Monday, January 15, 2018

It's Trade Show Time - What do I Need?

Questions I'm asked about Trade Show Printing

If you’ve ever been to a trade show such as a local home & garden show, I’m sure you were dazzled by the large displays, flowers, rocks and even small houses inside a very large facility.  This type of show draws thousands of people and the cost to participate can be very high to a vendor.  Each industry, it seems, has their own trade show to highlight the products and services of their members.  The size and scope of the trade show will determine the items you need for display.  Here are a few questions I have answered about these materials.

This is my first trade show.  What materials do I need to get started?  Larger shows will require you to provide tables, chairs and all display items.  The only thing offered will be power.  Smaller trade shows will have a 6’ table and a couple of chairs and you have to ask for power to be provided.  For the larger show you’ll need a full background display usually 8’ to 10’ wide, tables with a table cloth, retractable banners (either floor or table top), some type of literature display, and items to hand out to prospects.  These large shows can also accommodate displays of your product.  Here’s where I suggest you map out your area to make sure you have enough room to move and show prospects what you have to offer.  The items above can be used in smaller shows depending on the size of your space.

      How do I look professional but save money on my display?  If you are in a larger show you can reduce the size of your background or get creative.  There are dozens of new types, sizes and materials for displays.  The can hang, have multiple pieces to give it a 3D effect, or curve in around your area.  You don’t have to stay with the same old thing – get creative!

      I’m on a budget.  What items do I have to have for a trade show?  I usually suggest, instead of a large background display, to get a banner that goes across the top of your area.  6’ to 8’ wide and proportionate height.  You’ll be able to hang it up on frames provided by the trade show host.  Also, smaller shows will provide a table and white cloth, so buy a table runner instead of the cloth.  You still have your logo on the table at less cost.  I also suggest you choose either the floor or the table top retractable banner.  The table top is less expensive and can be just as effective if your message is good.  And last, let’s talk about the items to hand out.  You need something with your logo and information on it that your prospect will keep so to contact you at a later date.  I recommend flyers with services/products that include a coupon or incentive to contact you.  Memo pads and pens are also very effective.  If you are on a budget I don’t recommend buying cheap promotional items that have nothing to do with your industry.  Buy chocolate instead!

These ideas are props to make your space attractive and draw your prospect to you.  It’s up to you to do the rest.  I’m disappointed when I visit trade shows and see vendors behind the tables, sitting and staring at their phones, instead of engaging prospective customers.  Too bad, it’s such a pretty display.

For more information on trade show materials please give me a call.  
Donna Beheydt, 330.922.1765.  Idea consultations are free!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

How to use direct marketing to boost business this fall.

Learn why and how to use direct marketing to boost your business this fall…

Fall Print Marketing Tips: How to Use Direct Mail to Promote Your Business - find your local Minuteman Press design, marketing, and printing franchise at
During the fall season, there are ample marketing opportunities for savvy business owners that are looking to grow. Whether you want to capitalize on back to school spending habits of consumers, boost your brand awareness heading into the holidays, or leverage the popularity of football season in your community (including high school, NCAA, and NFL), now is the perfect time to ramp up your marketing efforts.
Why Use Direct Mail Print Marketing to Promote Your Business?
Using direct mail helps your business cut through the clutter and actually reach your target audience. According to the Direct Marketing Association, the household response rate for direct mail is 5.1 percent in 2017. This is the highest response rate ever reported by the DMA, which has been reporting response rates since 2003.
By comparison, email marketing has a response rate of only 0.6%. Paid search is also 0.6%, social media 0.4%, and online display ads 0.2%. These stats indicate that direct mail is simply more effective in grabbing the attention of consumers in a way that makes them respond and take action.
DID YOU KNOW? The USPS now has an opt-in program called Informed Delivery Digest that allows recipients to interact with their physical mail digitally. According to printing blog What They Think, 88% of Millennials have indicated they are interested in using Informed Delivery Digest, which adds an element of cross media marketing to your direct mail campaigns.
How to Use Direct Mail Marketing to Promote Your Business
Here are three tips for using direct mail to make the most of your print and cross media marketing campaigns:
1. Start with stellar, professional creative design. All great print marketing starts with strong graphic design.A custom design that adheres to your branding and relates your brand’s message to your target audience is crucial to generating the response rate you are hoping to achieve. Partnering with your local Minuteman Press design, marketing and printing franchise is the perfect way to make sure your direct mail campaign is properly handled from design and printing through to final production and delivery.
2. Personalize your direct mail campaigns. Personalized direct mail marketing helps your message resonate more deeply with the recipient. Think about it this way: Would you be more likely to respond to something impersonal that says “Dear Resident” or a more personalized piece that mentions you by name. The good news for business owners is that digital printing technology known as variable data printing makes full-color, personalized direct mail marketing faster and easier to produce while also being more cost-effective than ever before.
3. Put the customer’s needs first and simply show how your business can help. If you follow the first two tips, your direct mail marketing piece will have a strong design with a personal touch. As important as those elements are, equally as vital is giving the customer a reason to not just read but respond to what you sent to them. When crafting your direct mail marketing message, put yourself in your customer’s shoes and assess their needs (or their wants, depending on your industry), then think about how your business can help them. Your final direct mail messaging should be highly informative yet concise and  supremely relevant to the consumer, and it should close with a strong call to action that motivates the recipient to act.
To Recap: Direct Mail Works! And Minuteman Press Can Help…
Today, direct mail remains a versatile, reliable tool in your marketing toolbox. Your local Minuteman Press franchise will work with you to develop an effective direct mail campaign that has professional creative design, a personalized marketing approach, and messaging that is relevant to your customers and consistent with your brand identity.
For more information or to get started with a free consultation on our direct mail marketing products and services, call Donna at 330-922-1765. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Importance of Your Material's Color Scheme

Finding the perfect color scheme for your project can be a total cinch or an absolute brain buster, depending on your project and inspiration.

Next time you’re struggling to pair colors and find the visual sweet spot, consider using a helpful color tool that lets you mix and match until the perfect combo pops off the screen. Whether you’re pairing two colors, choosing an accent color or picking an extensive array of color options, you can use tools to blend colors to your heart’s content.

Creating a Palette

Finding a theme color might be a cinch, but what about the coordinating colors that you need for a campaign? Use a tool like Paletton to help you pinpoint color, hue and coordinating colors by accessing options around the color wheel.

You can play around with saturation and hues to find the combination that you like best, or custom mix a palette to suit your client’s tastes. With options for choosing complementary colors or triads, you can make unique palettes that fit your project perfectly.

Working with an Inspiration Piece

Of course, sometimes the item that you’re working with brings a color palette or inspiration color of its own. If you’ve got an inspiration piece or a photograph, choose a tool that picks primary colors from a photo of the item and gives you palette suggestions based off that photo.

Color Hunter is a great tool that gives you a custom palette based off a photo that you submit. Use Color Hunter to develop an online color scheme for a physical place or item.

Setting up Color Mood Boards

Even simple tools, like Pinterest, can be invaluable when it comes to color inspiration and pairing. Pinterest’s board style layout lets you pair photos in different arrangements so that you can compare color options right on your computer screen.

If you’re working with multiple inspiration pieces or have a few different color choices that you’re trying to test, Pinterest design boards can provide you the logical layout and comparison options that you need to see your options objectively. For collaborative projects, you can even invite friends or colleagues to pin to the design board and help the process along.

Whether you’re working on a personal project or a commissioned piece, it pays to take the time to develop a strong color scheme for the item that you’re designing.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

How to Maximize Your Procrastination Time

Some days you’ve got laser focus and you get everything done on your to-do list. Other days aren’t as good—you have a big task that you just can’t get focused on to complete, no matter how hard you try. Instead of staring at your computer screen, or staring off into space, here are some tips for maximizing your procrastination time. If you do these things, just think, you will no longer be procrastinating.

·        - Check your email. You probably have a lot in your inbox, so this is a way to make your time a lot more productive.

·        - Take your dog for a walk. After all, your dog is  probably staring at you staring off into space and  he’s probably wondering why you don’t just go outside already! The exercise will do your dog  good, and it might clear your mind and help you get that task done. If you don’t have a dog, take a walk anyway. It will get your blood pumping and the creative juices flowing.

·         -Do the dishes. You may feel better when your kitchen is really clean.

·         -Return phone calls. Maybe you have a list of people you need to call back, so this might divert your attention just enough to be helpful.

·        - Clean your office. Organize your papers, clear away clutter, and finally wash that coffee mug. If your work area is more organized, maybe you’ll think more clearly and be more productive.

·        - Set goals. Review your goals for a bit. Are you accomplishing them? What are your setbacks? Add a new goal: Stop procrastinating!

·         -Pay bills. We’re not sure if this will make you feel better or make you feel worse, but it might be nice to knock a few of these out of the park.

·         -Watch TV. Decide that you’re going to take a quick break and watch 15 minutes of TV just to clear your mind. Then it’s back to the task.

·        - Read. This is the same concept as watching TV. Read a chapter, a magazine article, or a couple of online news articles. It might be just enough to give your brain something to focus on so you can later return to your task.

·        - Exercise. Maybe a few sit ups or push ups, or maybe a few jumping jacks will get you going!

·        - Meditate. Try to push every nagging thing out of your mind and just focus on your breathing for 5 or 10 minutes. You’ll be surprised how well it works to clear your head.

·         -Power nap. Take a short 15-20 minute snooze, but don’t forget to set an alarm. You’ll wake refreshed and ready to conquer that task.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Keep Your Copywriting Simple Stupid

Marketers can often get caught up in word counts and creating lengthy messages.  No matter what you’re writing, it’s important to keep your copywriting simple.  More words will not mean that your message is better received.  These three tips will help you keep your writing simple and readable.

Have a Purpose with Your Writing

This means that you need to consider what your purpose is and how you can connect with your audience.  Determine what your purpose is before sitting down to write your materials.  Are you trying to sell a webinar?  Do you want them to sign up for an estimate?  Are you selling them a new widget?  This will help you connect with your audience. 

You also need to think about your audience to help you get into their mindset to determine what motivates them, and what will convince them to go through with your call to action.  You will want to try to be logical and emotional as you consider the different reasons your readers may respond to your writing.  People like facts to back up what their emotions are telling them.

Less is More

You want your writing to be easily readable, and that can be accomplished by trying to keep your writing scan-able.  Aim for clear and concise over verbose.  In fact, you should aim to hit a 5th or 6th-grade level understanding for your writing because this means that it won’t take long for your audience to get your message.  There are websites that will grade your materials to let you know what grade level you wrote it at to help you get a better idea of what constitutes what grade.  
Wait to Send

One of the best things you can do is write something, and then set it aside before sending it out. This gives you a chance to read it over again with fresh eyes to ensure that you don’t need to add any final touches or change things up.  It can be helpful to read things out loud as you may notice things that you missed when reading quietly.  At this point, you can also ask for other eyes on your work to see what they think.  Bad grammar or spelling can be just as big a turn-off as work that’s too wordy. 

Following the KISS method of keeping your copywriting simple stupid will help to ensure that your readers actually read through what you’ve written.  Short and sweet is often a powerful way to go in your marketing as it helps to connect the person with your message without clouding it with unnecessary extra information.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Get to Know Donna Beheydt of Minuteman Press Stow

Donna Beheydt is the dynamic President-Owner of Minuteman Press in Stow, OH. She’s been in this role since founding the company in 2009 and has made great strides in local leadership, as well as innovation in printing for the community.

Minuteman Press was born out of a desire to see a new opportunity for businesses to print locally in the Stow area. Donna saw a need for this densely concentrated center of economy to have another option for local printing. The location was right, and she knew that the company would be a hit from day one.

And it was. Since opening its doors in 2009, Minuteman Press of Stow has serviced a variety of local customers for all of their printing needs. This location allows Stow business owners to invest their money right back into the local economy by choosing to print onsite at the Stow location.

If anyone knows about local leadership and innovation, it’s definitely Donna. She’s passionate about investing back into the community through servicing local businesses and hiring locals for jobs at Minuteman Press. Donna is proud of the local investment that drives the daily operation of Minuteman and gives back to the community in a host of tangible and meaningful ways.

Additionally, the company is a proud member of chambers and associations in the Stow area and beyond, including the Stow-Munroe Falls Chamber of Commerce, the Cuyahoga Falls Chamber of Commerce, BNI, and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses.

Donna also has great advice for others looking to get into business in Stow or in their own communities. She recommends that interested individuals get to know the community where they want to start a business. That they get to know the business owners who operate there, because they’ll generally want to help new entrepreneurs get their feet on the ground.

She also recommends that new business owners join chambers and BNI in order to stay on top of local and national small business happenings that may impact their companies. Involvement with these organizations can also help to build personal networks - a vital component to gaining the trust of the community and getting the help necessary to get a business off the ground. Organizational involvement can help with marketing, too, as it will give business owners the opportunity to learn more about marketing to locals - a skill that Donna views as critical to business success.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Why Printed Promotional Items Are Still More Effective Than Digital Marketing

Our modern culture seems to have us brainwashed into believing that digital advertising is the only realistic and successful form of marketing these days. An idea has spread that any other form of advertising is simply wasteful, and that anyone who is not spending most of their marketing budget on the internet will be left in the dust. It is no surprise that most of these ideas have been pushed onto us by-- guess who-- online marketers. They would have us believe that the internet was God’s gift to small business, and we should all line up to throw our advertising dollars at them.

While digital marketing certainly has its benefits, it is far from being the end all and be all for small business advertising. In fact, for many types of businesses, particularly small local businesses, there are many other areas of advertising where their marketing money could be better spent. One advertising vehicle that seems to be constantly overlooked in its importance and efficiency is the printed promotional product.  Many people think of printed promotional items as only being business cards or flyers on windshields, but the most effective marketers can get much more creative than that. This level of creativity combined with the personal touch of a gift normally shows huge returns on the small investment normally required. In fact, a recent survey showed that 52 percent of people who received free promotional gifts from a business had a more positive impression of the company afterwards, and 50 percent said they used those products daily. So, what are some of the benefits of printed promotional items that could make it a better option than internet advertising? There are more than you might think.

- Brand Recognition
One of the most important things a small business can do is get its name out there. Any successful company, big or small, knows the importance of brand recognition. While your company’s name and logo may be seen for a few seconds with a digital ad, it could be seen many times daily on a properly created promotional item.

- Targeted Advertising
Social media and other internet advertising is great for reaching a worldwide audience, but can present some problems for advertising locally. If you are a car dealership, lawyer, small local shop or any other company who would only need to advertise on the local level, your budget would be much better spent on printed items.

- Low Cost
Social media advertising is free, right? Well, not exactly. Anyone who has ever tried to run a social media marketing campaign knows that it can get very expensive very quickly. Printed promotional items are usually very low-cost and have the potential of yielding a very high return.

- Stick Out With Creative Items

Advertising is all about catching your target’s attention in a positive way. One of the best ways to do this is with a creative printed promotional item that could be specific and useful to your customers. If you own a bar, try printed bottle openers or beer coozies. If you have a computer repair shop, have your company’s name and logo printed onto USB flash drives for your customers.