Greeting cards aren’t just for Christmas…maintain your card printing business all year long

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To stand out among the crowd, encourage your business customers to shift the focus of their greeting card marketing campaigns to other holidays. Greater impact of the recipient of the piece could mean greater return on marketing investment, and you’ll get credit for your creativity in the bargain.

January – Commemorate the political process with a patriotic card sent out in time for Inauguration Day, January 20, 2013.

February – Suggest your clients send out something sweet for Valentine’s Day. As a design bonus, Valentine’s Day cards lend themselves well to eye catching printing techniques like foil stamping. Schedule your distribution to arrive on or before Feb. 14.

March – Sending out St. Patrick’s Day wishes could lead to a marketing pot of gold. Whether it’s a post card offering a St. Patrick’s Day incentive or just a note to remind their customers to wear green on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day greetings are a welcome addition to any mailbox.

April – In 2013 Easter falls on March 31, but even if you aren’t sending out a card to celebrate the Bunny, April is the perfect time to mail out spring greetings.

May – Thanking Veterans for their service with a card on Memorial Day, May 27, 2013, is not only an excellent way to remind your customers of your respect for the Armed Forces, it’s also the right thing to do and can go a long way toward reminding those who served that we appreciate their sacrifices.

June – Usher in the start of summer with a greeting card reminding your clients of some important things to consider as they plan their vacation season. Whether you’re sharing a summery recipe or sun or water safety tips, letting the people you do business with know you care could pay off in a big way for your clients.

July – Happy Independence Day on July 4! A red, white and blue card in the mailbox in July is a sure fire way to work up some goodwill for your clients’ business.

August – The only month without an official holiday, August is back to school month. Encourage your clients to send out a greeting card celebrating the end of summer.

September – Labor Day means sales and incentives, and what better way for your clients to package their special offers than as part of a Labor Day greeting card campaign. In 2013, Labor Day falls on September 2.

October – Decorate your Halloween cards with Goosebumps and using thermography printing when you send out spooky greetings on October 31, 2013. Sending a Halloween greeting card is a great way to scare up some name recognition for your clients in October.

November – Let your clients’ customers know they’re valued and appreciated on November 28, 2013. Sending a Thanksgiving card will beat the holiday greeting card rush and stand out as something different. Your clients will be grateful they took your advice!

When do you send out greeting card campaigns? Do you think your clients get better results than with more generic mailing programs? Share your greeting card experience in the comments below.

Three ways to make sure YOUR customers LOVE THEIR PRINTER this Valentine’s Day

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Let’s take this baby for a test drive. If the proof is in the pudding, then having samples of your products available for customers is one way printers can make it easier for their customers to see what they can expect from their orders. Keeping samples on file in the office is a simple proposition, but another good way to secure business is to offer a free sample kit by request on your website. Rather than try to present something comprehensive, create a simple form that will allow you to identify what your potential buyer is looking for and then create a custom sample kit for them with a few basic options that might meet their needs. Not only is it a good way to show your stuff, it’s an excellent method to capture contact info from someone you know is looking to make a purchase.

I’m in a hurry to get things done. It’s pretty safe to assume that most of your customers are rush and rushing, and delays are no fun. One of the most sought after characteristics customers are looking for in a print shot is fast production and speedy shipping timelines. Fast turnaround means having a proof-approval system in place to ensure that errors won’t be made, as well as creating premium options for expedited shipping and processing.

What do you want from me? The best print shops offer a variety of service levels. This means providing printing around pre-made templates in addition a full spectrum of graphic design service. Downloadable templates are becoming very popular and can be a way to advertising your premium graphic design chops. And for customers who want to do their own design, making sure you have artwork guidelines clearly available both at your shop and online can make things easier for them in-house,

What have you found important to your customers? Is there anything specific that makes a client choose you over another printer? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

Should Your Business Send A Christmas Card?

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If you’re under the impression that sending cards during the holiday season is an outdated business practice, you might be missing a great opportunity to make an impression on clients, vendors, co-workers, or others whose minds you might want to be at the top of in the coming year.

While it’s true that the advent of e-greetings have cut into the tradition of sending cards during the holiday season, the U.S. Greeting Card Association is projecting sales of 1.6 billion boxed and individual cards in the U.S. this year. The ability to customize a card with digital photography, online design templates, and personal messaging has made it easier than ever before to send the very best.

So yes, yes, a thousand times yes — your business should send holiday cards! Even if you’re the decision-maker at the most cutting-edge of online technology business, there is room in your customer relations plan for ink, card stock, and festive stamps. The very act of opening an envelope requires a kind of attention that clicking on a link cannot match. Most people will display their cards in some way, even for a short time, to honor the sender, while your email will be buried under the onslaught of other business correspondence in 24 hours (or even less).

A more important issue is what kind of card to send and how to make your card stand out. Here are a few guidelines:

Get Your Cards Out Early.

Procrastination doesn’t look good for work-related communications, and the same goes for formal pleasantries. Not only do you have to account for the possibility that the recipient might be traveling for the holidays, but you also wouldn’t want to seem insensitive when your client Joshua Goldstein receives his card on the eighth day of Hanukkah.

Speaking of religious observances…

Religious Cards Are OK… If You’re Sure

While it’s best to err on the side of caution, with simple messages like “Season’s Greetings,” it’s also an opportunity to pay respect to a person who celebrates the spiritual or cultural aspects of the holiday season. This is not to suggest you should automatically send the aforementioned Mr. Goldstein a card depicting the menorah without knowing if Hanukkah is important to him. The goal of sending a religious card is demonstrating your level of connection to that person and hopefully deepening it. To that end…

Don’t Send Humorous Cards.

A sense of humor is soooo subjective! The risk of coming off anywhere on the spectrum of “too corny” to “wildly inappropriate” is just not worth the attempt. Save the cards containing terrible puns for your cousin and send the ones with off-color jokes about Santa’s reindeer to the friend you used to cut up with during high school algebra class. You don’t want your business to be equated with the sad trombone sound. Remember, sincerity never goes out of style. Which brings us to…

Adding a Personal Touch.

“Cursive is a magic wand,” wrote Boston Globe columnist Beverly Beckham in a recent paean to greeting cards. Getting everyone in a small office to sign the card is a great way to make your business stand out. Even if you custom-design a card, taking that little extra effort to hand-write a warm message and signing your own name lets the recipient know he or she is important to you.