Talon Mailing & Marketing

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Deer Park, NY 11729

(631) 667-5500


Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing December 2020 Newsletter.

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Which is Better, Direct Mail or Digital Marketing?

By Kyle Curtis, Studentassembly.org

So which method provides a more reliable return on investment (ROI)? Here's the rundown:

The holiday season is nearing, meaning more people are willing to spend a lot for their loved ones. In fact, seasonal shopping is so popular that last year alone, the United States spent over $110 billion in the retail sector. If you have a business, whether it’s a clothing store or a cosmetics company, joining this trend is a must — and the best way to boost your brand this festive season is with the best marketing plan that includes either digital marketing or direct mail marketing.

To help you choose the best one for your marketing campaign this holiday, here’s a rundown of direct mail marketing vs. digital marketing.


Although direct mail marketing requires more time and effort, even with the USPS courier rates and expenses for the materials used in making the mail, it’s relatively cheaper than digital marketing. That’s because most sites charge you a set amount to advertise with them, which can be expensive and unreliable since you wouldn’t know how effective it is. However, with direct mail, you can decide to send a small batch first before expanding, saving you more money and the opportunity to improve.

Every time you need to send direct mail to donors, you can decide on an amount based on your reach instead of being forced to pay a set amount, making it easier to upscale your choices after seeing the initial response to your content.

Response Rates

Direct mail receives higher response rates since it follows a more targeted approach. In fact, direct mail has an average 9% response rate for house listings and 5% for prospects. Meanwhile, digital advertising has a 0.1% click-through rate. That’s because most people are exposed to thousands of digital ads daily and the average worker receives over 100 emails every day — leaving your ads to get buried and ignored in the noise.

Return On Investment

Direct mail marketing remains a favored advertising strategy because it provides a more reliable return on investment (ROI) than digital marketing. In fact, direct mail has a median ROI of over 29%, while digital ads only have 16%. That’s because most businesses focus on building their companies and brands online, allowing direct mail to be a less competitive and more reliable sector. Plus, direct mail has a higher ROI rate because consumers tend to read direct mail more than digital content. After all, on-page ads aren’t as appealing as personalized mail received at home.


Direct mail marketing is more flexible when it comes to its advertising options. In digital marketing, organizations can only choose one website they want to advertise their brand on or how they want to send these ads to their consumers. Meanwhile, in direct mail, you have plenty of options, ranging from postcards to brochures.

‘Personal’ Touch

More than 57% of consumers say that receiving direct mail makes them feel more appreciated. That’s because direct mail can be personalized to tailor the potential buyer’s interests while digital marketing can be generic, making consumers less likely to engage with digital content.

Although direct mail marketing has been dubbed as ‘old school,’ it’s the touchpoint you need to implement into your marketing efforts and sales strategies to see the best results. However, in the end, a great marketing strategy isn’t about comparing direct mail marketing with digital marketing. It’s about incorporating various marketing channels to provide an omnichannel experience for your customers this holiday season.

Six Tips to Improve Your Direct Marketing

By Melissa Thompson, SocialMediaToday.com

In direct marketing, some basics never change; but today, those basics need to be augmented with some updated insights.

Erich Kominsky, CEO of US Data Corporation stated, "For every dollar spent on direct email marketing the average return on investment is $44.25. It will only get better as marketing companies continue to develop innovations that boost ROI."

Here are six tips that will improve your direct-mail marketing business:

1. Target Your Audience

Part of the 40/40/20 rule of direct marketing is knowing who your audience is and being able to target that audience with your direct marketing. This will save you a lot of money and increase your return on investment. Building your own list can be tedious and unscientific at best, and it's easy to get scammed by online companies selling dirty lists full of false leads that cost you a lot of money. Make sure you get your lists from a reputable business. Consider renting a list if you don't think your budget can afford buying one.

2. Create a Memorable Look

Having a great design that stands out and also reinforces your message is essential to email-marketing success. Make sure you follow basic design rules, but don't be afraid to get creative. If you don't have the software or inclination to create stunning professional designs, hire a graphic designer. The credibility that a professional design lends to your direct email marketing message is well-worth the investment.

3. You're Selling Solutions, Not Products

No one cares about your widgets. What they care about are their own needs and wants. Bob doesn't want a new drill, he wants to finish his to-do list faster so he can go golfing. 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.

4. The Heart Comes Before the Brain

Most direct marketers are number-crunching, logical people. It's easy for them 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.

5. Remember the Basic Elements

Every direct marketing message includes three basic elements:

1. An offer
2. Enough information for immediate acceptance of the offer
3. 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. And for direct email marketing the response button must be prominent and not make customers jump through hoops. Each second of delay will see more of your prospects back out of the sale.

6. Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing is taking over the marketing world. It is getting huge. Google says that mobile search will surpass desktop search by the end of the year. Perhaps the most stunning statistic is this: 70 percent of mobile searches lead to action within one hour. By way of comparison, 70 percent of desktop searches lead to action within one month.

According to PEW-related research the percentage of adults in the U.S. who now have cell phones is at 90 percent. It would be marketing madness to ignore this gigantic subset of the consumer market. Snapchat is becoming a huge player in the mobile marketing game. Large corporations like McDonald's, GrubHub, and Mountain Dew have used Snapchat to promote new products and standard services. This segment is only going to grow larger as new technology advances what mobile apps can do, and how easily they can do it.

Prices Ending in .99 Help Businesses Sell More

By Michael Guta, Smallbiztrends.com

As a business, how you price the products and services you offer, will in great part dictate the long-term success of your company.

The simple act of pricing something with .00 or .99 can have a considerable impact on the purchasing decision of your customers.

A new report from Stripe titled “The Effect of Left-Digit Bias” looks at how merchants may be leaving money on the table because of the wrong online pricing strategy. As a matter of fact, 70% of the merchants in the report were possibly guilty of this practice.

This is an important point to take note of for small businesses because more of them now have an online presence.

As to the impact of the .00 or .99 price strategy for online businesses, in the emailed report Stripe said, “The impacts of simple price adjustments may be big, and we estimate the adoption of “9”-digit pricing could increase subscription revenue by several percentage points.”

The Data

The sheer volume of the data Stripe used for the report makes the results noteworthy and one online business should pay attention to.

It represented over two million monthly plans, products, or subscriptions at more than 100,000 merchants from 2012-2018.

Which pricing method looks more enticing to you?

Report Takeaway

As the report says, researchers have been exploring left-digit bias for some time. It goes back all the way to 1936 when Eli Ginzberg reported the results from a mail-order catalog experiment.

In his finding, Ginzberg said a one-cent price difference, from $1.99 to $2, could have outsized impacts on demand.

Stripe also showed this bias in a 2003 study with $19 or $20 pricing and mileage in used cars with 89,992 vs 90,011 miles for a 2012 study.

A 2018 study for food purchases under $10 showed left-digit bias greatly impacted purchasing decisions. This included the sale of the same brand, size, and flavor of ice cream sold at $4.99 vs $5.00.

For online subscription services in the US, prices ending in 9 accounted for 28% of the merchants, while those ending in 0 were slightly higher at 30%.

When it comes to buying products, new customers make more overall purchases that end in a 9 for items which cost under $10. However, Stripe says it also extends to items costing $700, $800, or $900.

This goes against the practice which says luxury items should end in 0. Stripe adds, “This should serve as a wake-up call to merchants who believe that luxury items shouldn’t end in “9” — they may actually be missing out on significant gains.”

Should You Use Psychological Pricing Online?

Based on the findings of the report, Stripe recommends large online merchants to consider testing 9-digit pricing. It goes on to say by setting this pricing strategy on portions of the products, a merchant can gauge any increases in sales.

Evidence of this practice has resulted in higher purchases by consumers for items ranging from $.99 to hundreds of dollars.

For smaller merchants, Stripe says 9-digit pricing should be set as a smart default. This is because pricing experiments for small businesses take too long and generate data noise which can create unnecessary complications.

By setting standard 9-digit pricing, Stripe says small merchants can potentially level the playing field against their larger competitors.

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:

Which is Better, Direct Mail or Digital Marketing?

Six Tips to Improve Your Direct Marketing

Prices Ending in .99 Help Businesses Sell More

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:
  • Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital

  • VectorVest

  • 4 New Lists From Various List Managers and List Owners

Mike's Favorite Apps & Links:

Some interesting things to check out...

Pitch.com - Uncompromisingly good presentation software, enabling modern teams to craft and distribute beautiful presentations more effectively. Sign up for free.

Flux-academy.com - Learn the art and business of web design.

Riverside.fm - Record remote interviews that look and sound great. This is a wonderful resource to record podcasts and video interviews with studio quality from anywhere.

Mmhmm.app - Whether you’re leading virtual business meetings, teaching, or just trying to host a better happy hour, the mmhmm app adds a little magic to the new online reality we now find ourselves in.

Pfpmaker.com - Make an awesome profile picture from any photo.

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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