Category Archives: Marketing Strategies

Faster Business Growth: Repeat What’s Working

Faster Business GrowthAre you determined to grow your business faster this year?

2015 has been a challenging year for many, but it also can provide many valuable learning lessons that ultimately can lead to bigger success.

If you’re determined to do better this year, read on. Here’s a powerful strategy that has helped many to increase their business’s success and grow their revenues:

Repeat what has worked in the past!

That’s right! I know it may sound too simple, but it’s the key to make things work MUCH better.

Just take some time to analyse what you’ve done in the past and how well it worked. Compare the results, and pick the winner… i.e., what has worked especially well. And then… do more of it.

Read on to find out how to get started…

1) Identify What Worked Well

Make a list of all activities that have previously brought you success when it comes to increasing revenues and/or bringing in more customers.

These might include things like the following:

  • Calling prospects and customers
  • Sending letters
  • Sending postcards (especially oversized ones)
  • Sending “lumpy” mail

Lumpy mail? What’s that? It’s mail with something in it that raises the recipient’s curiosity… and is unlikely to be tossed in the bin unopened.

And how can you make it lumpy? By including some kind of object inside – for example a promotional gift, like a pen, a flash drive, or a mini stapler. Make sure it isn’t something that can be identified too easily without opening the envelope though.

You could also send a not so promotional gift. Depending on your business and what you’re writing about, you can include anything from a toy dinosaur to a toy car. If you haven’t experimented with lumpy mail yet, it may be time to give it a try.

2) Repeat The Most Successful Strategies

Once you have identified what worked before, do it again.

  • Make a point of calling everyone you haven’t spoken with in a month
  • Send those big postcards with an attention-getting announcement
  • Shop for something interesting to put in your lumpy mail
  • Or do whatever else you came up with that worked

3) Create An Environment For Success

Set up your office to help your team provide fast and courteous service. Make sure that they have everything they need to respond to requests for information and help, and deliver goods or services quickly and cheerfully.

This includes making sure they have the office supplies as well as keeping the lunchroom stocked with your team’s favorite coffee, milk, other beverages, and snack foods. An empty stomach can make people grumpy, and you definitely don’t want that.

Another thing that could enhance success is making sure your team has the tools to keep their workplace organised. Desk organisers including trays and pen holders will help with that, especially if they look nice. Stacks of paper on people’s desks might mean it’s time for new folders or filing trays.

Of course these only work if you actually put them into practice, so consider giving some of them a try. And when you do, be sure to track your results. After all, you’ll want to know what to do more of.

And if we can help you in any way, with advice and with providing the supplies you need to optimize your success strategies, just call us on 0800 007 5566 or visit us at CraneBusinessSolutions.com and use our Live Chat!

How To Choose The Best Personalised Christmas Cards

london-xmas-AG0295Every year, we engage in that traditional ritual that helps us reinforce the connections we’ve built with our customers and clients… Have you started selecting your personalised Christmas cards yet?

Choosing and sending Christmas cards!

Choosing the best personalised Christmas cards can be a challenge. There are so many options. Should you go with the traditional style, or a funny card? Should it feature Santa or a snowman, or maybe a polar bear?

Before you order your personalised Corporate Christmas cards or your charity Christmas cards, you have some decisions to make. And what’s right depends on who will get those cards. As with saw many other things in business, it’s a matter of knowing your audience. To help you out, we’ve included a miniguide below on your key options and how to choose the best Christmas cards.

But first a reminder…

Add a hadwritten greeting

As you’re pulling out and updating your lists of potential recipients, remember to get your personalised Christmas cards with plenty of time to spare. That way, you’ll have plenty of time to REALLY personalise your cards by adding a handwritten greeting!

Yes, you read that correctly. You need to add a hand-written greeting! Don’t think just because those cards come with your company name and a greeting already printed on them that you shouldn’t add any writing of your own. That would mean saving time in the wrong place.

After all, the whole point of sending actual paper Christmas cards is that they make a personal impression. People can touch them, handle them, and place them on their desk, a bookshelf, or even turn them into Christmas card garlands. They’ll be enjoyed and admired for weeks, especially if they arrive early!

So instead of just stuffing those preprinted cards into envelopes and sending them on their way, add a short handwritten note. Or, at the very least, sign them!

How to choose the best personalised Christmas cards?

There are several different kinds, and which one is the best fit will depend on your company and “theirs.” As I mentioned last week, it’s important to know your recipient when you choose gifts. And it’s just as important if you want to be sure to choose the best card. Here are a few of the options, in no particular order:

Beautiful cards

These are probably the safest bet. They’re gorgeous, often with either sparkles or metallic shimmer added. They’ll definitely stand out when they’re sitting on your clients’ desks.

Funny cards

Simple elegance

Some cards contain nothing but beautifully stylized writing. Whether they say “Happy Holidays,” “Merry Christmas,” or a variation thereof, with or without Happy New Year wishes added, these cards area always a safe bet. They’re not exactly unique, but they’re sure to please.

Related to the above are cards that feature one beautiful item, such as a candle (or several) or a bow, generally in addition to the Christmas wishes. The effect for both options is simple elegance.

Traditional Christmas Scenes

These can be a traditional winter landscape, a decorated Christmas tree with or without gifts, or a snow-covered village. You may also find animals in their natural settings. These cards are beautiful, often adorned with sparkles or metallic foil, and are also a safe bet.

Santa & reindeer cards

Miscellaneous seasonal cards

Of course, there are also cards featuring snowmen and/or various non-reindeer animals in holiday scenes, including polar bears and penguins. Most of them fall into the humorous category, but some of them can also be quite traditional.

Religious cards

There are also traditional religious cards. If you choose one of these, you should definitely “know your audience.” Take your cues from the kind of cards they have sent you. If sent to the right clients, religious cards will be much appreciated. On the other hand, if sent to the wrong person, they may not work as well.

Our recommendation

We recommend that you choose more than one type of card. For example, you could select a card with a traditional winter scene, and a humorous Santa card, so you have some options for your various clients and prospects.

To take a look at our gorgeous selections, click here:

http://www.officesuppliesexpert.co.uk/corporate-christmas-cards-personalised/

And then call our office on 0800 007 5566. We’ll be happy to make suggestions and answer your questions. And, if you’re ready, we’ll help you with placing your order.

We look forward to helping you find the perfect Christmas cards for your clients.

And once they have arrived and you’re preparing to send them out, remember to add a personal greeting inside. Or at least sign them! After all, the best personalised Christmas cards are truly personalised – by hand! It’ll make a big difference!

Promotional Products Success Secrets

Wall-clock-0.380914_58325!s=300Are you still wondering whether to use promotional products? Or do you use them but are wondering just why they work, and maybe how to make them work better? Read on to find out about my favourite Promotional Products Success Secrets.

You know you have quite a few options when it comes to promoting your company or your products. You can advertise online, on TV, and even in the paper. You can send direct mail. Or… you can hand out promotional products or promotional gifts. And when it comes to making your prospects and customers feel appreciated and remember your company, promotional products really stand out.

But just what is it that makes promotional items so special? Here’s one of the biggest reasons:

Promotional Products Engage The Senses

Promotional gifts engage the senses of the their recipients. They can touch their gift, and they can see and remember it… and the company who gave it to them. And, of course, they can use it too, whether it’s a mug, a t-shirt, a bag, or a pen. And that’s not all… The senses play a huge part in why these gifts are so effective.

One of the most powerful senses is smell… and a coffee mug provides the additional experience of smell when filled with freshly brewed coffee. So when your logo is on the mug, the coffee drinker is reminded fondly of your company every time they inhale the delicious aroma as they enjoy their morning java.

What about taste? Indeed! That’s another reason why coffee mugs are such great gifts. But don’t stop there. Edible promotional products are also very popular and highly effective. In fact, more than 75% of Fortune 100 companies use them because they create memorable experiences. Chocolates or other sweets with a logo create very pleasant associations.

Want to have it both ways? Why not fill a branded mug with branded sweets or chocolates? That makes for the ultimate in effectiveness, providing the immediate enjoyment of the sweets and the long-lasting one as the recipients… enjoy their coffee, maybe for months or even years to come.

Some gifts provide an audible experience, including iPods or other mp3-players, headphones, and even iTunes gift cards. No, they won’t play your commercials, but they remind the recipient of you much more effectively than a radio commercial could.

As you can see, all senses can get involved. Touch, smell, taste, and hearing. And while I didn’t list vision separately, all of the gifts can be seen, of course, complete with the logo imprinted on them. And the more attractive they look, the more likely the recipients are to keep and use them.

How Long Do People Keep Promotional Gifts?

How long do people keep promotional products and gifts? 76.4% keep them as long as they’re useful, and, depending on which study you look at, from 56% to 87% keep them for at least 1 year. 33.7% even keep them on their person, particularly pens, t-shirts, bags, and, of course, trolley keys.

So if you’re still wondering if promotional products do their job, you can see that they do it very well indeed. Just make sure they’re quality products and look great, and they’ll be your deputy sales agents as you give them away and people use them.

Start Small – But Do Get Started With Promotional Gifts

The best thing is, you can start small if you like. Pens are not only inexpensive, but they are also among the most effective promotional items that people keep for a long time – unless they “pass them on” to someone else. In which case, you’ll reach even more people…

Shopping bags are another popular option that can be very inexpensive yet highly effective. People use them when they go shopping or carry around items, which means others will see them too.

And if you enjoyed this article and found it useful, please look at our sidebar for more articles on promotional gifts. And why not check out our other articles, including ones on environmentally friendly ways to run your business, ergonomic chairs, promotional items, and surprising ways of saving money.

And if you want to find out more about our promotional products, you can visit us here:

http://cranepromotionalitems.co.uk

And of course our team is standing by to help you with any questions you may have, and to help you get exactly what you’re looking for. Just give us a call on 0800 007 5566.

Promotional Products Statistics: How Well Do Promotional Gifts Work

promotional gifts workI bet you’re wondering whether you should invest in promotional products. Either that, or you’d like to know what happens with your gifts once you’ve given them. Is it worth it? How well do promotional products work?

Today, I’d like to share some statistics…

If you’re looking to build name recognition, brand awareness, and goodwill, as well as inspire future purchases, you’ll find these statistics quite encouraging!

Of course, it also depends on what the gift is. For the purpose of this exercise, I’m assuming that the gift is attractive and high quality, and that it does what it is designed to do, and does it well. Those are the kinds of gifts you should give.

For example, a t-shirt needs to have an attractive design and be comfortable to wear. A clock needs to tell the time accurately and look great. I think you get the idea.

So what happens to your gifts once you give them away? Do people keep them? Do they remember the company that gave the gifts to them? Will they consider that company when ready for their next purchase?

How long do people keep promotional gifts?

In a recent study, it was found that 87% of people said that they kept a promotional gift for longer than 12 months. This shows that gifts have surprising longevity – the longer people keep them, the longer they will be reminded of the brand.

Are you surprised? How long do YOU keep a promotional gift that’s useful and attractive? I keep mine for quite a long time.

Do promotional gifts increase brand awareness?

84% of people said that a branded promotional gift increases brand awareness. While there are no details given, this particular result is reinforced in the next two items.

66% of people said that they could remember the brand on the promotional product that they received during the last year. Presumably, this is true if they received several promotional products as well. That’s good news because brand awareness is one of the key payoffs when it comes to promotional items.

What about promotional gifts ROI? Will they buy from you?

Here’s the answer: 79% of people said that they were likely to do business with the company that gave them the promotional item. That’s excellent news. In fact, considering that some of the people may not have need of the company’s products, 79% is an excellent number.

So while promotional products, especially high quality gifts of the more significant variety can require quite an investment up front, the payoff is definitely there. The majority of the recipients will remember the company of the giver and have goodwill towards them. And the next time they need a relevant product, chances are they’re going to buy it from the company that gave them the gift.

The science behind promotional gifts and why they work

Yes, there really is a scientific reason why promotional gifts work. Robert Cialdini, the author of Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explained why promo gifts work. Receiving gifts triggers the principle of reciprocity. This means, when you get something, you feel the need to give back.

So when you get an attractive wall clock you look at every day in your office, or a t-shirt you enjoy wearing, then you want to “give back” – which means that you’re likely to buy something from the company that gave you the gift.

To trigger this effect, the gift does not have to be a big gift. Even smaller gifts work, provided they offer the key features – they’re attractive and useful.

Yes, even pens can trigger that effect, provided they write well…

Why not put promotional gifts to work for you

So you can see that promotional products really do what they’re supposed to do… they increase brand awareness, make you memorable, and get people to buy from you when they have the need for your products. Not bad for a modest investment.

If you haven’t already, consider giving it a try!

Check out our promotional items here:

http://cranepromotionalitems.co.uk

And if you have questions, we’re there for you. Just call us on 0800 007 5566.

Promote Your Business – Get Ready For Networking Events

exchanging business cardsOnce again, it’s September, and the autumn season with its networking and promotional opportunities is in full swing. Networking meetings, conferences, and other events help you increase the visibility of your business with subtle marketing strategies.

Of course there are many aspects to effective networking, which we’ll discuss in another article. Today, though, we’ll focus on a few things that will help you make the most of the many networking opportunities during the autumn season.

Business Cards

Having effective and up-to-date business cards should be your number one priority. Plus, if you’ve hired any new staff members recently, make sure that they each have their own cards. Nothing looks more unprofessional than crossed-out phone numbers and email addresses, with the new ones scribbled in by hand.

Considering how inexpensive new business cards are these days, and how quickly you can get them, there’s really no excuse for “recycling” business cards like that.

If you have used our new Print & Design platform before, you know just how easy it is to update your cards and get new ones for any member of your team who needs them. All you have to do is go in, create a new copy of your card, make any changes for the new team member, and order a set. They usually show up within a couple of days.

Your Logo

If you have a logo you like and that works well for you, you can just send it in when you order your cards. But don’t forget… there are more things you can do with it. Not only can you get letterhead and envelopes, and imprint it on your brochures and other marketing materials, but you can also use it for a huge range of promotional items.

Getting Started With Promotional Items

Promotional items are just about the most effective marketing tool you could imagine. As they are gifts, they generate goodwill, and they are also frequent reminders of the giver…

How frequent? That depends a great deal on the type of promotional items you choose, and also on what works for your type of business.

Something that works for just about anyone, and is inexpensive to boot, is the simple pen. You can choose from a range of options, from very inexpensive to quite impressive. Even inexpensive pens must be attractive, however, and they absolutely must write well too. After all, you want to build positive associations with your brand.

Pens also have the added advantage that they are likely to go viral – as you know, people continuously “swap” pens unintentionally, so that your pen could actually get into the hands of many more people than you might have imagined.
In order to do its job well, it needs to have your logo and your contact information imprinted in a legible format and font. It’s a good idea to get samples and to make sure the print is easy to read and doesn’t require a magnifying glass to decipher.

Once you have your pens, keep a stash with you anywhere you go, and leave them in any place where your potential customers might be able to find them. When you go to networking meetings, leave a few on every table. Whenever anyone asks for a pen, hand them one of yours and, of course, let them keep it.

Pens are just the start, of course. There are many more options for promotional gifts. You can check them out here:

http://cranepromotionalitems.co.uk

Questions? Just call us on 0800 007 5566 and we’ll be happy to assist you!

If you don’t have an account on our handy print and design platform yet, just call and we’ll be happy to set you up. And to get you started, we’ll give you your first 250 business cards for just £27.77 so you can check out the quality of our work.