Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing November 2015 Newsletter.
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Direct Mail Offers
By Dale Filhaber, watertechonline.com
When you create a mail piece, certain
well-researched marketing words may help sell your offer. Conversely,
marketing words can ruin an otherwise wonderful promotion.
I spend a lot of time writing about the components of direct mail pieces —
lists, the creative, offers and marketing timing. In this article, I want
to concentrate on the offer. You may have the best mailing list in the
world, but if you do not make a worthy offer in your piece, you can forget
it being a successful campaign.
The offer is the theme of your communication. In the water industry, I
often see the offer tacked on at the end. Instead, begin with it. Restate
it. Denote its key benefits. Create the actual copy around it. This way,
you incorporate the offer into the entire program.
Potential offer ideas
Depending on the nature of the communication, different kinds of direct
mail offers may be used. These include:
Lead generation offers are typically free offers designed
to get potential clients to say “I’m interested” (and provide their
information so we can connect with them). In the water industry, these
offers often include gifts, such as family-sized laundry detergent,
diapers, soap, coupon books or gift cards to home improvement stores.
Order generation offers are paid offers. Some examples
are “Buy now/pay later” or “No interest until 2017.” When people respond
to these offers, they commit to pay for services at a later date.
Specifically in the water industry, some dealers may make an offer such as
“We will install your unit now. You pay in six months.”
Continuity offers (such as “Try us before you commit”) are for
companies that sell products on a monthly basis. The offers used for these
types of companies are usually free trials for specific periods followed
by an agreed-upon monthly billing. In the water industry, one type of
monthly opportunity is “Try our salt delivery service now. If you like it,
sign up for our convenient monthly service.”
Traffic-building offers are most often used by retailers
who want to see their stores packed with customers. The most common
traffic-building offers are discount coupons, buy-one-get-one offers, gift
with purchase or free event promotions. In the water industry, this type
of offer is most often used by big box stores such as Home Depot, Lowe’s
When you create a mail piece, certain well-researched marketing words may
help sell your offer. Conversely, marketing words can ruin an otherwise
wonderful promotion. Remember to craft your creative presentation around
the offer. You need to be cognizant of the impact of the words you choose
because some words have been proven to have a positive impact on responses
and others can cause an adverse reaction.
Words to use
It is the old faithful of marketing words. Who does not like a good
sale? The word “sale” can motivate. An example offer is “50 percent off
sale on salt through Sept. 30.”
Constructive words should be used in your creative when you state your
offer. Some of these words are included below:
Discounts work and encourage a client to pull the trigger. Example
offers are “50 percent off” or “$1,000 off a whole house water filtration
Example offers are “Order salt now,” “Buy now before price increases
in 2016” or “Call us now.”
The word “new” is attention-grabbing. Think of all the early adopters
who always want to be the first to purchase the latest gadgets and styles.
People feel comfortable with popular items. One successful
marketer made a list of a dealership’s best-selling water filtration
faucets to help prompt people to make a decision. Maybe the best-selling
faucet becomes the direct mail offer. Some examples are “Ask us about our
best-selling water filtration dispenser” and “Free when you buy our
brand-new water ionizer.”
Everyone likes a free gift. Have you ever been in
Macy’s when Lancome runs its gift with purchase offer?
P.S. Your prospects are busy and may need reminders, especially with a
P.S. All direct marketers know that the P.S. is the first thing people
read when they scan a letter. That is where you will restate your offer.
Be specific. Be inspiring. Be creative. For example, “P.S. You have until
Tuesday, Sept. 8, to take advantage of this offer of 50 percent off our
brand-new water ionizer. Call today.”
Words to avoid
On the other hand, certain words and phrases should be avoided in a direct
mail marketing piece. They are discouragers rather than motivators. The
list includes:Be specific with your offer and give your prospects a
deadline, or they will never respond.
Everyone knows this is a cliché. It is a turnoff, not
This is not as compelling as “Act now.”
If you use an envelope, far more exciting and compelling tag
lines can be used than “Look inside.” Everyone knows that the letter is
inside. You need to use a more attention-grabbing phrase or photo to
entice your prospect to open the envelope. This is a great place to use
your offer to inspire interest and a sense of urgency.
Even though this phrase seems positive, marketing experts
explain that you are still associating the word “hassle” with your
business or brand. Replace “hassle-free” with the word “easy.”
The overuse of capital letters and exclamation points can be
negative. Using all capital letters makes people feel like you are
screaming at them. Herschell Gordon Lewis, the Dean of Copywriting,
advises to never to use three exclamation points at the end of a sentence,
and one is probably too much.
Keep in mind that the offer is an implied contract between you and your
potential client. You need to be clear in your commitment. “Buy one, get
one free” can also mean “Buy 100, get 100 free.” Can your dealership
afford that? Make sure you really understand the offer and what your
prospect will perceive as being presented.
Finally, most clients can see through lukewarm offers. Free, in-home water
testing as a standalone offer does not get a good response. The water test
is a means to a sale, but offering one is not what will generate the
Dale “DataDale” Filhaber is president of Dataman Group Direct, a
Florida-based direct marketing company founded in 1981.
Reasons Why Visual Data is Essential
By Mike Dietz, Loyalty360.org
They say a
picture is worth a thousand words, and if you look around at all the
visual data that surrounds us, you would see it’s true.
For example, take the humble road sign. Pedestrian
crossings, railroad tracks and even back roads known for their
high-traffic deer are all indicated using visuals without any assistance
from text.1. Graphics Allow for Quicker Communication
But why is that? Especially when, like most visual road signs, the
information is extremely important? It’s because the human brain is
conditioned to respond to images. About 30 percent of your neurons are
visual, far and away more than any of the other four senses (the next
closest is touch at eight percent). The large number of visual neurons
makes it possible to quickly turn images into content, like you do when
you read. It’s also why it’s possible to use one simple image to convey a
In direct mail and direct marketing, visual data is critical for a number
Many of today’s consumers rarely spend more than 20 seconds with a
mail piece. That means you have less than 20 seconds to show your prospect
the value of your product. Because our brains process images 60,000 times
faster than processing text, highly visual formats allow your prospects’
brain to process more information in less time, making it easier for you
to convince them to keep reading. For instance, a bar graph comparing your
pricing to your competitors’ will convey savings more effectively than
simply listing prices. You’re saving your prospect work, and valuable
brainpower, by providing graphics that do the work for them.
2. Visuals Help the Brain Remember
Neural research shows that adding a visual element can make data easier to
absorb. This is especially true when the image is universal, like the
exclamation point. If you put a large exclamation point graphic next to
text, it’s sure to draw the prospects’ eye and inform them that what’s
listed is important and your brain will be more likely to store it. While
pundits are poking a lot of fun at this, “Jeb!” is memorable while “Jeb”
3. Images Offer Another Point of Entry for Prospects
You’ve probably heard of visual learners, people who understand
information better when it’s presented in visuals and colors. It’s no
surprise that visual learners prefer images to text since they are more
likely to understand information presented in graphics. Incorporating
visuals into your direct marketing gives visual learners the information
on their own terms, making it more likely that they will understand—and
respond—to the offer.
Our reliance on visual data has become such an integral part of our
everyday lives that it’s easy to forget how important it is. The next time
you’re on the road, think about what life would be like if every street
sign was only words on a white rectangle. Then, think about how your
marketing piece could benefit from some shapes, color and images.
Powerful Direct-Mail Holiday Marketing Tools
By Brian Morris, business2community.com
holidays represent a huge sales season for many companies, but such a
bountiful take also means heavy competition. One way to beat your
competitors is to take advantage of direct-mail marketing.
While your competitors are focused on newspaper inserts and, likely,
online advertising, you can use direct-mail to reach customers one-on-one
with tangible marketing materials that offer measurable response. The
following lists five powerful direct-mail holiday marketing tools you can
use to reach customers this year.
Long a staple holiday marketing tool for retailers, catalogs have thinned
out in recent years in response to increased postage costs – but that
doesn’t make them any less effective. Customers still love to browse
holiday catalogs, and often use them to identify what they want to buy
before going online to make purchases.
Make your catalogs more effective by including coupon codes customers can
enter at checkout, which will also help you track response and
If catalogs aren’t in the budget, postcards can prove to be worthy
alternatives. Showcase your best product or a sampling of your product
range on your postcards, then invite your customers to see your full
catalog online. Again, a coupon code can help motivate response and allow
you to track ROI.
Postcards are also great for service businesses; a carpet cleaner, for
example, might send a postcard with a discount coupon for pre-holiday
party cleanings. In addition, EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) postcards are
perfect for blanketing your local market with minimal investment.
Booklets, particularly how-to booklets, can help you establish
credibility in the marketplace. A great how-to booklet serves as a
valuable reference to your customer base and also drives traffic to your
store, online or off. You can use booklets to showcase your products and
services while offering your customers direction.
A good example: a discount store that sells holiday decorations could
print and mail a booklet on how to decorate one’s home for the holidays.
The booklet could be packed with creative holiday décor ideas, peppered
with the products needed to make homes beautiful for the holidays.
4. Holiday cards
Holiday greeting cards are perfect for sharing season’s greetings with
your customers. They’re unexpected and appreciated, and can foster
customer loyalty – especially if you personalize them with a handwritten
You can also use holiday cards to deliver special VIP customer offers – a
steep discount, for example, available only via the coupon code you
include in your holiday cards.
Want to give your customers a gift they can use year-round (and you can
use to market your business for the next 12 months)? Calendars are
excellent direct-mail marketing tools because they’re useful and you can
place strategic advertisements throughout each month to drive traffic to
Make sure your calendars are relevant to your customers and your
business, and be sure to distribute them as early as possible to beat
competitors to the punch.
All of these direct-mail holiday marketing tools can help you grow your
business during the holiday season, yet many will be ignored by your main
competitors. Reach your customers on a more personal basis – and where
your competitors are lacking – and increase sales with these powerful
direct-mail holiday marketing tools.
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 17, 2015.
Nets vs. Atlanta 7:30 PM.
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