Print Design Myrtle Beach

What You Need to Understand about Print Design Terms

Print Design Myrtle BeachIf you’ve ever worked with a design firm on a printed brochure or marketing collateral, it may seem like they’re speaking a foreign language. The print design world consists of many words and phrases that are unknown to the local business owner. However if you don’t comprehend the basic terminology, you could end with a printed piece that does not look the way you desire. Worse, it might cause the feared (and costly) reprint procedure – an outcome no one desires.

To assist in making certain your print jobs come out right the first time, here’s a basic glossary of crucial print design terms.

Bleed. Print design experts refer bleed as a design element that extends past the edge of the paper. Graphic designers indicate a bleed by setting up the document with a bleed mark, typically determining 0.125 inches past the trim area of the last printed piece.

CMYK.  Represents the ink combination most typically used in 4-color process or digital printing: cyan (blue), magenta, yellow and black (represented by the “K”). Images on print documents are printed in CMYK and must be converted from other color formats to CMYK prior to printing, unless it is a low-Pantone color run.

Pantone colors. Also referred to as Pantone Color Matching System (PMS), these consist of a set of universally accepted colors that every printer in the world can reproduce. Each Pantone color comes with RGB, CMYK, hexadecimal and Pantone color codes. Using these codes assists produce color consistency throughout digital and print business branding materials.

Crop marks. Printers typically fit several print pieces into one big sheet of paper. Crop marks suggest where the printer needs to make cuts to the last printed piece. They are likewise utilized to cut and separate the excess paper and other prints.

Digital printing. Likewise called 4-color procedure printing, digital printing is particularly for CMYK color. It is most cost-efficient for smaller amounts (for example 200 up to 1,000 pieces), as it requires less prep work for the printer.

Finish. This refers to the surface area quality of the paper used for the printed piece. Various kinds of paper have different surfaces, such as matte, appeal, glossy or textured surface. Typically utilized finishes consist of glossy and matte.

Balanced out printing. Offset printing is typically utilized for bigger print jobs of 1,000 pieces and up. The printer establishes a different plate for each color, and runs every print through each color plate to develop the last printed piece. This requires more setup on the part of the printer. However it allows both Pantone colors and CMYK to be utilized on the press, and allows for larger initial runs along with re-prints for larger jobs.

PPI/DPI. PPI  simply means “pixels per inch”; DPI represents “dots per inch.” Both are used to communicate to a printing device the resolution of images, and since they refer to the same measurement and can be used reciprocally. There are two basic PPI measurements, with 72ppi referring to the best resolution for a computer monitor, and 300ppi referring the best resolution for printed output.

Print file images should be at 300ppi prior to sending out to print; otherwise they will look pixilated and blurry. If 300ppi images are printing blurred, it means they are too few pixels for the image print location, and a larger image is needed. Making the image larger in Photoshop will not fix the pixilation issue.

RGB. RGB is an acronym for “red, green and blue” – the colors that comprise all the color mixes seen on a computer screen. Images and documents set for screen viewing are typically in RGB. In order to utilize the images for print, they must be transformed to CMYK in Photoshop. It likewise assists to make sure they’re at 300ppi, as images taken from the Internet are typically set to 72ppi and may not be large sufficient to print.

Proof. After prepping the last design files, the printer sets up a printing proof, which is typically a digital file in PDF format. Reviewing a print sample is necessary for determining any design or content-related issues prior to the piece being sent out to press. As soon as you authorize a proof, you cannot make anymore modifications. The very best method to examine the digital evidence file (if it’s a PDF) is to open it and view it carefully in Adobe Acrobat. Do not print it for evaluation on your office or home computer system, as these printers use different inks and not up to par with expert printers. Viewing the proof on a computer system screen is the closest you can get to the actual end product. Any differences will be minimal.

If your graphic designer uses a term you do not comprehend, always request an explanation. Both of you and your finished print piece will take advantage of a much better understanding of basic print design terms.

Contact UPS Printing for all your design needs.

Unlimited Printing & Signs
2408 Madison Drive Suite 101
North Myrtle Beach, SC  29582

Print Designers Myrtle Beach

Print Designers: Discovering The Best For Your Business

Print Designers Myrtle BeachA debate has evolved of the last decade over the value of conventional print media; do we really need print and print designers in a world significantly controlled by all things online? Although I can’t offer a definitive answer to this what I can say is this; in the time of our grandparents radio was the main medium of home entertainment but when the TV came along individuals quickly started to believe radio was on its way out yet decades later radio is still going strong. The premise is easy; simply because something new has come along doesn’t necessarily mean that our traditional ways need to go.

For this very reason, even in this day of Facebook marketing, email campaigns and Twitter trending, for numerous companies the need for and the level of success acquired by print marketing techniques cannot be ignored.

Although print may not work for every size business or be thought about as a viable marketing investment especially with the lack of the ability to track return on investment and the analytics might consider it unreliable; for many companies the ideal print product is important to a total marketing campaign.

From brochures to item catalogs to direct mail; both large name brand corporations, small businesses.  Retailers and even the brand-new SME‘s are openly accepting print marketing. From the start of the project with design to the print procedure however, it is very important to guarantee that you deal with the best group of print professionals.

Just like online marketing, print design needs experience, ability and understanding which cannot be so quickly accomplished without a skilled agency but how do you know you have made the right option? Whether new to print design or considering changing from your existing choice of printing company; the below suggestions may assist you to get a better understanding of simply what makes an excellent print company.

Choosing a Print Designer

Credibility– If there is something we can be specific about, it is that in today’s instantly linked world absolutely nothing remains secret for long, particularly a mistake which is why it is very important to investigate your selected firm’s credibility. Errors, poor service and a lack of skill will not remain hidden so do anyone doing a little digging. There are a variety of print design companies whose track records speak volume so ask to look at the kind of projects they have completed in the past, the number of and kind of business customers, the capability and the quality of the work that has been produced, you might even ask for customer references and follow up by asking for them to give you real insight into the firm. A good reputation says everything and if you discover a commercial printer that has one; it will certainly work in your favor.

Age– They say that age is however a number however, in the business world it is so much more. The longer a company has actually been around the more effective it will be, after-all with competitors increasing, just coming out of an economic downturn and small businesses far less likely to spend on marketing; a company that has stood the test of time is no doubt one that has actually produced quality work, offered unquestionable service and helped various companies to accomplish results. Ask your selected print design agency about the number of years they have actually be in the print business, the number of customers and obviously customer turnover in those years to assess a good insight into how they work.

Portfolio– With a lot of design firms competing for your attention and determined to obtain your company business you need to be aware of ways to compare those who can talk the talk and those who can walk the walk. No design agency should shy away from flaunting a portfolio of previous work as well as produce a sample in order to reveal top you just what they can do. Getting a mutual understanding of the skill and capacity of the firm is a great way to identify whether they are a best suitable for you.

Whatever the size of your business, there is no reason print ought to be eliminated from your marketing techniques, you just need the best firm to make it all work – from print design to complete full color printing!

UPS Printing, Marketing and Design is here to help you not only with the printing of your marketing materials but also the design. We offer full print design services for any size project. Call us today to schedule a convenient time to discuss your marketing project.

Unlimited Printing & Signs
2408 Madison Drive Suite 101
North Myrtle Beach, SC  29582


Direct Mail

6 More Common Direct Mail Mistakes

Direct MailLast we covered the first six mistakes for a success direct mail campaign. Here are six more areas to avoid to get the response you need.

Mistake No. 7: Saving the best for last

Some copywriters save their strongest sales pitch for last, starting slow in their sales letters and hoping to build to a climactic conclusion.

A mistake. Leo Bott, Jr., a Chicago-based mail-order writer, says that the typical prospect reads for five seconds before he decides whether to continue reading or throw your mailing in the trash. The letter must grab his attention immediately. So start your letter with your strongest sales point.

Some examples of powerful openings:

“14 things that can go wrong in your company – and one sure way to prevent them” – an envelope teaser for a mailing that sold a manual on internal auditing procedures.

“A special invitation to the hero of American business” – from a subscription letter for Inc. magazine.

“Can 193,750 millionaires be wrong?” – an envelope teaser for a subscription mailing for Financial World magazine.

“Dear Friend: I’m fed up with the legal system. I want to change it, and I think you do, too.” – the lead paragraph of a fund-raising letter.

Some time-testing opening gambits for sales letters include:

  • asking a provocative question
  • going straight to the heart of the reader’s most pressing problem or concern
  • arousing curiosity
  • leading off with a fascinating fact or incredible statistic
  • Starting the offer up-front, especially if it involves money; saving it, getting something for an incredibly low price, or making a free offer

Know the “hot spots” of your direct mail package – the paces that get the most readership. Those include: the first paragraphs of the letter, its subheads, its last paragraph and the post-script (80% of readers look at the PS); the brochure cover, its subheads and the headline of its inside spread; picture captions; and the headline and copy on the order form or reply card. Put your strongest selling copy in those spots.

Error No. 8: Poor follow-up

direct mail followupRecently a company phoned to ask whether I was interested in buying its product, which was promoted in a mailing I’d answered. The caller became indignant when I confessed that I didn’t remember the company’s copy, its product, its mailing, or whether it sent me a brochure.

“When did I request the brochure?” I asked. The caller checked her records. “About 14 weeks ago,” she replied.

Hot leads rapidly turn ice cold when not followed up quickly. Slow fulfillment, poor marketing literature and inept telemarketing can destroy the initial interest that you worked so hard to build.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself about your current inquiry fulfillment procedures:

  • Am I filling order or requests for information with 48 hours?
  • Am I using telephone follow-up or mail questionnaires to qualify prospects? By my definition, an inquiry is a response to your mailing. A lead is a qualified inquirer – someone who fits the descriptive profile of a potential customer for your product. You are after leads, not just inquiries.
  • Am I sending additional mailings to people who did not respond to my first mailing? Test that. Many people who did not respond to mailing No. 1 may send back the reply card from mailing No. 2, or even No. 3.
  • Am I using telemarketing to turn nonresponders into responders? Direct mail followed by telemarketing generates two to 10 times more response than direct mail with no telephone follow-up, according to Dwight Reichard, telemarketing director of Federated Investors Inc., Pittsburgh.
  • Does my inquiry fulfillment package include a strong sales letter telling the prospect what to do next? Every package should.
  • Does my inquiry fulfillment package include a reply element, such as an order form or spec sheet?
  • Does my sales brochure give the reader the information he needs to make an intelligent decision about taking the next step in the buying process? The most common complaints I hear from prospects is that the brochures they receive do not contain enough technical and price information.

Don’t put 100% of your time and effort into lead-generating mailing and 0% into the follow-up, as so many mailers do. You have to keep selling, every step of the way.

Error No. 9: The magic words

This mistake is not using the magic words that can dramatically increase the response to your mailing.

General advertisers, operating under the mistaken notion that the mission of the copywriter is to be creative, avoid the magic words of direct mail, because they think those magic phrases are clichés.

But just because a word or phrase is used frequently doesn’t mean that it has lost its power to achieve your communications objective. In conversation, for example, “please” and “thank you” never go out of style.

What are the magic words of direct mail?

Free. Say free brochure. Not brochure. Say free consultation. Not initial consultation. Say free gift. Not gift.

If the English teacher in you objects that “free gift” is redundant, let me tell you a story. A mail-order firm tested two packages. The only difference was that package “A” offered a gift while package “B” offered a free gift.

The result? You guessed it. The free gift order in package “B” significantly out pulled package “A”. What’s more, many people who received package “A” wrote in and asked whether the gift was free!

No Obligation. Important when you are offering anything free. If prospects aren’t obligated to use your firm’s wastewater treatment services after you analyze their water sample for free, say so. People want to be reassured that there are no strings attached.

No salesperson will call. If true, a fantastic phrase that can increase response by 10% or more. Most people, including genuine prospects, hate being called by salespeople over the phone. Warning: Don’t say “no salesperson will call” if you do plan to follow up by phone. People won’t buy from liars.

Details inside/See inside. One of those should follow any teaser copy on the outer envelope. You need a phrase that directs the reader to the inside.

Limited time only. People who put your mailing aside for later reading or file it will probably never respond. The trick is to generate a response now. One way to do it is with a time-limited offer, either generic (“This offer is for a limited time only.”), or specific (“This offer expires 9/20/87.”). Try it!

Announcing/At last. People like to think they are getting in on the ground floor of a new thing. Making your mailing an announcement increases its attention-getting powers.

New. “New” is sheer magic in consumer mailings. But it’s a double-edged sword in industrial mailings. On the one hand, business and technical buyers want something new. On the other hand, they demand products with proven performance.

The solution? Explain that your product is new or available to them for the first time, but proven elsewhere – either in another country, another application, or another industry. For example, when we introduced a diagnostic display system, we advertised it as “new” to US hospitals but explained it had been used successfully for five years in leading hospitals throughout Europe.

Error No. 10: Starting with the product – not the prospect.

You and your products are not important to the prospect. The reader opening your sales letter only wants to know, “What’s in it for me? How will I come out ahead by doing business with you vs. Someone else?”

Successful direct mail focuses on the prospect, not the product. The most useful background research you can do is to ask your typical prospect, “What’s the biggest problem you have right now?” The sales letter should talk about that problem, then promise a solution.

Do not guess what is going on in industries about which you have limited knowledge. Instead, talk to customers and prospects to find out their needs. Read the same publications and attend the same seminars they do. Try to learn their problems and concerns.

Too many companies and ad agencies don’t do that. Too many copywriters operate in a black box, and doom themselves merely to recycling data already found in existing brochures.

For example, let’s say you have the assignment of writing a direct-mail package selling weed control chemicals to farmers. Do you know what farmers look for in weed control, or why they choose one supplier over another? Unless you are a farmer, you probably don’t. Wouldn’t it help to speak to some farmers and learn more about their situation?

Read, talk and listen to find out what’s going on with your customers.

In his book “Or Your Money Back,” Alvin Eicoff, one of the deans of late night television commercials, tells the story of a radio commercial he wrote selling rat poison. It worked well in the consumer market. But when it was aimed at the farm market, sales turned up zero.

Mr. Eicoff drove out to the country to talk with farmers. His finding? Farmers didn’t order because they were embarrassed about having a rat problem, and feared their neighbors would learn about it when the poison was delivered by mail.

He added a single sentence to the radio script, which said that the rat poison was mailed in a plain brown wrapper. After that, sales soared.

Talk to your customers. Good direct mail–or any ad copy–should tell them what they want to hear. Not what you think is important.

Error No. 11: Failing to appeal to all five senses.

Direct Mail North Myrtle BeachUnlike an ad, which is two-dimensional, direct mail is three-dimensional and can appeal to all five senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste. Yet most users of direct mail fail to take advantage of the medium’s added dimension.

Don’t plan a mailing without at least thinking about whether you can make it more powerful by adding a solid object, fragrance or even a sound. You ultimately may reject such enhancements because of time and budget constraints. But here are some ideas you might consider:

Audio Recording. In selling summaries of business books recorded on CD or DVD, Macmillan Software Co. sent an CD in a cold mailing to prospects. This allows the prospect to sample the books-on-tape program. I would have said, “Too expensive.” But inside information, and the fact that I got the package twice, tell me it’s working for them.

Do you have a powerful message that a company spokesperson can deliver in dynamic fashion to your audience? Consider adding a CD to your package.

Video. Some companies are taking the idea one step further and mailing DVDs cold to prospects. Again, that’s expensive–but successful in many instances. One company I spoke to got a 30% response to such a program. And in telephone follow-up, they learned that 95% watched the tape.

Pop-ups. Chris Crowell, president of Essex, Conn.-based Structural Graphics Inc., says pop-ups can increase response up to 40% when compared with a conventional flat mailing. You can have a pop-up custom designed for your mailing or choose from one of many “stock” designs available.

Money. Market research firms have discovered that enclosing a dollar bill with a market research survey can increase response by a factor of five or more, even though $1 is surely of no consequence to business executives or most consumers. Has anyone tried using money to get attention in a lead getting industrial mailing?

Sound. Have you seen the greeting cards that play a song when you open them because of an implanted chip or some similar device? I think that certainly would get attention. But as far as I know, no one has used it yet in direct mail.

Product samples. Don’t neglect this old standard. Enclose a product or material sample in your next mailing. We once did a mailing in which we enclosed a small sample of knitted wire mesh used in pollution control and product recovery. Engineers who received the mailing kept that bit of wire on their desks for months.

Premiums. An inexpensive gift such as a slide guide, measuring tape, ruler or thermometer can still work well.

One recommendation and warning: A lot of us, including me, need to be a little more imaginative if we want our mailing package to stand out in the prospect’s crowded mailbox. At the same time, we must remember that creativity can enhance a strong selling message or idea but cannot substitute for it. As copywriter Herschell Gordon Lewis, president of Communicomp in Plantation, Fla., warns, “Cleverness for the sake of cleverness may well be a liability, not an asset.”

Error No. 12: Creating and reviewing direct mail by committee

Do you know what a moose is? It’s a cow designed by a committee.

Perhaps the biggest problem I see today is direct mail being reviewed by committees made up of people who have no idea (a) what direct mail is; (b) how it works; or (c) what it can and cannot do.

For example, an ad agency creative director told me how his client cut a three-page sales letter to a single page because, as the client insisted, “Business people don’t read long letters.”

Unfortunately, that’s an assumption based on the client’s own personal prejudices and reading habits. It is not a fact. In many business-to-business direct mail tests, I have seen long letters outpull short ones sometimes dramatically.

Why pay experts to create mailings based on long years of trial-and-error experience, then deprive yourself of that knowledge base by letting personal opinions get in the way?


Now that you have a good idea of what goes into a successful sales campaign – let’s   talk about the specific of your direct mail project. Call today for a free no-obligation consultation.

Unlimited Printing & Signs
2408 Madison Drive Suite 101
North Myrtle Beach, SC  29582

Mail Marketing North Myrtle Beach

The 6 Most Typical Direct-mail Advertising Errors

Mail Marketing North Myrtle BeachEffective direct mail doesn’t depend on expensive, four-color design or overly creative copy. Below are 6 errors that businesses often make with direct mail. Next week we will share six more.

Error No. 1: Neglecting the most important factor in direct-mail advertising success

Do you know what the most important part of your direct mail campaign is? It’s not the copy. It’s not the art work. It’s not even the format or when you mail. It is the mailing list.

A great mailing plan, with superior copy and scintillating design, may pull double the response of an inadequately conceived mailing. But the best list can pull a response 10 times more than the worst list for the identical mailing piece.

The most common direct-mail mistake is not investing sufficient time and effort up-front, when you select – and after that test – the right lists.

Remember: In direct marketing, a subscriber list is not just a way of reaching your market. It is the marketplace.

The best list available to you is your “home” list – a list of customers and prospects who formerly bought from you or reacted to your advertisements, public relations projects, or other mailings. Normally, your home list will pull double the response of an unsolicited list. Yet, less than half of all business marketers surveyed failed to capture and use consumer and prospect names for mailing purposes.

When leasing outside lists, get your advertising agency or list broker involved in the early stages. The mailing piece ought to not be written and developed until after the right lists have been organized. UPS Printing, Marketing and Design will work with you to ensure you are getting the right list for your target direct mail piece.

Error No. 2: Not testing

Big customer mailers check all the time. Publishers Clearinghouse tests almost everything … even (I hear) the slant of the indicia on the external envelope.

Business-to-business marketers, on the other hand, rarely track reaction or test one mailing piece to a specific list against another.

As a result, they repeat their past failures and have no concept of what works in direct mail – and what doesn’t work. Big Mistake. In direct mail, you never presume you understand exactly what will work. You need to evaluate to learn.

For instance, copywriter Milt Pierce wrote a subscription package for Good Housekeeping magazine. His mailing became the “control” package for over 25 years. That is, no package tested against it brought back as many subscriptions.

The envelope teaser and theme of that effective mailing was “32 Ways to Save Time and Money.” Yet, Mr. Pierce states that when he used the very same style to subscription mailings for other magazines – Science Digest, Popular Mechanics, House Beautiful – it failed miserably.

“There are no catch-all answers in direct-mail advertising other than to test responses,” says Eugene Schwartz, author of the book, “Break-through Advertising.” “You don’t know whether something will work up until you test it. And you cannot predict test results based upon previous experience.”

Error No. 3: Not utilizing a letter in your mailing plan

The sales letter – not the outer envelope, the brochure, or perhaps the reply form – is the most vital part of a business-to-business direct-mail package.

A bundle with a letter will nearly always out pull a postcard, a self-mailer, or a pamphlet or advertisement reprint mailed without a letter.

Just recently, a business evaluated two bundles offering, for $1, a copy of its mail-order tool brochure. Plan “A” included a sales letter and reply card. Bundle “B” was a double post-card. The outcome? “A” out pulled “B” by a 3-to-1 ratio.

Why do letters pull so well? Due to the fact that a letter gives the illusion of personal interaction. We are trained to view letters as “real” mail, pamphlets as “advertising.” Which is more important to you?

One suggestion I typically provide clients is to attempt an old-fashioned sales letter initially. Go to a fancier piece when you begin making some money.

Mistake No. 4: Features vs Benefits

Perhaps the oldest and most commonly welcomed guideline for composing direct-mail copy is, “Stress benefits, not features.” However in business-to-business marketing, that doesn’t always apply.

In specific scenarios, features need to be provided equivalent (if not top) billing over benefits.

For instance, if you’ve ever marketed semiconductors, you know that design engineers are starving for specs. They want hard information on power distribution, drain-source, voltage, input capacitance, and rise-and-fall time … not broad advertising claims about how the item conserves money and time or enhances efficiency.

Vivian Sudhalter, Director of Marketing for New York-based Macmillan Software Co., agrees.

” Regardless of what tradition tells you,” states Ms. Sudhalter, “the science and engineering marketplace does not respond to guarantee – or a list of benefits – oriented copy. They respond to facts. Your response piece needs to tell them precisely what they are getting and what your product or service can do. Scientists and engineers resent copy that sounds like advertising jargon.”

In that same line, I believe that medical practitioners are swayed more by complex medical data than by advertising claims, and that industrial chemists are eager to learn more about complicated formulas that the typical advertising author might turn down as “too technical.”

In short, the copywriter’s real difficulty is to learn exactly what the customer wants to know about your product or service – then inform him in your mailing.

Error No. 5: Not having a call-to-action

An call-to-action is what the reader will receive when they responds to your mailing.

To be successful, a direct-mail bundle must sell what you are offering, not the product or service itself. For example, if I send by mail a letter describing a new mainframe computer system, my letter is not going to do the whole job of convincing individuals to buy my computer. But the letter is capable of swaying some people to at least show interest by requesting a complimentary brochure about the computer.

Ensure you have a well-thought-out offer in every mailing. If you believe the offer and the way you explain it are unimportant, you are incorrect.

A free-lance copywriter recently ran an advertisement in the Wall Street Journal that offered a complimentary portfolio of post reprints about direct mail. He received dozens of replies. Then he ran a similar advertisement, but charged $3 for the portfolio instead of giving it away. Variety of responses that time? Just 3.

Here are some effective offers for industrial direct mail: Free pamphlet, free technical info, totally free analysis, free consultation, free demonstration, free trial usage, free item sample, free brochure.

Your copy must state the offer in such a way that it increases the reader’s desire to send for whatever it is you offer. For instance, a brochure ends up being a product guide. A collection of sales brochures ends up being a free information package. A list ends up being a convention organizer’s guide. An article reprinted in pamphlet form becomes “our new, informative brochure-‘ Ways to Avoid Computer system Failures.'”.

From now on, design your literature with titles and information that will make them work well as offers in direct-mail advertising. A simple change such as a brochure listing United States software programs offered for export overseas, could be changed to call the book “The Worldwide Directory site of US Software application,” because people would think such a directory was more valuable than a mere product brochure.

Error No. 6: Shallow copy

Nothing kills the selling power of a business-to-business mailing much faster than lack of content.

An example is what I call the “art director’s sales brochure.” You have actually seen them: Display pieces predestined to win awards for graphic quality. Pamphlets so gorgeous that everybody falls in love with them – until they finally understand that people send for information, not beautiful pictures. Which is why typewritten, unillustrated sales pamphlets can frequently pull double the reaction of expensive, four-color work.

In the same way, business-to-business direct mail is not tantalizing. Its objective is not to be remembered or make an impact, however to create a response now.

One of the quickest methods to kill that response is to be superficial. To talk in vague generalities, rather than specifics. To rattle on without authority on a subject, instead of showing consumers that you comprehend their problems, their industry and their requirements.

To compose strong copy – direct, factual copy – you need to dig for truths. You have to study the product, the prospect and the marketing problem. There is no way around this. Without strong facts, you cannot write great copy. But with the facts at their fingertips, even average copywriters can do a good job.

Just how much research study suffices? Follow Bly’s Rule, which says you should gather at least twice as many details as you need – ideally three times as much. Then you have the luxury of choosing only the best facts, rather trying frantically to discover enough information to fill the page.

Next week we will discuss six additional direct marketing errors and how to avoid them.

Are you ready to market your business with direct mail? Give UPS Printing, Marketing and Design a call today. We can assist you with finding the best list, creating the direct mail packet and testing the response.

Unlimited Printing & Signs
2408 Madison Drive Suite 101
North Myrtle Beach, SC  29582

Business Owners North Myrtle Beach

8 Highly Effective Success Tips for Business Owners

Business Owners North Myrtle BeachBelow are a few tips that have helped me to become a better and more successful business owner. Being a business owner suggests that you’re frequently forging your own path: No professional guides, counselors or maps will assist you from one action to the next: You’ll have to make it up as you go. I’ve been in business for most of my adult life and it’s the only career I’ve ever understood. In a way, that makes me fortunate: I have actually become not only comfortable with, however in fact proficient at, advancing into unchartered areas.

However, like everyone else, I have actually dealt with moments of doubt and unpredictability and lots of sleep deprived nights. As I recall the actions that led me from my very first sale– to assorted entrepreneurial endeavors today, some common themes emerge.

  1. Keep the main vision in sight

Your vision will take you far. I put this tip first due to the fact that when things go wrong on the course to your success, and they will, keeping the big picture in mind will enable you to guide your way back to an effective course. It may not always be the course you pictured, however your vision becomes your guiding light, which in turn helps you orient yourself to the darkness. Your vision is your “why”, your foundation or compass, lighting the way forward.

  1. Fuel your vision with perseverance

Exactly what should go hand-in-hand with a big vision is the perseverance you’ll have to keep moving forward. If you are a video game enthusiast, you have probably played Game of Thrones. There was an excellent line in one episode when Stannis Baratheon was being advised about the lack of wisdom in starting a battle in the snow. He responded: “We march to success or we march to defeat, but we move forward, only forward.”

Sometimes, when things get challenging on your course as a business owner, you need to commit yourself to moving on, no matter the discomfort and worry surrounding the next steps. When you fuel your vision with determination and the spirit of “only forward,” you ultimately satisfy your success.

  1. Make a strategy, but be flexible

You require a couple of sets of strategies, even if each is just a couple of pages. A company strategy, with an accompanying marketing overview, are necessary blueprints for success. They assist you map out the major landmarks of the roadway ahead, specify your success and break the journey into important metrics you can track your progress forward.

I’m not one for an elaborate multi-page strategy nobody will read, however I do suggest a more modest plan that can serve as your standard user’s manual and hold you responsible to specific numbers. The fact I do not support highly detailed plans is that I think you need the flexibility to alter the course as needed. Sometimes, huge modifications to the plan will be needed.

  1. Accept your know-how

If you’re currently innately good at something, or have a skill set, accept it. Don’t attempt to be all things for all aspects of your company. Hire out or sign contracts with firms for the things you can’t do, like developing a print marketing plan, and focus on your strengths as frequently as possible. Don’t be a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none.

  1. Don’t reinvent the wheel

What is currently working in other people’s business models, in your market, in software applications and other business operations that you can replicate instead of re-create? Don’t waste your time trying to establish systems when you can merely acquire and set up one, conserving precious time and spending little money. But in some cases the best choice is to take on the cost of some good systems so you don’t need to lose time and make errors constructing your very own.

  1. Don’t burn out

This isn’t simply a stagnant recommendation: Your health is actually the most important thing in your life. When your body gives out, you’re done. Your heart does not care how good a business you have; your circulatory system isn’t really all that impressed with your money or accomplishments … you get the point. Personally, I attempt to eat good food, get enough sleep and take as much time as I can manage day by day to laugh with my friends and volunteer for good causes.

You will burn out if you sacrifice your physical and mental health on the altar of your business. So, take care of yourself.

  1. Leverage everything

Life hacks may appear like just viral fodder on the internet, however they can teach an essential mini-lesson to take advantage of. When you use leverage to your advantage in every element of your life, you go further, faster. Take advantage of outsourced assistance to simplify tasks and use traffic time for essential calls and touching base with clients. Take advantage of down time waiting anywhere (the doctor’s office, dropping off or picking up your kids from school, your mechanic’s waiting room, your airline air travel) to get stuff done.

  1. Keep your funny bone

If you cannot laugh at yourself, you’re losing out. I was virtually asleep the other night when I thought about a funny event that had taken place earlier that day, and I all of a sudden found myself vibrating with laughter so loud I had a side ache.

Laughing is an excellent cure to diffuse stress, instill some lightheartedness into life and get some perspective on the fact that, hello, this is only life after all– you don’t need to take it so seriously.

So, attempt to laugh more and stress a little less. It enhances your psychological and mental wellness, keeps other people from getting under your skin and keeps you cool and collected, plus a lot more fun to be around.

Networking is one event that has helped me grow my business. On Wednesday mornings I meet with a group of like-minded business owners and we exchange referrals and tips on business. One of our group members is Bob Stinson a business coach with RLS Focused Solutions. He has helped me define my business vision and he can help you too.

Give us a call for assistance with anything from business cards & brochures to banners. We are here to help you be successful.

Unlimited Printing & Signs
2408 Madison Drive Suite 101
North Myrtle Beach, SC  29582

Booth Signs Myrtle Beach

Exhibitor Best Practices for Booth Signs

Booth Signs Myrtle BeachAn appealing trade show display is not all about vibrant colors, loud graphics and fancy lights. It’s about a simple and crisp design that speaks a clear message to your audience

Table Cover- The fundamentals of an effective table cover are very important. If you aren’t provided a table cover by the expo promoters, or don’t like the ones provided, here are some suggestions. Good throws conceal dirt, match business brand name colors, do not wrinkle quickly, and are washable. Alternatives are a conventional table top throw, fitted throws that aesthetically deliver various appealing shapes (rectangular, cylinder, curves), or the basic use of a runner placed in the center of the table. Most individuals who invest in a fitted cover also buy the table in the appropriate size. Then they aren’t at the mercy of what the venue offers in the booths. Custom-made printing on the cover provides a much more professional image. A basic option is simply one or two colors printed on a contrasting color fabric. Leading grade table toppers are printed full color and with complete bleed.

Pop-up Display – these come in a vast range of sizes and shapes with differing costs. Whatever you pick, make certain you have an eye-catching design for your booth to set it apart from your rivals. For this, here are some important rules:

  1. a) Make your text and logo clearly visible and legible from a distance of 10 feet
    b) Limit bullet points to 10 words or less
    c) Make certain your logo is easy and can be seen from any direction
    d) Use visuals that show emotions to draw in a crowd

Retractable Banners – For graphics, make sure you are using a high resolution file; otherwise, anything printed will look pixilated. Also, contrast on your banner is an excellent way to make it stand out, like a strong color logo set against a plain background. Remember to keep your color pattern simple, but if you are going for a contrasting scenario, two contrasting colors can be very effective.

Hanging Banners – Considering that it’s simple for any tradeshow booth to get lost in the crowd, hanging banners are the best method to get interest and show people where you are located. Hung well, they can be seen any where across the convention area. You can purchase just a frame, or get a kit that consists of the printed banners with the frame. You will want to coordinate the setup with the show planners in advance because these banners can take time to setup.

Floor graphics – Also referred to as floor decals or brand name aids, these can be personalized to show your brand on the floor and other surfaces as a guide for guests to find your booth. You can likewise make this an add-on to other types of signage for a more a competitive advertising method. A popular and enjoyable example is to put an invitation and footprints on the floor that lead to your booth.

Mounted Posters – These are posters that show your products, client quotes, reviews, etc. They serve different functions, such as educating the prospect, notifying the person waiting in line, or supporting the vendor as a conversation tool for discussing exactly what they offer. If you desire your tradeshow booth to stick out from your rivals, a stylish personnel and a terrific item only enter into play if you have a booth signs that can attract audience interest. This is precisely the reason why booth signs design is among the most crucial parts for your tradeshow success. Your design needs to really draw in people and get them thinking “Hmm … intriguing, I have to examine this more closely.” Without this happening, your product doesn’t get the direct exposure it should have.

You have spent the money to participate in a trade show and you will also be investing a lot of time. Make sure that the signs and banners are effective. Call us well in advance of your trade show date so we can help you design signage that will be effective.

Unlimited Printing & Signs
2408 Madison Drive Suite 101
North Myrtle Beach, SC  29582

Marketing North Myrtle Beach

Effective Small Business Marketing Strategies

Marketing North Myrtle BeachEffective marketing of а business іѕ thе  measure of how well уоu understand thе market needs. Marketing а small business іѕ аbоut reaching оut tо thаt client whо іѕ nоt satisfied bу big business offers. Small business muѕt bе focused оn thе client аnd nоt on sales tо achieve targets.

Understanding Marketing

99% оf marketing іѕ focused оn getting thе sales thrоugh, wіthоut understanding thе requirements оf thе customer. Nеvеrthеlеѕѕ, thеѕе ventures have average market sales. If а small entity іѕ marketing іtѕ products expertly, іt wоuld result іn huge sales figures. Your potential buyer needs tо understand whу hе needs tо buy thе product. Consider а simple example оf аn impressive marketing skill: A man walks into а shop tо buy а pair оf shoes. Thе sales representative starts pitching thе man аbоut thе advantages оf thе shoes оn sale. Thе man tries few аnd moves tо а new shop. In thе new shop, thе sales representative inquires аbоut thе kind оf shoes thе man uѕuаllу wears, thе purpose fоr whісh hе needs thе shoes, whеthеr fоr trekking оr fоr office uѕе, аnd guides hіm ассоrdіnglу. Thе man walks оut оf thе shop wіth а highly priced pair оf shoes! Thе moral оf thе story іѕ; how уоu sell уоur product matters more thаn whаt уоu sell!

Thе Way Forward

Thе most effective strategies tо embark оn а business marketing journey аrе аѕ follows:

Thе ideal way tо get а sale thrоugh, іѕ tо think frоm thе customer’s perspective. Whаt qualities уоu wоuld look fоr, іf уоu wеrе tо buy а product? Whаt wіll compel уоu tо go аnd buy іt? Thеrеfore, thе foremost tip fоr а competent small business, іѕ understanding thе needs оf уоur customer. If thеrе іѕ none, develop ways tо create needs.

Creation оr identification оf wants іѕ just thе first step іn setting uр а marketing strategy. Developing thоѕе needs involves а detailed study оf thе market. Once уоu understand thе needs оf thе purchaser, brainstorm оn thе challenge. How wіll уоur commodity satisfy customer requirements іn thе best way? Initially, thе customer іѕ skeptical аbоut each аnd еvеrу kind оf marketing. Identify thеіr requirements better thаn уоur competitors аnd work оn уоur product. Determine аll thе features whісh give уоur work, а clear competitive advantage аnd market thеm vigorously.

Thе toughest part оf а business іѕ getting thе first sale done. Thе patronage thаt а product receives, іѕ determined bу thе first sale. It саn еіthеr open а whоlе new set оf avenues tо look forward tо оr еnd thе future оf уоur product. Thеrеfore, ensure а decent аnd а lasting first impression оf уоur brand. A customer’s opinion іѕ thе most crucial factor contributing tо thе success оf а business.

In order tо comprehend thе market needs аnd make а sale, уоu саn follow thе given steps:

  • Divide thе entire potential market into business segments, ѕuсh аѕ geographical location оf thе buyers, thеіr income class оr thе targeted sex аnd age group.
  • Always have а blueprint оf developing уоur customer base аnd expanding thе business. Developing а targeted, systematic аnd wеll-researched plan іѕ а compelling need fоr running а small business.
  • Make regular case studies, get testimonials оr trials оf thе market. Understanding thе market sentiment іѕ аlѕо а vital marketing strategy.

Thе business model fоr а small endeavor іѕ quіtе different frоm а large one. Thе biggest constraint іn following thе аbоvе mentioned steps wоuld bе thе finances involved. Giant businesses have better market access, а solid political backing аnd favorable laws. Hеnсе, іt іѕ mandatory fоr а small business tо market іtѕеlf effectively аnd аt thе same time, sustain hostile conditions. Small business have аn advantage оf being vibrant, competitive аnd flexible, making thеm more adaptable tо changes.

Sоmе simple cost-effective techniques tо perform а market survey аrе:

Get thе local population involved іn marketing аnd surveys. It always pays, tо have people frоm уоur customer base, tо bе а part оf thе business development process. Select people wіth а positive mindset whо wіll constantly strive tо deliver thеіr best.

Arrange regular interaction sessions wіth thе pool оf buyer’s. Create а neutral platform whеrе people саn get together аnd discuss thе product. Thіѕ wіll bring forth ѕоmе useful feedback.

Assign а dedicated set оf individuals tо get regular inputs аbоut thе ‘ground situation’. Always have а loyal client base tо report оn thе general opinion аbоut thе brand. If people get whаt thеу need, уоu wіll receive thе best results fоr уоur business. Thе underlying principle іѕ tо value уоur customers. Organizations like Walmart, Microsoft, McDonald’s оr Google started аѕ small businesses. Thеу made іt big bесаuѕе оf thеіr special consideration tо identifying аnd valuing thе customer requirements.

Studies show thаt small businesses whісh follow а wеll-defined marketing plan, perform 30% better thаn thе others. Once уоu have created уоur unique selling point, maintain thе attributes оf уоur product. A very ironic step tо increase уоur business іѕ tо narrow уоur focus оn а dedicated pool оf buyers. Understand уоur regular аnd niche customers аnd keep thеm interested іn уоur product. Many businesses have failed tо grow іn pursuit оf expanding аnd іn thе process, compromising thеіr existing customers. Thеrе іѕ always а particular segment оf buyers, whо аrе wіllіng tо buy уоur product. Focus уоur sales аnd marketing efforts оn thіѕ niche market. In thіѕ way, уоur efforts wоuld bе concentrated аnd fruitful.

Common lapses tо avoid іn marketing а small business аrе:

Avoid double standards іf уоu wish tо succeed іn thе long run. In а business, thеrе аrе certain times whеn уоu wоuld bе lured into compromising thе quality аnd deliver а ѕub-standard stock based оn popular advertising. Consistency wіth respect tо thе marketing campaign аnd always delivering whаt іѕ being promised, аrе thе major characteristics оf а successful business model.

Random аnd infrequent marketing wіll nоt produce thе desired results; ѕо make а sustained аnd coordinated effort tо increase sales. Nеvеr underestimate thе cost involved аt different stages оf selling уоur commodity.

It іѕ uѕuаllу аn assumption аmоng many businesses thаt, іf thеіr product іѕ better thаn thеіr competitor’s, іt wіll sell bу іtѕеlf. Suсh assumptions саn adversely affect thе venture. Even аn established business has tо market effectively, ѕо thаt іt саn remain іn profit аnd develop new customers.

Nеvеr rely completely оn sales representatives оr paid advertisements. Thеіr main aim іѕ tо get thеіr own sale thrоugh, аnd hеnсе wіll nеvеr give а true account оf thе market activities. Make sure уоu have а disciplined аnd dedicated system tо track thе market аnd а marketing process оf уоur own.

Evеrу successful business has one common facet аnd thаt іѕ, adherence tо business ethics even іn times оf crisis. A broad аnd matured perspective іѕ thе most important virtue, fоr marketing а small business effectively. A calm аnd focused mind іѕ required tо tide оvеr thе sea оf uncertainty thаt prevails today. Hеrе’ѕ wishing уоu thе best sales іn уоur business venture.

Give me a call once you have defined what makes your business different from your competitors and we will work on a print marketing campaign that makes sense for your business.

Unlimited Printing & Signs
2408 Madison Drive Suite 101
North Myrtle Beach, SC  29582

Brochure North Myrtle Beach

Ways to Make A Good Brochure Even Better

Brochure North Myrtle BeachBrochures prevail as marketing tools. Consumers expect and ask for brochures. They fit nicely in conventional envelopes for mailing, in brochure racks for displaying, and in your hand for passing out. Some businesses and sales people utilize their brochures often and to maximum impact, and it is these experts who typically come to me and ask, “How do I make my pamphlet better?” Exactly what they are asking is can they make the pamphlet more outstanding or more convincing. There are a couple of easy tricks of the trade for making great brochures a lot more impactful.

Now, let’s presume that you have actually already done the essentials. Your sales brochure is well-written and devoid of awkward grammar and spelling errors. Your design features interesting art work such as custom-made photography, stock photography, or quality illustrations. Here are some simple strategies for taking that sales brochure to the next level.

Make an Alluring Offer: Sales brochures that say our company name is ABC and our services are XYZ are fine, however pamphlets that make a tempting offer will get instant results. For instance, when a client direct mails pamphlets to home health providers, we sometimes state “Numerous home health providers have actually doubled recommendations from doctors after 90 days of using this marketing method properly. Find out how. Free. No obligation.” If you really think about it, you can probably create an irresistible offer for your business. However, numerous company types are not permitted to make alluring offers. For instance, Medicare regulations mostly restrict home health agencies and physical treatment brochures from making special offers such as giveaways, so they are seriously restricted in this regard. However there are still more pamphlet strategies offered to them.

Professional Printing: The look of your marketing products causes the reader to make assumptions about the professionalism of your organization. The more expert the printing, the better the impression. Some digital printing can be excellent, however “process printing” usually produces the most rich and remarkable color possible at the most economical costs. Expect to pay about 8 cents each for premium pamphlets when you order a large quantity. Professional printing will also offer you the ability to print color all the way to the edges of the paper – a feature called full bleed.

Use Thicker Paper: The most common paper weight for quality brochures is 100lb gloss book. 80Lb gloss book is too thin for the brochure itself to be excellent. Updating the paper stock to 100lb gloss cover will give the very same pamphlet additional heft and make it stick out in a crowd of business brochures. Consider book versus cover as the distinction in between the pages of an art publication and the cover of a paperback novel. The cover is thicker and more durable.

Utilize a Larger or Vary the Format: The basic brochure format is, of course, the 8.5″x11″ trifold. 2 standard options that are bigger are the 8.5″x14″ and the 9″x12″. Both of these can be folded to still match envelopes and brochure racks. For the ultimate in remarkable sales brochure formats, consider making a sales brochure size folder instead. An right pocket folder works well for this. Stuff the pocket with single pages about single sales points or products.

Have a Clear Call to Action Placed Tactically: Ads with a clear call to action produce more results (e.g. Call for a complimentary, in-home evaluation today.). Offer your call to action a sense of urgency (e.g. today, now, while materials last). Position your call to action at the bottom right of the inside of the brochure in most cases. The cover and the top of the inside are too soon to request action. A lot of business brochures will have done the best job possible by getting the reader to act after they have actually looked at the information. You want to ask the reader to take the next step after you have made a good pitch. That will be the bottom right of the inside of the brochure.

Use Photographs Strategically: Aim to use images of how your audience’s would like to see themselves – not their actual selves. Youths see themselves as older than they are. Everybody over 30 sees themselves as younger they are. Mountain bicycle riders like to see themselves as dropping off four-foot ledges, not rolling over relatively flat terrain. Retired people strive to see themselves surrounded by generations of delighted family members. Learn your audience’s aspirations and show that back to them with the photography you choose.

Also pay attention to the impact of how people look at the pictures you pick and how you position them. A person’s look draws your attention, even if that person is in a photo. So photos of people looking toward the reader are strong for brochure covers that grab interest. Similarly, when someone stares one direction, other individuals naturally look that direction. Do not have images of individuals looking off the edges of your page. This distracts the reader’s eye away from your product and shortens attention span. Where possible, have the topics of your pictures looking toward the most vital points in your sales brochure.

These are a few of the strategies we utilize to make great brochures better. Call UPS Printing, Marketing & Design for more ideas on how to make an ordinary brochure great.

Unlimited Printing & Signs
2408 Madison Drive Suite 101
North Myrtle Beach, SC  29582

Mail Marketing North Myrtle Beach

Marketing Through Direct Mail

Mail Marketing North Myrtle BeachAs a small business owner, you need to reach new consumers but might not know how to find them.

Here are some fundamental direct mail marketing pointers and methods to simplify the process of producing leads and transforming them into new customers.

What is Direct Mail Marketing?

Direct marketing is an ideal opportunity to get your business’s name in the hands of consumers who wish to hear about your latest products, services, and discounts.

4 Easy Direct-mail advertising Marketing Tips

1. Understanding Your Target Customers
Understanding about your best consumers is a vital consideration for targeted direct marketing. Understanding the clients’ fundamental demographics, such as males 18 to 34 or women with children, is a start. However, a more total understanding of your consumer’s profile like their shopping and acquiring habits in other areas; their mindsets toward patterns, products, marketing and media; or their way of life practices can assist you to become a lot more effective in both your lead choice and the messages you’ll use in interacting with the leads.

2. Target Your Ideal Client
When you understand more about your clients you can utilize this info to construct a targeted list of potential brand-new leads. A targeted direct newsletter can be expensive, but they’re most likely to result in the best response rate and produce future faithful consumers.

The old formula for direct marketing success was mass marketing: “Throw as much against the wall and see what sticks” doesn’t work anymore. Postage and paper expenses are constantly increasing, and with so much mail winding up in the garbage, smart companies have changed their way of thinking. Why squander cash mailing to everyone when everybody is not a prospect? Smart businesses target the local consumers who have an interest and will buy. That is the difference between mass marketing and target marketing. Targeted subscriber list identify your best leads. There is less waste and a higher percentage of prospects responding to your mailing.

3. Select a Direct Mail Type
It’s virtually impossible to overemphasize the significance of direct mailing lists to the success of your direct-mail advertising program. The right mail piece will include your most important potential customers. The more careful you are in examining and picking direct mail letter, the better your opportunities for success. There are several different categories of mailing lists offered on the market today ranging in cost and appropriateness for your market. When you are considering what type of mailing list to purchase think about the following 3 types:

  • Targeted Lists – allows you to recognize a specific target audience
  • Specific Interest List – allows you to pick the client criteria that fulfills your needs
  • Cloned List – allows you to discover customers much like your finest existing customers.

We can assist you in procuring the list that is right for your target customer.

4. Create a Mailing
Once you have a mailing list it is time to produce your direct mail message. This is the most difficult and time-consuming aspect of direct mail marketing and where UPS Printing, Marketing & Design can be of assistance. The direct-mail advertising piece you produce needs to deliver your specific message. The piece represents who and exactly what you are. Make it consistent with what you’re selling. If you are providing a high-quality professional service, your direct mail piece needs to show that quality.

Give me a call today to discuss your direct mail marketing piece and how it can generate leads for your business.

Unlimited Printing & Signs
2408 Madison Drive Suite 101
North Myrtle Beach, SC  29582

advertising signs North Myrtle Beach

The Advantages of Advertising Signs

advertising signs North Myrtle BeachOn-premise signs are your most effective and efficient means of commercial communication because they are inexpensive, available, practical, easy to use, always on the job, and directly oriented to the trade area of your business.

Signs Are Effective

Your sign is an integral part of your advertising program along with the other forms of commercial communication such as television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and billboards. There are four basic criteria used to judge the effectiveness of these advertising media: (1) coverage of the trade area, (2) repetition of a message, (3) readership of a message, and (4) cost per thousand exposures of a message. Two other criteria important for the small business owner are (5) availability and (6) ease of use. Let’s see how signs measure to the above criteria.

1. Signs are oriented to your trade area. Signs do not waste your resources by requiring your to pay for wasted advertising coverage. The people who see your sign are the people who live in your trade area.

2. Signs are always on the job repeating your message to potential customers. Your on-premise sign communicates to potential customers twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, week after week, month after month, year after year. Every time people pass your business establishment they see your sign. The mere repetition of the message will help them remember your business.

3. Nearly everyone reads signs. Signs are practical to use for nearly everyone is used to looking at signs and using signs, even small children. Studies have shown that people do read and remember what is on signs. When special items are displayed, sales increase for these particular items within the store.

4. Signs are inexpensive. When compared to the cost of advertising signs in some other media, the on-premise sign is very inexpensive. Table 1 indicates the cost-per-thousand-exposures for various media in a given type of community. Unless your trade area encompasses an entire city or region, where you must rely upon broad based media coverage, there is no better advertising dollar value than your on-premise sign.

5. Signs are available to each and every shop owner. There is no need to schedule the use of your sign. Your sign is available to you whenever you need it and to be used however you please.

6. Signs are easy to use. No special skills or resources are needed to operate a sign once it has been installed. If it is an illuminated sign, all you need to do is flip the switches and that may not be necessary with timing equipment. Once the initial expenditures are made no special resources or professional services are needed. You need only operate and maintain your sign.

Checklist for Ordering a Business Sign

Before you select a sign for your business there are several things you need to consider. A competent sign company in your area can help you with the answers to some of these question if you are unsure how to obtain them.

1. Who are your customers?

Potential customers for your business are people who reside in your trade area. Most of your customers come from the immediate area within a half mile to a mile of your business location. Trade areas come in assorted shapes and sizes depending upon the business. Trade areas may also vary seasonally.

2. How do you get information on potential customers?

Plot a dot map of your customers as soon as you begin business. This is easily done by plotting the addresses of people who stop in your store (and particularly of those who purchase) as a dot on a street map of your city. Within a few months time you will have a fairly clear idea of the trade area from which you are drawing your customers. You will then be able to decide what type of sign would best meet the needs of the people in that trade area. For example, if your customers can only reach you by automobile or you are located on a very busy street, the type of sign that you use will be very different than if you have a shopping center location and people must walk to your store from parking lots.

Obtain your street profile from a city traffic engineer. Since your sign communicates to people who pass your business establishment, you can direct your message to potential customers if you know what type of traffic passes your door. Your city traffic engineer can provide information which will tell you: where people begin and end their trips, how people travel, when people travel by time of day, why people travel, and where they park when they reach a destination. Even small cities and towns have traffic volume maps available to tell you how many people pass by your business every day.

Know how many new people move to your area each year. This is a potential market for your business. This type of information can be obtained from any board of Realtors, chamber of commerce or police department.

3. How are you going to communicate with the customers?

In order to communicate effectively, a sign must be noticeable and readable.

An advertising sign must be noticeable. After a while a sign becomes part of the landscape. It loses some of its ability to attract attention. By periodically changing some small design element or by using changeable copy, a sign can continue to attract interest. Time and temperature devices or rotating and moving parts can be used to maintain interest in a commercial message. Time and temperature devices or rotating and moving parts can be used to maintain interest in a commercial message. Time and temperature units also provide a needed public service.

A business sign must be readable. A sign needs to be large enough to read. You need to know how far a person if from your store when he first sees your sign and the real speed of traffic on your street. With this information, a competent sign company can use a formula to calculate the necessary size for your design and build you an effective sign.

4. What are you trying to say?

Decide on a message that is clear and simple.

Focus on key words. Choose one or two words which describe your business. Clever or strange names may only attract certain customers.

Be Brief. The cleaner and clearer the message, the more impact it has. Listing or names or unclear symbols confuse rather than communicate.

5. What image are you trying to portray?

Design of your sign is very important. Your sign tells people a lot about your business. Stark simple design and materials may suggest discount prices and no frills. Elegant and expensive sign materials may suggest luxury goods and services. Two basic design considerations are important when ordering a sign.

Physical elements of sign design. These include considerations such as size, placement, materials and structure. The size of the sign is an important consideration for your business. The biggest sign that you can afford may not necessarily be the best one for your needs. A sign which is either too big or too small will not communicate your message effectively. The number of signs is also important. Too many signs compete with one another and reduce the effectiveness of your message by presenting an image of confusion to potential customers. The materials used for your sign determine its appearance and performance. For example, differences in cost, appearance, color, durability, flexibility and reaction to extreme weather conditions can be found in the many types of plastics available. The structure of a sign also contributes to its effectiveness. Pole covers and cantilevered construction help portray an attractive message. Figures 1 and 2 illustrate how physical elements of sign design affect business image.

Graphic elements of sign design. Graphic elements of design include layout of the message, colors, lettering, shape symbolism, harmony, and daytime versus nighttime lighting conditions.

Legibility is a test of good design. If your sign is well designed, it will be easy to read. Legibility means that the letters or characters on the sign are distinct from one another. Some color combinations of background and letters give excellent legibility while others are very poor. To test your sign’s legibility, drive past your business and see if you can read it from a distance. Look at it both day and night. Some signs are difficult to read because of illumination problems such as glare from street lights, signs on nearby business establishments, or shadows caused by buildings. A well-designed sign blends with the environment, has a message impact and overcomes viewing problems.

6. How much should your sign cost?

You should consider several factors when determining the cost of your on-premise sign.

A sign is an investment. Your sign is one of the most permanent parts of your business and is exposed to weather and constant use. The average life of signs varies from five to eleven years, depending on type of materials used, construction and other factors. Find out how many years of service to expect from your sign. It pays to purchase good materials if you intend to use the sign over a period of years.

Maintenance costs. No business can afford to have its sign fall into disrepair. A dilapidated sign tells the public that you are not concerned with your business image or their visual environment. Some types of signs are virtually maintenance free while other require more attention. Find out how to replace burnt out bulbs or tubes in your sign. Determine who is responsible if the wind blows your sign down and someone is injured.

Energy consumption. New technological developments now enable some types of signs to achieve energy savings without sacrificing effects. Inquire about new energy saving bulbs and internal materials.

Owning or leasing. Many sign companies have programs whereby you can lease a sign for a given period of time and they will maintain it for you. This may be more economical for a new business, especially if there is any chance that logos or names may change in the first few years of operation. Statistics show that if a small business fails, it will happen somewhere between the first and second year of operation. Leasing a sign during this period of time might help save some of the initial capital needed for operating expenses.

Custom or standardized. Some large companies offer standardized types of signs which are cheaper than signs which are custom designed and constructed. Many of these standardized units can utilize ingenious design techniques to bring forth creativity and individuality. Often the standardized units can be arranged in different configurations depending on your needs. Some standardized sign units use the highest quality materials and are designed to be relatively maintenance free. Mass production enables these units to be sold much cheaper than if designed and produced from scratch.

7. Signs communicate in a shared environment.

A sign’s ability to send its message beyond its locations requires that you be sensitive to the effects of your message on others. Since you share your space with others, consider their rights and sensibilities too. They are potential customers.

Consider city or town planning goals and regulation when ordering a sign. Some types of signs are not permitted. determine what the regulations are in your community before you discuss design with a sign designer. Most sign companies are well aware of the regulation in any given community and can guide you in selecting a sign which is not in violation of the law.

Unlimited Printing & Signs
2408 Madison Drive Suite 101
North Myrtle Beach, SC  29582

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