Talon Mailing & Marketing

561 Acorn Street
Deer Park, NY 11729

(631) 667-5500


Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing November 2013 Newsletter.

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New Tailored Google Ads Risk User Privacy

By Cecilia Callas, Daily Trojan

If a review you wrote five years ago has the potential to surface in your friends’ Google searches, you have to wonder what other personal data is available, accessible and exploitable by other industry giants.

You’ve been considering buying a new pair of headphones for a while, but aren’t quite sure where to start looking. You could visit an electronics store in person or maybe call up a friend and ask for their advice, but you settle for a simple Google search. Instead of the search merely revealing possible purchase options, however, you are startled to see your friends’ names and pictures alongside their own personal reviews of their favorite headphones. That’s right: Personalized ad endorsements are coming to Google.

The company updated its terms of use recently to allow these “shared endorsements,” stating that its Google+ users will soon be seeing their names, faces and comments in ads beginning Nov. 11. The reviews will be pulled from content they’ve shared on Google+ or other Google services such as YouTube. That means that anything you’ve ever written on a YouTube video could be exploited for Google’s advertising purposes.

The policy isn’t all that different from how Facebook utilizes its users’ “likes” to promote certain products and services. If you “like” a product or company on Facebook, the site will use that information to make you a sponsor for that product. An ad will soon begin to surface on your Facebook friends’ newsfeeds saying that you liked this product — so hey, why don’t your friends like it too?

The strategy behind this tactic revolves around the fact that recommendations from people you know resonate much more strongly with a potential buyer than random reviewers on the web. It might be helpful for people to see reviews from real people whom they actually trust — these personalized endorsements could facilitate a lot of decision-making about things such as where to go for dinner, which new car to buy or which headphones to purchase.

At least, that’s what Google thinks. “We want to give you — and your friends and connections — the most useful information. Recommendations from people you know really help,” Google said in its announcement.

Despite the usefulness that personalized endorsements could provide to Google users, the new policy is not only an invasion of privacy, but also a little tacky.

In regards to privacy, Google+ users probably never imagined that their reviews would one day be used to help Google profit and to help advertisers sell a product. Their words and online support for products were written when no such endorsement policy existed, and had Google+ users known their words could one day be much more visible in Google searches, they might have worded a review differently or simply not written one at all.

Furthermore, Google’s new plan is very clearly a way for the firm to use their 190 million Google+ users to help them make even more money in the advertising space. Their dedicated users will soon become company spokespeople, inadvertently working for Google to help advertisers make a sale. Again, it seems more than a little tasteless.

I have to admit, however, that Google handled their decision in a commendable way. The company announced the change a full month before it is set to take effect, giving users plenty of time to decide whether or not they are comfortable with sharing their reviews with others. Google has made it surprisingly easy to opt out of the policy: If you are a Google+ user, simply go to the settings page on your account called “Shared Endorsements.” From there, users can uncheck the box that gives Google explicit permission to use their content.

But even if unwilling users don’t have to partake in the sponsorship, the company’s new policy still raises questions and doubts about online data collection by companies such as Google. If a review you wrote five years ago on a YouTube video has the potential to surface in your friends’ Google searches, you have to wonder what other personal data is available, accessible and exploitable by other industry giants.

Study Says Direct Mail Still a Key Segment

by Kevin James Shay, Gazette.net

A marketing executive states direct mail's role is getting stronger in the marketing environment.

As online marketing continues to grow, direct mail is still a substantial part of the marketing realm, according to a study released this month by the Direct Marketing Association.

Traditional offline marketing, including direct mailers, was a $93.6 billion industry in 2012, according to the study by professors John Deighton of Harvard University and Peter Johnson of Columbia University.

Online marketing, which includes electronic ads, targeted emails and revenues from selling information to brokers, is about a $62 billion industry, the study says.

That many businesses still use direct mail to reach customers is not new to Kenneth Roseborough, owner of Money Mailer of Silver Spring. The company contracts with businesses such as Silver Spring restaurant Greek Islands Grill to help drive customers to the eatery through coupons and ads sent by U.S. mail.

“People get caught up in the digital age,” Roseborough said. “But they find that they have to go back to paper. A lot of people want to see something in their hand like a coupon, and not just an electronic image on their smartphone or other device.”

Coupons are particularly effective as customers seek better value in leaner times, he said.

“Digital marketing has increased in recent years, but direct mail has not declined,” said Roseborough, 54, a longtime marketing executive who belongs to the American Marketing Society. “In fact, it has gotten stronger.”

Money Mailer has an Internet presence as well as in the paper mailers, he said. “We want to give customers the option of being able to go online and upload coupons if they want,” Roseborough said.

That practice is also happening at grocers such as Safeway, which gives customers the option of going online to attach electronic savings to their store club cards in a program called “Just for U.”

Customers also can get digital coupons through a mobile app. Safeway still offers paper coupons, as well.

The electronic advertising industry has come under fire recently as officials and others cite concerns over privacy in using targeted emails that pick up characteristics of online users through “cookies” — electronic tracking messages — and other methods.

New regulations that would stop the exchange of electronic data due to privacy and other concerns would affect $110 billion in revenue to the U.S. economy and 478,000 jobs, Deighton and Johnson said in their study.

“The biggest winners — innovation and small businesses — would also be the biggest losers if startups could no longer use data to .... raise ad-supported revenue and identify new and niche markets to serve,” they said.

The Five Most Common Direct Mail Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

by Alan Chait

There's nothing worse than witnessing your money being wasted on a direct mail campaign that just didn't get your phone ringing or send customers through your door.

When it happens it's likely not the direct mail delivery method, but your actual campaign, that flopped. Here are the five most common mistakes most businesses make.

1. Your direct mail list targeted the wrong customer: Not spending enough time and money on the list itself that targets your best type of consumer is a major campaign deal breaker. Quite often we throw a campaign together without a thought to what kind of marketing list we are going to use. We find out later that the direct mail piece, the message and the call to action were perfect but the list, which we rushed to purchase without checking the validity and the integrity of the list broker, has let us down.

Do your diligence and find a reputable list broker and explore the quality of the list. The types of consumers on the list can sometimes change the direction of what kind of marketing message you are going to use if you happen to find another target market ready to buy your product or service.

2. Your direct mail campaign wasn't tested: Testing your campaign is a necessity. More than half of my own personal clients will provide their direct mail campaign and mailing list and then fail to provide parameters on changing how the mailing piece looks. There are so many things to test such as the color of the envelope, size of the piece, the message and so on.

To test the headline, the direct mail piece design, the overall message and power of the call to action, put yourself in the mindset of your own customer and be a test junkie. You will find that you will be consistently doubling and tripling the money brought in on a campaign when you test the effectiveness of the campaign.

3. Your direct mail campaign didn't separate features from benefits: Stress the benefits to the customer in your marketing message as opposed to the features of your product or service. The customer does not care about the fancy features of your product. As a matter of fact, he/she does not have the time to listen to how great you are; they want results. What kind of results can your customer achieve by using your product?

Features are the objective facts about your product or service (size, color, appearance, usability) while benefits state what the product or service does for a customer (makes money, saves money, heals, saves time, etc.). Make sure you clearly tell your readers what your product or service can do for them and how they will benefit from using it.

4. Your direct mail campaign didn't have a call to action: Even if the intent of your campaign is to reach potential customers and make them aware of your product or service, you still need to have an offer. What is a campaign good for if you do not have an offer? Even just asking for the order in your message is good enough to get you results.

Your readers need to be prompted to take action and it's your job to offer the right incentive for them to do so. Research the types of offers you are going to make and be sure they are as compelling and benefit driven.

5. Your direct mail campaign was a one-time deal: On average, people need to see or hear an advertising message seven times before they take some sort of action. Mailing out a campaign just once doesn't do the trick. It's called a "campaign" for a reason and entails multiple mailings to be most effective. It's not your customer's job to keep your information and recall it when they need it; it's your job to always be in front of them.

Be sure to follow up with your potential customers, either by multiple direct mailings or phone calls or a combination. It's important to time your campaign well and stay top-of-mind, especially when your customer is in need of your product or service.

A direct mail campaign is an investment with the potential for great returns. Don't make the common mistakes many businesses do. With a winning marketing combination and the right tools and messages, your campaign can come out shining.

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 December 3, 2013.  Nets vs. Denver 7:30 PM.

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.com or contact Michael Borkan at (631) 667-5500 x 11.

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In this Issue:

New Tailored Google Ads Risk User Privacy

Study Says Direct Mail Still a Key Segment

The Five Most Common Direct Mail Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

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:
  • Great Smokys Realty

  • Sunrise Medical

  • 4 New Lists from Statlistics

Mike's Favorite Links:

Some interesting links...

dash.generalassemb.ly - Learn to make awesome websites. The site teaches HTML, CSS, and Javascript through fun projects you can do in your browser.

square.com/cash - A new service that makes it easy for users to send money to their friends using nothing but email.

emaze.com - An online presentation tool for people who want more than PowerPoint. Create terrific presentations for free in just a few minutes and turn your ideas into stunning live stories!

presentationtube.com - A desktop presentation recorder and video sharing platform to help teachers, students and business professionals easily produce and share professional and quality video presentations.

thefacesoffacebook.com - More than 1,2 billion Facebook profile pictures together, on a single webpage.

face-gifer.com - Go GIF yourself with the Animation Domination High-Definition Face-GIFer

dribbble.com - Show and tell for designers.

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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