Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing October 2013 Newsletter.
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Mail is Alive and Well
by Suzanne Stock
If you think that direct mail is dead, then I’m afraid you're wrong.
TV hasn’t killed our love of a good book, neither has the
Kindle killed bookshops – yet, and just because we now use email for
marketing doesn’t mean that direct mail has been left languishing like an
In a society that faces technological progress on what
feels like a daily basis, it’s easy to think that more traditional methods
of communication have been lost amongst the wealth of tools available. And
when it comes to marketing, and the number of apps, tools, and gadgets at
our fingertips, some people might think that direct mail is dead. But
they’d be wrong.
According to Central Mailing Services 2013 infographic on
direct mail statistics, a whopping 48% of the UK population has responded
to direct mail over the past year. Add to that statistics that show 62% of
people like to receive offers via mail and 56% of people welcome mail that
provides useful information, direct mail sounds like a brighter option
than you may have thought 2 minutes ago.
In fact, it’s better than that. The ROI of direct mail has
increased year-on-year for the last decade. Once you’re over that shocker,
here’s how it was done:
You’ve Got Mail!
A phrase made famous by Tom Hanks back in the 1990s. But
now, everyone is getting mail. In fact, if your computer announced ‘You’ve
got mail’ every time you had actually gotten mail, it wouldn’t take too
long for the computer to be thrown out of a window somewhere. Landing in a
heap of other computers that had been swiftly ejected from homes and
We live in a time where professionals everywhere are
suffering from inbox overload, and with 300 billion messages sent each
day, that is hardly surprising. So in a time where every business
everywhere is sending email after email, it makes a nice change for a
direct mail to land upon a CEO’s desk on a Monday morning.
In fact, some may call it a novelty to receive an
interesting piece of direct mail – you instantly stand out from the
plethora of emails. And given the fact that printing costs have fallen
drastically, you can send out something a little different from your
competitors without having to contend with an ever dwindling marketing
A study conducted by the Direct Marketing Association
(DMA) in April 2012 found that the response rate for direct mail to an
existing customer averages 3.4%, compared to 0.12% for email.
Direct mail + online interaction = the ultimate formula for
Using direct mail doesn’t mean that you should scrap that
social media plan. In fact, research shows that printed direct mail is a
great way to drive digital interaction.
The DMA also says that print DM is a good way to drive digital interaction
and that the move to digital marketing has actually driven more innovation
in print DM, rather than killing it off. Being creative in your DM design
helps to drive better results too and using ‘dimensional mail’ rather than
traditional flat paper in envelopes has been shown to get significantly
higher response rates in the B2B world.
Research has shown that dimensional mail:
• has 20 times the penetrating power of flat direct mail
• boosts response rates by as much as 75%
• scores 80% or better in generating positive opinions among
Making the most of direct mail
So if I’ve managed to show you that direct mail is worth a
chance, how does a business go about creating mailers that will give you
the response you’re looking for?
Here are a few great tips:
• Focused targeting – don’t mass send to everyone in your
database. Be selective, develop the right messages and send only to the
right people. Remember – this will only be successful if you’ve got good,
up-to-date data lists.
• Get personal – use of first name just doesn’t cut it
anymore. You have to speak to the business pain your prospects are feeling
or your mailer just won’t resonate, no matter how pretty it is.
• Don’t go it alone – like all marketing channels,
integration is the key and your amazing DM campaign needs to be surrounded
by other marketing activities for maximum impact.
• Get your headline right! Most people are not paying
attention to every advertisement so you really have to shake them to their
core with something that is relevant and attention grabbing.
How to nail direct mail
• Make an integrated plan that surrounds your DM with
digital activities, so the mailer also creates a buzz online
• Go for small, targeted groups rather than blanket mails
for better results
• Remember that, although the costs of a DM campaign may seem
high compared to digital, if you get it right the potential ROI is a lot
• Create a dimensional DM that has impact
Suzanne Stock is one of the founder Directors of Marketscan.
During this time she has experienced many changes within the data industry
and played a strategic role within the management team creating
Key Elements of a Successful Direct Marketing Campaign.
by Paul Kluding, Meredith Corporation
Here are five
key elements to make your next marketing campaign
As most people know, the American Association for Retired
People (AARP) is a positive advocacy organization for people age 50 and
over. So if you receive a direct mail letter from the AARP asking you to
join their selective yet beneficial club, you most likely will give the
letter its due attention.
Unless you are 30.
Doing a quick search on the Internet, one can find tales of direct mail
campaigns gone awry from the AARP, as individuals some 20 years before the
target mark receive invitation letters.
Now, due to its strong brand presence and reputation throughout the
country, the AARP can withstand a few direct mail gaffes. Could you say
the same about your brand?
Direct marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach your current
or future customers. While it can take many forms and serve many purposes,
there are certain key elements to any successful direct marketing
1. Know Your Customers. Blanketing the
entire universe is a direct mail notion of the past. Targeting is the key
for today. Whether your current customers are defined by region, age,
income level, agricultural product, the time of year they purchased, etc.,
this information will help you determine what makes your audience tick,
and how you can more effectively market to them in the future.
2. Assess Your Data. By knowing the
key attributes--or data points--of your current customers, you can use
those to build out your database and identify future targets.
A CASE STUDY
Like many organizations utilizing a direct-marketing strategy, BASF's
customer and prospect database contained valuable data points, especially
related to its Ag brand usage, loyalty, and customer demographics. However,
the company struggled with obtaining "year on year" data on a consistent
By partnering with Successful Farming Data Services, which maintains more
than 2,800 data points on its customers, BASF was able to augment its Ag
demo information with additional prospects obtained from the Successful
Farming database using analysis and brand data.
"A little collaboration can go along way," said Cheryl Dahlquist, Director
of Database Marketing Services for Meredith Corporation. "The
direct-marketing sophistication of agri-businesses is growing
exponentially, and companies are putting that skill to use to positively
impact their bottom line."
3. Creative Execution. Nearly as
important as assuring your data points are on target is developing a
creative strategy that will get results. Investing in direct-mail creative
services with a proven direct marketing company can help ensure your
message rises above the clutter. Working hand-in-hand with your direct
marketing partner, you can determine the key parameters, such as the
creative package and its messages. What is your product? What is the
benefit? What is the unique offer to this audience? What is the call to
4. Response Capturing. A major
strength of utilizing a direct-mail campaign is the ability to insert a
variety of response tracking mechanisms. Whether utilizing a promotional
code, a coupon, a unique Web site landing page, or a specific e-mail
address and toll free number for each campaign, customer data received
from these vehicles can be used to determine the success of the campaign,
as well as how your target audience prefers to respond to direct-mail
5. Analyze & Improve. Once the
response data is captured, the final step in the process is a thorough
examination of the results. Analyzing each segment of the campaign can
help determine its independent successes, and areas for improvement. For
example, if the response rate was positive but actual sales were low, that
could mean the call to action and messaging were on target, but the offer
or coupon may need to be tweaked for this audience.
Remember, while the goal of every campaign is a strong response rate, each
campaign offers a learning opportunity to make the next direct-marketing
initiative an even bigger success.
Sued For Hacking User Accounts For Marketing Purposes
LinkedIn, the largest professional network, is facing a lawsuit filed by
four users for allegedly misusing their account information for marketing
The complainants allege that LinkedIn used
information about contacts on their email accounts and sent out
endorsement mails on his/her behalf to the email users. The mails
forwarded repeated invitations to the other contacts to join varied
services and products on the site.
The lawsuit filed by Russ August & Kabat, Los Angeles, reads, "As a part
of its effort to acquire new users, Linkedln sends multiple e-mails
endorsing its products, services and brand to potential new users,"
reports Economic Times. "In an effort to optimize the efficiency of this
marketing strategy, Linkedln sends these 'endorsement e-mails' to the list
of e-mail addresses obtained without its existing users' express consent
and, to further enhance the effectiveness of this particular marketing
campaign, these endorsement e-mails contain the name and likeness of those
existing users from whom Linkedln surreptitiously obtained the list of
A LinkedIn user, Deborah Lagutaris, a tax preparer by profession, said to
Bloomberg that more than 3000 people on her contact list received
invitations from LinkedIn in her user name. When she questioned LinkedIn
the company replied, "Oh, you can remove all those invitations from your
account manually. We don't know what happened.'' Later, Lagutaris had to
add a disclaimer to her page stating that she had not been sending out
these spam mails.
The California based social networking giant has refuted the allegations
saying that LinkedIn is very strict about security norms and never sends
out information on a users' s behalf unless permitted by the user. An
official statement by the company says, "LinkedIn is committed to putting
our members first, which includes being transparent about how we protect
and utilize our members' data. We believe that the legal claims in this
lawsuit are without merit, and we intend to fight it vigorously."
Blake Lawlit, the senior director also made a statement on the official
LinkedIn blog, "As you may have read recently, a class action lawsuit was
filed against LinkedIn last week. The lawsuit alleges that we 'break into'
the email accounts of our members who choose to upload their email address
books to LinkedIn. Quite simply, this is not true."
The complainants have asked the company to pay them the money that it
earned by using their LinkedIn accounts.
Win Brooklyn Nets Tickets!
Enjoy a great day of Basketball!
We are giving away two tickets to see the Brooklyn Nets.
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!
Tuesday November 5, 2013.
Nets vs. Utah 7:30 PM.
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Direct Mail is Alive and Well
Five Key Elements of a Successful Direct Marketing Campaign
LinkedIn Sued For Hacking User Accounts For Marketing Purposes
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