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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am placing a small ad in our Classifieds to try and drum up some local business for my Sublimation. I have re-wrote and put off placing the add for several weeks because I cannot seem to figure out what to plug and point out.

I am going to try a very small ad so I can't say much.

I live in a little resort town up in the mountains and there is no competition in this field for over 100 miles so I want to plug in such a way that I will get the small comanies up here to possibly get shirts,signs, etc. as well as hit the customers that want unique gifts or special occasion stuff.

What are some of the ads you guys have placed and what seemed to work best
 

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I didn't get much from advertising in the local paper, other than a big bill. It sounds like you're targeting local businesses and tourists. Here's my opinion: For tourists, see if the hotels will let you post a flyer or some brochures, might also want to check with the local airport, and bus stop. For businesses, I say pitch directly to the folks in charge.
 

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Like Joe, I have had zero results from local advertising stream...by that I mean my bill exceeded the orders generated.. So I use flyers and promotion items to drop off
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't want to target the tourests unless some of the local businesses want to use me to fulfill thier needs. For the paper I want to get my name out there so people know that this service is available without having to go to order online or go to our local sign shop that either outsources or shuts them down because thier needs don't don't meet his equipment.

I live 100 miles north of Boise ID on top of a mountain that hosts 2 Ski Resorts for winter fun and numerouse lakes and rivers for recreation the rest of the year. Our population fluxuates by the thousands between Fri-Sun and Mon-thurs.

The paper only comes out once a week (Thurs) right before the tourests come in and every local reads it. It's only $10.00 an inch for locals and I thought I would try an inch or two for a month or so and see how it goes.

My problem is trying to grab thier attention and get them to call.

I was either going to go with an add like:
Casual
"PUT YOUR LOGO, ARTWORK OR PHOTOS ON HUNDREDS OF ITEMS FOR THE PERFECT GIFT OR SPECIAL OCCASSION.

Professional
Proffessional Full color imprinting on Hundreds of items. No Minimum Order * Low to No Setup fees.

Which way would you guys go?
 

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Well, I think I would start out something like this......

Unique vacation memories and gifts.........

Maybe add in the fact they can turn a vacation picture into a lasting memory etc..

I am just thinking out of the box but remember that if it is just the same old ad saying "I am here" sometimes does not make the reader want to know what you have that is special for them.

Maybe even offer a coupon for $2.00 off if they bring in the ad. :rolleyes:
 

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I think you would be far better off spending the money on targeted direct mail to local businesses.

To target tourists, you might try working out some kind of deal with a local hotel(s). Ideally, tourists could email you a pic from their vacation and their item(s) would be delivered to the hotel. I have no idea how much cooperation you might get from hotels, but you could always offer to include the hotel's name/logo on the items. Of course, the customer would need to be aware that this is part of the design, but I don't think most would have a problem.
 

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Hi Cory. I'd be inclined to go the same route as suggested by Jeff and target the businesses there direct.

Print up some low value samples, coasters, keytags etc and go chase up the business customers. The tourists come and go, but the business owners are there all year round. Anything that assists them, or helps to increase their turnover will be a real benefit to them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am definately not going for the tourests. Most of them are here for less than a week. I just want to make my self known to the community that lives here. I placed the add. it comes out tommorrow. It is only published once a week and it is only $10.00 so I gave it a try. If I get just one order it would more than pay for itself. The classified section is only one page so it sticks out pretty good. I think I will try the coaster keychain idea to some of my stronger leads.
 

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I am definately not going for the tourests. Most of them are here for less than a week. I just want to make my self known to the community that lives here. I placed the add. it comes out tommorrow. It is only published once a week and it is only $10.00 so I gave it a try. If I get just one order it would more than pay for itself. The classified section is only one page so it sticks out pretty good. I think I will try the coaster keychain idea to some of my stronger leads.
What'd you come up with? I kinda derailed the thread a bit and didn't post something actually helpful to the cause. I probably would've done something like "Your mug on a mug? No problem! Photos on mugs, shirts, puzzles, mousepads and more, call for details!"
 

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Cory, I also live in a resort area (on Lake Michigan) and I've been advertising in the local weekly paper for the past year and a half. Like you, I am targeting the local businesses and groups and not the tourists. The key, it seems to me, is to keep it up; people may not spot the first couple of ads you place, but when they keep seeing it, they remember it when they need something. I started out with a large ad announcing my business, and then settled into spotlighting a different product or service each week. That got to be too much after a couple of months (couldn't keep thinking up new ideas that fast!), so this year I have run each ad for a month, then changed it up.

I suggest that you use a logo, since people will remember the graphic and may not necessarily read all text. Also, spotlighting a single product, or running a special, for a while WILL pay off, although maybe not immediately. I ran with mugs in August, (special price on set of four ceramics or two travel mugs) and not one single person came for mugs last month. This month, however, people are coming in with the ad in hand asking if they can still get the special (the answer is YES). The ads that have worked best for me have always included pricing -- I also screen print, and run a family reunion special every June on a dozen or more shirts, I ran a "contractor's special" in the spring for a combination of shirts. I always get results on these ads, and almost everyone who comes in for the ad ends up spending more than just what is advertised.

It takes a while, so don't just try it for a couple of weeks and decide it doesn't work. If your small town is like mine, everyone reads the local paper, and if they keep seeing something, it will stick in their mind. You need to make sure that when they think "Oh, isn't there somebody who makes mugs" and look for you in the paper, you're still there.

Another good way to get into some of the local businesses is to make up a couple of mugs with the company's logo on it and present it to them with information about your business. Most places have websites now, and you can pull their logos off there (even the low-res crummy little web logos are good enough for mugs). I did that last year at Christmas time for businesses who had ordered shirts from me during the year, and I ended up with a LOT of orders for cases of mugs.

If you can afford it, get out of the Classifieds and into at least a business card size ad, and keep going for at least three months before you decide whether or not to continue. Just make sure you get specific about products, and never mention "sublimation" since nobody knows what that means.

Good luck.
 

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Trudi...have you been able to quantify how this has worked for you. I mean for $1,000 dollars of local ad expenditure have you received $5,000 of business, or some such nonsense. I ask this cause I didn't have a very good response, and perhaps had I continued it longer I would have, but I saw a lot of money flowing out and became concerned (after about 6 weeks.) I will say it helped get the name out there, to some extent. I'd consider giving it another try if others have had better experiences with mine.
 

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I don't want to target the tourests unless some of the local businesses want to use me to fulfill thier needs. For the paper I want to get my name out there so people know that this service is available without having to go to order online or go to our local sign shop that either outsources or shuts them down because thier needs don't don't meet his equipment.

I live 100 miles north of Boise ID on top of a mountain that hosts 2 Ski Resorts for winter fun and numerouse lakes and rivers for recreation the rest of the year. Our population fluxuates by the thousands between Fri-Sun and Mon-thurs.

The paper only comes out once a week (Thurs) right before the tourests come in and every local reads it. It's only $10.00 an inch for locals and I thought I would try an inch or two for a month or so and see how it goes.

My problem is trying to grab thier attention and get them to call.

I was either going to go with an add like:
Casual
"PUT YOUR LOGO, ARTWORK OR PHOTOS ON HUNDREDS OF ITEMS FOR THE PERFECT GIFT OR SPECIAL OCCASSION.

Professional
Proffessional Full color imprinting on Hundreds of items. No Minimum Order * Low to No Setup fees.

Which way would you guys go?
If you would like to get your name out to your local companies and businesses....you might want to check out a local BNI organization (Business Networking International)....I joined a chapter almost 3 years ago and it has brought me in thousands of dollars of work....and word has spread like wild fire not only in my own community, but also w/ ppl that the members do business with...
Check out www.bni.com it will give you some information and you should be able to find a local chapter to check out.
If you have further ??s, feel free to pm me and I will see what other information I can get for you.

Margaret
Cutting Edge
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I love the Contractor Special idea. My last 2 jobs were small contractor companies. One company ordered 26 shirts and the other ordered 12. Not huge by any means but these were people that always wanted company shirts but were scared away by the setup fees. When they realized I had just a set fee with no minimum they were in! In fact my 12 shirt order started out at 6 and my 26 order started out at a dozen. As I was making the shirts the order was increasing.
As far as increasing the size of my ad I was thinking of going small until November and then increasing the size and info for November to grab some Christmas shoppers. I don't have a ton of extra cash to put into advertising right now but If I get any kind of response out of the paper I will be happy to put all the profits back into advertising.

The mug idea is good to They are pretty inexpensive and would not cost hardly anything in ink costs.

Right now I do not list items or prices due to limited space and that might be the problem right now. Here is the ad running this week:
SHIRTS-N-STUFF
Offering a vast array of Personalized
and Promotional Items. Gifts for that
special occasion or items to help your
business grow. Quality products with
your photo, artwork, logo and/or text.
No minimum order / no setup fees.
Call Cory at 634-1242
 

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Hi,

Another idea can be to introduce yourself to local schools and school districts. inform them about your services with no min/no setup.

There is always some event going on , fundraisers, field trips, earth day, science fair, kids art show, pta meetings that may need personalized shirts, or whatnot.

Additionally, since you live in a resort area, try contacting local artist to print their artwork on mugs, canvas, key chains etc.. and they can in return sell them as ltd. edition pieces.

Rod
 
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