Category Archives: Business

Staying on Course

The earth’s magnetic fields are in constant fluctuation. Earlier this year, The Independent (a London newspaper) reported that the magnetic north pole is “currently relocating towards Russia at a rate of about 40 miles a year.” According to the article, this speed “has increased by a third in the past decade” and represents a “faster [movement] than at any time in human history.”

The article goes on to talk about some of the ramifications these changes are bringing about. For example, magnetic compass directions are changing by about one degree per year, causing some airports to have to relabel runways to correspond with the new readings.

I mention this because it illustrates an important point for business owners. Like magnetic north, the business world is in a constant state of flux. Communication channels that didn’t exist five years ago (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) are now essential tools for marketing and customer interaction. Smartphones and handheld devices such as the iPad are changing the way people live, work, and shop. Competition for many of us has grown stiffer, and the rules are changing all the time.

Like airports that rely on magnetic compasses to identify their runways, we must keep a constant eye on the changes going on in our industries and in the business world at large. A one-degree change on a compass wheel may seem insignificant and small, but over time and across great distances, its impact can be severe.

Staying the course isn’t always the best way to stay on course, especially when the course keeps shifting.

Statement Stuffers

Statement Stuffers: Sales Tools Worth Trying

Want to share important information with your clients and promote your products without incurring the expense of a typical advertising campaign? Why not give statement stuffers a try?

Statement stuffers are a simple little sales tool that national retailers, utility companies, banks, and credit-card companies have been using for years—and with great success!

Statement stuffers are inexpensive to produce and mail. Because of their dimensions, multiple stuffers can be printed on a single sheet of paper and then cut down to size. This reduces press time, saving money on each impression. Plus, adding a stuffer to each statement that is mailed will typically add nothing to the postage cost.

In many companies, purchasing decisions are made by the same people who pay the bills. A well-thought-out statement stuffer, promoting a product or service that would be of interest to these buyers, could mean more and better sales in the future.

And statement stuffers can do more than market products. They can also be used to communicate important information to your client base. Since most clients receive a printed statement every month, printing a statement stuffer with information about changing services or potential concerns guarantees that the information will reach your audience in a timely manner.

Despite the name, a statement stuffer can be used for far more than just an addition to monthly statements. Many companies use their statement stuffers as front-counter handouts, include them with promotional packs, and add one to each order that goes out. As they’ve discovered, with statement stuffers the possibilities are endless. – 318.868.3351 – Ranked #1 among printers nationwide for LOYALTY & SATISFACTION!

Business Stationery – LETTERHEAD

What better way to get ready for the new year than updating the look of your letterhead? Everyone knows how important first impressions are, and your business stationery plays a big part in that process. You don’t even need to make a complete overhaul of what you use currently: something as simple as adding a splash of color or even choosing a more modern font can help breathe new life into your company’s image.

Here are just a few examples of how a fresh, new company letterhead can work for you:

Creates a Brand: A well-designed logo or letterhead makes a memorable, long-lasting impression. Think of your favorite soft drink, and imagine holding a can or bottle of it in your hand; can you picture it? Of course! That’s good design: recognizable, distinctive, and, if used effectively, creating a lasting, nearly indelible impression on your customers.

Highlights Professionalism: An updated, more modern letterhead can be just the thing to attract new customers while reassuring current customers that you are still on top of your game. A well-designed letterhead speaks volumes about your company: its professionalism, its respectability, its desirability as a business partner.

Promotes Your Product: Once you have your letterhead designed, you can start using it on everything: incorporating it into faxes, business cards, even mailing labels. These catch the eye and work as mini-advertisements, keeping your business at the front of everyone’s mind.

Of course, a smart business-owner always keeps an eye on the bottom line, so if you like the idea of updating your company stationery but are concerned about the cost, think again. If you order in bulk, you can splurge a little on a really great design. Ordering in bulk means each piece of paper costs less in the long run, which adds up to long-term savings for you. Remember, you’re not just paying for paper, you’re investing in creating your own business brand. – 318.868.3351 – PRINT. MAIL. DESIGN. MARKETING. – Ranked #1 for loyalty & satisfaction among printers nationwide!

Creating an Effective Comment Card

Feedback is an essential tool for gauging how well you’re doing in the minds and hearts of your customers. Unfortunately, most people will not tell you how they feel about your company unless you ask. And, if they’re disappointed, they may even go somewhere else without saying a word. Printed comment cards, feedback forms, and surveys help you keep your customers coming back.

• Keep it simple. The goal of your feedback form should be to obtain the most specific and relevant information possible, without overwhelming the consumer. An overly in-depth questionnaire or survey may intimidate or put customers off.

• Mix it up. Don’t limit yourself to just one kind of question. Instead, present a mixed balance. Include multiple-choice style questions (rate the following from 1-5, would you agree with the following statement, etc.), along with more open-ended questions that allow the customer to elaborate on their answers.

• Make it easy to find. Include a printed feedback/comment form with every order you deliver. Create a display in your lobby where customers can find, fill out, and return your comment forms. Ask your customers to fill out the forms every time they buy from you.

• Share the results. Post comments in a common area, such as a break room or bulletin board, where employees can see and read what customers have to say. Include both positive and negative feedback where appropriate.

• Follow through. Follow up on every comment you receive, both good and bad. Thank your customers for their candor and honesty, answer any questions they might have, and let them know how you plan to resolve any problems they encountered along the way with your company.

• Use a knowledgeable printer. The staff at our printing firm is well equipped to help you determine the best layout and format to receive customer feedback. – 318.868.3351 – Ranked #1 in loyalty & satisfaction – PRINT. MAIL. DESIGN. MARKETING.

Marketing on a Shoestring Budget

Marketing on a Shoestring

Looking to make a big impact on a small budget? Consider these ideas:

• Focus your efforts. Concentrate your marketing budget on just one or two areas. Choose methods that offer a solid return, and track results so you can adjust quickly if you feels it’s needed.

• Barter. If you offer a product or service that members of the local media might find useful, negotiate a trade for free advertising space or airtime.

• Donate to charity. Your donation of goods, services, time, or money will earn you goodwill. It may also provide a mention in the organization’s annual report or other printed literature. Many charitable groups have board members (fellow businesspeople) who may need your services.

• Give referrals. Your customers and associates will appreciate the referral business you send their way, and may even be willing to return the favor. – 318.868.3351


Customized Envelopes

Customized Envelopes

You send mail on a regular basis. Are the envelopes you’re using sending the right message and strengthening your brand? Here are some tips for creating customized envelopes that get opened:

• Identity. Mail is more likely to be opened if the receiver sees your corporate identity.

• Lasting impression. Customized envelopes create memorable impressions. Think about the last truly creative envelope you received and see if you can remember where it was from.

• Variety. All envelopes are not equal. They can be ordered in a variety of sizes, colors, shapes, and types of paper to make your mailings unique.

• Attention-getting. Use teaser copy to create interest for the recipient, and to compel them to open the envelope immediately.

• Sneak peak. You can save money by using customized window envelopes and including the address on the letter or response device instead of printing it on the envelope.

• Graphics. Many people expect to see more than just words on paper. Spice it up with some colorful graphics to make your envelope stand out in a pile of mail.

• Another glimpse. Messages peeping through windows gain additional attention, allowing the reader a glimpse at your story before they dive inside.

• Both sides. Three out of four people who touch your envelope will flip it over before opening it … so why not use the back of your envelope, too?

• Be different. Do something unusual, such as printing your envelopes upside down, and see how many people comment., PRINT. MAIL. DESIGN. SOCIAL MEDIA. MARKETING. 318.868.3351

Ranked #1 in loyalty & satisfaction!

Catalogs & Manuals: Info at Your Fingertips

Whether you are looking for an effective way to display information about the products your company can offer or answer important questions about company policies and procedures, catalogs and manuals can do the talking for you.

By equipping your employees, prospects, and customers alike with catalogs and manuals, you empower them with the ability to easily find important information and make informed decisions. Here are a few points to consider when creating your next catalog or manual:

Think about your audience. What do they want to learn more about? Include a helpful yet concise question-and-answer section for frequently asked questions.

Be informative. Provide detailed information, product photos, policy guidelines, etc., as well as contact information or a link to your website for more information should questions arise.

Be consistent. Portray a consistent brand image through the use of your company logo and corporate colors that is visible through all print materials, website, etc.

Include an order form for convenience. Even though most actual ordering is done by phone or on the company’s website, many shoppers like to use the printed order form to list and organize their purchases before placing an order. This will also benefit your business, since orders can be placed more accurately and efficiently.

Don’t be afraid to cross-sell between products. By suggesting companion products in product copy and callouts, or by placing companion products together on the page, you can increase sales five to 15 percent.

Be clear. High-resolution images are very important when depicting products or services that customers can’t see or touch.

Simplicity is key. Use no more than two or three fonts throughout the document, and use the same style of text consistently for product names, descriptions, etc. Also, keep text spacing and placement next to images consistent.

Take it online. Consider offering your catalog or manual online so readers can encourage friends or coworkers to download a convenient PDF version. You should also provide information on how to request additional copies.

Stop by today if you’d like help developing a creative catalog or manual that does the talking for you. – 318.868.3351 – Print. Mail. Design. Social Media. Marketing. – Ranked #1 in loyalty & satisfaction!

FLYERS – How to Make Them Successful

You want your flyer to be unique and creative. To catch the eye of its recipient and cause them to take notice of your company.

But in order to make sure your flyers accomplish your goals, you also want to adhere to the following set of guidelines, and turn an ordinary flyer into a successful part of your marketing campaign.

• A powerful headline. The purpose of a headline is twofold: to draw attention and to motivate the reader to take action. A good example of this would be, “Need More Time in the Day? Call Us!” A bad example would be, “Cheryl’s Cleaning Service.” Because you are working with a limited amount of space in which to get your message across, the headline is a crucial part of your flyer’s success.

• High-quality images and graphics. Your killer headline should be supported by high-resolution photos of things that will help you sell your products and services. Be sure the images you select are designed for crisp, four-color printing, and that they represent what your company is all about.

• Enhance your reputation. Take a moment to consider your audience, and make an effort to personalize your ad or cater it to the local crowd. For example, if you have been in business for a number of years, use a phrase like: “Proudly serving the Cumberland area for 23 years,” as opposed to “Operating since 1987.”

• Show, don’t tell. Don’t just list the products and services you provide, use your flyer to show people how your products and services solve problems or meet a need. They will be more likely to consider you if you’ve already demonstrated how you can help them.

• Use the whole page. A piece of paper has two sides—use them. Just don’t overuse them. A balance of text, images, and good branding with your full contact information on both sides will go a long way toward making a solid impression. Stay away from too much text and blurry images, and don’t forget the selling point.

• Professional printing. An experienced printer will help you create the right flyer for your company. Call us today about producing a flyer you can be proud of. – 318.868.3351 – Ranked #1 in loyalty & satisfaction – PRINT. MAIL. DESIGN. MARKETING.

Brochures: Information in Your Customers’ Hands

Information is power. The right information—in the right hands at the right time—can prove instrumental in retaining a customer, telling your story, or closing a sale. So how can you convey the information you need to share in a compelling and readable way? Start with a brochure.

Brochures offer a concise, cost-effective means of sharing information with the people who work for and do business with your company. Whether introducing a new product or service to customers, explaining an important benefit to coworkers and employees, offering a special promotion to prospects, or giving a general overview of your company to potential investors, few marketing pieces provide the versatility and value of a well-produced brochure.

Start with the basics. When planning a brochure, decide up front the overall purpose and goals. Who are you trying to reach, and what are you trying to say?

Think about your audience. What makes them tick? What would compel them to pick up your brochure? And how is the information your brochure contains going to impact the decisions they make?

Be complete. Come up with a list of talking points—key benefits, new features, top selling points, etc.—you think belong in the brochure. Then refer to these items when crafting the content and deciding what to include.

Keep it simple. While it’s important to be thorough (see above), it’s equally vital to keep your content concise and readable. Sidebars, bulleted lists, and headlines are all effective ways to make your content sing. Don’t overwhelm your readers with a lot of unnecessary verbiage. Clean, compact content is far more effective than long, flowery prose.

Focus on the image you’re trying to convey. While content is important, so, too, is graphic design. It’s what your audience will see—and react to—as they consider your brochure. Involve your designer in the initial brainstorming process, so he or she is acutely aware of your goals and aspirations.

If you’re not sure how to proceed with your next brochure project, give us a call. The graphic experts at our printing firm are always here to help. – Ranked #1 in loyalty & satisfaction among printers nationwide! 318.868.3351

Postcards: Simple Yet Effective Marketing

Postcard marketing remains one of the most cost-effective means of getting your name and message in front of prospective buyers. With a postcard, you can target your message to only those customers and prospects who are most likely to want your services.

Postcards can come in a variety of sizes. Standard-sized postcards offer just the right amount of space for your message. Jumbo postcards are an effective way to spread your message because they stand out, get attention, and offer more space for your important messages. Here are some more great reasons why postcards should be included in your marketing plan:

Postcards are convenient. Your message is right in front of your customers. They can read your offer and find out about a sale without having to open an envelope. In addition, they are able to refer back to your postcard at any time, and save it for future reference.

They’re inexpensive. Printing costs for postcards are small, considering the large impact they can have on buyers.

They’re easy to test. Because they’re so inexpensive, postcards are a great medium for testing the effectiveness of your messaging. Start by sending postcards to a small sampling of your mailing list. When you’re satisfied with the results, have more printed and spread out from there.

• They’re easy to track—especially if you include a coupon or special offer on the card.

• They make a lasting impression. How many TV or newspaper ads do you remember after just one viewing? The reason we forget most conventional ads is because they’re a distraction, not the main focus of our attention. A jumbo postcard has staying power. It leaves a more lasting impression because of its size, its content (especially if it includes a coupon or special offer), and its simplicity. Contact us today about printing postcards for your company. – Ranked #1 for loyalty & satisfaction among printers nationwide – 318.868.3351