Category Archives: Advertising ideas

5 Referral Marketing Ideas | Best Way to Get Referrals

Proactively generating sales is made that much easier when you know how to drive referral traffic to your front door.

Here’s the simple message: referrals are important. This notion has been a cornerstone philosophy in the sales world for decades. So why does asking for and getting referrals seem difficult? Does it feel intrusive? Too time-consuming? Are you out of referral marketing ideas?

The referral is one key foundational element to any good sales strategy, and learning how to get referrals is incredibly important. Start with these five referral marketing ideas to get you started if you’re feeling stuck:

1. Ensure Your Client Knows the “Real You”Personal

Many clients won’t refer you to others because they aren’t 100% sure about you, your business, what you offer, and what you don’t. You’ll want to connect with these clients and provide them with some insights into your brand and business. They should leave thinking “I have the perfect client for these guys…”

One way to keep your business at the forefront with clients is to leave behind customized promotional products that are useful, exchange hands easily, and will remind those in your industry of the importance of creating a mutually beneficial relationship with your organization.

2. Create a Referral Program

refer a friendTake the guesswork out of the process by structuring a referral program that will entice your clients to drive traffic toward your business. A referral program can also help minimize most of the jitters salespeople feel when asking for referrals, as a company-sponsored program tends to legitimize the idea of asking for referrals in the first place.

3. Create a Client-Partnership

handshakeWhen you begin treating referring clients as partners, you’ll likely receive an increased boost in referrals. These clients should feel like strategic partners working alongside your business to foster mutually beneficial results and shared success. Once they see that their business can improve when they refer to you, they’ll want to maintain close ties to your organization.

4. Be a Content Source in the IndustryContent Source

The best way to get referrals isn’t by merely asking and trying to be a good partner. You’ll also want to create information and shareable resources that can increase awareness of your brand.

Invite others to a seminar or webinar that addresses current industry topics. Then, show how your business can be a good strategic partner for these invited guests.

Make sure to include links or buttons on your social pages that encourage clients to visit pages like Yelp or Google to learn more about your brand. Who knows, you might even boost the number of positive reviews on these sites by doing so!

5. Ask for Referrals

Ask for referralSimply asking for referrals seems so obvious – yet a failure to do so is one of the biggest hindrances to building a successful referral program. Your sales or marketing team will have to position your company in a way where referrals are beneficial, either for them or the person they refer. Just ask and you’ll often receive – as long as you’ve created a value proposition that makes sense for the client.

Referrals represent one of the best ways to generate leads and land new business, yet so many today struggle to create consistent practices that can drive sales growth. Follow the referral marketing ideas above on how to increase referrals, and see just how easy it is to solicit new business when you’re on the receiving end of a quality referral.

90 Days Until Small Business Saturday – Get Marketing!

This small business-focused holiday can be just the thing to kick-start your company’s sales – what marketing do you have planned?

Whether you’re a fan of Visa, MasterCard, or American Express, small business owners everywhere should tip their collective hats to the latter card issuer, as AMEX created a “holiday” six years ago strictly focused on boosting awareness and engagement with small businesses across the nation. Today, small businesses can now utilize Small Business Saturday marketing to boost foot traffic and sales.

Small Business Saturday (SBS) takes place between Black Friday and Cyber Monday each year, and the goal is simple – let the big box retailers have the Friday after Thanksgiving, and the online sites have the Monday after Turkey Day, but then persuade shoppers to choose local small businesses for their Saturday-after-Thanksgiving shopping needs.

If you own or operate a small business, consider this day as a holiday devoted just to you. To maximize it, you’ll want to keep the following key marketing concepts in mind when November 26th rolls around this year:

1.  Plan Your Small Business Saturday Marketing

Don't Get Caught Without a Plan - Start Today!

Don’t Get Caught Without a Plan – Start Today!

With 90 days to prepare for the holiday, decide how you want to promote your business in conjunction with the holiday. It is important to realize that not all people know about Small Business Saturday, so use the time leading up to the day as an opportunity to fill them in.

Remind your customers of the day by creating flyers and handing out Small Business Saturday promotional items such as pens that can be handed out quickly and easily. A custom batch of postcards, for instance, can (inexpensively) serve this purpose and will remind the customer of your business far beyond November 26th.

Now is the time to start seeing which promotional products you want to use and order in advance for Small Business Saturday.

2.  Cross Promote Your Business

This buzzy-sounding phrase is actually perfectly suited for your Small Business Saturday marketing plan. Find complementary businesses in your area and find a way to boost awareness of both companies by promoting each other!

DoritosLocos-500x229

Picture Provided by Crown Marketers (http://crownmarketers.com/)

For example, if you run an automotive repair business, consider partnering with the car wash down the street to offer discounted washes with each oil change at your shop. You’ll both benefit, and the customers will have an opportunity to learn about both of your businesses.

3.  Prepare Your Social Marketing

Image provided by npo.io

Image provided by npo.io

Clients today are as smart as ever – especially when it comes to using social media tools to add value to their shopping experience. Well in advance of the Small Business Saturday holiday, create Facebook posts or Tweets that encourage others to share information about this special day.

Keep in mind that the Small Business Saturday Facebook page alone has more than 3 million followers. Linking to this site or using hashtags like #SmallBusinessSaturday or #SmallBizSaturday is a great idea to boost your marketing efforts.

4.  Build upon Small Business Saturday

If you’ve already participated in Small Business Saturday in previous years, make sure you promote it this year to create a snowball effect of new business. Or, if you’re already a vocal supporter of small businesses in your area, use this time to communicate the importance of shopping locally-owned companies by showing the correlation between these businesses and the local economy. Use the holiday as a means to continually remind your local area why “grass roots” is the way to go.

Small Business Saturday is 90 days away, and now is the perfect time to gear up your Small Business Saturday marketing, plan accordingly, and start creating awareness of the importance of shopping locally.

8 Tips on How to Take the Perfect Selfie with Selfie Sticks

With the current trending product called the selfie stick, the art of taking a selfie has become even easier. Say goodbye to those half-faced, blurry selfies you never post on Instagram, and hello to your clear, beautiful face as you learn to how to take the perfect selfie.

The selfie stick is great for snapping the perfect shot of you wherever you are. Need a group or family photo, but can’t find anyone to take it? Have no fear, the selfie stick is here! Just stick that arm out, push the button, and watch your photo dreams come to life. No more awkward encounters and handing your phone over to strangers.

All of us struggle with taking a great selfie. Some come out fuzzy and others, just downright ugly! But don’t worry, you aren’t alone. We can get through this together!

Ready to Selfie? Follow these “How To” Tips

1) Selfie not Arm-sie: Hold the phone closer to your face to eliminate the appearance of the “long arm.” There is nothing worse than a perfectly good selfie being ruined because your arm takes up half of the photo.

2) Harness the Power of  the Light: Natural and indirect lighting is most certainly your friend.   Brighten your face to prevent unflattering shadows. If the lighting in your home (or wherever you are) is not ideal, try standing next to a window!

3) Glow Like You Were Meant To: If you are taking a selfie outdoors, make sure the sun is directly behind your head. This will cause a halo-like effect and leave you glowing!

4) Work the Angles: Tilt your head at an angle that works for you. Don’t be afraid to try a few different ones until you find the right one. Take a few test shots, testing out your angle and lighting.

5) Be Bold: If you’re a woman, swipe on your favorite bold lipstick color! This will give a bright focal point to the selfie. Plus, it will highlight your smile.

6) Stage your Selfie! Make sure you have a good, clean background. We have all seen nightmare selfies with a dirty bedroom or even a bathroom in the background. You can also add something interesting to your selfie. It could be your super cool friends, a great outdoor view, or exceptionally delicious food. Get your family involved! Your kids, grandkids or parents will totally think you’re hip!

7) Avoid mirror selfies: You can often see the phone you’re using and overall they just don’t look that great.  Unless you want to showcase the smudges on your bathroom mirror, it is just not a good idea. Selfie sticks typically eliminate the need for mirror selfies.

8) Finally, a real smile is the best smile! Whether you want to throw a funny face, smirk, or smile into the mix, loosen up and have fun with it!

Now that you have 8 new tips on how to take the perfect selfie. Get on your selfie game and try them out with selfie sticks!

If you wish to purchase custom selfie sticks for you and your friends from National Pen, use coupon code SELFIESTICK at checkout for free shipping and free setup.

Custom Selfie Stick: The New Face of Promotions

LTV Selfie StickNowadays, you can’t go anywhere without seeing at least one person taking a selfie on their smartphone. Selfies are the most popular type of photos taken on phones, thanks to social media. But, anyone who’s ever taken a group selfie knows how difficult it is to fit everyone into the picture. That is, unless you have a selfie stick! Many people use selfie sticks to help them capture the perfect selfie. If your business is looking for a promotional product that your customers will actually want to use, a custom selfie stick is the way to go.

When you’re thinking about creating promotional products, it’s important to consider what kinds of products will provide long-term value and usage to potential customers. Selfie sticks are great for promoting your business because they’re functional and relevant to customers’ lifestyles. Many people already use selfie sticks, so creating custom selfie sticks with your logo or slogan is a creative promotional tactic.

Their visibility is also another reason why selfie sticks are appealing as a promotional product. When someone uses a custom selfie stick, it immediately catches your attention, which is perfect for getting people to notice your business logo or slogan. Best of all, selfie sticks are easily portable, so your business gets continual free advertising wherever people take their selfie sticks.

Your business can use custom selfie sticks in a variety of ways. Selfie sticks are good giveaways at tradeshows and conferences because attendees can use them right away. For the entire event, people can take photos with their selfie sticks that have your logo on them. This is helpful for establishing both brand awareness and association for your business.

Aside from traditional events, there are lot of creative ways you can use selfie sticks for promotions. For instance, after you give away these custom selfie sticks, you can host photo contests on social media. Customers can submit their best selfies using the selfie stick for a chance to win prizes. These interactive contests are a great way to encourage people to use the promotional product and interact with your brand. By using customized selfie sticks as part of the contest, it showcases your business in a fun and interesting manner.

You can also buy custom selfie sticks for personal use! Available with low minimums, you can order custom selfie sticks for fun favors at weddings, parties, family reunions and more!

The LTV custom selfie stick is one of the most popular ones at National Pen. The selfie stick is 42” extendable and available in four versatile colors: black, green, blue, and red. Each selfie stick is made of aluminum alloy to ensure performance and long term durability, while the silicone handle provides all-day comfort. The selfie sticks are fully customizable to meet all your business needs. You’ll be able to personalize them with up to five lines of text and a maximum of 26 characters per line.

There are a variety of options for what you can include on these selfie sticks, such as a custom marketing message, seasonal advertisement, business contact information, stylish logo or other information. Regardless of how you choose to design your custom selfie stick, we’re confident that your customers or friends will absolutely love using them for all their selfies!

Is Your Desk in Need of a Makeover? Try These Seven Personalized Office Items

NTAYou likely spend a lot of time at your desk, so consider today whether your workspace is in need of a serious makeover – if so, take a look at these personalized office items.

Think about the last time that somebody walked by your desk and said “wow that is a really neat…anything!” Chances are that your personal workspace is a utilitarian zone that is in need of a serious makeover – maybe it needs a touch of color or a host of new office items to increase the fun factor and make your life easier. Either way, consider the following seven personalized office items to add a touch of class, color, and usefulness to your workspace:

Custom desk calendar: if your old, marked up, and uninspiring desk calendar takes center stage on your work desk, you might want to consider replacing it with a new, full-color design. Custom calendars are available today with beautiful natural scenes, automotive themes, or virtually any type of graphics or images you are looking for.

Personalized notepad: take notes in style, increase your ability to stay organized, and maybe even add a touch of color to your desk by including a stack of custom notepads in your personal work area. You’ll find that taking notes or jotting down memos is made easier and more enjoyable when you have a top-quality notepad to work with.

Colorful magnets: you can use personalized magnets to help increase your organizational effectiveness, while at the same time adding a touch of color and style to your desk. From simple magnets with one or two word messages to full-color magnets that sport a custom image or relaxing design, personalized magnets are ideally suited for file cabinets, hutches, and other magnetic areas within your workstation.

Customized planners: keep organized and stay on top of your business by using a customized planner today. You are much more likely to actually complete calendar entries, take notes, and stay organized by having a personalized planner at your disposal. And, a top-quality planner will look right at home in a business meeting or a client get together – not just sitting on your desk.

Custom candy: add some fun to your desktop by including a bowl of customized candies that will provide a sweet retreat from the stresses of the day. Add a variety of custom candies and reward yourself for a job well done with a quick bite throughout the day.

Personalized phone speakers: since most of us have a smartphone sitting on our desk on any given day, take advantage of your built-in MP3 player by including a top-quality phone speaker to your workstation. Many of these are quite compact and will fit in seamlessly with your other desktop equipment.

Custom pens: one way to add a sense of uniformity and neatness to your desk is to include a batch of customized pens to your desk organizer. You will have something to write with that will bring a smile to your face with each stroke of the pen, and you’ll have the option of adding a splash of color to your desktop.

Dress-up your work area and organize your desktop today by including any of these personalized office items above. For more ideas visit http://www.pens.com/office.

7 Awesome Things You can Do with Stress Balls

stress ballStress balls are designed to induce relaxation and create a sense of peace – here are seven awesome things that you can do with stress balls to minimize anxiety, relax the body, and simply feel better

Most of us are familiar with stress balls. Whether you have one sitting on your desk right now, or you have seen them used in a comical sense among stressed out office workers on TV, there is no doubt that stress balls have arrived in offices across the world – and for good reason! Research shows that using a stress ball can actually enhance emotional stability and deliver significant physical benefits. Knowing this, make sure that you not only have stress balls in your office or workspace but that you provide them for your customers or prospects to help them improve their sense of positive energy.

Here are 7 Awesome Things You Can Do with Stress Balls Today to Create a Better Sense of Well-Being:  And once you’re done, make sure to check out National Pen’s Top Selling Stress Balls! 

1. Tone your Muscles:

Even if you aren’t experiencing stress or anxiety, simply squeezing a stress ball firmly in the hands can help to strengthen the muscles of the forearm, wrists, and hands in no time at all. You can do this practically anywhere – in the office, at home while watching TV, or even in the car.

2. Relax During Meetings:

Many of us feel that our work weeks are nothing more than a series of meetings. If you find yourself getting tired, irritated, bored, or simply disinterested during one of your business meetings, consider using a stress ball to keep your hands occupied and your mind at peace.

3. Play an Office Game:

Just because you are at work doesn’t mean you can’t have a little bit of fun. Create an office game that involves tossing your stress ball around the room, earning points along the way for various achievements. Or, try to see how many times you can toss a stress ball back and forth before someone drops it. Whether you decide to do this when the boss is around – that is up to you!

4. Create Promotional Giveaway Packages:

If you are planning to market your business or organization at an upcoming large-scale event, like a tradeshow or conference, create preassembled stress reduction packages for your clients or prospects. These gift packs can include a custom stress ball, a back massager, and some custom candies – or anything else that you feel will bring a smile to someone’s face.

5. Play Games with your Kids:

Use your stress ball to play catch with your kids at home, without fear of punching a hole in your window glass or putting a bruise on someone’s nose. You can bring several of these homes to let your kids learn to juggle without fear, or conduct some informal batting practice in the basement.

6. Massage your Feet:

During work hours, slip off your shoes under your desk and roll your feet on a couple of stress balls on the ground. This can stimulate acupressure points that provide calming benefits, as well as a boost to your creative thinking abilities.

7. Enhance Communication at Home:

Ask your kids or spouse how their day was, and then sit back and listen quietly until it is your time to hold the stress ball. This helps to encourage communication while minimizing disruptions.

Now that you’re an expert, check out the  Round Stress Reliever.

The venerable stress ball makes an ideal promotional marketing gift for trade shows and other big industry events, but it is also ideally suited for a variety of other purposes. The seven ideas above are just the tip of the iceberg – come up with some of your own and witness firsthand the flexibility and usefulness of these incredible little gifts.  

The Power of Summer-Themed Promotional Gifts

30ReasonstoLoveSummer_2014_SlotWith so many promotional gifts available today that are geared towards fun in the summer sun, you’ll add serious marketing power to your promotional arsenal when you focus on summer-themed gifts!

When it comes to finding the absolute best promotional gifts on the market today, ensure that you source items that combine real-world utility, a reasonable price point, and long-term durability. To add even greater potency to your suite of offerings, consider adding several variants that tag on to a seasonal theme. We’re right in the swing of summer right now, so take the time to add summer-themed gifts to your marketing toolkit and you’ll fare better when it comes to targeting the key players within your industry.
Give your customers and prospective clients even more reason to love this season with incredibly enticing promotional gifts that can make summer even better. From gifts that enhance backyard BBQs to those that make days at the beach even more pleasant, you’ll delight the lucky recipients in your industry, while reinforcing the importance of your mutually beneficial relationship.

When you send summer-themed promotional gifts to clients and prospects you show that you care about them, and you make their life better – one beer can Koozie at a time. Best of all, investing in summer-themed promotional gifts serves to highlight your business or organization, and does so in a way that correlates good times over the summer with your business name. This positive brand recognition will help you to enhance market penetration and win new business.
A variety of gifts are available today that can help you to drive your business forward – and any promo items that tie-in a summer theme can truly make a lasting impact. Deliver a batch of customized zip-up bottle Koozies to your prospective clients and they’ll keep their favorite beverage cool while fondly gazing at your customized marketing message, or reward loyalty among your top clients by providing them with a customized rolling cooler case. Personalized silicone speakers with integrated phone stands can elevate the mood at any summer gathering, while a rechargeable power bank can keep the tunes coming for hours on end.
Fun, summer-themed games are also bound to be a hit with clients and prospects, so choose promo items like mini flyers, flexible flyers, and more to provide hours of entertainment. Keep your valued business contacts protected from the ravages of the sun by delivering a batch of customized lip balms in a variety of flavors, or send a personalized, screen printed baseball cap to provide shade from UV rays.

Marketing your business with summer-themed gifts is an incredible tactic that can keep your business name at the forefront of your industry. For special summer-themed gifts that are available today at factory direct prices, visit http://www.pens.com/summer-products.

Are You Prepared to Capitalize on National Small Business Week 2015?


Small Business WeekNational Small Business week is the ideal time to drive additional activities that can highlight your company or organization. What do you have planned?

Each year, for the past 52 years, the President of the United States has delivered an official proclamation around National Small Business week . specifically focusing on the contributions that are made each day by our nation.s small business owners. Our national entrepreneurial spirit is a large part of what makes America great, and it is important to take time each year to spotlight the innovators, growth agents, and leaders of our critically important small businesses in order to ensure that these businesses are supported and given every opportunity for growth. This year, take the time to revisit why our small businesses are so vital to our nation . and re-analyze how you can capitalize on this exciting time of year when all eyes are on the men and women who truly make our nation great.

For every three new jobs that are created in the United States each year, two of them are the result of a small business owner hiring a job-seeker. Of all of the eligible workers in the U.S., greater than 50% either work for or own a small business . and that number is growing each year. But how can you set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd during this pro-business time of the year? The answer is, focus on what has made you so great, and ensure that as many people as possible know about you. Continue to perform with integrity, partner with and hire from your community to ensure that the economic impact of your business will be felt close to home, and do all that you can to help the nation recover economically. The byproduct of these activities is greater sales, enhanced revenues, and the ability to create even more jobs.

This National Small Business week, do more than just continue to perform at a high level . you.ll want to ensure that you market your business as effectively as possible to grow your company in an aggressive but sustained manner. Whether this means investing in social media marketing, revamping upcoming sales or marketing campaigns, or reaching out to prospective clients or existing customers by using promotional marketing gifts . do something to be different this week! For those who want to invest in promotional marketing gifts, turn to the leaders in the industry . National Pen.

To honor our small business owners and to help create additional buzz around any business or organization, we are featuring a Small Business Week coupon (coupon code: PROMO20) that allows for 20% off of National Pen brand products from May 4, 2015 to May 12, 2015. This will help business owners like you to increase the volume and frequency of promotional gift giving, while driving brand awareness and opening new opportunities for sales. This National Small Business Week, make sure that you are prepared to perform during the one week of the year that is dedicated to our nation.s entrepreneurs.

Custom Koozies: The Spring and Summer Must-Have Promotional Item

koozie2As spring is here and summer approaches, the days of barbeques, pool parties and summer bashes are in abundance. During these warmer days, there.s nothing worse than having a cold beverage lose its crisp temperature because you didn.t want frostbite on your hands. Or possibly you.re just a slow sipper and your drink acclimates to the surrounding temperature too quickly. Either way, keeping drinks cold is a long-time struggle that is in need of a solution. So if there.s nothing worse than drinking a less than ice-cold beverage. what.s better than being the person who can solve that problem? Not much!

Koozies are a great way to keep beverages cold. Whether you are fighting the warmth of hands or the warm air, Koozies are able to keep the internal temperature of the beverage longer, making it the must-have beverage accessory for those warmer days ahead. Would you like to be the company who offers a cool, promotional Koozie that keeps those beverages frosty cold?

At National Pen, we offer a variety of customizable Koozies. The Summit Collapsible Koozie Can Kooler is a no tear, can-sized Koozie that comes in a variety of colors. For the bottle holder, Pens offers a Collapsible Koozie bottle Kooler that holds any 16-20 ounce bottled beverage. Lastly, for those who like to be the one to bring the party, National Pen offers a Koozie Swirl Lunch Tote, which is great for keeping lunch or multiple beverages cool.

Just about every company utilizes promotional items for trade shows, employees or clients. Why not give these important recipients something they will value and use time after time? Giving your clients something they will use on a regular basis keeps your business name or message right in the front of their minds. So help your customers keep their beverages cold time after time this summer with custom Koozies. View all your options here: http://www.pens.com/koozie.

Selfie Sticks: Pose for Success

LTV Selfie StickWe know that your promotional products are a key component of your marketing plan. But here.s why you need to add a Selfie Stick to your repertoire of items.

Likes on Instagram and Facebook have become the ultimate signs of success. What started out as a teenaged fad is now a worldwide phenomenon, and the selfie movement shows no signs of slowing down. Selfies are the new way of documenting your life, showing off to social media what you are doing, with whom, and where. This new form of picture-taking spans further than personal use of sharing photos with friends, however. It has expanded to the business world, opening doors to new marketing strategies that appeal to the Millennial generation and creating unique, visual content.

From a marketing standpoint, selfie marketing is extremely organic. If a consumer posts a picture of themselves with a favorite item, tags the company, and #hashtags the product, their followers and friends see the “review” and generate interest. On a larger scale, well-known social media influencers (celebrities, popular bloggers) are able to endorse products through their high status. Are you wondering how to get in on this selfie-sensation? There are multiple steps you can take. First, you must create social media accounts for your company in order to be tagged and followed. Creating a unique hashtag for your company or product drums up recognition. When your customers take a selfie with your product, they can throw in the hashtag in the description. Lastly, be active in posting to your own social media accounts – post your own selfies!

What started off as an inventive woman attaching her camera to a stick has evolved into an easy way to get a high-quality photos, and is becoming a common photography tool. Having this hot new promotional item will show that your company is with current trends. And who knows? Maybe your company will go viral with #yourcompanyrocks because you are the ones offering the selfie stick.