January 17, 2017

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Idea of
the Week
Marketing Tip
Uncommon Product of the Week
Tech Tip

Unlock the Potential in All Your Customers

There Are No Mulligans in Marketing

Frosty theā€¦ Envelope!

A Quick Fix
A Message From
The Way I See It

Dirt Roads

I came across this old classic by Paul Harvey and thought you would also enjoy it:

What's mainly wrong with society today is that too many dirt roads have been paved. There's not a problem in America today - crime, drugs, education, divorce, delinquency - that wouldn't be remedied if we just had more dirt roads because dirt roads give character.

People that live at the end of dirt roads learn early on that life is a bumpy ride. It can jar you right down to your teeth sometimes, but it's worth it if, at the end, is home with a loving spouse, happy kids, and a dog.

We wouldn't have near the trouble with our educational system if our kids got their exercise walking a dirt road with other kids from whom they learned how to get along. There was less crime in our streets before they were paved. Criminals didn't walk two dusty miles to rob or rape if they knew they'd be welcomed by five barking dogs and a double barrel shotgun. And there were no drive-by shootings.

Our values were better when our roads were worse! People did not worship their cars more than their kids, and motorists were more courteous; they didn't tailgate by riding your bumper, nor did the guy in front choke you with dust, or bust your windshield with rocks.

Dirt roads taught patience. Dirt roads were environmentally friendly; you didn't hop in your car for a quart of milk - you walked to the barn for your milk. For your mail, you walked to the mailbox.

What if it rained and the dirt road got washed out? That was the best part because then you stayed home and had some family time, roasted marshmallows, and popped popcorn and pony rode on daddy's shoulders and learned how to make prettier quilts than anybody.

At the end of dirt roads, you soon learned that bad words tasted like soap. Most paved roads lead to trouble; dirt roads more likely lead to a fishing creek or a swimming hole.

At the end of a dirt road, the only time we even locked our car was in August, because if we didn't some neighbor would fill it with too much zucchini.

At the end of a dirt road, there was always extra springtime income from when city dudes would get stuck; you'd have to hitch up a team and pull them out. Usually, you got a dollar...always you got a new friend...at the end of a dirt road!

Here's the way I see it: Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. And remember, our team is here to help you with print materials that are sure to create memories for years to come.

Idea of the Week
Four Keys to More Meaningful Customer Relations

smiling womanCompanies lose an average of 10 to 30 percent of their customers each year. Much of this loss can be attributed to poor service. Companies that focus on customer retention tend to see profits grow anywhere from 25 to 100 percent annually. Nonprofits that focus on customer retention often see reductions in turnover and better results. In business, we all strive to provide outstanding customer service. Unfortunately, we don't always live up to those ideals. Here are four keys to unlocking richer, more meaningful relationships with your customers:
key 1 Learn your customers' names
Everybody appreciates being recognized when they walk into a place of business, particularly if they visit that company frequently. As the theme song to Cheers puts it, "Sometimes, you want to go where everybody knows your name." Make a concerted effort to learn the names of the people you come into contact with regularly, and greet them by name whenever possible.
key 2 But start with last names first
Of course, before you start addressing customers on a first-name basis, make sure they're comfortable with this practice. Some customers might find it disrespectful or "too" personal to have you greet them by their first name. Follow the customer's lead, if possible, or try starting with "Mr. Johnson," before calling your customer "Bob," particularly if they are not your peer.
key 3 Show genuine appreciation
Let your customers know you're glad to see them every time they walk through the door. Make an effort to greet people with a warm smile and an enthusiastic hello. Then back it up with outstanding service and a "can do" attitude. Thank your customers when they buy from you, and keep in touch to let them know they're on your mind... and appreciated for everything they do.
key 4 Avoid judgments and negativity
We've all heard the adage, "You can't judge a book by its cover." The same is true of people. Strive to approach each new or prospective customer with an open mind and positive attitude. Don't rush to judgment based on a first impression. Many times, those initial reactions and snap judgments don't hold up to the test of time.

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Marketing Tip
Marketing Lessons Learned When Playing in the Zone

Whether or not you are a fan of golf, there are many valuable lessons that successful marketers can learn from professional golfers. Here are just a few examples:

  • To succeed, you need to choose the right tool for every situation. Whether that marketing tool is software or a new hire, always remember that every business is unique and could require different tools.

  • Study the course (aka: your customers). Find out what they are buying, ask their opinion of your competitor, and learn how to interact with them on social media.

  • Create a strategy for your upcoming marketing efforts, and be flexible in case of unexpected changes that make your marketing efforts fall off course.

  • Learn from every attempt and use this information to make better decisions going forward.

  • Don’t blame your clubs. Sometimes failure is inevitable, but you can move on and try again.

  • Focus on the job you’re meant to do. Pro golfers don’t carry their own golf bag because they need to focus on the game. Similarly, you should delegate work and trust employees you’ve hired to follow thru on what they’ve been hired to do.

  • Track your swings. By keeping track of your performance – both good and bad – you can make better decisions going forward.

  • Even if you have a slow start, it is important to stay in the game and find a way to finish strong.

If your print marketing efforts need help getting out of the rough, our team of printing experts would love to help. Remember, other printers may be nearby, but nobody comes close.

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Uncommon Product
Frosty Envelopes

Frosty envelopes, otherwise known as vellum/semi-transparent envelopes, are a great way to make any mailing special. Because the translucent envelope offers a teaser peek at the contents inside, they are a great way to create intrigue and ensure that your envelope gets opened. Depending on your mailing, frosty envelopes can also be the perfect insert to a larger envelope.

Available in a wide variety of sizes, as well as a rainbow of colored, clear, or pearlized options, frosty envelopes allow the sender to show off an invitation or marketing piece with a splash of color or subtle intrigue.

Because frosty envelopes are so unique, they can be an excellent way to build brand recognition with custom printing color logos or creatively displaying your website or tagline on the back flap.

If you'd like other creative ideas on how to ensure your direct mail pieces get noticed and opened, give us a call today! Our creative experts can help you create a mailer that your recipients are sure to read.

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Tech Tip
Photoshop Fix

If you are a photography fan with an Android phone or tablet, this tech tip may be right up your alley. More than one year after announcing its popular Photoshop Fix photo editing app for iOS users, Adobe has released the same app for Android users on the Google Play Store (Android 5.0 and higher).

Photoshop Fix combines the power of Adobe Photoshop desktop software with the convenience of mobile for an easy, yet powerful photo retouching app that is available as a free download on your phone or tablet. In addition to many typical photo app retouching features, such as red-eye reduction, cropping, adjusting exposure, contrast, and saturation, Photoshop Fix offers some of the same powerful tools as Photoshop desktop. Some of these unique tools give users the ability to clone, spot heal, patch, smooth, lighten, darken, adjust color, paint, add vignettes, defocus, and most popular, liquify.

The liquify tool is one of the most powerful image editing tools in Photoshop. It will allow you to “push and pull” pixels any way you'd like, which makes it a great tool for retouching images as well as creating artistic effects.

Photoshop Fix also comes packed with an accurate color sampler and works great with the Galaxy Note line S-Pen.

If you already use Photoshop thru the paid Creative Cloud service, you can access edited photos through the Android app and have them available on your desktop and other mobile devices immediately after.

While Photoshop Fix is not a replacement for Photoshop, it is a great free option to have conveniently available on your phone. If you’d like helpful tips for your next printing project, our creative team is just a phone call way. Remember, other printers may be nearby, but nobody comes close.

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