Increasing Sales with QR Codes

qr codes

A QR code is a barcode that can be read by a smartphone app. QR is short for Quick Response. These QR codes can immediately perform a variety of functions on a user’s smartphone all of which can be beneficial to your sales efforts. This technology has provided us with a valuable tool that can help increase the return on investment for our advertising dollar. All of us should be capitalizing on the exponential growth of smartphone use by implementing QR codes into all applicable printed materials such as brochures, flyers, postcards, business cards, letterhead, envelopes, bookmarks and more.

A QR code can direct your prospect to a:

  • Website URL
  • Facebook Page
  • iTunes Link
  • YouTube Video
  • LinkedIn Page
  • Dropbox Folder
  • FourSquare Page
  • Twitter Feed
  • App Store Download

A QR code can also let your prospect make a Skype call, save contact details, send an SMS message, pull up a Google Maps location, send an email, call a phone number, and it can even be used as a PayPal Buy Now link.

With all of these possibilities readily available you’d be wasting a precious opportunity by not implementing a QR code into your advertising materials. Promotion Lotion offers FREE QR code generation and implementation with any printed material or graphic design purchase.

Promotion Lotion Graphic Design is your one stop shop for development, design and printing of your advertising and promotional materials. VISIT US TODAY to find out how we can help you grow your business.

Why You Should Hire an Expert Designer

expert graphic designer

 

A few weeks back I noticed a leak through the drop ceiling in my basement. The reason for the drop ceiling was to cover the ugly pipes that ran across the ceiling that fed to the rest of the house. I opened up a panel in the drop ceiling expecting to see a hole in one of the pipes where the water was leaking from. When I pointed my flashlight up at the pipes I noticed a drip that came from above the pipes leading me to believe that these pipes were not the source of my leak. A localized section of the floor boards above were saturated and panic set in. The leak was coming from a pipe leak somewhere in the walls or floor upstairs.

What made the situation more complicated was that it was in the same spot where the pipes fed up to the radiator and the showers upstairs. Multiple possible sources of the leak prompted me to get some outside advice. I called my stepfather and father in law and for two days we examined and hypothesized about the source of the leak, all the while the water kept dripping. I was convinced it was in the floor directly above and wanted to start ripping up the floor tiles to find the source while my step father believed that the source was a leak in the pipe in the wall that led upstairs to the shower and wanted to rip open the wall. My father in law thought the leak was traveling all the way across the floor boards from the dishwasher in the kitchen.

I was almost about to get some tools and start hacking away at the floor and walls before I came to my senses and decided to call a plumber. What happened next was both embarrassing and a great relief. Literally five seconds after I explained the problem to the plumber he shined his flashlight up at the ceiling, put his finger on the top of one of the water pipes and said, “Here it is.”

I said, “No the water is not coming from those pipes, it’s coming from up above, look at the ceiling above, it is all wet.”

“No, it’s right here. Feel it. There’s a small pinhole leak on the top of the pipe and the pressure is making it shoot up at the ceiling  and then dripping back down causing the appearance that the leak is coming from above.”

I couldn’t believe it. I was shocked, the problem was so simple and much easier to fix than I had anticipated. I didn’t need a jack hammer after all!

So by now you have guessed the moral of the story. Sometimes it’s just best to pay for expert help from someone who knows exactly what they are doing. This applies to your promotional and advertising materials just the same as it does the leaks in your home. I have seen many brochure, logo and flyer disasters created by some well meaning but inexperienced clients that I was able to easily remedy. If you are not experienced with design, composition or general marketing principles hire an expert and you can avoid making costly mistakes like I almost did!

For expert help with designing and or printing your promotional and advertising materials please don’t hesitate to visit our website www.promotionlotion.com

3 Common Brochure Design Mistakes

custom brochure design mistakes

I Me Mine

George Harrison addressed the idea of the ego and the self absorption that we are all guilty of to some degree or another in The Beatles classic Song “I Me Mine.” This phenomenon can be found all throughout our lives and can even sneak it’s way into our business advertising if we are not careful.

 

It all starts innocently enough when you sit down and decide to start writing the copy for your latest brochure. Stuck for something to say you start with an “about us” section or biography of your business. This is one of the most common mistakes, and as an advertising and marketing designer I see it almost every day. Most business owners assume that potential customers are very interested in and or persuaded by their illustrious or long history. The truth is that all the potential customer is interested is what you can do for them.  They too suffer from the “I Me Mine” syndrome and this needs to be taken into account.

So long as we are not guilty of exhibiting this self absorption ourselves we can use it’s existence to our advantage if we recognize how to harness this reality’s great potential. A potential customer wants to know right away how you can offer them some sort of benefit- whether it be financial savings or avoidance of a perceived hassle. Keep this in mind when developing the copy for your brochure. You should immediately be indicating what type of value you are offering your potential customer rather than touting that you’ve been in business for 25 years. The latter is not as important to a potential customer. You’d be better off letting them know you could save them $25!

Not Enough Antacid

Have you ever picked up a document that was saturated with so much text that you immediately put it down because you couldn’t muster the focus to start taking it all in? Technical documents are notorious for this, but some advertising and promotional materials can be guilty of this as well. If not designed and laid out properly, a brochure can be very hard to digest, especially if you include too much information.

Designers like to use negative or empty space to help let the separate elements and sections of a brochure “breathe”- making it easier for the reader to digest. Sometimes, some of our client’s feel that they aren’t getting their money’s worth if something that is designed for them isn’t completely covered with images or information. This is when we try to politely explain that what we are doing is helping them relay their message without turning people off and causing indigestion. Less is more- unless you will be providing antacid with your brochures.

Leaving Your Readers Hanging

Okay, so you’ve finally written all the copy for your brochure, decided on what imagery to use and are getting ready to finalize your design. Wait a minute, stop the presses, you didn’t include a call to action! A call to action is simply a statement requesting that your potential customer take the next step. You might want them to call your office, visit your website or fill out a questionnaire. Whatever the next step is, you have to let them know to take action. You’ve engaged them with your copy, mesmerizing them with your dazzling design work and yet you can risk not closing the deal by omitting a few simple commands. A call to action can be as simple as, “Call Today to Start Saving!” Make sure it is boldly and simply stated and you’ll realize a higher conversion rate for your advertising pieces.

For help with your custom brochure design and printing project please visit the custom brochure section of our website: www.promotionlotion.com

Shoot us an email at service@promotionlotion.com or give us a call at 1-877-568-4665

The Differences Between Marketing to New Customers Vs. Existing Customers

marketing-advice

When you have a limited advertising budget you can sometimes make the mistake of painting with broad strokes when you are developing your advertising promotions. The assumption that you can save money by developing a single message rather than multiple messages for multiple targets can do you more harm than good.

Think of your relationship with your customers as a relationship with a significant other. You would act differently in different phases of your relationship with your husband or wife and you should follow the same basic premise when communicating with your customers. In the infancy of a personal relationship you might try to bring to light some of your better attributes in order to win the heart of the object of your desire. In this courting phase the significant other is getting to know what you are all about and deciding on whether or not they can trust you. Here is where the foundation of the relationship is laid. Later on in the relationship there is really no need to keep emphasizing to your partner that you can be trusted or what kind of person you are because they should already know. You can do your best to maintain their view of you but it would be a waste of time to highlight the same things that you would in the courting phase. Your time would be better spent on growing your relationship and exploring newer areas of experience and emotion.

The same holds true with your customers. Once you have initiated a relationship with a customer and have established that you are competent, cost effective and dependable, any money you spend on communicating with them shouldn’t be spent on continually trying to hammer those points home. A better use of those advertising dollars would be on bringing to their attention that your services can be utilized in different ways, or other products that you might offer that would be beneficial to them. Making a distinction between existing customers and potential clients might seem to add an apparent additional cost to your advertising efforts, but in reality, wasting money on over-emphasizing a point to a market that doesn’t need the additional reinforcement can be seen as an expense that you can easily eliminate.

If you have a limited advertising budget and cannot afford to address too many different groups with your marketing campaigns you still might find that it will be worth it to at least make a distinction between existing customers and potential clients and craft your specific message to them accordingly.

Why Creativity is Important In Advertising

creativity

Why Creativity is Important In Advertising

When you listen to your favorite popular song chances are that the subject matter isn’t a unique concept. Whether it is about love, feelings of loss, or existential life questions, the likelihood that there are thousands of other songs that address the same issue is pretty high. So what is it that makes that song so appealing to so many?

In most cases the reason for the song’s appeal is that the writer/performer has found a unique way to deliver an old message. This creative delivery of a standard message is what helps to set mediocre tunes apart from all-time classics. This concept can be applied to many other things in life and business in the hopes of striking a chord in someone who has been inundated with the same messages day in and day out for their entire lives.

Let’s face it, most business are not very exciting and your business may not be as interesting as the newest technology firm that has thousands ready to pounce on a chance to get in on their IPO, but it makes you money and that’s all that matters. When it is time to reach out to your potential clients with your “sexy” auditing services or “riveting” dental practice, creativity can go a long way in helping your message get through the filters people have set up to avoid undesirable information.

How to Come up With Creative Ideas

Tapping your own creativity can be difficult, especially if your profession requires extensive and consistent analytical processing of information. When developing your advertising ideas it is a good idea to separate yourself from your daily routine. When you step out of your normal routine you are open to new ideas and thoughts. The best way to do this is leave your office and find an inspiring location that might help get your creative juices flowing. Try to clear your mind so that you have blank canvas to work with. You don’t have to book a safari in order to extricate yourself from your traditional environment. Take a pad and paper to the park, your laptop to a coffee shop or your voice recorder to the beach. Take notice of people’s interactions, the variety of new colors and sounds, the different shapes and textures that you see.

Next, try to imagine that you are a member of your target audience. What do they see, hear and feel? What is important to them? How would they react to the environment you are in? Jot down any and all ideas simple, profound, inane, idiotic or brilliant. You never know when you can start to synthesize a great idea from something trivial or seemingly irrelevant. Use the notes you have taken to construct a theme or idea that may seem a bit out of the ordinary, funny or even weird. It doesn’t matter if the idea you come up with is good or not. You are just trying out new muscles that you will need if you wish to continue your efforts at developing out of the box ideas.

Take it for a Test Drive

After you’ve fleshed out a few of your new ideas bring them attention to someone who you can trust to be honest with you. Don’t fear embarrassment or criticism, if you do you will never be able to fully take the plunge into uncharted waters. Use the feedback to hone or redirect your ideas until you find something that you think works.

The more comfortable you become with taking a different perspective on things the easier it will be to come up with something more creative than past endeavors. This applies not only to advertising design but all other aspects of anything that you produce.

If you come up with a great idea and don’t know how to bring it to fruition, or are still stuck without any new concepts it is time to consult with a professional. Shoot us an email at info@promotionlotion.com or give us a call at 1-877-568-4665. We’d be glad to help you reach out to your customers in an exciting new way.

View our creative design products and services at www.promotionlotion.com

When and How to Update the Look of Your Business

update-brand-image

Refreshing your brand image can be a positive step towards attracting new clientele, but it also can be a daunting task. As the times change sometimes the style of your identity, marketing and advertising materials might seem to be dated or perhaps your business has simply just expanded and outgrown your existing identity. Take a look around at your newest competition and take some cues from their designs. How does your look hold up? If you have some serious doubts then it is time for a change.

Whether it is time to update that logo that your nephew created or take on a complete brand makeover, you have to make sure that whatever you intend to do is thoroughly thought out.

The first thing that you will want to do is consider how and where this update will be applied throughout your marketing, advertising and print collateral materials. It is important to be consistent throughout all your materials or you run the risk of appearing uncoordinated in your message and efforts.

Secondly, you will want to identify the elements of your existing identity that you feel are important to maintain. This could be a color scheme, shape, font combination or something more abstract like the feeling that the imagery conveys.

Once you know where your changes will be made and how you want to make them it is time to get started testing out your new ideas. It is always important that you have a few options to consider. These don’t have to be polished final versions of a new logo, color scheme or identity attribute. Some broad strokes can go a long way in helping to determine what new style might work best.

Once you have decided on the idea or style that works best it is time for some final tweaks. Choose the final colors, fonts and shapes that will be part of your new identity and adhere to these as much as possible. Make note of the specific fonts and color codes that you choose so they can be applied to all of your materials and supplied to vendors and printers who might need this valuable information when producing your promotional materials.

Finally, apply your changes throughout all of your materials making sure to be aware of consistency. Keep and archive all of your old files just in case you need them for an unforeseen reason. Also, make sure to set a reminder to change things that can’t be immediately updated. For example, if you have a Yellow Pages print ad, make sure to update it with the publisher before the next print date.

Refreshing your look shows that you are making an important investment in your appearance and that you are striving to remain viable and competitive. This is will help to convey a sense of professionalism and competence to your existing customers and potential clientele.

For help with your identity design project, no matter how big or small, please contact Promotion Lotion. We’ll be glad to help you consider the various options that would be best for you.

Creating a Postcard That Sells

increase-sales-with-postcards

In this modern era of electronic communication it is sometimes easy to forget about some of the more tangible and effective modes of communication like direct mail postcards. Using postcards in tandem with e-mail and web promotions as part of a broader campaign can help to bolster sales and keep in contact with important customers.

Over 100 billion pieces of “junk mail” get sent every year.  This shocking statistic should tell you two things. First of all, direct mail must have some degree of success if companies are continuing to spend billions of dollars on it each year. Secondly, with so much “junk mail” you will have to do something special in order to stand out and keep your direct mail from being considered “junk.”

You can help your direct mail postcard from being considered “junk” by doing some work before you even get your postcard designed. You can tailor your mailing list so that you are sending the postcard to a receptive audience. By crafting a targeted mailing list you can greatly reduce the percentage of readers who would have no interest or need for your product or service. Take some time to consider the niche groups or industries that would be most likely to have a special interest what you have to offer. Most mailing list vendors offer the option to select your targeted recipients by using NAICS codes that relate to certain industries. For example, if you are a Real Estate Lawyer that wants to reach Commercial Real Estate Property Mangers you could narrow your list down to the recipients that fall within that category. Categories can be broken down even further for even more refinement and targeting.

Secondly, you have to highlight the value that you are offering. Your headlines have to grab immediate attention by alerting your potential customers to the fact that you have something of value to offer them. Let them know how you can save them money, time or from some sort of inconvenient hassle. This encourages the viewer to read the rest of your message. DO NOT lead with headlines that highlight your services, company name or history. These are all secondary pieces of information that do not have strong enough sales appeal to warrant taking up valuable headline space.

Once you’ve established what your Unique Value Proposition is you can now fill the customer in on important details. Be sure to include only important information so that you can have enough negative space in your layout to allow the design to breathe. Sometimes overcrowding the layout with text can make the message hard to digest. Be economical and sparing with your choice of copy.

Finally, be sure to include a call to action urging your prospects to take the next step. Whether you want them to call to order, sign up for your newsletter, or visit your website, make it bold and clear. If possible, offer time sensitive incentives to encourage quick action. “Order by June 30th and Get 10% Off,” is a good example of this practice. This creates a sense of urgency and will push interested parties to act quickly in order to take advantage of the limited time offer that you’re offering.

Taking some time to plan your postcard campaign can really make a significant difference in your results. contact Promotion Lotion today for your postcard design and printing project.

e-brochure design

e brochure design

 

Custom e-brochure Design

What is an e-brochure?

An e-brochure is a digital brochure that can be emailed to potential clients or made available for download on your website or blog. Whatever your mode of digital delivery, one thing remains the same- NO PRINTING OR DELIVERY COSTS!

Benefits of an e-brochure

With an electronic brochure the ability to distribute it digitally saves you both printing and postage costs. Additionally, sudden changes to your message, pricing or contact info can be affordably and quickly modified without having to get a costly reprint.

Get a 4 page custom designed digital e-brochure for as low as $299.
This price includes cover design and 3 pages of content.

4 Simple Things You Can Do to Improve Sales This Year

give-sales-a-boost

1. Let Your Customers Know How Much They Are Appreciated

We all know that it costs much more to acquire new customers than it does to maintain loyal existing customers. I’m sure all of you are very appreciative of the patronage that allows your business to subsist and grow, especially in these trying times. Sometimes you get so caught up with your daily tasks that you forget about the simple things like saying “thank you” for giving you their business. Take time to write a note, send a postcard or give a call to your customers. A little bit of attention goes a long way towards building a loyal customer base.

2. Network, Network, Network

Give your business card to your doctor, your mailman, your babysitter, your accountant, your landscaper and anyone else who has pockets. You never know when they, or someone they know, will need your services. You are already a step ahead of your competitors by virtue of the fact that they already know you. This can have much more of an impact than you think because people will tend to do business with people that they already have some sort of a relationship with rather than blindly seeking out a new, unknown provider.

Conversely, you should always be looking to help your clients out by being receptive to situations where their services might be needed by someone you know. If you are confident in the competence of your client you should always be ready to send some business their way. They will really appreciate it and it will help solidify your relationship.

3. Tweak Your Message

Take some time to review what your marketing message is. Clearly define how you can benefit your customer in some way. Can you save them time? Can you alleviate some sort of burden? If so, state it clearly and concisely. Have you added something new? Make sure to rewrite your marketing copy to reflect new competencies, skill sets and services.

4. Update Your Look

Doing some sprucing up of your image can show your client base that things are going well and you are keeping up with the times. This exudes an air of competence and confidence. If your nephew designed your logo and brochure in 1999 make sure that it still represents the level you are at now. If not, make an investment in a minor face-lift that will help reap much larger rewards.

Get Your Slice of the Pie With Real Estate Marketing Brochures

real estate marketing brochures

No one has to be reminded about the current economic conditions and the impact on the real estate industry, but it is important to understand what this means to the people depending on many facets of this industry for their living.

If you are still working in this industry you are aware that is has not come to a complete standstill, but I’m sure you realize that the pie has become much smaller. More than ever, it is important to understand how to get your slice of that pie. Transactions are still taking place every day and with well thought out marketing you can position yourself or your business to be a major contender for all the potential business in your area.

Your potential customers are about to make a big investment and they need to feel comfortable and assured that you can be counted on to help them through the process. A lot of consumers are shell shocked and have become distrustful of the whole industry. It is imperative that you help to dispel their fears and convey to them that you are there to guide them through this frightening process.

Branding yourself as a compassionate and competent professional can greatly increase your success because people are more likely to follow through with people they trust. Remember that your potential clients are making big life decisions and they need to feel that you’re not only an expert in your field, but also that you are a compassionate, ethical professional who wouldn’t lead them astray.

You can start this branding process by developing a brochure that helps to radiate this concept. With sleek, stylistic, friendly and smart brochure design you can instill confidence in your clientele, bringing you closer to your goal of closing the deal. Brochures are ideal for this because you can neatly compartmentalize the three aspects that you are trying to convey which would be your integrity, competence and the value that you provide. If designed correctly a real estate brochure is well worth the investment.

Promotion Lotion will help with your brochure design and printing needs. All you need to do is contact us today! 1-877-568-4665