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Communicate Excellence with Vibrant Printed Posters and Signs

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One glance is truly all it takes, and recent eye-tracking studies demonstrate how quickly first impressions happen.
Dr. Hong Sheng, assistant professor of technology at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, employed eye-tracking software to analyze and scan response patterns as students viewed website screenshots. Subjects averaged merely 180 milliseconds on a particular section before moving on. (For a reference, 185 milliseconds is about the time it takes for a helicopter rotor to make one full rotation).
Sheng also found it took people less than two-tenths of a second to form first impressions that significantly affected outcomes:
“The longer the participants stayed on the page, the more favorable their impressions were,” Sheng said. “First impressions are important and . . . [these impressions] can determine whether that user forms a favorable or unfavorable view of that organization.”
Big Statements Win Business
If a website glance can have such an impact, how much more w…

What to Do When You're Tempted to Give Up on Your Business

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“It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.”
- NFL Coach Vince Lombardi

Should I give up?
It’s the question that hits every aspiring leader at some point. It’s a seed of doubt rooted deep in our emotions and our identities as humans.
As an entrepreneur, you will continuously face discouragement that threatens to cheat you out of hope and possibility. When you are tempted to quit on your business, what should you do?
Rest is Best
While there are many things you can do to combat discouragement, one of the best things is also the simplest: REST.
Making decisions when you are fatigued or depressed can have long-lasting consequences. A pessimistic outlook can shape the trajectory of a decision, leading to poor outcomes down the road. And weariness has real effects: one study found that U.S. clinicians were 26% more likely to prescribe unnecessary antibiotics to patients during the fourth hour of work on a typical day.
When you feel beat down or uncertain, get a few good nights…

Target the Right Customers with Your Next Direct Mail Piece

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You wouldn’t spend $100 million on a new national advertising campaign without carefully set goals and objectives.
But when it comes to direct mail, marketers often spray out postcards or fliers without a great deal of thought. In direct mail marketing, careful planning is vital to your success. While the average direct mail response rate is around five percent, strategic targeting can drive that number to nine percent for house lists and as high as 16 percent for personalized mail.
To simplify your targeting, start with these questions:

Who is the audience?
Who is the prospective buyer?
Who will receive, read, and hopefully respond to this mailing?
The beauty of direct mail is that you can use it to reach only those people who are potential buyers for your product or service.
This is called target marketing, and it means that during the development stage, you can use multiple criteria for selecting recipients.
Demographics may include age, income, gender, geography, home value, marital statu…

5 Best-Value Print Products to Increase Your Sales

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Advertising dollars are sometimes in short supply, and it can be hard to know where to invest yours. 
Print marketing is alive and strong, but if your budget is limited, you may need to focus on a few thoughtfully-crafted items. Here are five pieces that can stretch your dollar the farthest.
1. Business Cards
First impressions can make or break your business, and a positive experience can create long-lasting relationships. 
Despite our online connections, business cards continue as a staple of every industry, because of their role in the branding experience. These cards hold more than just contact details: smart strategists view them as a glance into a company’s quality, personality, or services. 
While they are inexpensive to print, their impact is significant! 
2. Targeted Postcards
A physical object in their hands gives your message palpable weight. 
And recent stats bring news of impressive direct mail response rates. In 2018, postcards sent to generic prospect lists generated a 4.9% resp…

Sell the Story, Not Just the Product

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When it comes to marketing, one detail people often overlook is how pricing comes in to play.
If you think pricing is an insignificant part of your messaging, you should think again. Pricing is a marketing tool, not simply a way to get money. And while marketing may change your pricing, the opposite is also true – pricing should change your marketing.
Stories That Sell
In any sales transaction, countless stories are being told, including the stories we tell ourselves and the image we convey to those around us.
The exorbitant price of a brand name basketball shoe communicates an obvious story to the people who see you wearing it. And the rock bottom pricing at a clearance closeout tells your internal budget coach a story about what a fool you’d be to overlook this sale!
As a marketer, price determines what your business stands for, who you’re designing for, and the story you tell customers. How might that play out? Here’s a practical example.
Consider a baker who wants to adjust prices and m…

Simple Strategies for Mobilizing Powerful Testimonials and Reviews

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How do you grab a lifeline on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”
Ask the audience! While “experts” tend to get a trivia question right two-thirds of the time, the audience gets that answer right 91 percent of the time.
Why? Because individually we are limited, but collectively we are genius.
In today’s global economy, buyers understand the importance of collective intelligence. People rely on others to help them decide what movies to see, which vet to patronize, or the best software to buy. More than half of adults under age 50 consult online reviews before making a purchase decision, and 88% read reviews to determine the quality of a local business.
Meet One of the Millions
AutoTrader.com put testimonials to work in a recent print ad for their company.
To recruit new dealers for their association, AutoTrader.com used a pocket folder with sell sheet inserts featuring recent, happy buyers. These 5x7 flyers introduced customers with the headline, “Meet One of the Millions,” and displayed photos…

How to Establish Trust with Potential Clients

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Have you ever received a cold call from someone trying to sell you something?
Which of these actions characterized your response?

You found an excuse to hang up
You used short words or sentences in response to leading questions
You used delay tactics or told the salesperson you’d call them down the road
You were excited about the call and took proactive steps to learn more

If you are like most people, you probably lean toward a quick disconnect. That’s because behaviors 1-3 are basically kneejerk reactions that display a lack of trust.
Easing Past Apprehension
Sales can be scary – for everyone involved.
When you begin by recognizing this, you gain an immediate advantage. If you want to influence how a person thinks or responds, first you must guide them out of the calm sea of apathy and into riskier waters of decision.
And that requires trust.
So how do you get there? Especially if you’re wooing prospects you might never see face-to-face? Here are three helpful options:
1. Become More Transparent