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Tips and Tricks to Make Your Mail Piece Stand Out


By Rob Hanks, Mailingsystemstechnology.com

July 29, 2021

Mail is a great way to engage customers and prospects. However, some mail pieces garner more attention from recipients than others, due to a variety of factors.


Talon Mailing & Marketing is a direct mail company located in Long Island New York


No mailer wants their communications ignored. Here’s some ideas to make your mail piece stand out and get noticed:

Use the Sense of Touch

Adding to the feel of a piece is a great way to get the recipient to read your mail. Choose a paper stock that has texture to enhance your design. Try a linen or fiber stock to give your piece a textured feel. If you’re looking for something opaque, try a Glama Natural envelope to allow your inserts to show through and entice your audience. Loop or felt stocks are also an option.

Applying a coating to your mail piece is another way to use touch to your advantage. A textured or smooth dispersion varnish allows you to have a matte feel to portions of the mail piece while being able to put a high gloss coating on areas that you would like to highlight.

Aqueous Soft Touch can add a smooth rich feel to a mail piece. This coating can be used as a flood or as a spot coating. Try placing the soft touch on the cover of a multi-page booklet and leave the inside pages uncoated to create a cost-effective mailer.

Embossing your piece adds another way to engage the sense of touch. Combine it with foil stamping and your piece will stand out from the crowd. Embossing is commonly used on covers of books, high end self-mailers, brochures, annual reports, and pocket folders. This can be a little more expensive and add to the production timeline. Using foil stamping can add color as well as a smooth touch to the piece. Gold and silver are the most common colors used, but other colors are available.

Size Does Matter

Using a non-standard size envelope will get your mail piece to stick out in a stack of mail and draw attention to it. The most common size envelope used is a #10. By using a #14 envelope, which is 5” x 11.5”, you are still within the letter rate of postage but have an additional 7/8” in height and 2” in length, plus that much more real estate to print on. You are using the back of the envelope to print your offer or a message, right? If you are printing your envelope on a flat sheet and then converting, the additional costs are minimal.

When printing a card or brochure, again use a non-standard size. The maximum size of a card is 6.125” x 11.5” and a folded self-mailer is 6” x 10.5”.

Interactive Mail

Interactive mail pieces engage the recipient, drawing them in and giving you an additional opportunity to get your marketing message read. Making your mail piece actionable is easier than you may think. Here are three examples:

1. Die cutting your mail piece can add dimension. Die cut an interesting shape that coincides with your offer. Die cut waves if you are marketing a resort at the beach, or the outline of an automobile if you are a dealership. Create a hole that allows the addressee to see a portion of your artwork inside of a self-mailer or brochure. Try using a Customized MarketMail piece (CMM) in a unique shape. The USPS does have some very specific rules to follow for Customized MarketMail.

2. Repositionable notes are a great way to add action to a mail piece. The notes can be pre-printed with a static message or you can apply blank notes and inkjet a variable message. Place the name of the addressee along with a specific offer on the repositionable note and be sure to have a call to action someplace on the mail piece.

3. Include QR Codes or Personalized URLs (PURLs) to take the addressee to your website to see a special offer specific to them. Be sure to have instructions stating to scan the QR Code.

Think Inside the Box

One option that is not utilized as much as it should be is mailing out a package. Design a mail piece that can be mailed as a lightweight parcel. By designing a box that contains your offer, a thumb drive, or small item that pertains to your event, there is a larger chance that it will be opened. People enjoy opening packages and seeing the contents. Use game pieces, plastic chips with your message, or a toy to get your message across.




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


Achieving Direct Mail ROI With an Integrated Marketing Approach


By Sherry Chiger, Chiefmarketer.com

July 7, 2021

In a morass of emails, digital ads and social media, a personalized mail piece really stands out.


Talon Mailing & Marketing is a full service direct mail marketing provider located in Deer Park, New York


When companies fail to achieve a return on their investment in direct mail marketing, they tend to blame the channel. Some go so far as to declare direct mail obsolete in the digital age. But according to Maureen Powers, President of Direct Marketing for marketing solutions provider RR Donnelley, the problem often lies in companies’ failure to properly integrate direct mail into their overall strategy.

“The biggest mistake companies make is focusing on what channel works,” Powers says. Rather, “they should focus on what mix of channels works. We’re an online/offline integrated world now.”

With postage rates increasing annually—and with rumors that another USPS rate hike could come this summer—it might be tempting to give up on direct mail. Yet there’s evidence that because it isn’t digital, direct mail makes a significant impact—especially on millennial consumers. According to the USPS, two-thirds of millennials use marketing mail “as a prompt to go online,” compared with 54 percent of Gen Xers and 42 percent of baby boomers. And while 27 percent of baby boomers and 28 percent of Gen Xers regularly buy products featured in direct mail, 40 percent of millennials do.

“Younger people like the feel, the touch, the physical engagement of mail,” Powers says, “and they’re not used to it as much.” In a morass of emails, digital ads and social media, a mail piece is a novelty that can really stand out—particularly if it’s personalized.

Of course, personalization goes beyond addressing the recipient by name. It entails ensuring that the mail piece’s imagery, messaging and offer speak to the recipient. For a seller of pet insurance, that could mean featuring puppies rather than kittens on postcards to dog owners; for a traffic driver to a store or a showroom, it could mean including a customized map. Mail pieces to prospects might emphasize a brand’s reputation and solid reviews; the version sent to customers could feature the same imagery and display copy but steer recipients to specific product webpages instead.

Data and data analytics are key to achieving this degree of personalization—and therefore key to seeing ROI on direct mail. Data analytics can also help you weed out those who are unlikely to respond to your direct mail efforts. “You want to make sure you are identifying the best audience for your product and service,” Powers says. “Instead of mailing a million people, you might want to mail 500,000, as long as those are the right people.”

Digital marketers are no doubt aware of how granular data analytics can get. They might not know, however, that direct mail is now equally sophisticated. “There’s an opportunity for high variability in our mail,” Powers says. Multiple creative treatments and offers can be tested within one campaign. “Testing is so important to make sure you’re constantly updating your data and getting the most relevant info on who you’re talking to.”

The increased sophistication of data analytics and mail capabilities allows marketers to tweak campaigns in response to results almost immediately. If a January test of three versions of a postcard shows that version C was a big miss with recipients, a marketer can remove that option from the next mailing while still meeting the mail date.

It also encourages marketers to take advantage of the Postal Service’s Mailing Promotions Calendar, something Powers is a proponent of. The USPS offers discounts throughout the year to organizations that implement certain technologies into their mail pieces. For instance, companies can register through the end of August to use AR, VR, video and other emerging technologies in their letters and flats in exchange for a 2 percent postage discount.

Other promotions through the end of 2021 reward use of QR codes and the USPS’s Informed Delivery service. The discounts help mitigate the risks inherent in testing. This testing, in turn, might reveal that a format with a higher cost per piece generates appreciably stronger response, enough not only to justify the expense going forward but also to lift ROI.

To make the most of the USPS promotions discounts, companies need to plan ahead. Then again, Powers says, they should be doing so regardless: “The biggest message we try to express is the importance of treating your marketing budget as an ROI strategy rather than as individual campaigns.”



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


Ways to Increase Sales With Direct Mail


By Debbie Cole, Weeklypostnc.com

June 28, 2021

Choosing the best package and following these simple suggestions can help you increase response rates and sales.


Talon is a Long Island New York Based Direct Mail service provider (letterhsop)

Let’s look at various direct mail formats and their benefits. Using the right one for the type of prospect you’re trying to reach can pay huge dividends.

Postcards

Postcards come in a variety of sizes and are very economical to print and have a lower postage rate. Postcards are very effective attention getters because there is no envelope to open and your message is easy to read. Postcards are a good way to put a coupon or special promotion in the hands of potential customers. People tend to keep coupons for future use.

Oversized postcards create a stronger visual impact than traditional sizes and are more likely to grab the recipients attention.

Letter Packages

This is the most traditional and common form of direct mail. The package typically consists of a letter, a flyer, brochure or lift note, an order form or reply card, and an outer envelope. The letter is the most important part of your direct mail package.

A very personal letter (e.g., “Dear Mrs. Compton”) has a better chance of connecting with the recipient. The content of the letter typically spells out the benefits of the offer in detail. The outer envelope is a very important part of the package. It has one job – to get itself opened. This is your first, and maybe your last, chance to get the attention of the mail recipient.

You can design the envelope to look personal or official depending on the market you are trying to reach. Typically, the more you make the envelope look like a personal correspondence from a friend or family the better. Handwritten text, actual postage stamps, applied return address labels, blue or red ink, invitation style envelopes, or colored envelopes all help to make things look more personal.

The strategy of creating an envelope to look official is to make it look like it contains something important or official such as something from the bank or IRS.

Self-Mailer Flyers

A self-mailer flyer is a single sheet of paper (of any size) that is folded one or more times to create a multi-panel flyer. The term self-mailer means they stand alone in the mail and are NOT inserted into an envelope.

By eliminating the envelope, you are reducing costs (for both printing and mail inserting). When you need a little more space for to show your product or need to include more copy than you can on a postcard, a self-mailer is a good choice. This type of direct mail is best used when photos, illustrations and other graphics can contribute to communicating your message.

Catalogs

Catalogs are perfect for companies that offer multiple products or services. Catalogs can be custom-designed and vary in size and pages to fit your businesses needs. A good practice is to place your popular items in the front pages to entice the recipient to keep flipping through the catalog. It’s also a good idea to include a coupon(s) or special offer to encourage them to buy.

Three-Dimensional Mailers

If you want to send something that’s really going to stand out in the mailbox, then this is your best option. Three-dimensional mailers could be a box, a tube, or a bag and include an object such as a gift or product sample. A mail package with something lumpy inside will get the attention of the person receiving it and most likely will be opened out of curiosity.

These types of mailings can be effective in reaching business executives whose mail is screened by a secretary, and they are practically guaranteed to be opened by consumers at home. This type of direct mail is expensive and should be used when you have a relatively small, well-defined audience of otherwise difficult-to-reach prospects.



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


Tips to Build Your Database


By Kim Morrison

June 15, 2021

Here are some ideas to help you build your database and, if you’ve approached it the right way, start to convert prospects into customers:


Talon is a Long Island NY based data processing & lettershop service provider


How much is your business worth?

To look at it from an accounting point of view, past profitability and asset values are the starting points. But it is often intangible factors, such as key business relationships, which provide the most value.

Underlying that is your customer database and hopefully one that is delivering consistent results for you! Your database should make you money every time you communicate with it and you need to look at how you build your list and then use it.

I’ll avoid the obvious cliché that size matters! Anyone can have a big list and still have no customers. There are loads of commercially available lists that you can buy though personally I would warn against doing that.

A small list of buyers interested in your business is hugely preferable to a massive list of unqualified cold prospects. This goes back to your marketing and social media strategy and knowing and understanding who your ideal prospective customer is …. your customer avatar. So start with a small list of the right people and build it up as you go along.

Here are four great ways to sign people up to your website and to build your database list:

1. Sidebar Subscription Boxes (one on every page) offering great value – free information that helps them or discount codes

2. Squeeze pages: tantalize people with great value offers “just behind the door”

3. Pop Up Windows: done at the right time with a good and a thought through headline/reason to act (use Google Analytics to find out how long and where people are on your site)

4. Contact Us: make it interesting, personal and different

The Social Media fraternity are very fond of running free (and informative) webinars on different topics of their expertise. They build their database with the free useful session and then usually, but not always, pitch their linked product offer at the end. As they have just demonstrated their expertise on the webinar you feel confident that they ‘know their stuff’ and so are likely to purchase if you want to know more.

These ideas will all help you to build your database and, if you’ve approached it the right way, start to convert prospects into customers and keep them as loyal customers.

Just remember – the money is in the list and knowing that every time you send out a campaign you will make money is a very powerful feeling!



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


How Email and Direct Mail Work Together


By Ray Schultz, Mediapost.com

June 2, 2021

Here’s a channel that some digital marketers might not have considered, but should — the one that dates back to Ben Franklin, the one delivered to the mailbox: Direct mail.


Talon is located in Deer Park Long Island, NY


“Email and direct mail go hand in hand,” says Rachel Schulties, chief operating officer of Marketsmith, a New Jersey-based agency owned entirely by women. “In a loyalty or retention program, coupling both will almost always yield a high ROI.”

Direct mail coupled with digital media increases conversions by 10% or 25%, Schulties says, based on her firm’s analysis. And it works for all digital channels — from programmatic to social to email.

And direct mail has a boomerang effect when used in retargeting. Sure, a brand can run a banner ad online, but a direct mail piece with beautiful colorful photography can be even more effective.

And thanks to on-demand printing, direct mail can be sent in “onesies and twosies,” and is useful in such typical email functions as trying to recapture abandoned carts, Schulties argues.

What about that old ‘junk mail’ epithet — can that hurt response?

Hardly. “The riskier area is in email if people unsubscribe, Schulties answers. Going overboard on email “really tarnishes your brand.”

But not when utilized in balance in a joint campaign, or with other digital channels such as social and programmatic.

Direct mail is especially useful at the nurturing stage.

What’s the right sequence?

Typically, a brand might have two mail drops, and three emails, alternate between an email, then a direct-mail drop, then another email and a direct piece, and finally an email.

If the goal is to drive a quick sale, they should be run “tightly together,” Schulties says. “You want to make sure they connect.” But “the data will drive the strategy,” she adds. “You have to understand the open rates on email and figure out the timing.”

Testing is critical not only in helping brands weed out losing tactics, but also in finding new directions.

Case in point: Marketsmith has a client in the utility business. It had been sending postcards, or self-mailers, usually a highly effective format when used in tandem with email. Then it tested something new — a letter in a traditional envelope.

The letter outperformed everything because it lent credibility, Schulties reports.

But how does one sent direct mail to an digital visitor? “If someone visits your web site, you can triangulate data through their IP address and determine who they are, then send postcard or catalog,” Schulties says.

How is this done?

“There are hundreds of third-party data sources,” Schulties answers. “Google knows my email and phone number. Another third party data provider might be able to lead the way to the postal address.

But wait: aren’t boomers more likely to respond to direct mail?

Actually, younger people also like it, especially when the creative is right. One client that sells construction equipment has “a very deep catalog with thousands off SKUs. It skews older–millennial want a quick-hit.”

On the other hand, “my six year-old loves the American Girl catalog,” Schulties laughs.

Then there’s Lovesac, a retailer of sectional couches. Customers tend to skew younger, so when sending direct mail, the brand has to be quick and to the point and highlight the product. The goal is to get them into the store.”

As for Marketsmith, it specializes in launching products that grow brands from startup.

Summing up, Schulties stresses that data is the most important thing in all types of marketing. And she reminds marketers that direct mail is an intimate experience. “People enjoy direct mail,” she says. “And it makes them 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 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