Friday, February 4, 2011

The benefits of buying locally

I've been thinking a lot lately about online internet printing...something that, in a sense, we offer, too, with our website and our online ordering and our online estimating. But I was thinking about why anyone would pick an online printer when they could pick us instead.

Is going to pick up the phone at 7 p.m. when you are having a crisis? Are they going to work on Super Bowl Sunday because you have a big presentation on Monday? No. But here is the other thing. They don't buy stuff from you. They don't send kids to your schools. They don't talk to you at the grocery store.

So what's a local printer to do? For that matter, what's the owner of any small, local company supposed to do when faced with larger or out-of-market competitors online?

For me, I decided to fight back... and I came up with a BRILLIANT plan. Ready? I'm going to offer you incredible service, incredible quality, and be incredibly responsive to you. Best of all, I'm going to do ALL of that at a fair price! I know -- IT'S UNBELIEVABLE!

Okay, I'm at the office, and I'm waiting for your call!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Social media sites are eager to answer your questions

Gotta question? Or maybe an answer? It seems more and more social media sites are listening. LinkedIn has long had a LinkedIn Answers feature, where people can ask business-related questions and get answers from experts in the community. Facebook added Facebook Questions late last year, and Quora, a relatively new kid on the block, is based entirely on questions and answers from members of its growing community.

Question and answer features provide an excellent opportunity for finding information and for setting yourself apart as an expert in your field. On Quora, for example, members can view questions based on topic, follow specific topics that interest them to see what others are asking, follow specific questions to see new answers as they appear, and rate answers, so the best answers work their way to the top of the heap. The Quora website is built on a structure similar to Wikipedia and uses moderators to ensure content is appropriate.

Starting out on any new social site can be a bit daunting. Before asking a new question on Quora, Facebook Questions, or a similar website, look for similar questions that have already been posted. With thousands of questions in place on virtually every topic under the sun, don't be surprised if your question has already been asked and answered. As you become more familiar with the site, start answering questions that fit your area of expertise. Engage with other users who share your interests, and stay involved.

For more information about Quora, visit To learn more about Facebook Questions, visit And to join the conversation at LinkedIn, go to

The surprising value of a lifelong customer

How many customers do you have? A florist might say 1,000. Printers -- well, we have a few, too, right? How much is your average sale? For realtors (according to Google) -- about $260,000. For florists (I'm guessing here) -- $100. Printers... well, you know what you spend with us.

So think about it this way:

The big money isn't in creating products; it's in creating customers. A single, lifelong customer who lives his life spending the way you want him to may be worth six or seven figures. A single one.

That guy who spends $2,500 a year with you is worth $60,000 over a lifetime (25 years). That means you only need SIXTEEN lifetime customers to reach a million dollars. Want $10 million? That is only 160 lifetime customers.

Yes, I know it doesn't work that way all the time, or for everyone. But I also know this. Customer loyalty counts. And that's worth a million every time.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Marketing Ideas for Real Estate

There are so many ways to market Real Estate Companies, Agents and the properties you sell. Here are some ideas that are easy to implement and are sure to increase your exposure.

#1: Flyers & Brochures: Flyers can be an essential part of selling a house. You should always have them in a flyer box at the house so that people can pick up information about the property at any time. Brochures are a great tool for information about you, your company and what you can bring to the table as their real estate agent. It is also a great tool for the high-end properties that have more amenities and more to feature.

#2: Postcards: Postcards are a great way to get the word out about a property or to keep in touch with new leads or past clients. They keep you top of mind when someone is looking to buy or sell a property and can peak someone's interest that may see a home they like and want to buy even if they weren't even in the market for a home at the time.

#3: Banners: When you have an Open House, why not add a banner to get attention at the property? You can get a generic banner that says something like "Come on in - Open House Today" or "Come see your new home today at our Open House" or something along those lines. That way you can use it for all of your properties when you have an Open House.

#4: Door Hangers: This is one way that will get you noticed and can work the same ways as a postcard if not even better. We all notice when there is a door hanger on our door, they are pretty hard to miss. The best way to get them to notice especially for houses is to put some prices of properties "Just Sold" in their area, what owner wouldn't want to know their homes value? Then it will peak their interest and maybe they will be ready to buy or sell.

#5: QR Codes: Those are the barcodes that look like puzzle pieces that are popping up everywhere nowadays. I would recommend adding sign riders that have the barcode on it so people can get instant information on their mobile phone, add it to business cards, flyers, brochures, door hangers, banners, postcards and any other marketing materials that you have. It is a quick and easy way to get information about the house for the buyers who might be interested and to also get your contact information, which just might get you that sale!

Hall Letter Shop can help you with all your marketing materials and can help you find ways to maximize your selling potential with the right tools for your real estate business. Call us at 877-322-0773 to see how we can help you!

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Nation's Mood, According to Twitter

Researchers using data from Twitter, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Google Maps API have mapped the mood of our nation over a three-year span, based primarily on what we tweeted about during that time. A joint venture of scientists at Harvard and Northeastern universities, the study looked at 300 million tweets sent between September 2006 and August 2009. Here are some of the findings:

* Tweeters tend to be happiest early in the morning (around 6:00am) and later in the day (around 10:30-11:00pm). Moods dip to their lowest in the early afternoon, then slowly begin to rise again.

* Not surprisingly, weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) are the happiest days of the week. In fact, Sunday morning ranks the highest overall.

* Thursday -- not Monday -- sees the lowest dip, on average, of any of the days. Our collective mood bottoms out on Thursday evenings, apparently.

Tweets were scored against the Affective Norms for English Words (ANEW) word list to determine their overall "mood." The researchers say they plan to continue their work into the future, with further breakdowns of weekday versus weekend moods.

More details can be found online at the study's website:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Marketing Ideas for Retail Businesses

There are many ways to market your retail business and increase your sales! Here are a few ideas to help you get started.

#1-Custom Tags & Labels: Stand out and brand all your merchandise! If you sell candy bars, have the wrapper label be customized with your name on it. If you sell clothes, have your own price tags made so everyone knows where it came from. If you sell other merchandise, get labels made to place on your merchandise so that the customer always remember where they got it from. These are just a few ideas, depending on your specific business, there may be many more ideas to brand your items.

#2-Banners: Have a banner made that you can post outside of your business to draw attention and lure customers to come in. Whether it is a grand opening or just to highlight specific merchandise, if the customer doesn't know you are there...they can't buy from you.

#3-Newsletters, Postcards & Brochures: Keep your customers informed with a mailed newsletter, postcard or brochure. It can give the sales information, new products, company news and anything else you want to share. It is a great way to keep you top of mind with your customers and have them coming back for more.

#4-Flyers: Get the word out about your company with flyers. Whether you are having someone distribute flyers or put them in the bags of your customers, they are another way of getting the attention of the customer if you are promoting a sale or new products or just trying to get them back into the store.

#5-Scratch-off Promotions: Give out scratch off tickets with prizes to your customers, you can give away small items that will get them to come back for more whether it is a discount or an item from your store.

Those are just some of the many ways to promote your retail business! Call us at Hall Letter Shop at 877-322-0773 to find out how we can help with the above strategies or for any other ideas to help market your business!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Marketing Ideas for Restaurants

So, I will touch on new ways to use marketing materials to advertise different types of business.

Let's start with restaurants. Having a restaurant can be alot of work whether it is small or large, marketing is on your mind but what can you do to get it started or expand it?

#1: Beautiful Menus: This is something that I think is sort of obvious but at the same time, there are many different ways you can use a menu to impress customers. Besides the font, images and the paper that you use, you can make it a unique shape such as in the shape of a bowl or plate, a slice of pizza, an animal or anything you wanted to that makes sense for your restaurant.

#2: Banners: A big banner outside your restaurant can catch the attention of people passing by! I know I notice banners when driving by a restaurant because it will have happy hour specials or discounts or grand opening information, etc.

#3: Door hangers: People will pay attention to what you put on their doors especially if it is a restaurant since they usually have discounts on them or might have delivery. Whether you are having a grand opening or have been around a long time, let people know you are there and ready to feed them great food!

#4: Scratch off tickets: Give out scratch off tickets with prizes to your customers, you can give away small items that will get them to come back for more whether it is a menu item or a drink or a item that you bought.

Those are just a few ideas. Visit us at for all your printing needs!