Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing December 2014 Newsletter.
To view this newsletter using your Internet browser click here:
Secret to Improving Your Marketing, The 5 Rules of A/B Testing
By Matt Zilli, Blog.marketo.com
According to Econsultancy, "Companies whose
conversion rates have improved over the previous 12 months are performing
on average 50% more tests than those companies whose conversion rates have
There are two types of marketers in this world: The 2
percent who would happily A/B test all the livelong day, and the 98
percent who emit an audible groan every time the topic gets raised. The
latter group — the vast majority of marketers — complains: “I know I
should be testing more, but…”
“But it’s hard.” “But it’s time-consuming.” “But I already think I know
the answers anyway, so why should I bother to test?”
Although a paltry 44 percent of companies currently use split-testing
software, I’m here to give you the bad news: testing is crucial. And it
can’t just be a one-time event. Even Alec Baldwin agrees — at least in
Glengarry Glen Ross. Did you know that his famous “Always Be Closing”
speech came from an age-old marketing line?
Always Be Testing the Market
Sadly, that line isn’t catchy enough for a movie. But it’s the gospel of
successfully evolving marketing campaigns.
Along with this gospel, there are five more rules of A/B testing that
demystify what might seem like a tedious, overwhelming process.
1. Plan ahead
You’ve created a brilliant email campaign, segmented your lists, and
designed a magnetic landing page. You’re all set to go, but in the
eleventh hour, someone says, “Hey, maybe we should test this thing.”
No marketer in her right mind wants to adjust a campaign for A/B testing
at the last minute. The best tests take time, so build testing into your
process from the beginning, every time.
2. Be willing to learn… slowly
This might sound obvious, but if you’re not willing to learn from your
tests, there’s no point in conducting them. The best way to learn from A/B
testing is to test one variable within a large population so that you can
be confident that your results are accurate across your audience.
If you insist on conducting multivariate testing to “save time,” consider
hiring a Ph.D. in statistics to keep track of all the data for you.
Seriously, in a world where you’re always testing, you don’t need to be
overambitious. Gleaning one useful bit of information from a campaign can
take you much further in your ability to connect with your audience next
3. Measure what matters
A lot of marketers simply measure opens and clicks. But opens and clicks
aren’t your end goal, are they? I’m guessing you’re looking to convert
your audience, so test for what you actually care about.
You’ll want to find a tool that helps you measure performance based on any
type of digital activity — for example, how many people who received an
email invitation actually went on to register for the event. Opens and
clicks have their place, but measuring based on your high-level goals is
where it’s really at.
So, figure out what those exact goals are. Then test for them.
4. Test over time
One of the biggest misperceptions about A/B testing is that it yields
quick results. But honing in on immediate numbers ignores a large segment
of your audience.
Let’s say you have an automated subscriber email that gets triggered each
time someone signs up for your newsletter. Try inserting an A/B test that
sends variations of that automated email. However, you’ll still need to
test the results over a period of time — say, a month, depending on volume
– to see how ongoing signups respond to the two email variations.
The same concept applies to nurturing emails, where every recipient is on
a different cadence, and results are tabulated over a long period of time.
5. Always talk about testing
Your entire company can benefit from the insights that testing yields, so
talk about your testing. As a marketer, you’re closer to your customer
base than almost anyone in the company, so you’re in a prime position to
share insight into how your customers think.
And with the cold hard facts of testing at your disposal, ears will perk
up when you begin to share what you learn. Make it a regular part of
company meetings to impart the wisdom you’ve learned from your testing,
and you’ll become the de facto customer expert of your organization.
To put testing into practice, you must first adopt the attitude that
everything your marketing team produces is testable. This applies to the
subject lines of your emails, the content of your campaigns, the day(s)
and time(s) you send messaging, the copy on your landing pages… I could go
on and on, but you get the idea. Over time, aim to test every minute facet
of your marketing, fine-tuning your strategy, so you’re optimized for
utter marketing success.
Basically, if you’re taking the time to create a campaign, take the time
to test it. There is always something to test. Never miss an opportunity!
Five Best Practices For The Perfect Direct Mail Campaign
By Justin Wong, business2community.com
Direct mail is one of the most effective ways of getting your marketing
materials to your customers’ doorsteps.
Direct mail is very similar to an online landing page in some respects;
you want to provide enough information for the consumer to take the next
step without losing interest or throwing the piece away.
Direct mail is incredibly effective at reaching a geographic audience. If
you’re looking to increase foot traffic to your store, a direct mail blast
to the surrounding neighborhoods should make a noticeable difference.
Here are the five best practices for direct mail to get you started:
1. Include multiple elements
Different people like reading different things. Some people enjoy reading
letters while some like looking at colorful photos in brochures. As a rule
of thumb, we recommend using both brochures and letters in conjunction to
2. Give people many different ways to respond
One of the biggest difficulties of direct mail is that getting a response
may not be easy. Unlike an online ad, people can’t just simply
“click-through” to a sales page. To minimize this, I always recommend
giving your recipients multiple ways to respond. Give them a URL to your
website, the direct line of your sales centre, and a form for them to fill
3. Have a compelling call-to-action
Just like any other advertising campaign, having a strong call-to-action
will make the difference between someone taking your offer versus throwing
your materials in the trash. Be clear about what you’re asking people to
4. Don’t be afraid to
spend some money
If you don’t have in-house experience, we recommend hiring or contracting
a design firm to give your materials a professional sheen. If you have the
time or budget, test the design with a few focus groups or online surveys
to see which design is the most popular. Don’t cheap out with the print
quality for direct mail either! You need your colors and images to be bold
and crisp to attract attention. Saving a few bucks on printing will cost a
lot of conversions later on. Appearances are everything!
5. Repeat the most important information
It’s impossible to predict where the reader will actually start reading.
Only a small portion of readers will actually read the entire text. Some
will skim the headlines, some might only read half of the first paragraph,
and some might just look at the images.
That’s why it’s so important to make sure your call-to-actions are clear
and repeated throughout all the elements. Anyone who looks at any of one
section of your materials should have a clear idea of what the offering is
and why they should care.
Goals For Marketing Success
By Jean Gianfagna,
The most important step in developing a business-to-business marketing
strategy is the first one: setting your goals.
Why have you decided to invest in marketing? What do you want that
investment to achieve for your business?
Here are the 10 goals that belong in your smart marketing strategy and
why they matter:
1. Differentiate your firm. In every
industry, many companies sell similar products or services. Why is your
business different? Why should customers choose you? Stake out a clear
position in the marketplace that differentiates your company from
2. Tell a compelling story.
Marketing is how you tell the story of your business to your prospects.
Create a compelling narrative that convinces prospects of your ability
to serve their needs and reflects the quality of your people, products
3. Prepare to sell. Marketing plays
a major role in facilitating the sales process. Equip your sales team
with effective tools to demonstrate your products and services and
engage in a meaningful sales dialogue with prospects.
4. Generate leads. Everyone wants to
generate new business. Use marketing to deliver relevant messages to
your prospects with a great offer that will make them say “tell me
5. Nurture leads. Selling business
products and services often involves a lengthy sales cycle. Marketing
can help you stay visible with prospects as they make their decision to
buy. Send ongoing communications, including solution-oriented content,
to demonstrate your understanding of prospects’ needs, your capabilities
and your interest in their business.
6. Improve customer retention. Smart
marketers build deep, lasting relationships with customers and focus
heavily on bringing value to the customer relationship. Your marketing
strategy should detail how you will support that relationship and remind
customers of their value to you.
7. Cross-sell and up-sell. What else
can you sell to the people who buy from you? Your marketing strategy
should include offers, tactics or promotions to increase order size,
frequency and sales of related products and services.
8. Raise awareness. Your company
needs to be visible wherever your customers and prospects turn for
solutions to their challenges. Develop a plan of integrated marketing
tactics to increase your awareness at trade shows, conferences,
publications, the Internet and social media.
9. Capitalize on customer data. You
have one big advantage over your competitors: You know what your
customers buy. Use this data to tailor marketing messages to customers’
needs, and use insights from the data to identify and target similar
10. Test something new. A static
marketing plan—same targets, same channels, same tactics, year after
year—is unlikely to deliver a improved outcomes. Test new channels and
approaches to see if you can produce better results.
As the baseball great Yogi Berra once observed, “If you don’t know where
you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” Setting clear marketing
goals will help you focus your efforts, use your investment more
efficiently and make the most of your marketing opportunities.
Talon has great seats for you to win.
are giving away a pair of tickets to see the New York Islanders! To
win, be the first telephone caller (please don’t hit reply or
email). Voice mail messages count so it's fine to leave a voice mail.
Call Michael Borkan at 631-667-5500 x 11.
Tuesday December 23rd, 7:00PM.
Islanders vs. Montreal Canadiens
Do you know of anyone else who would be interested in receiving our
newsletter? Please let us know by email:
To learn more about our company, please visit our Web site:
www.talon.com or contact Michael Borkan at (631) 667-5500 x 11.
If you do not wish to receive the Talon Mailing & Marketing Newsletter
The Secret to Improving Your Marketing, The 5 Rules of A/B Testing
The Five Best Practices For The Perfect Direct Mail Campaign
10 Goals For Marketing Success
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...
GolfNow.com - provides discount golf
tee times at over 5000 golf courses (including private and semi-private
You can now play over 900 classic arcade games for free in your browser
thanks to the Internet Archive, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that
collects web pages, text, audio and other information that exists in
Visme.co - Easily Create online
Presentations, animations, animated HTML5 banners, infographics and other
rich visual content free in your browser.
Reverb.com - A New and Growing Marketplace to Buy and Sell Music Gear
Flvto.com - Convert your favorite youtube videos to any format. Enjoy
your music in high-quality sound, upload your ready-made mp3 file to your
iTunes library, your smartphone, or your tablet.
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
Click here if you wish to see past newsletters.
Click on These Links to Learn More About Talon:
If you do not wish to receive the Talon Mailing &
Marketing Newsletter please