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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Marketing with Email Signatures

I don't understand incomplete email signatures coming in to me -- from originating emails, from reply emails and from smartphone emails. How can I call you to buy if your phone number is not one tap away on my smartphone?

But there is more opportunity to email signatures. Think about how many business emails you send each day. Now think about the email signature you're currently using on your emails. While email signatures are commonly used as a way to identify the sender and provide important contact information, many people are missing out on the valuable opportunity to use their signature line as a marketing tool. Here are a few tips to help you create an effective email signature that your recipients will remember:
  • Create brand recognition by including your logo, tagline, mascot, or other graphic that is tied to your brand.

  • Choose images carefully and use them sparingly, so your signature doesn't overpower your message.

  • Increase web traffic by enticing readers to visit your web link for a free sample, free white paper, or to subscribe to your newsletter.

  • If you include a web link, spell out the address rather than using hyperlinks. This will eliminate trust issues caused by opening an unknown link and will also make it easy for recipients to copy and paste the address into their browser.

  • Offer a teaser that entices the reader to ask for more information or to click a link to learn more.

  • Personalize your email signature with a photo to help readers put a face with your name.

  • Consider adding a brief quotation that represents your business or provides an insight into your personality.

  • Create a consistent brand image by standardizing email signatures throughout your company.

  • Change up your messaging frequently to keep it fresh and interesting for email recipients.
And now, here's my blog signature! Thanks for reading.

Peter "The Printer" Lineal
Founder/CEO
Plum Grove
2160 Stonington Avenue
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
Ph: 847.882.4020 Ext: 133
www.PlumGrovePrinters.com

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Printing, Marketing & Promotional Products with Powerful Execution.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Secret to Selling to Someone Who's Not (Yet) Ready to Buy

There was once a man named Charlie who sold insurance for a living. Charlie was a salt-of-the-earth kind of guy who enjoyed what he did. Charlie had a friend named Steve. Steve was in his late thirties and happily married, with a wife and two kids.

Charlie and Steve would play the occasional round of golf with some friends. Charlie would tell Steve about the importance of having life insurance for someone in his situation, but without being pushy.

Steve had his reasons for not buying at the time and would always put it off. Charlie, being the good, persistent salesman that he was, would bring up the topic regularly without being annoying.

One morning while Steve was at work, a colleague who was about the same age, with two kids and in seemingly good health, had a sudden, unexpected heart attack and was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

Guess who Steve called that very afternoon to get the paperwork started for the life insurance policy he had been putting off for years?

What's the moral of our story as it pertains to your business? You can have the greatest product, the best service, and a great price, yet some of your prospects will still not buy. The reasons are many, and some are a mystery that you won't be able to solve right away.

While you're scratching your head trying to find those answers, your real job is to continually market your services by educating your target audience about what you can do to help them achieve their objectives. Why? Because one day soon, your prospect will be ready to buy, and she will remember the persistent, but pleasant person who has been looking out for her best interest all along.

Charlie knew that secret, and now you do, too.

Peter "The Printer" Lineal
Founder/CEO
Plum Grove
2160 Stonington Avenue
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
Ph: 847.882.4020 Ext: 133
www.PlumGrovePrinters.com

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Printing, Marketing & Promotional Products with Powerful Execution.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Lessons From the Greatest Direct Mail Letter of All Time

Direct mail has been a proven money maker for many years and continues to prove its worth to this day. In this age of all things digital, it's nice to note that once again many marketers are turning to direct mail for its immediacy and involvement power to complement electronic marketing.

If you're one of those who have penciled this powerful strategy onto your marketing calendar this year, it might be instructive to learn from one of the best direct mail sales letters ever written.

In 1974, Martin Conroy wrote a simple, two-page sales letter which was continuously mailed out with very minor changes between 1975 and 2003. Not only did it have amazing longevity, but it was responsible for raking in over a billion dollars in new sales.

This letter was a simple story. The best salesmen, teachers, CEOs, and communicators know that stories told well sell! Whether you're selling something or trying to get others to take action, simple but powerful stories can do much of the heavy lifting for you.

There are many reasons this piece proved to be so successful. The classic formula of attention, interest, desire, and action are beautifully articulated in the piece. Here are a few other lessons to learn:
  1. It pulls you in with a story and emotional hook which makes you want to read more.

  2. It's simple and clear, so you can follow to the end without getting lost.

  3. Emotions and hot buttons are weaved throughout the copy so your interest remains high.

  4. The benefits are crystal clear.

  5. There's a clear call to action.

  6. It offers a risk-reversal and guarantee for those on the fence.

  7. It makes a promise and restates that promise at the end.

  8. It provides three options: Good, Better, and Best.

These simple 781 words proved to be a key circulation builder for subscriptions to the Wall Street Journal for over 30 years. There are seminars and courses which have been taught using this letter as a prime example. Studying the letter and learning the techniques and power can make your next direct mailer a big success as well.

Here's a link to the letter's text, along with some information about its amazing success.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Start Spreading the Word!

When it comes to making introductions, first impressions are very important. Whether you're introducing a new business location, new employees, or even a new product or service, introductory marketing pieces are a great way to make a lasting impact.

A professionally printed introductory piece can establish credibility, build report, and pique interest. However, it's important to remember that this is simply an introduction. Give readers adequate details, but don't overwhelm them. Instead, develop it as a lead-in piece that entices readers to learn more.

The creative options for direct mail introductions are endless and can include letters, postcards, self-mailers, statement stuffers, personalized note cards, brochures, or even a simple folded flyer. In addition to direct mail, you can distribute introductory materials at trade shows and other events, include them with purchases, or deliver them door-to-door with eye-catching door hangers. To increase staying power, consider including an elite offer, coupon, exclusive invitation, or tear-away business card that recipients can use to keep your information at their fingertips.

If you need ideas or want help getting started, give us a call today. Our creative team would love to help you start spreading the word!


Peter "The Printer" Lineal
Founder/CEO
Plum Grove
2160 Stonington Avenue
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
Ph: 847.882.4020 Ext: 133
www.PlumGrovePrinters.com

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Printing, Marketing & Promotional Products with Powerful Execution.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Are you a "local" business? -- Local Marketing Tips

When people buy locally, the money spent in the community stays in the community to sustain local jobs, pay local tax dollars, and support local schools and organizations. It also promotes a family and community atmosphere. Here are a few creative ways to promote your business locally:
  • Distribute promotional pieces to spread the word. Consider mailing postcards to recipients in a particular zip code, distributing door hangers in local neighborhoods, posting flyers or posters at local businesses, and so on. Offer an enticing discount or coupon to encourage people to visit your location.

  • Focus on networking with other area businesses, schools, churches, and civic organizations. Consider cross promotions to increase local traffic, such as distributing coupons or brochures for each others' businesses or causes.

  • Create a loyalty program to reward customers and encourage repeat business. Use punch cards or stamp cards, recognize customer birthdays, provide exclusive coupons or upgrades, and consider a customer review panel that receives free products or services in exchange for their valuable feedback and input on how to improve your business.
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  • Introduce yourself and spread the word about your business throughout your community. For example, you could strike up a conversation with someone while waiting in line at a post office or attending a community event. Break the ice with something like this: "I'm Bob, the owner of Bob's Bagels down the street. If you haven't tried us out yet, here's a freebie!" Then pass them a business card and/or coupon.

  • Support local fundraisers. For example, a restaurant could donate 50% of profits for guests who have a voucher for John Doe's Cancer Benefit on April 5th. This would not only increase restaurant traffic, but also support a good cause.

  • When marketing locally, always use your full street address, rather than a PO box, which doesn't indicate your physical location. Also provide a local phone number in addition to a toll-free option.

  • Ensure your business is listed on major local search platforms, including Google Maps, Google+ Local, Yahoo! Local, Bing Local, and similar websites.

  • Promote the advantages of purchasing locally, including personalized attention, convenience, and the ability to stop by anytime to see products, ask questions, or get ideas.

  • Promote ways your business gives back to your community and supports area organizations. Be an example and make sure you're supporting other local businesses as well.
Peter "The Printer" Lineal
Founder/CEO
Plum Grove
2160 Stonington Avenue
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
Ph: 847.882.4020 Ext: 133
www.PlumGrovePrinters.com

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Printing, Marketing & Promotional Products with Powerful Execution.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Be a Real Partner

One of the first "speeches" I share with new team members at Plum Grove is about their paycheck. "This check is not from Plum Grove. This check is from your real employer -- our clients. The day you take care of Plum Grove first before we take care of our partners -- our clients -- is the day we start to go out of business."

Business used to be much simpler. The formula for success was to provide value, convenience, and great customer service, which in turn led to referrals that became new clients. This tried and true cycle kept the business world moving forward.

Somewhere along the way, however, the rules seem to have changed, and the apple cart has been upset.

To win business today, you must provide more than value and customer service.

Change is an inevitable part of life and must be dealt with. Change can lead to transformations in which we are active and willing participants, or change can occur despite our best efforts to stop it. In these cases, the outcomes are not necessarily in our power.

An important part of transformation and evolution is to learn from the past. This is a great time to review the past year and make decisions about changes that need to be made for a successful new year.

Reflections On the Past Year

Was last year a success for you? If not, where did things go wrong?

-- Did you have enough sales opportunities?

-- Were you presenting the right solutions for your prospects?

-- Did you learn enough about your clients and their needs in order to implement the right solutions for your clients?

There are no right answers here, just honest introspection.

Resolutions For the New Year

To make changes for a successful New Year:

-- Know what goals your clients have for their businesses. (You don't know them? Set up some lunch meetings now.)

-- Help them achieve their goals with the solutions you have to offer.

To be as successful as you would like to be in the new year, you need to accomplish one important task: look for ways to make your clients achieve their goals. When you can do that, you have aligned their goals with yours. You have become a true partner in their success. This can go a long way in making your new year the best ever.

Peter "The Printer" Lineal
Founder/CEO
Plum Grove
2160 Stonington Avenue
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
Ph: 847.882.4020 Ext: 133
www.PlumGrovePrinters.com

Like Plum Grove Printers Facebook PageFollow Plum Grove Printers TwitterConnect with Plum Grove Printers LinkedInConnect with Plum Grove Printers Google+
Printing, Marketing & Promotional Products with Powerful Execution.