Archive for July 2012

Bounce ‘Em Back to Your Site

July 31, 2012

After all your work hard and marketing efforts enticing prospects to visit your website, it can be frustrating to see high bounce rates. Bounce rate is an Internet marketing term that represents the percentage of visitors who enter your website and bounce — or leave the site — rather than continuing to view other pages within your site or complete a desired action.

Here are a few common website mistakes that are often responsible for driving away potential customers:

* The basics. An unattractive design, spelling errors, broken links, images that take forever to load, and other annoyances will quickly cause visitors to lose trust and confidence in your business.
* Poor navigation. If visitors can’t tell where they are, where to click next, or how to get back to your homepage, they will likely just exit.
* Complicated, lengthy web pages. Instead, provide information that is brief and organized with headlines and sub-headings, bulleted lists, and short paragraphs.
* Too many distractions. Popup ads, flashing information, and similar devices can easily frustrate or lead visitors away from your site.
* Dated content. How will visitors know if anything is the latest and greatest information if you don’t take the time to update key areas on your website?
* Music or sound effects. These are not only annoying, but also embarrassing for visitors viewing your site from a public place. Users will likely close out of your site as quickly as possible.
* No contact information. While a “contact us” form is helpful, your website should also include your telephone number and physical address. The more contact information you include, the more visitors will be reassured you are legit.
* Asking too many questions. Requiring too much information from visitors may scare some away. Make it easy for visitors to request additional information by simply asking for their name and basic contact information. Also provide quick turnaround in response to show you respect their time.

Our creative team would love to help you develop outstanding marketing materials to supplement your website. Give us a call today!

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What if?

July 19, 2012

Do you ever find yourself playing the “what if” game? What if you had made a different choice with something in your past, whether a life decision or in business?

Sure you have. We all do.

When you’re evaluating these “what if” scenarios in your head, do you ever wonder how close you came to achieving some of the goals you set but for whatever reason never did?

It’s true that we shouldn’t dwell on the past, but it’s also worth mentioning that we all want to live a life that leaves little regret at the end of the day. So learning from our past mistakes (and victories) is an important part of our growth process.

When you want to reach anything worthwhile, you set goals. You put some effort into reaching your target. The higher the target and bigger the goal, the more effort it takes to reach it.

Simple concept, right? 1 + 2 = 3

Then if it’s so simple, why is it that we sometimes don’t reach the goals we set for ourselves?

On the surface, there’s a relatively simple answer. Effort. The amount of effort we needed to put in just wasn’t there. Why? Sometimes the reasons are external and beyond our control, but most often we allow internal issues to block us from reaching our goals.

Even more frustrating is the realization that we were probably much closer to reaching our goal than we ever realized. Water is really hot when it’s heated to 211 degrees. But it’s not until it reaches 212 degrees that water creates steam. Steam is what generates the power to move a locomotive, not warm water.

Whether you’re working on personal goals or business ones, the lesson here is that you’re probably tantalizingly close to reaching the top. Probably one tiny degree away.

Watch this short video to get a little inspiration to start making that one degree difference today.

Answer this first

July 19, 2012

Skills can be learned.

Read a book. Attend a course.

Learn from someone who has achieved what you seek. Teachers and mentors are plentiful.

The paths to your desired outcome are endless.

The kind of success you seek can be achieved with effort.

That part is something you can learn.

But there’s something you can’t find in a book, learn in a course, or download into your brain.

That one thing is….desire.

It’s something you can’t buy at any price and no one can teach you.

Some call it the “why.” Why do you want what you’re seeking?

Answer that question first, and the path will become much clearer.

Christmas… In July?

July 16, 2012

While the holiday season is still a few months away, now is the ideal early time to start planning festive marketing campaigns to promote your business. Here are a few creative ideas to consider:

* Give your business a seasonal twist. For example, a grocery store could offer tips on how to eat healthy during the holidays. A financial institution could provide a tip sheet on controlling holiday spending.
* Consider special pricing on gift certificates, such as buy $40 and get $10 free or buy two gift certificates and get one free.
* Rather than risk having your holiday card get lost in the shuffle at Christmas, consider sending a greeting focused on Halloween, Thanksgiving, or even New Year’s.
* Give loyal customers something that keeps on giving. Consider a bonus for referring a friend, a holiday coupon, a discount for subscribing to your e-newsletter, or other fun promotions.
* Offer a “Coming Soon” report for the upcoming year. For example, offer a sneak peek at a new product you’ll be revealing, a workshop or webinar your customers would enjoy, an add-on service, or something similar.
* Offer tips, discounts, and programs to help people meet their New Year’s resolution goals. For example, a health care facility might offer a special package that waives the sign-up fee and provides a discount if you bring a friend.
* Build relationships, and enjoy the opportunity to meet and mingle with new people at holiday mixers. When the season is over, you can contact your holiday party connections and work on further building your relationship.
* Ask for the opportunity to donate your product or service as a door prize at holiday parties or other business gatherings.
* Plan a seasonal open house with beverages and snacks. Consider a special featured discount, and offer giveaway items your attendees can sign up to win.
* In addition to providing an overall price discount, highlight product offerings for every budget level from $20 to $200. Create a customized holiday flyer or brochure to make customers aware of your multiple price points.

If you’d like help creating the perfect direct mail piece to advertise your holiday promotions, stop by today. Our creative experts will help you create the perfect mailer to successfully promote your business any time of year.

Business Card Etiquette Tips

July 10, 2012

Business cards are an inexpensive, yet valuable way to introduce yourself and your business. Here are a few etiquette tips to keep in mind the next time you exchange business cards:

* Be prepared by having business cards on you at all times, including weekends.
* Never distribute tattered business cards that show wear from being stuffed in your wallet. Instead, use a hard business card case to keep your cards clean and crisp.
* Offer your card during informal conversations if the person you’re talking to expresses interest in your products or services.
* Distribute only one card to each new contact (unless more are requested), rather than expecting them to distribute your cards for you.
* Exchange cards at the beginning of meetings to have the names and titles/rank of everyone involved readily available.
* Show respect when receiving a business card by briefly looking it over (front and back) and placing it in a portfolio, notebook, or card case. Never fold or crumple the card, and don’t stuff it in your pocket or bag within eyesight of the card giver. Reading over or commenting on the card right away may also help you build a better association between the new contact’s name and face for future reference.
* Be aware that foreign countries have different business card customs. If doing business in a country that speaks another language, consider translating one side of your card into their language.

Let us know if we can help you print customized business cards that will make a lasting impression with every exchange.

Product Naming Tips

July 3, 2012

If you’re planning to introduce a new product into the market, here are a few tips to help you create a likeable product name that will also be relevant and memorable:

* Choose an expressive name that describes what the product does.
* Avoid acronyms. Give your product a full name, and use brief acronyms internally only.
* Consider naming similar products together as a family. For example, Apple’s operating systems have used similar names such as Panther, Jaguar, Leopard, and Lion.
* If you have a tiered product line (good, better, best), name your products accordingly to show order of ranking.
* Add a prefix or suffix to a common name, such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod.
* Choose a name that gives people a mental image of the benefits your product provides or how it works.
* Select a name that is easy to pronounce. If your audience can’t pronounce it, they likely won’t remember it.
* Creatively change the spelling of a real word. The popular cereals Kix and Trix are good examples.
* If your products are sold internationally, always screen your product name to check for embarrassing meanings in other languages. * Consider using a verb as your product name, like Bounce dryer sheets.
* Blend two descriptive words together to form a new word that describes your product, such as Miracle Whip.
* Beware of any potential acronyms that may cause issues. For example, some people joke that Microsoft’s Bing stands for “But It’s Not Google.” Also check if there could be issues with shortening the product name.
* Think about what you like/dislike about other product names across various industries, and compare that to the list of names you’re considering.
* Lastly, beware that a long, drawn-out product name may cause a challenge when creating advertisements and promotional materials.

No matter what product name you choose, we have endless creative ideas to help you spread the word and increase your sales. Give us a call today!