Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing October 2015 Newsletter.
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Mail Is Still Here And It’s Better Than Ever
By Andy Yates, campaignsandelections.com
Stick with direct mail. It works. In fact, in
today’s world, direct mail works better than ever if you implement a smart
I recently had a client,
who happened to be a first-time candidate, question the effectiveness of
direct mail advertising. She was convinced that direct mail was only
effective with older voters (ages 65+). In today’s world of smartphones
and tablets, she argued, people under the age of 65 are no longer
conditioned to rely on snail mail, much less pay attention to direct mail.
She couldn’t have been more wrong about the impact of political direct
mail, and fortunately I was able to convince her before she made a
potentially fatal mistake for her campaign by ignoring mail as a
So let’s break some of this new “conventional wisdom” about the impact of
direct mail. Contrary to what some may think, the numbers show that direct
mail is scanned or read more now than ever before. In a world with so much
other distraction, direct mail is becoming more effective not less.
The numbers bear this out. According to the U.S. Postal Service’s
“Household Diary Study,” 79 percent of households at least scan their
direct mail daily and 55 percent report they read all of their direct mail
daily. That’s compared to 47 percent in 1987.
These numbers hold across all age and demographic groups except for
high-income households where scan and readership rates are even higher.
Even Millennials still trust and read direct mail—research from Money
Mailer found that 90 percent of Millennials find direct mail to be
reliable and 87 percent actually like getting information from retailers
in the mail.
Two big reasons for these numbers are that the widespread use of email
(how many of you get all or most of your bills by email now?) has reduced
the amount of mail in your box (according to the USPS the average
household only receives two pieces of direct mail per day), and more
sophisticated targeting ensures the direct mail individuals are receiving
is actually relevant to them.
Less mail in the mail box obviously makes direct mail pieces stand out
more (especially if they are well done) and it’s just common sense that
people are more likely to read direct mail if they find it relevant to
A smart direct mail program can make your voter contact direct mail even
more effective. Here are 5 tips I utilize and recommend to make your
direct mail program smarter:
1. Go Big
The biggest piece in the box grabs people’s attention and that’s the
ultimate goal of direct mail. That’s why I always recommend 8.5” x 11”
mailers. It’s typically only two to three cents more piece to design and
print an 8.5” x 11” compared to a smaller 5.5” x 11”. That’s a small price
to pay to ensure more people notice your mail.
2. Use Flats
I use the trash can/kitchen counter rule: Most people read or scan their
mail between their mail box and the trash can or the kitchen counter. They
never really look at it again. Make sure your direct mail is easy to read
and designed to convey its central message in the time it takes to get
from the mail box or the kitchen counter. There’s a good chance you can
get them to read or at least scan both sides of a flat mailer during that
time but a much lower chance they’ll open up a folded piece.
The only time I use voter contact mail that must be opened is in very
special circumstances when the extra space is a must have and you have a
real hook to get people to open it. Even then I make sure that all of my
key points are contained on the exterior of the mailer.
3. Pictures and Imagery Make the Mail
One of the first things most folks will notice on your mail is the
photography. It’s essential that you have appealing imagery. Don’t skimp
and use pictures the candidate’s friend or staffer made with their
smartphone or 10-year old camera from the attic. Bring in a professional
photographer and take at least twice as many photos as you think you’ll
Photos and imagery are one of the things that will catch and keep your
audience’s attention. Your content can be top notch, but if your imagery
is not many people will never even notice the content. And avoid
cookie-cutter mail at all costs. Your target audience is smarter than you
think and quickly discards cookie-cutter pieces.
4. Target and Make it Relevant
With the abundance of voter data available today there’s no excuse for
failing to precisely target the audience of your direct mail. Relevancy is
a must for ensuring your mail is read. Unless you’re setting out with an
extremely small audience, develop a plan to divide your audience in as
many ways that make sense (be careful not to go too small making your per
piece printing cots unreasonable). Then focus on the specific messaging
that works with that audience and utilize imagery that has specific appeal
to those folks.
5. Coordinate Your Direct Mail and Digital
This is perhaps the number one way to maximize the effectiveness of your
direct mail program in today’s world. Both direct mail and digital
advertising allow you to microtarget specific groups of voters with
precision. Make sure your target audience is the same for both mediums and
keep your messaging and imagery the same or very similar. Then time your
direct mail to ensure that it hits on (or at least very close to) the day
the digital advertising ramps up.
“The Little Book of Bigger Returns” (Royal Mail Group Ltd. 2011) shows
that for businesses an integrated direct mail and digital campaign
improves the effectiveness of online campaigns by 62 percent and improves
ROI by 20 percent. The same is true for political direct mail campaigns.
Stick with direct mail. It works. In fact, in today’s world, direct mail
works better than ever if you implement a smart program.
Andy Yates is Senior Partner and Co-Founder of
Red Dome Group, a political consulting, issue advocacy, and public affairs
consulting firm based in North Carolina and operating across the nation.
Red Dome Group specializes in strategic and tactical consulting, direct
mail, digital advertising, social media and web solutions and grassroots
lobbying and mobilization.
Mail Beats Digital Advertising in Driving Consumers to Act.
By PR Newswire,
study shows some surprising results that you should know about:
A groundbreaking neuromarketing study shows that direct
mail continues to play an important role in the marketing mix, stimulating
70% higher brand recall and driving consumers to act.
Commissioned by Canada Post and conducted by leading neuromarketing expert
Diana Lucaci, the study used research-grade technology to measure the
emotional responses of people interacting with digital and physical ad
campaigns. The study is the largest of its kind ever conducted and focused
on the essential elements of media effectiveness, including ease of
understanding and persuasiveness.
"In a data-driven world, this study reminds marketers that consumers are,
ultimately, humans and their emotions are a driver in their path to
purchase," said Diana Lucaci, the founder and CEO of True Impact. "The
effectiveness of tangible pieces on the brain is undeniable and
understanding when and how to blend physical and digital throughout
marketing can work to create the best customer experience."
- Direct Mail is easy to understand and more memorable. Physical media
requires 21% less effort to understand, and creates a 70 per cent higher
- Direct Mail is far more persuasive than digital media. Where a 2% to 5%
positive difference in motivation between two stimuli is considered a
predictive indicator that consumers are more likely to act, direct mail
generates a 20% higher motivation score than digital. This means it is
factually better positioned to persuade. This dramatically exceeds the
threshold researchers see as an indicator of future behavioral change.
- Direct Mail gets the message across faster. The context in which it is
processed is optimal: quick glance, low cognitive effort and high
To further enhance the effect of physical media, the study was also the
first of its kind to examine it with the senses of smell and hearing. It
found that direct mail's motivation score jumped when scent (perfume) or
sound was included in the creative material. 'Sensory' direct mail
outperformed standard direct mail and had a 30 per cent higher motivation
score than digital media.
- Direct Mail is more likely to drive consumers to act. Researchers
determine this by examining the relationship between persuasiveness
(motivation) and understanding (cognitive load). This is known as the
motivation-to-cognitive load ratio. In this study, only direct mail passed
the crucial threshold necessary to trigger the desired action from the
consumer. This is true across all age groups.
The researchers developed two integrated campaigns featuring mock brands,
applying the same creative and messaging consistently across each
campaign's physical and digital media formats. The 270 participants
underwent brain imaging and eye-tracking to test for the campaigns' ease
of understanding, motivation and visual attention. Participants were later
given memory tests to assess their recall of branded material.
For a full copy of the study visit this link:
Seven Tips For Awesome Direct Mail Copy
By Scott De Buitleir, huffingtonpost.com
these 7 tips will help you increase conversions and get more from your
Carefully crafted copy can be the key to many things, from
product descriptions that are subject to seriously healthy conversion
rates, through to websites that engage the reader and lead them
seamlessly over onto a contact form or online purchase.
However, writing effective copy is somewhat of an underappreciated art
form, particularly within the ever evolving and always changing realm of
direct mail, with many novices attempting the feat only to find the ever
growing copywriting industry to be understandably in-demand.
So, here's a look at the specific realm of writing great copy for Direct
Mail, which is an area of marketing that is seeing a particularly
1. First and forest: Understand that customers
are ready and willing to buy - Companies are seeing impressive
results from direct mail, with 92% of receivers being driven online
towards a digital activity, and 86% reportedly feeling 'connected' to the
business sender. So first it is important to appreciate that there are
indeed opportunities out there to boost your bottom line. You just have
to get your strategy right, for which your copy is central.
2. Focus on simplicity - Keeping your
language simple should be your starting point with any piece of copy. So
opt for short paragraphs, bullet points and the use of sub headings to
create a great structure to scan.
3. Use images wisely and choose wonderful works
that really work - Images are great for bringing your words to
life, however you should be careful not to overcrowd your flyer: opting
for one powerful image is better than choosing numerous smaller images
that all jostle for attention. The power of visual communication is
extremely important and quality images establish credibility and are the
most important factor in discerning the credibility of materials.
4. Opt for an angle... and really sell it
- Always have a strong angle and a singular message for clarity.
Whether this is "My course will teach you everything the experts know
about marketing" or "Learn the industry insider tips to becoming a
copywriter": make it punchy, make it powerful.
5. Create a story - Harnessing a
story is great way of promoting a human element to your offering, and
consumers love to have a realistic story line to buy into. Finding a
newsworthy angle is so important and can be the determining factor in
whether you succeed or fail. So consider a rags-to riches storyline,
which has proven to be particularly effective within marketing, if it so
fits in with your service or product.
6. Be intriguing, creative and useful
- Offering the reader a reason to head on over online can be key to
capturing what you need from them, be this a purchase or the entering of
information, such as an email. So be intriguing, offer them something
that will only be fully revealed or provided once a set task is
undertaken. Of course this should also be something that is genuinely
useful to your target market, such as a must-read guide to cutting
outgoings, boosting marketing or harnessing online discounts.
7. And finally... consider hiring a professional
- If all else fails, or if you simply fail to create the impactful words
that you'd been aiming for, then you should consider turning to the
professionals, particularly as the freelancing realm has never been so
Direct copy can be extremely powerful and still works extremely well in
this day and age. Utilizing the aforementioned advice will help you
increase conversions and get more from your investment.
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!
Monday November 2, 2015.
Nets vs. Milwaukee 7:30 PM.
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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...
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onetoday - One Today lets you
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calm.com - Helps you discover how simple
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