Four Tips to Measure What Truly Matters: Customer Happiness

By Rena Gadimova,
April 29, 2021

Do you want happy customers? Of course, you do.

Talon is located on Long Island, New York

No business wants unhappy customers. But how do you know they’re happy? Repeat business isn’t necessarily a sign of happiness, as proved by the concept of customers as hostages (when customers don’t want to buy from you, but feel like they don’t have a choice.)

Is it, in fact, even possible to measure happiness?

Every year the United Nations publishes its World Happiness Report, ranking the planet’s countries in order of the happiness of its citizens. (The happiest nation is Finland, for the fourth year running.)

Sounds like a tough gig, but the metrics used by the UN are actually easy to understand and clearly relate to how happy people are: life expectancy, corruption, levels of anti-depressant use, and so on.

So what if we could do something similar with our customers, and create a marketing equivalent of the World Happiness Report to find out how happy they are with our services?

1. Stop measuring the wrong things

This would be distinct from, and hopefully more useful than, the traditional indicators of success. Metrics such as how many users visit your site, the conversion rate, and the basket size are important but they’re missing something.

They can’t tell you how the customer is feeling. Because they’re all about your business, not the customer.

Instead, we need to think about engagement and satisfaction. Both are much talked about and sought after but rarely measured properly or even understood that well. Even when a brand has an active social media presence, making it easier to judge how engaged your audience is, marketers sometimes miss the point.

2. Engagement is about more than numbers

It’s often assumed that a high number of followers automatically means you’re doing something right and, while that’s not untrue, it doesn’t mean you’re engaging people. Or that they’re satisfied.

You might have 500,000 followers but if most of them aren’t liking, sharing or commenting then they’re not engaged. Conversely, if you have 50,000 followers and half of them are engaging, they’re worth more. If they are engaged, chances are there is at least some interest in what you do, which is half the battle won.

There is the question of assessing the sentiments behind engagement. Assessing if people are happy has a problem because people are more likely to express a negative sentiment than a positive one, so negativity tends to be over-represented.

Complaining about a bad experience seems easier than being complimentary about a good one. Complaining is an expression of frustration and a means of retaliating. But being nice? There’s not much in it for the customer.

3. Just ask what they’re thinking

The best way of encouraging positive feedback is to just ask for it – or rather, ask for feedback. People need prompting to make the effort but it doesn’t need to be complicated – long surveys are arduous and boring for the customer – so keep it to something simple, like a post-purchase SMS.

And while the Net Promoter Score (NPS) is used everywhere, in an age when how people interact with and recommend brand has changed significantly since its inception in 2013, perhaps its days are numbered. Better to use questions that are specifically tailored to your business and customers, and less open to interpretation than NPS’s scale of 1-10.

Using a Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) is common practice, but its success is not just about finding out what a customer thinks. It’s about taking action if things aren’t right.

4. When things go wrong, fix them

If there’s something wrong, follow it up. “How did we do today” messages are ubiquitous but they’re worthless if the responses are not followed up. Learning what a brand is doing wrong is as important as understanding what it’s doing right.

What makes someone happy is often perceived as being subjective, and therefore difficult to measure. But when it comes to customer experience, it’s not hard to work out what makes people happy.

Good service, complaint resolution, solving problems – they’re all a lot simpler to quantify than levels of corruption in society and anti-depressant use. If it’s possible to figure which is the happiest country on Earth, it’s possible to work out if your customers are happy.

Need help with your marketing or direct mail?   To learn more about our services, or discuss your direct mail needs, here’s our home-page link and contact information:

Talon Services Include: Direct Mail Services, Long Island New York, Personalized Letters, Laser personalization, NCOA services, mailing lists, mailing list cleanup, Address Correction, Merge Purge, Duplicate Eliminations, Mailing Services, Presort, Direct Marketing data processing, Postage Savings

12 Books to Help With Your Marketing Strategy

By Jennifer Dorsey,

April 15, 2021

Refreshing your marketing is one of the best ways to give your business a boost.

Talon performs direct mail services and mailing list cleanup and list rentals - Long Island New York

To help, we’ve curated a list of books that will help you rethink your marketing.

The Naming Book, by Brad Flowers. Coming up with a name for your business is hard–but it shouldn’t have to be. Branding expert Brad Flowers gives you a step-by-step guide to finding the best name for your business.

Ultimate Guide to Amazon Advertising, by Timothy Seward. Welcome to the Amazon jungle. If you want to get your product noticed, putting some ad spend toward Amazon advertising is your best bet.

No BS Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing, second edition by Dan S. Kennedy and Kim Walsh Phillips. How do you reach customers on social media without wasting time? Millionaire maker Kennedy and Walsh Phillips show you how to convert every like and share.

Ultimate Guide to Instagram for Business, by Kim Walsh Phillips. Are you ready to tap into Instagram’s booming network of 600 million viable customers? From cross-platform branding and marketing advice to practical blueprints for funneling followers,this guide unlocks the secrets successful entrepreneurs use to drive sales directly from Instagram.

Ultimate Guide to YouTube for Business, by Jason R. Rich. With over 1.3 billion users, YouTube is one of the most popular ways to reach your customers. This is the video marketing blueprint you need to create videos and leverage YouTube’s tools to help spotlight your business.

The Content Marketing Handbook, by Robert W. Bly. Content remains king. Shouldn’t your marketing get the royal treatment? This book offers tons of strategies and tips to help you build a powerful content strategy.

Ultimate Guide to Link Building, by Garrett French and Eric Ward. Building and hosting a website is only the start of your online marketing strategy. To really get traction, you need to master the power of link building. French (along with wisdom from the late Eric Ward) shows you how to create a masterful linking strategy that gets you in front of more customers.

The Digital Marketing Handbook, by Robert W. Bly. This is the third Bly book we have on the list, and for good reason. No one knows marketing better, especially when it comes to coordinating your digital marketing strategy with print. Trust us–you need this one.

Guerrilla Marketing on the Internet, by Jay Conrad Levinson. The Father of Guerrilla Marketing, Jay Conrad Levinson, changed marketing forever when he unleashed his original arsenal of marketing tactics for surviving the advertising jungle on a shoestring budget. And now he shows you how to beat the odds by applying the same tactics to your online marketing.

Ultimate Guide to Local Business Marketing, by Perry Marshall and Talor Zamir. With Google, Yahoo!, and Bing returning local businesses as results on more than a billion daily searches, Google Ads expert Perry Marshall and lead generation expert Talor Zamir introduce you to the basic framework behind a successful local SEO campaign.

The Direct Mail Revolution, by Robert W. Bly. Direct mail is bigger than ever, and combining with a digital marketing platform can take your business to the next level. Marketing guru Bob Bly shows you how to get the best of both.

Ultimate Guide to Pay-Per-Click Advertising, by Richard Stokes. As the founder of leading digital intelligence firm AdGooroo, search advertising authority Richard Stokes is in a unique position to reveal what’s going wrong and provide solutions to fix it. Using proven strategies from today’s search advertising elite, discover how to drive more traffic to your site, dramatically increase click-through rates, steal impressions from competitors, boost your conversions and increase your sales.

Here’s a link where you can order these books:

Need help with your marketing or direct mail?   To learn more about our services, or discuss your direct mail needs, here’s our home-page link and contact information:

Talon Services Include: Direct Mail Services, Long Island New York, Personalized Letters, Laser personalization, NCOA services, mailing lists, mailing list cleanup, Address Correction, Merge Purge, Duplicate Eliminations, Mailing Services, Presort, Direct Marketing data processing, Postage Savings

Five Tips for Direct Mail Marketing

By Doug and Polly White,

April 6, 2021

Direct mail can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool. But done poorly, it can be a black hole into which you pour money without a return on your investment.

Talon is located on Long Island, New York and does direct mail services

Below are five tips to help you ensure that you remain on the right side of the ledger.

1. Identify your mailing list.

If you’re going to mail, an obvious factor is your list of names and addresses. There are many sources here. If you’re offering a credit product, the credit bureaus are an excellent source of names. However, there are rules about the types of offers you can make, and the penalties for non-compliance can be severe. So, know and follow the rules. Beyond that, you’ll find literally hundreds of vertical lists that you can purchase.

2. Test and learn.

Direct mail should be a never-ending cycle of testing and learning. Dimensions you’ll want to test include:

  • Market segments. Blindly mailing a list of names will not likely be fruitful. Instead, identify segments of the list you expect to perform better than others, based on the specific offer you are making. When you buy a list, it may lack the data you need to ensure effective segmentation. There are services, such as Epsilon, that allow you to append additional information to the lists you purchase to enable segmentation. For example, you may have names and address, but still want to add income or net worth to improve targeting.

  • Offers. Test multiple offers, all substantively different. For example, if you reduce your price by 10 percent, does volume increase enough to cover the lost margin? Remember: One offer may be more profitable with a particular segment, while another may win in a different segment.

  • Creatives. Does a “stealth” envelope (whose contents aren’t discernible) deliver better results than one that highlights the offer on the outside? Continuously test your current champion against new challengers. Even champions’ performance will degrade over time. Ultimately, you need a group of proven winners that you can rotate in and out, testing new challengers at each step.

  • Cadence. How often do you plan to mail? Since you are driving response to a call center, you’ll want to create a relatively smooth volume of calls. Response models can be built that will allow you to predict call volumes based on a particular mail-drop strategy. You’ll want to test re-mail strategies. How long should you wait after you have mailed a non-responder to mail recipients again?

    While testing, choose your sample size carefully. Testing a very large sample can be expensive. After all, the fact that you are testing means that performance is unproven. On the other hand, if your sample size is too small, results may not be statistically meaningful. You’ll need to strike a balance.

    3. Analyze your results.

    If you are going to learn from your testing, you’ll need to analyze the results carefully. Make sure you understand the full economics of your testing. It is great to have a high gross-response rate, but you’ll need to understand your close rate and the amount of money you make from each closed sale. Consider all of your costs, not just your mail costs. We suggest building a profitability model to ensure that your direct mail program is profitable when all costs are considered.

    4. Roll it out.

    Once you have identified which segments are clearly profitable, you’ll want to roll them out with the maximum volume you can handle operationally. This is why you need to be sure that you fully understand the economics. You may go from dropping 15,000 pieces of mail in a test cell to rolling out with 1.5 million pieces. If you thought you were going to make 10 cents per piece mailed, but instead lose 10 cents per piece mailed, the results may be devastating.

    5. Work with an expert.

    Pitfalls surround direct mail. We strongly advise you not to go it alone. Work with someone who knows what to do and not do. The money you spend on good advice will be worth every penny. Once you learn the ropes, you may find that there are pieces of the process you will want to take over. There will also likely be parts of the process you will continue to outsource.

    In the right industry, a well-managed direct-mail program can be very profitable. Unfortunately, a mismanaged rollout can bankrupt your company. The tips above will help you have a successful campaign.

    Need help with your marketing or direct mail?   To learn more about our services, or discuss your direct mail needs, here’s our home-page link and contact information:

    Talon Services Include: Direct Marketing Services, Postage Discounts, Bulk Mail, Bulk Mailings, Laser Letters, List Rental Fulfillment, email blasts, File Maintenance, Digital Printing, Direct mail data processing, database services, Dupe Eliminations, NCOA processing, List Rentals

  • Avoid These Top Five Marketing Mistakes

    By Laura Lake,

    March 23, 2021

    Avoid these five mistakes and your marketing campaign will take off.

    Talon Mailing & Marketing is a Long Island New York based direct mail service provider

    A marketing campaign can not only connect you with the right prospects, but it will also get everyone talking about your company, your product or your service – at least if it’s properly developed and done right. Marketing mistakes can do the opposite and perhaps result in disaster, costing your business thousands of dollars in lost revenues and other expenses.

    Here’s a checklist of five mistakes commonly made in marketing and how you can avoid them.

    1. Lack of Research and Testing

    Market research and testing are critical because they can determine the performance of each of your marketing efforts. They take the guesswork out of what your potential customer or client wants from you. Always make sure you’ve done your due diligence when it comes to testing different offers, prices, and packages, then get the input of your customers to see how they react to each.

    2. Improper Focus and Positioning

    Don’t market just to build up the company, neglecting brand awareness in the process. Create marketing that will demand an immediate response from the recipient. Improper focus and market positioning can be avoided by following the proper solution positioning of marketing.

    3. Marketing Without a USP

    Your USP is your unique selling proposition. It’s the one single statement that will single you out from the competition. It should be used in every piece of marketing material. Think of your USP as the philosophical foundation of your business. Don’t market without it!

    4. Failing to Capture Repeat Customers

    Keep in mind that 80 percent of your business comes from existing customers and 20 percent is the result of new customers you’ve attracted. Failing to resell to your current customer base could have a detrimental effect on your profits. It will cost you five times the expense to sell to a new customer than to sell to an existing customer.

    5. Lack of Focus on Potential Customers’ Needs

    Do you really know what your potential customers need and want? You’re way ahead in the ballgame if you do, but the truth is that very few businesses have a good grasp of what it is that their customers need and want from them. The secret to avoiding this common error is to find a need that you can fill, then fill that need better than anyone else.

    Marketing Mistakes Happen

    Unfortunately, it happens. You plan, you research, you launch – and your campaign fails. What could you have missed? What do you do now? The first thing you should do is step back and breathe deeply. Yes, breathe. The worst thing you can do at this point is think you’re the only one who has ever experienced this. You’re not. The following questions will help you zero in on where you’ve made mistakes. Did your marketing message reach your target? Could they have perceived your marketing message wrong or misunderstood the message? Did you miss the pain questions? Did you do adequate research?

    Lack of research is the reason most campaigns fail. Could your marketing copy or design be at fault for the lack of response? Did you follow the tried-and-true rules of marketing execution when it came to the presentation? Honestly asses your answers and go back to the drawing board. Don’t give up. You can get this right.

    Need help with your marketing or direct mail?   To learn more about our services, or discuss your direct mail needs, here’s our home-page link and contact information:

    Talon Services Include: Direct Mail Services, Long Island New York, Personalized Letters, Laser personalization, NCOA services, mailing lists, mailing list cleanup, Address Correction, Merge Purge, Duplicate Eliminations, Mailing Services, Presort, Direct Marketing data processing, Postage Savings

    Four Ways to Use Winning Content to Produce Effective Direct Mail Marketing

    By Rhonda Basler,

    March 11, 2021

    Did you know, Content Marketing sells?

    Long island's premier direct mail services company

    In fact, it sells so well that most brands rely on a proprietary combination of traditional “salesy” advertising and more creative, education-focused pieces. How many times do you receive an offer to download a whitepaper, read an intriguing article, or watch an exclusive behind-the-scenes video, for instance?

    These fall under the umbrella of content marketing, and they’re useful. But they also beg this question: Does successful content have to be virtual? In a perpetually busy digital world where everyone’s inbox is chock-full by 8:02 a.m., the answer is definitely “no.”

    Ideally, positioning and delivering relevant content should exist across numerous channels, both online and in the tangible world. A company that relies only on internet-based marketing solutions is missing the power of offline strategies (think direct mail postcards, billboards, clever flyers in product shipments, and even greeting cards). In fact, the more society becomes devoted to screen time, the more primed your audiences are to see something unique — and tangible.

    That’s where mail comes into the picture as an effective, profit-producing delivery system. To be sure, sending 100,000 direct mail advertisements doesn’t have the immediacy of blasting 100,000 emails. However, call-to-action conversions tend to be higher for direct mail marketing. Plus, consumers appreciate getting a handwritten note in the mail more than receiving the same sentiment via text. After all, mass digital messages are often missing a human element.

    As USPS statistics show, receiving a letter or card means more to 58% of people than getting an email, especially in uncertain, worry-infused times. In other words, as long as your offline content is valuable to the recipients, it’s a terrific way to communicate, inspire, educate, forge awareness, and grow sales.

    Improving Return on Ad Spend With Integrated Digital and Direct Mail

    Of course, you can’t (and shouldn’t) just ditch your digital marketing. You simply need to develop a content strategy that flows seamlessly from digital to print and vice versa. When you strike a perfect rhythm, you’ll see a noticeable boost in your returns.

    So what should you send to prospects? Ideally, your offline marketing content should mimic the overall aesthetic of your brand. But it also needs to be insightful, interesting and targeted to really add to the customer experience. That’s where following a few techniques for developing engaging direct mail advertising comes into play. Here are a few great ways to start:

    1. Look toward top-performing digital content for ideas. To create mailer content, look first to your high-return digital collateral. Which webpages, case studies, infographics, and blog posts continuously generate interest, sales, or new customers? Are there any elements on your website that appeal to viewers as shown by heat mapping software? The content on those digital pages obviously has merit, so feel free to repurpose it in your offline messaging. Just make sure any content you upcycle has relevance for your audience and translates well into the printed piece you’re sending.

    2. Draft up a suitable CTA for mailed items. Of course, the CTAs you use for online content (think swiping or clicking) aren’t suitable for direct mail recipients. Instead, you’ll want to pick a CTA that’s intuitive for offline. This might mean asking the recipient to schedule an appointment, use a coupon, request a quote, or fill out a survey. Spend time brainstorming CTAs that not only make logical sense for the medium but also help your team achieve its goals. And don’t forget that it’s fine to have your audience jump online to a special landing page to add a digital — and trackable — element to their experience.

    3. Engage recipients with QR codes and microsites. Engaging elements are a winning solution for any type of content marketing. So if you want to surprise your print mail recipients, embed a QR code in whatever they receive. QR codes are gaining prominence with shoppers who are spending more time at home (and are therefore more open to receiving interactive content marketing). When consumers scan a QR code, they should have a mobile experience that seems to be constructed just for their individual tastes (e.g., a recommended list of articles or videos).

    4. Spark further interaction with scratch-off mailers. Scratch-off mailers might be the ideal solution for your direct mail marketing campaigns because they truly entice consumers to engage with your pieces. You can place anything you want under the scratch-off surface, such as a link or special discount generated via variable data printing. In fact, you might be incredibly surprised at the results this kind of gamification can bring you!

    The digital sphere’s role in our lives continues to evolve, but it hasn’t eclipsed our openness to tangible content marketing. In fact, some organizations have seen a 50% higher return on advertising spend simply by turning to offline channels.

    About the Author:

    With more than two decades of marketing experience, Rhonda Basler leads the Customer Engagement team at Hallmark Business Connections. Rhonda’s true passion in business is data-driven marketing because it is a combination of analysis, creative, strategies and is results-oriented. Rhonda is also passionate about new technologies in direct marketing, and integrating offline and online marketing for the greatest return on investment.

    Need help with your marketing or direct mail?   To learn more about our services, or discuss your direct mail needs, here’s our home-page link and contact information:

    Talon Services Include: Direct Mail Services, Long Island New York, Personalized Letters, Laser personalization, NCOA services, mailing lists, mailing list cleanup, Address Correction, Merge Purge, Duplicate Eliminations, Mailing Services, Presort, Direct Marketing data processing, Postage Savings