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Tip Sheet

Get A New Perpsective on Your Ads, Donate For Employee Dress-Up Day and More October Tips

Also, tips on how to fine-tune your e-mail marketing.





It’s the age of environmental awareness and plastic bags are the new evil. Show off your green consciousness by suggesting your customers keep the small plastic bags that repairs are often returned in and use them to store batteries or something else. A writer to the Hints from Heloise column recently described how she takes a small piece of stiff paper, folds it in half and writes “charged” on one side and “used” on the other and then places it in the bag. This is then placed with the batteries she always keeps with her digital camera.

PADDLE POWERSponsor An Auction

Looking for a way to support your favorite charity’s auction? Provide the auction paddles. The bidders’ numbers go on one side, and your store logo goes on the reverse. Zachary’s Jewelers in Annapolis, MD, does it, and according to the store’s marketing head, Evangeline Ross, “The room became a sea of Zachary’s logos that night.”


Here’s a great Christmas tip from years back that we never ran because, ahem, we deleted the attribution line and could never find out whom to credit. “At Christmas we gave our bank 17 pieces of jewelry for their staff to wear for Employee Dress-Up Day — it worked out well for all concerned. They asked if we could loan them again for Valentine’s Day. Well, we did — this time they made a really great poster and put copies around the bank.” (A belated thanks to the generous tip provider.)

TIME FOR CHANGEPromote Daylight Savings

Spring forward, fall back. It sounds simple enough but the adjustments required by daylight savings inspire a surprising amount of dread in some watch owners. Marc Foster capitalizes on this by running ads that invite such people to come in to his Houston, TX, store, M Foster Jeweler, and have him adjust their watches for free. Some watch owners, it turns out, are worried they will damage their expensive timepieces, others fear the date and time will forever get out of sync. Once in the store, Foster can sell them other services or accessories or just introduce them to his store and merchandise. “It’s one of the best promotions we run,” says Foster, who credits Dan Gendron, head of the Gendron School of Horology, for the idea. For most of the United States, daylight saving ends this year on Nov. 2.


Whether you use an agency or design your ads in-house, here’s one trick you won’t want to forget when giving your print ads a final proof: Look at them upside down. The words won’t mean as much, and you’ll see only the shapes on the ad. Seeing it from a new perspective may point out problems you never noticed. We’ve breathed more than one sigh of relief here at INSTORE after doing the same.


Here are two cool services that promise to save you time (as well as your Blackberry-worn thumbs) — and Jott transcribes voice messages you’ve dictated into your cellphone and delivers them via e-mail to anyone in your Jott address book. You can also call in a reminder that Jott will send you in an e-mail or text message, or deploy in conjunction with other Web services, such as Google Calendar. Phonetag, meanwhile, takes the voicemail messages left on your phone and sends them to you in text form. It claims to have saved a million hours of workers’ time already.


E-MAIL PRIMERSell the Cyber

After tracking more than 3,300 e-mails from online retailers during the 2007 holiday season, Chad White knows cyber selling. His three top tips: Get in early, don’t ramp up frequency too much (you risk driving up “ignore rates”), and actively chase those gift-card dollars post-Christmas. White, an editor who worked on the Direct Marketing Association’s Retail E-mail Guide to the Holiday Season, wrote on MediaPost that you should target your e-mail subscribers because they’re your biggest fans and are therefore the most likely to have asked friends and family for a gift card.






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