Talon Mailing & Marketing

561 Acorn Street
Deer Park, NY 11729

(631) 667-5500


Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing October 2020 Newsletter.

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11 Direct Mail Secrets

From: Smallbiztrends.com

We asked 11 marketers their top secrets for making direct mail more appealing to the people who matter most — those opening the envelopes. Here’s what they said:

Remember when getting a letter in the mail was exciting? So do we. But how do you recreate that feeling and get customers excited about your business when they’re facing a sea of junk mail, flyers and credit card offers?

We asked 11 members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) their top secrets for making direct mail marketing more appealing to the people who matter most — those opening the envelopes.

Here’s what YEC community members had to say:

1. Make Mailers Useful. “Consumers use scrap paper every day for grocery and to-do lists, phone books and notepads. So, why should your promo, assuming it’s not immediately trashed, languish uselessly in a drawer somewhere? This year, we sent something people tend to keep — a New Year’s resolution sheet (with business info, of course). Brands should think of an additional use for their mailers; consumers sure could.” ~ Manpreet Singh, Seva Call

2. Open With a Proposition. “Consumers have short attention spans. Instead of building excitement toward your value proposition, just open with it. This will attract the recipient’s attention and force you, the sender, to see if your value proposition is worth sending to potential customers.” ~ Brett Farmiloe, Internet Marketing Company

3. Make It Lumpy. “The first goal of a direct mail campaign is to get your envelope opened. We’ve sent thousands of direct mail pieces to prospects, and we find mailers with a lumpy object inside of the envelope have a near 100 percent open rate. People are curious what’s inside, and the curiosity gets them to open it. Now your job is to make it personal, relevant and captivating to get your piece read.” ~ Charles Gaudet, Predictable Profit

4. Include Product Samples. “Paper direct mail can be a nuisance to most customers, but if you include a product sample, the direct mail instantly becomes more valuable as a trial tool. There are several companies that specialize in creating product samples, such as Arcade Marketing for the fragrance and makeup industries, and they often have interactive programs that aim to increase the ROI for your brand.” ~ Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.

5. Make Mailers Creative. “Direct mail can be very, very powerful. The key is what you send out. Last week, someone mailed me a message in a bottle. The message was about the company changes this business planned to instill in the new year, and the idea was so well put out that I called them immediately. Here’s the key: Send a more creative message to less people. It’s about quality, not quantity. ” ~ Joe Apfelbaum, Ajax Union

6. Include Something Useful. “People often only think of promotional products as items to give away during a tradeshow or to clients. But what about using them in direct mail campaigns? Along with your sales/marketing message, include something like a pen. Those who are on the receiving end are at least 50% more likely to keep the pen, and in doing so, you’ll remain in their house in the future, used or not. ” ~ Logan Lenz, Endagon

7. Tailor Content to the Consumer. “Invest in learning about your customer, and communicate with them accordingly. Leverage information on customer purchasing behavior and shopping preferences to segment and personalize marketing content and drive sales.” ~ Katie Finnegan, Hukkster

8. Use MailLift. “MailLift is basically an API for direct mail marketing. It allows you to integrate your CRM or customer service software directly into its messaging system. You can write out a message, and it will be transcribed as a handwritten letter and sent to your customer. It’s completely revolutionary because you can do mass mail customization efficiently for the first time.” ~ Liam Martin, Staff.com

9. Provide Value. “Most direct mail pieces deserve the moniker of “junk mail.” To make sure yours stands out from the crowd, you must deliver some kind of real value that transcends your brand message. There are so many creative things you can do that are cheap: Deliver curated content, use creative techniques (such as punch-outs or folds) to make something that consumers can use or write witty copy. Be boldly creative!” ~ Brittany Hodak, ZinePak

10. Partner Up. “Partner up with a complementary company to increase the value of the piece. By doing this you can create a more creative, useful piece. Tap into their customer base as well and use the piece both ways.” ~ Brooke Bergman, Allied Business Network Inc.

11. Use a Stamp. “Consumers can tell when something has been mass-mailed. If you make the envelope look like it came from a person rather than a machine, then the piece will more likely get opened. Try using stamps instead of metered mail, and use a font that looks like handwriting instead of typed text.” ~ Sarah Schupp, UniversityParent

Seven Tips to Boost Response in Today's Crazy Economy

By Dean Rieck, Targetmarketingmag.com

Follow these seven tips and watch your response rates climb:

If you rely on direct mail to bring in business, you've probably had a bumpy ride the last couple of years. There are signs the economy is starting to rebound, but it's still a little scary out there.

I don't recommend you run and hide as some businesses are doing now, but I do recommend a little caution when mailing.

Just as customers are more prone to avoid risk in these uncertain times, you should try to avoid unnecessary risk in your marketing efforts. This is the perfect time to remind yourself of a few basic principles that drive direct mail marketing.

1. Sell Things People Want

In general, direct marketing is not about creating markets but locating existing markets. It's a business-to-buyer avenue of selling that is streamlined, efficient and profitable—but only when a market wants what you are offering.

For example, a few decades ago only hard-core geeks would buy a computer by mail. Computers were neither understood nor wanted by the general public. Now, such purchases are common because a wide market exists.

2. Sell Solutions to Problems, Not Products

No one cares about your widgets. What they care about are their own needs and wants. Bob doesn't want a drill, he wants a hole. Mary doesn't want a dress, she wants to look thin at the party this Friday. Alice doesn't want an investment newsletter, she wants to find a great investment that will let her retire at 45. Ted doesn't want a recipe book, he wants new ways to impress his friends at dinner parties and generate the compliments he thrives on.

3. Appeal to Emotion First, Reason Second

Most direct marketers are number-crunching, logical people. It's easy for us to fall into a cold, left brain, bullet-pointed, 714-reasons-why type of sales pitch. However, people make decisions in the right brain based on emotion. Then they justify that decision with logic. To set up a sale, appeal to emotion first. Then, to close and confirm the sale, use logic.

4. Use Proven Techniques

While there is no set of universal techniques for all circumstances, there are a few that are nearly universal. According to Bob Stone, the guru of gurus in direct marketing:

  • A yes/no offer usually out-pulls offers without a no option.
  • A negative-option offer usually out-pulls a positive option offer.
  • An offer with a time limit usually out-pulls an offer with no time limit.
  • An offer with a free gift usually out-pulls discount offers, especially when the gift closely matches your prospect's self-interest.
  • Sweepstakes usually increase order volume, especially for impulse items (though sweepstakes customers will not be loyal).
  • Benefits out-pull features.
  • The more involved you can get people, and the more they read, the greater your chance for success.
  • Envelope packages usually outpull self-mailers.

5. Value Content Over Form

One of the primary reasons advertising fails is that ad creators often get caught up in a creative vision without having anything to say.

One agency has repeatedly sent me mockups of mailers and brochures with tiny blank spaces it wants me to fill in with copy. When I ask about the purpose of the piece or point out that the design should be based on what needs to be communicated, I am gently told to just write something the right length and everything will work out fine.

This is nonsense. Don't start with a "look," start with content. Allow your design to develop naturally from your copy.

6. Make Sure You're Doing Direct Marketing

Every direct marketing message includes three basic elements:

  • an offer;
  • enough information for immediate acceptance of the offer; and
  • a mechanism for responding to the offer.
Without each of these, you are not doing direct marketing but merely using a medium associated with direct marketing.

7. Consider Two-step Sales

There are two basic ways to make a sale in direct marketing:

  • the single shot, where you get an immediate order; or
  • the two-step, where you generate inquiries and attempt to convert those inquiries into sales.
If your product is expensive, complex, new, hard-to-understand, or requires a major commitment of some kind, two-step sales may net you more profit in the long run than single shots.

I don't know if we'll ever again see the glory of direct mail days gone, but maybe that's a good thing. Maybe the market forces at work right now will encourage all of us to get back to direct mail basics and remind ourselves how to be more effective and efficient.

How to Maintain Your Market Share in Recessions

By Lynne Saarte

Right now, what you need is more clients; more clients to buy your products and services.

During times of economic crisis, what do most businesses cut back on to save on costs? If you are a business owner, you have probably answered marketing. True. Most companies look at marketing as more of an expense rather than a means to get back investments; hence, it can very well be taken off the list if you need to cut back on your budget. Printed posters – not this time. Color posters – cross it out. Brochure printing – another one off the list.

But this is where you are wrong. Especially during these trying times, there is a need for more marketing campaigns than ever. In order for you to gain profits, you need to spend first. And the only way you can get clients for your business is to market constantly.

What will happen if you lessen your marketing costs? What if you stopped producing printed posters or color posters altogether? What if you stopped using direct marketing? You are just going to lose your customer, that is what; and your competition might just steal them from under your nose. Is that what you need right now? Right now, what you need is more clients; more clients to buy your products and services. Do well to remember that marketing can generate for you your client so you might as well give a large chunk of your budget to advertising.

Now is exactly the right time to allot a budget for your marketing activities. This is the appropriate time because if your competition thinks like you, they might also be of the idea to put on hold their marketing campaigns to save their money. You can then get their market share if you continue to promote your business while they are abandoning their marketing strategies for a while. With even smaller amount of marketing expenses, you might just end up with the whole lot.

Bear in mind that the marketplace is an area of competition. Even your most loyal customers are fair game for your competitors. By providing your clients and prospects with carefully planned marketing efforts, your business can very well get the most of the market share without your competition having any say about it.

The idea is this: while your competition is taking a rest from marketing their business, you can grab their market share from under their noses by pursuing an aggressive marketing strategy. Not only that, you are also positioning yourself at this time so that when things are well again economically, you have the most prominent place in the industry.

Lynne Saarte is a writer that hails from Texas. She has been in the Internet business for some years now, specializing in Internet marketing and online strategies.

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:

11 Direct Mail Secrets

Seven Tips to Boost Response in Today's Crazy Economy

How to Maintain Your Market Share in Recessions

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:
  • The Fly Fishing Show

  • CarShield

  • 3 New Lists From Various List Managers and Owners

Mike's Favorite Apps & Links:

Some interesting things to check out...

Lazybonesapp.com - Lazy Bones turns your Apple device into a powerful daily routine planner, allowing you to focus on taking action toward becoming consistent in different areas of your life, without worrying about your progress.

Bingie.tv - A place to discover, discuss & share what to watch. Bingie is designed to put trusted suggestions from friends and family front and center.

Runwayml.com - Bring the power of artificial intelligence to your creative projects with an intuitive and simple visual interface. Start exploring new ways of creating today.

Camptarget.com - Create beautiful itineraries based on your time budget and interests found along the way.

Letter.so - Letter is the smarter way to create newsletters. Speed up your workflow with dynamic content and smart templates. You will be able to create beautiful newsletters in minutes, not hours.

Blacklight - A real-time website privacy inspector. See who is peeking over your shoulder while you work, watch videos, learn, explore, and shop on the internet? Enter the address of any website, and Blacklight will scan it and reveal the specific user-tracking technologies on the site—and who’s getting your data. You may be surprised at what you learn.

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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