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Get Out part 3: Make them come

Invitations

First things first. The invites. For an intimate event, mail something fancy. For a VIP look, your invites should match the experience. Opt for Opuleaf gold or silver foil or StarMarque spot gloss highlights to impress. For a larger event, leaflets inserted into the local paper or pushed through letterboxes will be appropriate.

Be a social butterfly. Multiply your message by posting the event on social media. Get people interested and build the buzz.

Get Out part 2: Manage your guest list

Online bookingKeeping track of who’s coming to your event is a faff. There’s an easier way. Online booking.
Whether you charge for tickets, or give them away free, ask attendees to register online. That way you know who’s coming, how many pies to buy and how many bottles of prosecco to chill.

If we’ve built your website, let’s design an event landing page. If your site is hosted elsewhere, let’s create an event microsite instead. Both cost less than you might think, can increase engagement and save time. We’ll set up an event dashboard so you can manage your event. Get notifications. Take payment online. Automatically send e-tickets with barcodes. Even download a phone app to check-in guests.

Flag me down all day long

Right. Let’s do a little experiment. On your way home tonight, count the number of flags you see. They’re absolutely everywhere.
Why’s that? Well for around a hundred quid, you can get a three meter high wobbling, fluttering, piece of eye-catching marketing for your business. That’s such great value that it’s no wonder businesses are lining flags up in their car park, on their forecourt and outside their front doors

Cable-tie the flag to your railings, or buy a base or mount to have it freestanding. A water base or water ring is best if you’re going to use it outdoors at an event. And this summer all our flags are reduced.

Get Out part 1: Good things happen when people get together

Most of us sell to other people. More than ever, we have to create experiences for our customers. To give them what they can’t get online.

Exhibitions are great for finding new customers and expo season starts in September. But why wait ‘til then?

And what about existing customers?

Maybe it’s time to host a private event for them. The summer’s a great time to bring people together. To show how you can help. To make them more loyal. To encourage them to rave about what they’ve learned or what they saw. Heaven forbid, to sell something more to them.

But what kind of event? How about a talk from an industry expert? Or a cat walk of new styles. A tasting or sampling evening. A reveal of new technology. A family fun day. A ‘how-to’ class or tutorial. Even just a party to say thank you.

Not got space? Partner with a local café – maybe they’d welcome extra business after hours. Or talk to a local restaurant about doing a morning meeting, when they’re normally closed.

The comfort zone is a beautiful place. But nothing grows there.

If you want to get extraordinary results, you’ve got to do things out of the ordinary. Get out. Meet people.

Colours of Summer

Colour trends change like fashion. Be inspired and tweak your summer marketing to reflect this season’s fresh palette.
2017 brings memories of exotic holidays and a colour scheme to blow away grey days.

You may find yourself stocking up on paprika at a Moroccan souk, eating fresh mango on the streets of India or getting golden sand between your toes in Ibiza.

Adrenaline junky? Channel your inner kiwi in New Zealand. Looking for something more tranquil – like gazing across Tuscan fields or strolling around Santorini amongst the azure blue rooftops?

How to get started with your outdoor marketing

It starts with an idea. Yours? Great. Writer’s block? No problem! That’s what designers are for.

They’re used to working on all sorts of briefs. Be as detailed or as loose as you like. If you have absolutely no idea what you want, say so. You can always hire a designer by the hour. They’ll be delighted to create multiple ideas for you while you’re “on the meter”. Pick the ones you like or don’t be afraid to keep going until you get the look you want.

If your budget is tight, be straight with the designer. Be prepared to be flexible – best to get your likes and dislikes clearly stated before you start, since you might not want to pay for multiple revisions.

Or you could do it yourself. But, even if you’re a pro, you might not have designed for fabric before. And designing a massive display can be daunting. Its different to designing for print. If you’re a competent designer, ask for a ready-made design template (or you can download an InDesign file from the item’s product page). These templates show all the printable areas and quiet zones.

Whichever way you go, your neighbourhood studio is there to help. They’ll be able to source ultra high resolution photography, good enough to print at such enormous resolutions. Or turn your dirty sketch into a striking display.

Design at printing.com

Stunning savings on outdoor gazebos

Printed Gazebo

 

Even a traditional British summer won’t spoil your outdoor event.

Printed gazebos are all the rage at farmer’s markets, festivals and fairs. Our range now features new lower cost options, so you can make the most of your marketing budget.

In every case, the gazebo frame is the same. It’s compact for storage, then pops up and locks into place.

You’ve got a choice of a plain black canopy, your name or logo printed on the front fascia or your branding fully printed on all sides and the top too. Each canopy is a water resistant material that’ll keep you and your stock dry if it rains.

Clip on the number of sides you want. A full height wall hangs from the top, or you can choose half height walls, which come with a rail. Why not print a half height wall for the front too, to act as a cool branded counter?

Remember you can buy all the printed parts separately, so you can change your messages for each season or each event, and keep using the same frame. Neat!

Design your Gazebo
Printed gazebo

This Viceroy gazebo has a fascia printed canopy plus one half height wall and one full height wall – £620

Choose your CANOPY

The lowest cost gazebos have an unprinted black canopy. Upgrade and get the fascia printed or go all out and have the whole top and pelmet printed.

Black unprinted    £283
Fascia printed    £337
Fully printed    £698

The add your WALLS

You might not want any walls at all, or mix and match half height or full height walls, printed on one side or double sided. Half height include a hanging rail.

Half height single sided    £146
Half height double sided    £202
Full height single sided    £137
Full height double sided    £257

Order online, or contact your local studio.

How do you increase your chances of winning?

Maybe they’re just not that into youQuote follow up

You emailed or called a business you wanted to buy from. You asked for a quote. They said they’d get back to you. They didn’t. You chased. Nothing. How often does that happen?

Maybe they did email a quote. Then what? Never hear from them again? You’re wondering, how much did they really want my business?

It’s crazy. We all spend money on advertising and marketing to generate enquiries. If we don’t properly follow up on those enquiries, how do we expect them to turn into customers?

 

It started with a thump on the doormat…Blue front door

What if that was your business taking the enquiry? Maybe your team answer calls in three rings. Perhaps you reply to email enquiries in a few hours. Great.

Then what?

Chances are, the enquirer also got quotes from your competitors. How do you increase your chances of winning?

Follow up. Every time. Print your quote or proposal and mail it to them. Sure, it’ll cost a quid or so in postage. But what’s the lifetime value of that customer worth to you? Probably more than a quid.

 

But only one of them asked for the order…

Here’s the secret. If you follow up, you might be the only one who does.

Think about it. Would you choose a business who was disinterested at the quote stage? If they’re sluggish then, how responsive will they be when you’ve paid them to work for you?

A quote in the post is good. But it can work harder. Use a folder. A beautiful folder. It gives you gravitas. You’ll look impressive. Use the inside to sell your benefits. Why should they choose you? Fill with photos of other projects, awards or client reviews.

We’ve cut the price of our folders since last year. And in March, take an extra £50 off selected items in the range.

What type of Christmas card will you send this year?

Christmas Cards

Tempted to send an ‘e-card’ instead of a printed card to your top clients? Think again.

Research shows your clients will hate it. If it’s the thought that counts, they’ll think you’ve given it no thought whatsoever. Better to send a traditional printed card, and send it early. Why send it on Christmas Eve and be on their desk for a day? Get it there for the first week of December and make the most of the month.

Premium Silk Christmas Cards are our most popular – on an elegant 400gsm board.

Want something a little bit more special?

WINDOPOP Your choice of simple shape is cut-out from the front panel to reveal part of your design inside 125 from £74.70
STARMARQUE Set your cards to sparkle with spot gloss highlights on the front panel 125 from £100.80
VOUCHER CARD Add an extra tear-off third voucher or discount panel to make your cards work harder 125 from £125.10
OPULEAF New this year – gold or silver foil on the front for a festive look and feel 125 from £311.40
SMOOTHWOVE An uncoated finish, looks classic and understated 125 from £53.10

Are you ready for the cyber weekend?

Many UK small businesses will miss their share of £5bn of sales – will you?

What on earth is cyber weekend? If you’re imagining dressing up in silver foil and running around scaring kids, you’re up the wrong tree. Although that does sound like a lot of fun.

No, cyber weekend is the five day period on the run-up to Christmas, where an insane amount of stuff is sold. In 2015, shoppers spent a cool £3.3bn over the weekend, which was up a third on the previous year. This year experts are predicting those sales to top £5bn. That’s Five. Billion. Pounds.

The phenomenon was imported from the US, where Black Friday is said to signify the day a retailer ‘went into the black’. It marks the official start of the holiday retailing season, usually the most profitable time for retailers.

Last year marked a big change in consumer behaviour. More punters than ever decided not to brave the cold high street. Instead, digitally savvy consumers chose to browse in the comfort of their home or work and shopped online.

So this all sounds like great news for retailers? Well. That’s until you hear that small businesses are losing out. Oh.

According to research by the Department for Business, Industry & Skills, nearly half of small businesses still don’t have a website. For those that do, two thirds don’t have one which is transactional – people can’t make purchases via ecommerce on it. Worse still, many of those that can, don’t work properly on a mobile phone, despite more than half of all transactions now being done on mobiles or tablets.

There’s still time. Your local studio can help. We work with businesses of all shapes and sizes and we help them to sell online. If you’ve looked at ecommerce in the past and thought you couldn’t afford it, things have moved on. It may not cost as much as you think. Tell us what you want to sell, how many products you have and we’ll give you a proposal.

Cyber weekend checklist

Over half of all online traffic is now from mobile devices

Over half of all online traffic is now from mobile devices

To make the most of the cyber weekend, start planning now. We can help with some or all of these things, depending on what you need.

  • Mobile friendly website
  • Ecommerce capabilty
  • Take payments online
  • In-store posters
  • Integration with EPOS
  • Email marketing campaign
  • Flyers to hand out
  • Direct mail
  • Window posters
  • Outdoor flags

 

Have you opened a web shop yet?

Have you opened a web shop yet?