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Finance

We’re keeping a close eye on what you all tweet, share and post during this resolution season. So far we’ve learned that financial responsibility and growth is among the majority’s top priority. Out of the most shared lists on Twitter, we’ve read through and rounded up what we think is the most valuable advice from the likes of Forbes, LinkedIn and some small-biz experts.

Finance tips
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Marketing

A small winter festival in 1890 has become a famed annual showcase on the first day of the new year. The Rose Parade in downtown Pasadena, Calif., celebrates the “Mediterranean of the West” by celebrating Southern California flowers and sunshine. Shown in 200 countries around the world, the brand has become an international sensation synonymous with New Year’s Day.

 

This demonstrates how a non-profit organization can build a strong brand presence without the bells, whistles and deep pockets of larger corporations.

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Marketing

How much do you really know about Black Friday? Here’s a quick history on the annual shopping frenzy following Thanksgiving:

  • Black Friday was originally named for the crash of the U.S. gold market in 1869
  • Retailers used to color-code accounting losses in red and profits in black, eventually adopted as the modern-day origin of the name
  • By the 1980s, Black Friday became more widely associated with deep discounts on the day after Thanksgiving

 

#1- 4: IN-STORE INSIGHTS

Frequent shoppers will happily return for exclusive Black Friday sales if they are well-informed on the specifics. Use the opportunity to let them know when, what and how to take advantage of Black Friday promotions.

 

  1. Place posters or flyers on doors and windows with sale hours
  2. List products without the sale price on rack cards as a teaser
  3. Give customers postcards to promote friends & family discounts
  4. Include a business card with every purchase as exclusive coupons

#5-8: SEND AN E-VITE

Email marketing should definitely be part of your marketing mix when it comes to Black Friday. Send out reminder emails starting one week before Thanksgiving. It’s best to capture shoppers before they begin traveling out of town or spending all of Turkey Day in the kitchen.

  1. Write a grabby subject line (e.g. Find out what’s 75% off)
  2. Make it time-sensitive (e.g. 4 hours left!)
  3. Add animated gifs to stand out
  4. Instant return customers (e.g. No lie! Deals unlocked every hour)

 

#9-12: MOBILIZE YOUR MARKETING

With so many shoppers glued to their smartphones, maximize your Black Friday mobile promos. First step: Optimize website and email for mobile, especially the shopping cart. Second step: Offer unique deals for mobile purchasers. This keeps them shopping all day before they even get home from work.

  1. Boost bundling at the shopping cart (e.g. Others also bought this. Add to cart?)
  2. Create mobile alerts to instantly promote sales
  3. Have in-store customers check in online for extra discounts
  4. Use push notifications to push specific products

 

 

#13-16: TEASE A TRAILER

Video marketing is a great way to tease door-buster sales. Build anticipation leading up to the big day by filming the making of a product, receiving shipment at the store or the setting up of product displays.

On the morning of Black Friday, use Facebook live to show crowds gathering outside or happy shoppers checking out with coveted items. Gather testimonials on how much shoppers saved and let customers know how much time is left to enjoy Black Friday sale pricing.

 

  1. Keep videos under 60 seconds
  2. Add subtitles (most view videos without sound)
  3. Post directly on social platforms (avoid links from YouTube or Vimeo)
  4. Create or include a hashtag
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Marketing

Trade shows are one of the most effective forms of face-to-face marketing for both B2C and B2B companies. Mastering event marketing is essential to standing out in a sea of competitors and attracting prospects.

  1. Stock up on business cards, or have the design file on hand in case you run out. Among the many attendees will be key decision-makers and qualified leads, so be prepared to exchange contact information. It is good practice to find a printer ahead of your arrival who can accommodate print requests either same day or overnight.Trade show floor
  2. Giveaways that make them stay. The promotional bags and products industry rakes in $19.4 billion per year, and trade shows are among the biggest spenders. Swag should match the theme of your company culture, marketing campaign, or trade show theme, location or season to help attendees relate to and recall your product after the show has ended.

Functional giveaways, such as mobile device chargers or power banks, are great for attendees and exhibitors whose cell phones typically run out of juice by lunch.

Mobile device charger

 

Seasonal items, such as flip flops or sunglasses, work well for shows taking place in the summer or at beach destinations. If the show is scheduled during rainy season or in a city with unpredictable weather, consider branded umbrellas for a thoughtful and portable giveaway that can be reused.

Go crazy! Even if the giveaway is somewhat impractical, the story is so memorable that the recipient will tell it over and over, like these wacky gifts.

  1. Have knowledgeable and approachable booth staff. Exhibitors can either send their internal sales team to the show or hire and train local representatives. Consider the benefits and disadvantages for each when deciding which is best for your company, but most importantly, invest time into booth staff training so that your company is well represented.Convention booth staff

INTERNAL SALESPEOPLE

Pros Cons
    • Sales representatives are intimately familiar with your products and service, and therefore, do not require product knowledge training
    • Selling over the phone differs from face-to-face interactions, and so, may require separate field training
    • Sales teams with opportunities to earn commission will be more incentivized to sell
    • Travel and lodging expenses may add to overhead costs

HIRED BOOTH STAFF

Pros Cons
    • Professional booth staff are able to act as brand ambassadors
    • Staffers may not be able to answer specific questions about the product or company
    • Hiring locals reduces travel and lodging expenses
    • Exhibitors may need to send internal staff to train representatives

 

  1. Be social. Guests feel more welcomed when booth staff are standing to greet them. To keep staff members from getting too tired during a show, arrange shorter 2-4 hour time slots and rotate schedules throughout the day so that they can take lunch breaks, rest and visit other booths. 

Attendees appreciate comfortable seating within the booth. This also allows exhibitors an extra opportunity to converse with and convert prospects into leads.

  1. Update booth graphics and creatives each year. Many exhibitors attend the same trade shows and conventions each year. Attendees often remember the appearance of a booth, even if moved to a different location. A refreshed marketing campaign can attract curious attendees by using different colors, creating a new tagline or rearranging the booth orientation.

Print collateral should also match the campaign’s overall look and feel. Maintaining a cohesive theme throughout digital marketing efforts and with print materials, such as flyers, brochures and mailers, will keep attendees engaged before, during and after the show.

 

Visit OvernightPrints.com for your convention printing needs.

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Business Cards, Corporate Identity, General Interest

Many variables play a role in how your print marketing materials are perceived by potential customers.  Your copy, your offer, and your design are three considerations upon which the utmost importance is placed.  But there’s more to customer influence than what goes on your postcards, posters, business cards, catalogs, and other print marketing materials.  In fact, some of the most subtle nuances of your presentation can help your brand leave a lasting impact and motivate direct sales.  Your choice of paper stock is one of those variables.

Paper stock matters because it directly impacts how your designs look when printed on paper as well as how your marketing materials feel in your customers’ hands.  The following details reasons why paper stock is indeed important to maximizing your return on investment.

Good Paper Stock Enhances Your Design

Glossy paper stocks make your designs more brilliant, so that they practically pop off the page.  Matte paper stocks enrich your colors and add depth to your designs.  Both lend impressions of your company that cannot be conveyed by words alone:  authority, confidence, trustworthiness, attitude, success, and other identity-related adjectives.

Good Paper Stock Comforts Customers

Premium paper stocks don’t just look pretty; they feel good, too.  When customers hold a smooth, thick, robust business card they feel as though your company can be trusted, because your company’s card is professional.  The best part is you can get professional printing on premium paper stocks at deep discounts when you know where to look.  Think about which company you would trust if two competitors handed you business cards:  one, flimsy and flat; the other thick and glossy.

Premium Paper Stock Maximizes ROI

Not only will customers be more impressed and comfortable doing business with you, but your marketing materials will last longer with wear, tear and weather.  That means you get to put your campaigns to work longer on a single investment, thus maximizing your return.

What are the Best Paper Stocks?

The best paper stock depends on the project in question and how it will be deployed.  You can go to any product on the Overnight Prints website to learn more about the benefits of each specific paper stock.  You might learn, for example, that you could print business cards on standard premium-quality 14-point paper stock with a glossy coating on one or both sides (for penning in appointments on the fly).  Or, print an even thicker 16-point gloss business card.

Not sure what paper stock to print on for your business cards?  It all depends on what impression you want to leave on customers and your overall brand image.

First, let’s assume you want to print professional-looking business cards.  You can instantly throw out the flimsy, cheap business card paper stocks many discount printers have.  You do want to yield a return on your investment, after all.  Next, consider the following questions:

Is your company new, fresh, exciting, or innovative?

A glossy 14-point or 16-point paper stock might be the best choice.

Is your company bold, cutting edge, or authoritative?

Go with a thick and robust 16-point gloss paper stock.  Add a UV coating for an extra-thick, extra-glossy sheen.

Is your company traditional, new age, or artsy?

Try a 13-point matte paper stock, which adds richness and depth to your colors and design.

Do you often set appointments or jot down additional information for customers on the fly?

A 14-point glossy paper stock, coated on one side only, will give you the fresh appeal of gloss on the front and the ability to write with a pen or pencil on the back.

Follow these tips, and you will be able to print a professional-looking business card that enhances your design, feels great in your customers’ hands, and promotes your brand image at the same time.

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The fact that we live in an increasingly technological world is not a groundbreaking idea to most. This trend, of course, also applies to the business world. It is an undeniable fact that almost all data, including contact details, are stored electronically nowadays. Regardless of how technologically-based business has become, the fact remains that plain old business cards can still be relevant.

Below are some reasons why business cards are still important even in 2012:

Business Cards Increase Name Recall

Simple truth: Human beings (this includes your potential customers) does increase the chances of being remembered – no matter the actual physical layout of the card or what kind of work you’re in. Wouldn’t you rather see a customer walking away with your business card than walking away with nothing? Business cards really do help a person stand out and be relevant.

Business Cards Are Easier to Hand Out in Large Crowds

Given the technological savvy of most consumers these days, business cards should theoretically have been phased out. After all, you could simply store names, addresses, and phone numbers on your phone now. As is true with a lot of other ideas that SEEM like they should be true, this is not always the case. Storing numbers electronically is fine when on a one-on-one setting. But imagine the horror should you find yourself somewhere like a business convention. Who has the time to store every number in your phone? And after it’s all said and done, would you even remember who these new friends are with nothing but a name and a number to help you?

With business cards, you can continue giving your pitch to that important investor without that awkward pause whenever he tries to type in your contact info into his smartphone – he could do that at a later time like, you know, when you’re done talking.

You can literally throw business cards around a convention and someone will surely pick one up. While that last statement sounds ridiculous (and not something I’d recommend you try; but hey, they’re your business cards so do whatever you want with them), I’d say it’s still better than introducing yourself one person at a time hoping someone actually stores your number for reference.

But if you’re all about technology – you know, the kind that can barely watch TV shows on a TV anymore, fret not. Business cards can be modern too…

Business Cards Can Be Customized to Fit Your Market

Your business cards don’t have to be dull. Try to be creative so you can have business cards that are custom built for your customers. You can print business cards in custom shapes. You’d be surprised by the variety of business cards out today. Again, you are only limited by your imagination. Use your cards, not only to provide contact information, but to also promote your company and brand.

Business Cards Are Good for SEO

I know how much marketers have thrown the term “SEO” around and for good reason. These days, almost everything is done online. Even if you’re not running an e-commerce business, there’s a good chance you still have an online presence (you should have at least a Facebook page). Having those URLs in your business cards will help boost your inbound traffic.

There you have it. These are just a few of the reasons why business cards are important.

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As Kermit sings, “It’s not easy being green.” Especially if you’re involved in the printing or paper industry.

Kermit

We all like white paper. It’s easier to read and easier to print on. But paper isn’t naturally white. To make paper white requires bleaching. White, good; bleaching—using chlorine, bad.

I was initially confused by the alphabet soup of claims for chlorine free paper products.   Read more

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I realize that this sounds obvious but there’s no point in being timid about it – being timid doesn’t get you work. Be excited about your new design business – you should shout it from the rooftops! Let everyone know; friends, relatives, ex-colleagues, acquaintances, the guy you sometimes talk to at the coffee shop! Tell them that you’ve just started a design business and to pass on the information to anyone they know – give them a few business cards for their wallets.

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Corporate Identity, General Interest, Resellers & Designers, Small Business

As our email and site banners proclaim: “This is our best deal EVER”. Simply put, if you make a $50 order from us today, then you’ll receive a discount for $50 in the New Year to spend on any print products you want from our site! We wanted to give back something special this year and we feel that this is the strongest offer we can give to our customers.

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Corporate Identity, Greeting Cards, Post Cards, Small Business

If you’re running out of time this holiday season, and you need a one-of-a-kind set of exclusively designed greeting cards, gift tag, address labels, or invites, then I’m certain that you’ll find a design that you’ll love in our collection. We are also offering matching sets of address labels (gift-tag stickers), gift-tags, greeting cards, and photo rack cards! Here’s a list of my top 5 favorite designs that our designers have created and links to each individual template:

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Business Cards, Corporate Identity, Fonts, General Interest

Although I’m a Mac guy and I personally like the “cold metal” look of my G5, I’m not keen on Steve Wozniaks fancy laser-cut stainless steel number. It’s not very practical, affordable, or even particularly attractive! I prefer Steve Jobs simple business card design from the 70’s. Despite its “dated” font (Motter Tektura – the old Apple font) it has a simple elegance.

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Bookmarks, Business Cards, Corporate Identity, Photoshop, Small Business

I work with these products all the time and I’m often being told by our customers how they’ve used our print products in new and interesting ways. After discussing this subject with some of our customers, I was given a “top 3” list of their favorite “alternative” uses for our print products.

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Bookmarks, Business Cards, Corporate Identity, Flyers, Greeting Cards, Post Cards, Rubber Stamp, Small Business

Regular visitors to the Overnight Prints main site may have noticed that we’ve overhauled our online design file upload service to give our customers more onscreen control of the files that they send to print

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Corporate Identity, General Interest, Photoshop, Small Business, Welcome Bloggers

A few weeks ago I posted a blog asking Overnight Prints customers and blog visitors to send me links to their work so that I could showcase their work on this blog. The response was incredible! The following list of designers and their work is representative of the diverse, unique, and talented customers that we have!

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Bookmarks, Business Cards, Corporate Identity, Magnets, Small Business, Welcome Bloggers

In the small business world, there is a growing business card trend for making them more “hand crafted” (e.g, hand-stamped business cards) and for taking them to another level by making a business card fulfill another function (e.g, fancy labels, decorations, jewelry holders, etc.) With a little thought and effort, you can make your business cards into something REALLY PERSONAL!

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When was the last time you stepped back and really took a peek at your business cards, rack brochures, pamphlets and flyers? When was the last time you really wondered if they needed some tweaking, some revamping and some fine tuning? If you’re like most of us, that will probably be quite some time ago. If you’re like most of us, that’s probably a bad, bad thing. The good news is, this is a fixable situation. The bad news is, you have to fix it.

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How many of you out there have wandered onto a car lot, grabbed your checkbook and bought a car without ever taking the car for a test drive? Yeah, probably not many, if any. It’s completely reasonable, fair and wise to want to take the car for a spin, kick the tires a little, and really find out if it’s the car for you before you invest your money into it. Why should your business’s advertising materials be any different? Should you just click on the very first website you find, upload your design and hope for the best? No. You shouldn’t, and there’s an alternative.

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How do you go the extra mile? How does a person, a business, a company or anyone really step up and “go the extra mile?” It’s a tough question to ask in this day and age as so many people are trying to cut so many corners to save money in a tough economy. To me, going the extra mile simply means doing something that so few other people are willing to do, things you don’t have to do but that make all the difference in the world when you do. OvernightPrints.com has always been just that to me, from the speed and amazing quality they’ve always given me with their business cards, to the perfect and professional responses anytime I have a question.

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