Talon Mailing & Marketing

561 Acorn Street
Deer Park, NY 11729

(631) 667-5500


Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing October 2016 Newsletter.

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Six Major Strategies to Conquer Your Direct Marketing Challenges

By Sophia Wright, business2community.com

Follow the steps below and you'll see sales and profits grow.

Balancing your budget, visibility, and messages can be difficult for you and your business. And when it comes to the digital world, your voice is competing to be heard with a wide range of other inbound and outbound marketing efforts.

However, “old school” Direct Marketing is one place where you can rise above the crowds and scale your marketing messages with reduced competition. This post will outline five major strategies that could help you conquer the most common direct marketing challenges faced by each and every sector of business today, particularly if your product or service is targeted toward consumers.

Are you measuring ROI for all marketing activities?

One of the biggest challenges marketers struggle with today is how to measure the ROI (Return on Investment) of their marketing activities. After all, this is one of the vital ways for marketers to understand the effectiveness of each and every particular marketing campaign, piece of content etc.

Proving the ROI of your efforts to the leadership within your organization can really help you prioritize what does and does not work better. But first, it is important to put focused effort on improving how you track ROI. Then you have an easy system to understand success and failure. When it comes time to set future-forward strategies, ROI can play a major role in driving your decision process regarding budget and time allocation for supporting those efforts.

Have you built strong customer profiles?

You should know who your marketing audience is, and especially who your ideal clients are. Concentrating on your biggest buyers can be a good starting point.

Once you know who your marketing audience is, take time to ensure that your message matches with whatever that target segment needs and desires.

Do you have the right channel for marketing to that audience?

While marketing your products and services, you need to make sure to align the messages you are trying to deliver with the delivery medium or channel.

While most companies focus on email campaigns as their top marketing method, you can still drive positive ROI with direct mail in many sectors of the market.

What do we mean by direct mail? For the purposes of this post, we are talking about sending information in a traditional envelope or delivering on a telephone call or message.

Print mailers generally take more time and effort, but some audiences prefer the tactile nature of holding and reading a postcard or brochure. Some companies have started to use telephone calls as direct marketing vehicles, and that has been received with mixed reactions. It pays to test what works and adjust based on metrics.

Are you connecting with your customers?

Studies have suggested that you need to connect with your prospects at least six-to-11 times in a day. The idea is that the more you connect with your customers, the more likely they are to keep you top of mind when they need your product or service.

Frequency helps you create a very valuable asset – top of mind awareness. Try to embrace variety and frequency in every direct mail marketing campaign to keep it fresh, and to keep them engaged.

How old is your database?

How many times has your list been changed? How many individuals from your database may have moved or changed their jobs?

One inescapable reality of direct marketing is that lists get “tired” (i.e. some of the data goes stale or obsolete on a monthly basis). Check your customer database regularly to ensure that the list is accurate.

It would be undesirable to find yourself spending time, energy and money on names that are no longer accurate or active within your list or database. Try to review the entire list after each send, then update or removing entries that are no longer valid.

How easy it is for your prospects to respond?

What’s the call to action on your direct marketing campaign?

What are the steps you want your prospects to take after reading that call to action?

For example do they have to visit your website?

Can they reach out easily on the smart phone? Is the website or landing page mobile friendly?

Do they need to fill out a form online or do they need to make a phone call to a live person?

Make it easy enough for all your prospects to take action on your piece. And whenever possible, try to track all of their actions so you can update your database with additional profile information based on their behavior. There is a lot you can do once your metrics are in order.


Direct marketing today is still considered to be one of the most powerful ways of building your business. Follow the steps on this checklist, and you will find yourself moving things along nicely. Do you still use direct marketing and direct mail in your business? How do you integrate it with internet marketing programs to maximize the value of both?

10 Direct Mail Mistakes to Avoid

By Craig Simpson, Entrepreneur.com 

Any one of these 10 errors can ruin your campaign. Keep this list handy and refer to it before you set up a direct mail campaign.

Believe it or not, the USPS really does know a thing or two about direct mail marketing. Not only do they provide a delivery service for your packages, but after years of delivering direct mail they have compiled a helpful list of what not to do with your campaigns.

1. You don't identify your audience. I say this a lot, but it’s worth saying again, the more you target your most responsive prospects, the more effective your mailing will be. Mailing to a random sample of names won’t get you the sales you want. On the other hand, it’s amazing how precisely you can refine your lists to reach just the people you want. So spend some time analyzing your best buyers. What is their demographic? What are their other interests? Then use that information to define your most promising mailing universe.

2. You've rented a bad mailing list. Your list broker is your connection to the best lists available. So first, make sure you are working with a reliable list broker. Second, make sure you are mailing to lists that are up-to-date and carefully selected according to your criteria. If you’re not sure, ask questions – especially if your mailing did not perform as expected. Make sure the problem wasn’t in the list.

3. You rely on unclean data. Every list requires a little regular “house cleaning.” You must even perform an NCOA on your own house file (compare the file to the National Change of Address list and update the addresses of those that have moved). You also want to make sure to NCOA lists you buy or lease. This will keep you from mailing to inaccurate addresses, or outdated addresses of people who have moved. Then you want to scrub all your lists of duplicates – especially if you’re mailing to more than one list that may be drawing from the same population. And you want to compare all your lists to Suppress files of people who are deceased, in prison, or whom you don’t want to receive your offer for some reason. An unclean list will cause you to waste money – and you won’t be reaching the true prospects you need to reach.

4. You do not presenting a compelling offer. There has to be a reason why people should respond to your offer. If you just send a piece with information about your product, and no special offer, there’s no reason for them to respond at this time, even if they’re interested. But, if you are offering a special price, a two-for-one deal, a bonus gift, a year of market alerts to go with your financial course, or some other special benefit, people are more likely to read your piece, and order.

5. Your message is impersonal. The more you can personalize your message, the more your prospects will feel that you are speaking directly to them – that you understand what they need and how to fulfill that need. Don’t talk about “people in general.” Use the word “you” – a lot. Write copy that shows you know their mindset. If you can put their name in the piece, that’s great. Even better is offering them a personalized URL (PURL). You want your prospects to read your sales piece and feel as though you are sitting across the kitchen table from them, presenting your message as though you were an old friend. If you can establish that kind of rapport with your reader, your orders will add up quickly.

6. You don't indicate a call to action. One of the biggest mistakes newcomers to direct mail marketing make is failing to “close the deal.” You don’t want to have anything vague about your offer. By the time prospects finish reading your piece, they should know exactly what to do. Not only that, but they should have a sense of urgency to reply to your “limited time only” offer. So, make it clear what they should do (order this product, sign up for a free trial), how they should do it (call, e-mail, etc.), and when they should do it (right away, but certainly within the next 10 days).

7. You use mediocre creative components. Your sales piece has to sell. That means it should be motivating, interesting, irresistible. If your prospects look at the headline and it does not catch their attention, they will toss the piece aside and you’ve lost right out of the gate. Track your mail campaign and keep working on the offer, the benefits, and the description of your product. You must appeal and connect with your target audiences. Keep working on your piece until you get a good response – and then don’t stop. The best direct mail marketers keep improving their pieces so they get an even better response the next time. Which brings us to the next mistake . . .

8. You don't test continuously. Even the most successful sales pieces will eventually run out of gas. Times change. People change. Your competition changes. To keep growing your business, you have to keep up. That’s why you have to test, test, test. Try new formats. New offers. Even a change in a headline can make a big difference. Do everything you can to keep improving your performance and your business will continue to grow.

9. You don't use tracking mechanisms. A critical part of your testing program is to be able to track how each variation did at pulling in orders. A tracking mechanism must be built into your mailing plan. For example, you can stamp a code on each piece, on the order form perhaps, or on the mailing label itself. Then instruct mailroom staff or phone operators to make a note of the code for each order that comes in. If you have a large operation and are expecting many orders, you might even have a different toll-free number for each variation in the piece.

10. You have poor or no follow-up. You want to welcome your customers with open arms so they’ll have a pleasant experience and want to order again in the future. So, prepare yourself to be able to respond as quickly as possible to orders or requests for information. Get those orders filled. You’ve worked so hard and spent so much money to get people to respond. Don’t disappoint them at this stage. Prove to them that you really are everything you said you were. Make the most of every customer, and your business will grow and grow.

Use Personalized Postcards to Increase Response Rates

By Kaye Z. Marks

Personalized postcards will show your customers and prospects that you invest effort and consideration in the relationship.

In business, the importance of marketing cannot be underestimated. If you want to stay on top of the game, you need to promote your business. The market, after all, is highly competitive these days.

Surviving the competition often takes the simple task of marketing. It is often no longer enough to simply rely on word of mouth marketing to get your business known in the market. You need to create compelling marketing materials to keep your customers interested in what you have to offer.

A marketing campaign can be as simple as tapping into a network of people or asking people to help you. It is important to remember that the more you get in contact with people, the more chance you have of growing your relationship with them. But before you launch into an extensive marketing campaign, it is important to choose carefully the materials you would use. There are actually plenty of materials to choose from. You have brochures, posters, catalogs, flyers, greeting cards, and postcard printing. You can use one or a combination of these materials.

Among these marketing materials, though, you might want to include postcards in your marketing plan. When done right, postcards will give your customers the feeling that you value your relationship with them. A personalized postcard would especially make them feel you invest effort and consideration in the relationship. In the highly competitive market of today, building trust and good relationship with your customers is the best way to getting on top of the game.

A postcard can be sent for different reasons. This can include:

As a reminder for a special event, upcoming meeting, or as a thank you card. Instead of sending greeting cards, why not send your customers a post card to greet them or thank them for their continued support. Post cards are also a great way of reminding them of an upcoming special event or meeting.

To attract new customers. Designed creatively, it can be a powerful tool to draw in customers. Just make sure to use graphics and texts that are easy to read. Keep in mind that your goal is to get your messaged delivered clearly to your target customers. So, be careful with your postcard design.

Boost current customer relationships. Most of the time, it is more cost effective to maintain current customers than get new ones. Experts say that most of the time the 20% you maintain as loyal customers account for 80% of your sales. So, consider sending them postcards from time to time to let them know you remember them. This will surely help strengthen your relationship with them. Who knows they might refer you to others if they are continuously satisfied of your products or services.

Show appreciation. Aside from greeting cards, they can also be a good way to show your appreciation to your valued customers. A simple note in the card can go a long way towards boosting your relationship with them.

It is important though to carefully choose the postcard templates appropriate for your business and your intention. A poorly designed card will only discourage or offend your customers. So, from the background to the color choice and font style to use, meticulously design your postcard. Remember that you only have one chance to get your customers attention. So, make all your effort count.

About the Author:
Kaye Z. Marks is an avid writer and follower of the developments in postcard templates and postcard printing industry that help businesses in their marketing and advertising campaigns.

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! 

  • Wednesday November 2, 2016.  Nets vs. Detroit 7:30 PM.

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In this Issue:

6 Major Strategies to Conquer Your Direct Marketing Challenges

10 Direct Mail Mistakes to Avoid

Use Personalized Postcards to Increase Response Rates

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:
  • Delta Airlines

  • Kering Eyewear

  • 2 New Lists From Statlistics

Mike's Favorite Links:

Some interesting links...

any.do - The world's favorite task management app, at your fingertips and on the web.

dropbox.com - Get to all your files from anywhere, on any device, and share them with anyone. Save files on your computer, then access them on your phone from the road. Save any kind of file in Dropbox, from photos, videos, and music to Microsoft Office and Adobe files.

tilda.cc - Create beautiful websites and tell stories without any code with Tilda.

frame.io - Video collaboration, solved. Privately upload, review, and share media with your entire team, anywhere in the world.

slides.com - This site helps you make better presentations. It's a site for creating, presenting and sharing slide decks.

google trips - Instantly plan and organize your trips, automatically discover new sights, and effortlessly track your travel info.

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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