new fragrance has undertones of cinnamon and vanilla is a start, but even with that description, I still won’t know if I’ll truly enjoy the scent. If you send me a postcard that smells like the real thing, I’ll be able to tell in about five seconds if it’s something I’m interested in purchasing…and all the better if I can order said product online and have it delivered to my home!

    The Bottom Line

    With so many improvements to digital print technology over the past few years, marketers of printed communications are limited only by their imaginations as they seek ways to make their direct mail stand out. In today’s electronic age, we’re overloaded with images from computer screens and smartphones. This level of distraction means that we’re not always paying attention to what’s in front of us, but special effects in print can capture our attention. Tactile elements like textures, foiling, or scents are different and unexpected, and this can make people more likely to engage with the messaging. Competition is fierce, but the good news is that brand owners can create printed pieces that surprise recipients with unexpected elements and truly stand out as a result.

    Direct Mail Works. But Should You Write Your Own?

    From: SpeedyEnvelopes.com

    Despite the lingering perception that direct mail is on its deathbed, the medium still moves more people into action than other forms of marketing, including digital.

    According to the CMO Council, the average response rate for both B2B and B2C mailings in 2012 was 4.4 percent, compared with sub-one-percent response rates for email, Internet display ads, and paid search.

    Biggest eyebrow-raiser? The lowly letter-size mailer. When sent to an in-house list, envelope-sized direct-mail letters garnered a respectable 3.4 percent response.

    Five Elements for Direct Mail Success

    Regardless of format, better results start with better sales copy, says direct mail expert, Craig Simpson, in the book he co-authored titled, “The Direct Mail Solution.” Writing for Entrepreneur.com, Simpson identifies five elements as essential for sales copy success. Though easy to dismiss as obvious and rudimentary, it’s surprising how often these items are overlooked:

    1. The message. Be clear about your product or service and why your audience might want to buy it; what does it do and how do users benefit? Why should they choose yours over someone else’s?

    2. The audience. Who are you mailing to and why? What are their pain points and most sought after benefits? Convenience? Savings? Efficiency? Know their problems and clearly explain your solution.

    3. The offer. Entice readers with something irresistible, Simpson says, and put a time limit on the offer to encourage a quicker response. Include a strong call to action (CTA) and step-by-step instructions on how you want them to respond.

    4. The voice. The “voice” or tone of your sales copy refers to the personality or attitude that comes through. It may be lighthearted, personal or humorous or even urgent, serious, and scary. If you really know your customers, you’ll know which is most appropriate. Not so sure? Try using personas to make your messaging relevant and razor-sharp.

    5. The lingo. Speaking your audience’s language helps establish rapport and trust. But don’t go overboard with buzzwords and trendy phrases, author Simpson cautions. A few familiar, judiciously placed phrases may be all you need.

    That’s How. Now Who?

    No one understands, loves, or knows your product or service better than you do, Simpson asserts. Therefore, you should author your own sales copy.

    “You’re the best resource…,” he says. “If you can talk about your products to other people, there’s no reason you can’t jot down your ideas and turn them into a written sales piece.”

    Yes, But…

    Most integrated marketers would agree that owners and execs DO know their businesses best. The rub is that most are not professional writers. Nor can these leaders comfortably carve out quiet blocks of time required to draft truly thoughtful, effective sales copy.

    One potential response-raising solution is having an in-house subject matter expert write the first draft and then enlist a professional copywriter or creative services provider to nip, tuck and polish the verbiage, as needed.

    As we’ve reported before, print is not dead, and direct mail still matters. So if response rates and ROI still matter to you, make sure your sales copy resonates with readers. Prove you understand their needs and offer a unique and credible solution. Need to reactivate lapsed customers? Restart the dialogue with these integrated marketing tips.

    Do you know of anyone else who would be interested in receiving our newsletter?  Please let us know by email: 

    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:

    The First Direct Marketing Campaign 800 Years Ago

    Leveraging Direct mail to Engage Multiple Senses

    Direct Mail Works. But Should You Write Your Own?

    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:
    • New Health Labs

    • Real Estate 101

    • 2 New Lists From Various List Managers and List Owners

    Mike's Favorite Apps & Links:

    Some interesting things to check out...

    Packwire.com - Create your own Custom Box for your products. Bring your ideas to life and make your brand stand out.

    Stream.club - The easiest way to design, produce, and broadcast a beautiful livestream straight from your browser.

    Post-It App: - Stop spending hours transcribing notes after a brainstorm. When you download the free Post-it® App, you can instantly capture and share notes with the team without recaps or delays.

    Yous.ai - Audio and video calls with AI-based translator.

    Rogervoice.com/en- Caption your phone calls instantly! Hearing difficulties should not prevent you from enjoying phone calls. Simply read the live transcriptions and you'll never miss out again.

    Howmanyplants.com - Comprehensive guides for all your favorite houseplants - covering the basics of watering and lighting needs, more advanced topics like how to propagate, and diagnosing common problems.

    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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    If you do not wish to receive the Talon Mailing & Marketing Newsletter please click here: