Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Yes…Your Business Still Needs Envelopes!

We are definitely in the digital age. We can email, Dropbox, ftp, Facebook; basically use all kinds of methods to send and receive documents and information. Some are even very secure methods. However, there are still forms that legally can’t be sent electronically.  We still have to use the postal service from time to time to send out sensitive information.  Envelopes are a must for this.

check envelopes - double window ENV-02-B
Now, envelopes are not just for sensitive materials.  Because we are in a digital age, many things simply get overlooked because of the sheer volume of information.  Your email account is a great example.  We get flooded with emails, and in our mad dash to empty our account, we sometimes delete things we shouldn’t. Or…we simply ignore a normally great promotion because we don’t stop to take the time to interact with the message.

That is where an envelope comes in handy.  It forces you to open up the thing to see what’s inside.  Although we don’t enjoy getting an invoice or bill, we do like getting checks and promotions. The odd thing about using an envelope is the less that is printed on it, the more intrigued we are about what is inside. And although envelopes of all types including double window envelopes, seem like it could belong in the stone ages in this day and time, it really does still have a great place and even better need.

So many people say “what about the environment?” There are many recycled options available, and you can even reuse them in your home. You wouldn’t believe the really creative ways to use old envelopes. So don’t forget these gems when you are getting your business supplies.  They never run out of style.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Laser Printable Cards Are More Than Just Insurance Cards!

Many people think you can only use laser membership cards for auto insurance cards and medical cards. Of course they are great for those industries. And I think originally that seemed to be the main market, but now they are so diverse you can use them for a ton of things.  And they save so much time and money, why not give them a go!
2 Up Membership Card

One of the best uses of laser cards is for registration for summer activities, gym memberships, and retail promotions. The card portion doesn’t necessarily have to be used for identification of a person.  Many have put coupons, confirmations for sign ups, free items, and much more. They have been becoming increasing popular for targeted mailing to include a promotion to get customers through the door. Another great use is a quick reference guide.  Maybe you have an item that requires a fast set of instructions, or maybe a temporary password or access code.  It is a great peel out card to keep with you.

The great thing about laser printable cards is combining low per piece cost, with simplicity of use, versatility, and durability. They are water and heat resistant.  And because you can purchase either pre-printed or completely blank stock, you have more control of your costs and time efficiencies. 

They are definitely worth a try.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Was 2016 Everything You Thought It Was Going To Be For Your Distribution Center?

No seriously...was it really as great as you wanted?  Did you not grow this year?  Were your processes not on point?  Did any of your lines shut down?  Did you run out of vital supplies? Or did any of your supplies fail? Were your vendors not there for you when you needed them the most?
If you answered “yes” to even just one of these questions, then now is a great time to make sure that it doesn’t happen again in 2017. And what does that involve…understanding and change; two very unnerving topics for many distribution centers.

According to Distribution Center which focuses on the HVACR industry, there are three challenges distributors are facing, with one of those being quickly refining their current processes. So that leads us back to the original questions at the top of this blog. You have to understand if you answered “yes” to any of those questions is what went wrong, and how are you going to fix it.  And the beginning of the year is the perfect time; before you get into the holiday seasons and you have a fresh outlook on the year.

So what can you do if you had problems in the past. Make changes.  Talk to expects who understand how both simple, and very complex, distribution centers operate and get their feedback.  What businesses fail to see at times is suppliers need you to succeed in order for them to grow as well.  Reach out to them; invite them to see your operation and get their feedback. Request label samples. There are times when you have looked at a process so many times, that fresh eyes are the best way to gain new perspectives.  But don’t wait! The faster you address issues in your operation, the faster you will see improvements.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Can a Little Key Tag Really Grow My Business? YES! It Absolutely Can!

It’s almost that time again.  With a new year on the horizon, businesses of all types are trying to grow and maintain customer loyalty.  One of the best ways to do both is to incorporate a loyalty key tag program. 

Who doesn’t love rewards and perks.  You can encourage customers by giving them rewards points, or incentives, for purchases. Signing up for emails on the company website is great, but they can be overlooked.  And it is very simple to scan a barcode to bring up their information to easily apply their reward. You can also apply savings coupons as well, so they can save money.  If you prefer to not have points or rewards, you can still offer account specific savings.
Loyalty Key Tags

Having a key tag right on your customer’s key ring is a constant prompt to use it. Everyone has car keys.  You can’t leave without them; Make them high color with a barcode so they stand out against other items on their key ring to get noticed. It is also great for your employees.  Sometimes customers get sidetracked and forget to apply their loyalty key tag.  If your employees can keep an eye out for members, or non-members, they can provide even better, more personalized service.  

Loyalty programs are growing, and just about every industry can take advantage of this innovative product.  If you are a grocery store or gas station, you can offer incentives for buying food or gas.  If you are a retail store, you can offer rewards points for purchases.  You gain an entire wealth of knowledge because you can track your customers purchases will a simple barcode scan.  It is not only going to retain current customers, but it can give you a gateway to new ones. It is definitely worth the investment!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Do Fundraiser Cards Really Live Up to Expectations?

The answer to that question is YES. Fundraiser cards can absolutely help your organization not only raise money, but keep a large percentage of the proceeds. All it takes is a little planning, and some creative sales, to get a program started and raise money.

Knowing where to start is sometimes the biggest challenge.  Local businesses traditionally like sponsoring home town causes.  It makes them look great and shows their community loyalty. So with that said, the best place to start is going to your local store owners to see if they want to offer a coupon, discount, freebie, or anything that will get customers in their doors and help the cause. Depending on the number of offers you receive will most likely determine what type of fundraising piece to design and order. If you have several offers, 15 or less, then you can use a single fundraiser card to capture all of the great values on the back of the card. However, there are times where you may want to opt for a card/key fob combination if you have the following scenarios:

    Fundraiser Card with Back Offers
  • If you have a business that just wants to have a one-time offer, put that offer on the key fob for redemption; the card portion can be kept for the ongoing promotions.
  • You are offering a value card where family members can take advantage of the offers.  The family member can have a key fob to keep on them, while one member keeps the actual card.
  • Maybe a business wants the extra real-estate to put their information and logo for the ongoing promotion.  The buyer can keep that on their key fob on a key ring specifically for that business for an ongoing promotion. 

Fundraiser Card with 3 Key FobsChoose from 1, 2, 3 and 5 additional key fobs to add to your piece depending on your needs. The nice thing about managing the program yourself, and not having an outside fundraising company help, is you get to keep more of the profits and stay efficient because you are not splitting commissions another company, your operating costs stay down, and there is no product to worry about handing out.  In fact, your operating costs could actually be paid for if you charge the business to advertise on the card. There are many creative ways to get more bang for your buck using fundraising cards. Check out sites such as The Fundraising Authority where there are several articles about fundraising including marketing ideas and various other resources to help you with your next project.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Everyone Eats Right? Why Restaurants Should Take the Plunge and Offer Gift Cards!

Buying gifts for birthdays, holidays and other special occasions is more stressful for some people than the actual holiday itself. Trying to guess what the person wants… will they hate it… will they return it… so much guesswork that is has become very commonplace to purchase a gift card instead of an a actual gift. Many retail stores, and almost all chains, offer them now.  And why not?  It doesn’t really matter what you buy…they just want you to come in and shop. This is why a gift card is perfect: 

    Restaurant Gift Cards from Printingworx
  • They get you in the door to purchase the gift card.
  • You may buy other things while you are there to purchase your gift card.
  • You will turn around and give your gift card to the recipient giving them another customer.
  • The recipient will come in and use their card and either spends more than the card value…or they may even spend less. 

No matter how you look at it, the store has made money…and potentially even more depending on the customer’s behavior in the store.  This should be the easiest way to gain more business. Sooooo….where do restaurants fit in?

Restaurants really have a special advantage.  Everyone eats and most really enjoy it.  If you have great food and service, people want to share that experience.  And lucky for restaurants, people eat out a lot and not just on special occasions or holidays; however, according to the National Restaurant Association 6 in 10 Americans want a restaurant gift card as a holiday gift. So what better way to increase business than encouraging your patrons to buy gift cards from their favorite restaurant.  And it is easy to do. Many establishments offer incentives either by purchasing so much in cards to get a free card for themselves.  Some restaurants even offer free appetizers, drinks and dessert as well.  For some customers who planned on purchasing a gift card anyway, this incentive sweetens the deal. 

If cost is a concern, as it always should be, start small and see what happens.  Many point of sale (POS) systems already have the ability to load cards by barcode or magnetic stripe and many business owners aren’t even aware of the feature. Contact your provider…it may be as simple as turning it on, or just some additional training. Purchasing the actual plastic gift cards is actually pretty easy too.  Many POS providers will tell you that you can only purchase from them, which is not the case. A good plastic card provider can take a sample card and tell you what magnetic strip or barcode to order with your cards, and can guide you through every step of the process.  You can even have the company design your card, or if you are lucky, they offer gift card online design capabilities where you can do it on your own.  The process need not be stressful, but actually exciting; especially when you see your tables full and more profits coming through the door!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Plastic Gift Cards Could Be The Missing Piece to your Puzzle

Are sales exactly where you want them to be? Do you feel like you are doing everything you need to do in the marketing arena, but nothing is bringing in the results you want?  Well, a plastic gift card program may be exactly what your business needs to rejuvenate customers and sales.

Gift Card for RestaurantsWhat exactly do gift cards do that miraculously seems to help sales? If you think about when you get a gift card, most often than not, it seems to be a ticket to over shop.  The mentality is “I can afford to buy those $200 pair of shoes because I have a gift card for $100.” It seems silly, but many feel that way. But on the flip side, you also have the opposite where customers will purchase $28.00 worth of merchandise on a $30.00 gift card and never use the remaining $2.00 for a variety of reasons; most often it is just forgotten.  What does that mean for your business…MONEY! It doesn’t really matter if customers spend more or less than what is on their gift card; your company still wins!

There is also two big perks, as well, to offering gift cards to your customers. First, getting NEW customers! When you purchase a gift card for someone, they may, or may not, be a current customer. If they weren’t, then you now have the opportunity to keep them coming back.  And second, most people want to either give or receive a gift card because it is incredibly easy. According to the National Retail Federation, November 2015, 75% of consumers surveyed planned on purchasing at least one gift card. And out of that 75%, 82% will purchase more than one.  It’s that “more than one” alone that should peak your interest.

From restaurants to spas, everyone is taking advantage of what gift cards can do to help grow their business. There are very few industries that can’t find some benefit to offering plastic gift cards to their customers.