Archive for July, 2008

Jul 16th, 2008 No Comments

Save a tree and some money

It seems like every time I print a Web page or e-mail message the last page off the printer is mostly blank. Sometimes it just has an ad that I don’t need, or the last part of a privacy notice from an e-mail, or even just a page number. These extra pages get thrown away by the millions every day, wasting paper, toner, ink, time and money.

A company called GreenPrint Technologies has come up with a clever solution, at least for Windows computers. They have created a simple print driver that can be installed on any Windows machine. After that, whenever you print something you will first see a preview of the document, and the Green Print software has automatically highlighted those pages that it believes to be junk. It takes just a click to block one or more pages before it ever hits your printer.

The software is really easy to use. It lets you configure the type of pages it should block, for example blocking pages that only contain a single graphic, or blocking pages that only have a footer. It even keeps track of your savings over time. And there is a PDF feature so you can decide to create a PDF file instead of sending the document to your printer.

There are free (for home use) as well as paid (for business/commercial use) versions of Green Print. Install the software today and start doing your share to eliminate this micro-waste.

Jul 10th, 2008 No Comments

Refreshing, and Easy, Marketing Program Perfect for Summer

Summer is typically a slow time in business.  Customers are either frying at the beach, daydreaming about their trip to Paris, or thinking about their next barbecue.  Either way their mind isn’t really focused on buying whatever you’re selling.  So you can either write off the next couple of months, or have some fun with summer-themed marketing campaigns.

One of our clients came up with a perfect summer promotion – easy to implement, low cost, and most important, a quick response.  They are giving away gift cards for slushy drinks.  Here’s how it works:

  1. Assemble a mailing list of new prospects and/or existing customers that you don’t expect to see during the summer.
  2. Print postcards with a unique "secret code" on each one.
  3. Set up a Web page containing a survey, or just some product information, depending on your business.

You can see the current survey page we set up for this particular mailing here:

They control their cost because a "secret code" is required to claim the gift.  This also lets them control the geographic reach of the campaign – in this case they are targeting a corner of northern New Jersey.  And they only buy as many gift cards as they need, when they need them.

We can easily try different value gift cards, different mailing lists, and other options to stay in front of people all summer long.  For more flexibility the sales people can give out secret codes whenever they think it might help during a sales call.  And any prospects calling in on the phone can also be given codes if appropriate.

The secret code is also designed to help in tracking different approaches.  So each mailing/offer has a unique set of codes, and each sales person has their own set.

All the leads coming in from the Web site are automatically posted to a Zoho CRM system to track effectiveness, to help automate future mailings, and for easy follow up and tracking by sales people.

Our client in this case is the AlphaGraphics print shop in Montclair, NJ .  Call them at the number on the Web site above to ask about these summer promotions.  If you’re lucky they might even give you a secret code of your own.