Tag Archives: email marketing

How Will You Meet Your 2011 Goals?

OK, so it’s October…It’s Fall…Do your thoughts turn to dry brown leaves, cooler days, holidays and gatherings with friends and family?

OR as a business person, do your thoughts turn to the fact that you haven’t met your 2011 goals and you only have 3 months left to do so?

As a commercial from way back used to say…”So what’s a mother to do?” (or in this case, what are YOU to do?)

Well, as the owner of a graphic design business, I’ve been thinking the same thing (although I have to admit I almost bought some Candy Corn the other day….That once-a-year purchase that I eat til I feel awful, and then I don’t do it again til next October…After all, it’s tradition!)

But I digress…One thing that I am going to do is touch base with all the clients I’ve done business with in the past.  I want to remind them that Designer Mouse is available to help with their promotion…To help them meet those 2011 goals.  I plan to utilize email marketing and make a monthly connection. For a reasonable investment in time and money, you could do the same.

Follow ups could include a postcard, a personal note (an art that has gone by the wayside!) or a phone call.

Provide an incentive. Offer a discount. Do something to get your clients to reconnect. Or simply connect to see how that individual and their business is doing.  Just a reminder that you’re available to help them meet their goals can go a long way.

So those are my ideas…What are yours? Please share your thoughts for the benefit of all! I look forward to your comments.

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Filed under Designer Mouse, direct mail, effective sales promotion, email marketing promotion, Graphic Design, graphic designer, leads, marketing, promotion, referrals, Sales, sales force, save money

Money Saving Ways To Promote Your Business

There are so many avenues to promote your business…so which way do you turn? You need to think about how your audience gets their information…Direct mail? Google searches? Social Media? Emails? And of course there’s always the good old fashioned  “in person” approach.  All are of value and ideally, you need to cover all the bases in order to reach the largest audience.

Now we come down to budget and time…Show of hands…How many of you have an endless supply of money to promote via print, email, online, social media?  How many have time to keep up with all of this?

What I have discovered is that baby steps are the best way to go. Most of us cannot do it all all at once BUT if you take the attitude that “I can’t do it” and do nothing at all, then six months from now you will be at the same place you are now. If on the other hand you tackle one thing at a time, looking back, you’ll be amazed at what you’ve accomplished and how far you’ve come.

So let’s look at the baby steps you can take to cover the areas that are currently not covered when it comes to the promotion of your products and services. Hopefully I can provide some money saving promotion ideas along the way.

Direct mail – Postcards, flyers, door hangers – The cost of full color printing has come down so much over the last few years. You can get a good looking piece for a decent price if you know where to shop! And if you go the “door hanger” route, find an organization (Boy Scouts? Youth Groups? etc.)  that is looking to raise money. They can canvas a neighborhood, raise money at an inexpensive rate…It’s a WIN-WIN situation.

Check into QR Codes… Here is a sample just in case you don’t know what it is. If you have a reader app on your phone, you can scan this image and it’ll take you to a website, dial a phone number, etc.  Go ahead and try it…This is a shameless plug…This QR Code goes to the Designer Mouse website….Be sure to come back and read the rest of this post! qrcode

Add a QR Code to your business card (so easy to create – just do an online search for “QR Code generation”, follow the steps and you’ll have artwork in a matter of minutes.

Email Marketing – For $15/month, you can create a template and put out an endless number of eNewsletters/ePostcards to connect with current and potential clients. Visit http://www.constantcontact.com or http://www.icontact.com. Both sites provide templates, storage for your email list and reports at an affordable price.

Online promotion – Do you have a website? You need one! People need to be able to find you and be able to check you out! How about a blog? If you set this up yourself, you can do it for free… The cost is your time to maintain it! Link your blog to your website and your social media profiles, and begin to generate a buzz!

Speaking of  Social Media – facebook, LinkedIn, etc. – Include your website and blog URLs in your social media profiles, participate in the online chat, and generate some interest in you and your business.

As you can see, there’s all sorts of opportunity to promote your business… A bit overwhelming, huh.  Remember…baby steps…You don’t have to do everything NOW.  And you don’t have to do it all yourself. Remember that your time may be better spent focusing on your core business.  What is your time worth?  Would you be saving dollars in the long run by hiring an expert to assist you with your promotion?  All things to ponder.

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Filed under Designer Mouse, direct mail, email marketing promotion, graphic designer, marketing, Orange, Orange County, promotion

How to Potty Train a Water Turtle (and other opportunities to Think Outside the Box)

Did you ever have a pet water turtle as a kid? You know, the ones in the plastic bowl with the palm tree?  They never lasted too long….Well when my daughter was 5, she received a turtle at a birthday party instead of a goodie bag…It was just about the size of a 50 cent piece (wow, that dates me, doesn’t it!)…As a parent, I would have preferred she receive the goodie bag!

Anyway, that was 17 years ago and Sally the turtle is still with us…As you know, once you name them, they’re part of the family. ..and turtles are the dirtiest things!  Over the years, Sally has outgrown bowls and aquariums. I have cleaned more turtle containers than I care to mention!

Well, we decided to let Sally have the run of our laundry room rather than be cooped up in an aquarium all the time. We started providing a shallow pan of water.  We would put her in the pan and feed her and she would take care of the rest.

What began to happen was that Sally would get in the pan on her own when she was hungry. We’d feed her, she’d take care of business and then move on…The beauty of this is that cleaning out a small pan is so much easier than a large aquarium.

Did you know you could potty train a turtle?  Did you think turtles were that smart? I had no idea!

I know this is such a random story to tell, but believe me, there is a point…It’s about Thinking Outside the Box! At a networking seminar I recently attended, the concept of thinking beyond the obvious client opportunity was introduced. The question is: what type of business (that your competition hasn’t thought about yet) would be a good referral source for you? If this hasn’t occurred to your competition, then you are ahead of the game!

As a graphic designer and particularly one that is looking to build my photo restoration business, let me just throw out one idea….Again, this will seem random but stay with me…Morticians…..Now you’re asking “why would a graphic designer want to be introduced to morticians?”  Well, think about it. When someone is preparing for a service for the dearly departed, they put out a display of photos…Some are VERY OLD. They’ve been stuffed in a drawer, folded, torn…You get the picture (well actually, I hope I get the picture–ha ha).

They also might have a family photo where one person is missing from the group. They would be ever so grateful to have the entire family together in at least one picture.  See the lady in the striped shirt in the picture on the left?  Well, now she’s added to the photo on the right…plus she has feet!

Back to thinking outside the box…Morticians…Such an odd sounding referral opportunity, but a potential goldmine…And there are others. We all just need to think beyond the obvious.

Here’s another good tip…Figure out who you know that would have the same database of clients, non-competing of course. Who is their supplier of products they use?  What about the financial planners who want to meet those who have just received an inheritance? These are individuals who would love to share referrals—They are not your competition and they open new opportunities.

Just think about it…Outside the box, of course!

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Filed under CA, Designer Mouse, effective sales promotion, fun, Graphic Design, graphic designer, leads, marketing, Orange, personal referrals, photo editing, photo restoration, photoshop, promotion, referrals, Sales, sales force, think outside the box, turtle

You Know What I REALLY Love???? Ramblings of a Graphic Designer

OK, sometimes we all have frustrating clients  that drive us CRAZY… One has the choice to take a negative attitude when things go wrong, however I’ve find it helpful, dare I say humorous, to take an over-the-top POSITIVE approach.

Generally I will say “You know what I REALLY hate?’ At this point venting can be very therapeutic, but it also has a tendency to give my gut “grumblings”.

On the other hand, if I say (now mind you, this is with sarcasm, but that’s my style) “You know what I REALLY love?” and then go on to tell you the opposite of what actually occurred, it allows me to laugh about the situation, thus providing me with pretty little butterflies that tickle my insides…Do you sense the sarcasm? Good!

Anyway, do you know what I really love? As a graphic designer, I love it when my clients entrust me with the opportunity to help them promote their business.  You know who you are, and thank you for your trust!

I love it when clients stick with the approved design once it has gone to the printer…Uh Oh, I’m going to the dark side!

Don’t get me wrong. Graphic designers want their client’s feedback. They want to know what’s going on inside your head and what concept you will be pleased with.

Here’s the bottom line…Allowing your graphic designer to do their job gives you the time to focus on your expertise, thus saving you time and money! (Do I have your attention now?)

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Filed under CA, Designer Mouse, effective sales promotion, Graphic Design, graphic designer, Orange, Orange County, save money

Photo Editing Test…Was this Person Added to the Photo or Taken Out?

It’s amazing what can be done with Photoshop. You truly need to question any image you see.

So here’s your test…Between the following two photos, there is one extra individual..Was this individual ADDED to the photo or REMOVED?

I’d love to hear your your comments! I’ll let you know the answer in about a week.

In the meantime, if you are in need of some photo editing or photo restoration, get in touch!!!

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Filed under branding, CA, Designer Mouse, effective sales promotion, email marketing promotion, email marketing promotion, flyer, Graphic Design, graphic designer, newsletter, Orange, Orange County, photo editing, photo restoration, photoshop, promotion, website promotion

QR Code – The Print/Online Promotion Connection

You know, I thought most people knew about QR Codes. But apparently not.qrcode

I presented this image at a weekly networking meeting and got enough questions that I am compelled to discuss this further.  There are great opportunities for using a QR Code. Want someone to view your website? Want to send a text message? Want a phone call? A QR Code can prompt all of these and it’s SO SIMPLE!!!  Google “QR Code generator”, find a resource and take it from there.

You can put a QR Code on the back of your business card or on a newsletter prompting someone to visit your website or blog.

A realtor can place it on a “for sale” sign. If you drive by a home and would like a look inside, this code could take the visitor to a website that provides photos and more information regarding the property OR it could place a phone call back to the realtor.

Have a discount offer? How about utilizing the QR Code to send out a text message for your 1/2 off deal?

As I said originally, the QR Code is the print/online connection. You need the printed image on your promotional materials — business cards, flyers, newsletters, signage, etc. — Via your smart phone (yes, you need a smart phone), this image transports you online “for the REST of the story”…
That is what Paul Harvey would have said….For those of you who don’t know who Paul Harvey is, pull out your smart phone and click here.qrcode

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Filed under CA, cheap promotion, Designer Mouse, direct mail, effective sales promotion, email marketing promotion, flyer, Graphic Design, graphic designer, marketing, newsletter, Orange, Orange County, post card, promotion, QR code, save money, website promotion

Email Marketing – The Constant Reminder that YOU ARE THERE!

You’ve gone to the mixer, the networking event, the business expo. You’ve collected lots of business cards and connected with potential customers who don’t need your product or service right now but very possibly could in the future.  promotion

So now what??  How do you follow up and make sure these individuals remember YOU when they do need your product or service?

What if you had a follow up system that reminded potential clients on a regular basis that you’re out there and ready to go.  Well one simple way is by setting up an email marketing program.

Quick notices…ePostcards…eNewsletters…These can be sent out on a regular basis to remind potential clients about your product or service.  You can offer discounts, provide valuable information, make sure they understand why they cannot live without your product!

This process can be set up so it is scheduled to go out automatically AND you can do this without the cost of printing or postage.

Remember, this is not just for potential customers…Email marketing can be used to simply say “hello” to current customers, to offer special discounts, etc…again, reminding them that you are there and available when they need you.

What happens if you don’t advertise?……………….Nothing! While your competition is cutting their marketing budget due to these economic times, take advantage of the void and get your message out there….and consider Email marketing. It is an inexpensive, efficient method of promoting your business.

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Filed under cheap promotion, Designer Mouse, direct mail, email marketing promotion, Graphic Design, graphic designer, marketing, post card, promotion, Uncategorized