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A Tristan Communications Ltd. Publication

Step Up Your Email Marketing Game Create Email blasts that will have your clients interested, engaged and informed By Adriano Aldini, Imprint Canada

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ith social media and mobile marketing garnering so much attention, you wouldn't be alone in thinking that email marketing is a thing of the past. Unfortunately, reality doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t agree. Email marketing still provides you with a direct line of communication to your customers. In fact, with a solid contentbased approach, email marketing can be more effective than ever thanks to social media, not in spite of it. Why? Because it allows you to combine conversations that you want your clients to have about your business and services, together with informative content that your audience will be receptive to. The traditional e-blasts you've probably been sending to your client database for years - in hopes of spreading the word about your latest promo - will have much more success if they're created to leverage the power of the evolving social media landscape. Of course you want your clients and customers to know about your latest and greatest deals, but if you expect them spread the word about you and your company, you need to ensure your content is fostering real relationships and warrants a broader appeal than simply announcing you are discounting golf shirts for a limited time.

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Volume 19, Issue 4

Turbo Charge Your Custom Garment Business By Ted Stahl

Do you want to sell more T-shirts? What about more jackets, uniforms, sweatshirts or caps? This article discusses specific marketing ideas for businesses that offer custom heat printing services, but has many takeaways for any type of garment decorator.

EXPAND YOUR NICHE Do you already have a niche? To be successful in any business, you need to find a need in the marketplace and fill it. The list of items that can be imprinted using a heat press or mug heat press is constantly growing. Thanks to new developments in adhesives and heat press technology, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easier than ever to quickly (and profitably) heat print full colour logos and specialty logo effects like reflective, rhinestones and metallic on caps, nylon jackets and bags, performance wear, spandex and even neoprene garments. There are also hundreds of promotional items that can be easily personalized with a heat press. If you live in a larger metropolitan area, your niche might have to be something quite unique; if you live in a smaller area, it can be a bit broader.

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Email marketing works because: Â&#x2C6;-XEPPS[WJSVXEVKIXMRKERHMWHEXEHVMZIR Â&#x2C6;-XHVMZIWERHWYTTSVXWWEPIW Â&#x2C6;-XLIPTWFYMPHJEQMPMEVMX][MXL]SYVFVERH

There are a vast array of email marketing services and solutions out there for you to choose from - some are free, others are available for monthly fees based on the volume you are sending.

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Get caught up on the latest industry news

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Stahls' Canada's Sean Oakley answers your heat printing questions in our latest Q & A edition 4 5A4B74=8=6D?H>DA2><?0=H;>6> ?0AC!

Mark Venit examines the fundamentals of typography, colour and second marks when redesigning your logo

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Is cash flow a problem for your business? Ten ways to better your cash flow are outlined by the authors of Cash Flow for DummiesÂŽ

10


the

new & innovative fall collection from Ash City

Scan here to view our fall collection video.

TO SEE THE ENTIRE NEW FALL COLLECTION VISIT ASHCITY.COM


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IMPRINT CANADA

July/August 2012 - Volume 19, Number 4

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JULY/AUGUST 2012

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Success is measured in many ways A very long time ago, I read a passage stating that successful people shared common characteristics, work habits, life habits and general approaches to life. By success , I am referring to much more than just wealth; health, happiness, and personal achievements are just a few additional components of success. One person in particular that continues to be a role model for me is a friend of mine who works as a salesperson in the Canadian millwork industry. Every time I see this individual, he has a smile naturally emblazed upon his face. His cell phone must ring from the time he turns it on in the morning to whenever his head hits his pillow at the end of his day. Whether it's his work, his home life or his social network, he is constantly - and I mean 24/7 - providing to peoples’ needs.

Whether someone needs a job, financial assistance, work to be done, a favour, information, a contact - you name it - once he hears that someone has a need to be fulfilled, he gets involved. I have seen him come through for strangers at all hours of the day, both on weekdays and on weekends. Just recently, for example, he had a newly arrived couple from overseas employed within a day of him getting involved. My friend believes in a sense of purpose where the core principle is entrenched in altruism by doing things for others. He provides assistance and solutions to peoples' needs, and he makes it easy for people to learn to help themselves. At any given time of the day, he can tell you just about what each of his top customers are up to both in their work and social life. You see for him, selling is about giving and then giving some more. Recently, his boss admitted to him that he really doesn’t know how he produces as much as he does in sales because he never really overtly "sells". My friend tells me his customers call him seeking help on matters in and outside of the workplace and they willingly give him sales orders when in need of his company’s offerings. My friend has competitors but knows he is genuinely liked by his clients. On his frequent visits to them, he researches their needs - not just regarding work - but on everything so that he is up to speed on what they require in order to help where he can.

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He offers his time and attention, just like he does to his closest friends and family. He does this instinctively, by the way, and not necessarily by design; these habits come naturally to him. From the outside looking in, I realize that for him, everyday passes with another contact developed, more goodwill developed, another network built. From there, it becomes a matter of time until he reaps the benefits of the sincerity of his actions and behaviours.

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My friend lives a very happy and fulfilling life, and whenever I ask him how he is doing, his answer never strays from, “life is great!” For all these reasons, I consider my friend to be a true example of what it means to be successfull, both in business and in life.

4 4 6 10

TURBO CHARGE YOUR CUSTOM GARMENTS CONTINUED ON PAGE 8 STEP UP YOUR EMAIL MARKETING CAMPAIGNS CONTINUED ON PAGE 16 IMPRINT Q & A INDUSTRY NEWS FRESHENING UP YOUR COMPANY'S LOGO STAYING IN THE MONEY

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20

WEARABLES SHOWCASE

28

AD SPECIALTY SHOWCASE

31

SUPPLIES & EQUIPMENT SHOWCASE

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34

CANADA'S WHOLESALE SALES NUMBERS PUBLISHER Tony Muccilli : tony@imprintcanada.com PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT Adriano Aldini : news@imprintcanada.com

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Mark L. Venit, Sean Oakley, Ted Stahl, Tage Tracy & John A. Tracy, Adriano Aldini

MARKETING COORDINATOR Steve Silva: feedback@imprintcanada.com OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR Maria Natale: shows@imprintcanada.com GENERAL INQUIRIES feedback@imprintcanada.com, (905)856-2600 ADVERTISING SALES

Tony Muccilli (Toronto) Tel: (905) 856-2600 Fax: (905) 856-2667 Imprint Canada is published six times per year by Tristan Communications Ltd. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced either in part or in whole without the consent of the copyright owner. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. Request for missing issues are not accepted after three months from the date of publication. TRISTAN COMMUNICATIONS LTD. Publications mail agreement no. 40025740 Return undeliverable mail to: 190 Marycroft Avenue, Unit 16, Woodbridge, Ontario, L4L 5Y2 Email: shows@imprintcanada.com ISSN: 1480-1884

GST Registration #: RT892913294

-XO\$XJXVW _ IMPRINT CANADA




IMPRINT CANADA



Q. What is the best way to ensure consistency in your placements when applying heat transfers?

Q: Why does my vinyl cutter blade cut inconsistently?

A: On a basic T-shirt or sweatshirt, we suggest 3" - 3.5â&#x20AC;? down from the bottom of the neckline for front placement. There are variations for placement: full front, left chest, and even letter and number placement for sports uniforms. We have guidelines at stahlscanada.com that have a variety of placement and sizing tips.

A: Check your blade extension. The blade should only stick out of the holder half the thickness of a credit card. Also double check the artwork to ensure that the file does not contain more than one copy of the cut line. Cutting over an area more than once can cause this issue.

Q: When cutting fine detail on Fashion Film or Thermo Film what blade do you suggest: a 45 or a 60, and why?

Q: Is CAD-CUT H2O a water-based transfer material?

A: When cutting fine detail, it is best to use a 60 degree blade because the steeper angle allows the blade to cut deeper and limits the blade from dragging which tends to cause the vinyl to lift in detailed designs.

Q: How do you avoid creases when pressing caps? A: There are three key ways to avoid creases on caps. First, it is recommended that you use optional cap platens when decorating caps or other types of headwear. Platens come in various sizes, ranging from 2.75â&#x20AC;?- 4â&#x20AC;? high to fit different styles of caps, such as low profile, visors, and caps with full crowns. Second, be sure to use a cap press that has a hold-down device. This device helps stretch the cap over the platen, holding it into place, making the printing surface smooth. Third, always pre-heat for a couple of seconds to remove any pre-existing wrinkles on the printing surface.

Q: What advice would you give an embroider looking to get into the heat printing market?

A: No, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s called CAD-CUT H2O because the finish mirrors that of a water based/ discharge screen print. Experienced screen printers often canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t tell the difference between this decorating method and water based printing.

Q: Any recommendations we should be made aware of when cutting and applying CAD-CUT H2O? A: Getting accurate cutting and weeded designs is critical. You do not want any lifting at the corners or edges of the material as this can impact the finished decoration. Also, be sure that you are achieving the pressure desired for the look you want; adding more pressure achieves a more saturated print. Seams, zippers and buttons that absorb pressure from the press can cause inaccuracies in the print. This is often desired due to the washed out finish of the product.

Q: We're applying white transfers on foam koozies but we can't get a true bright white as there is a lot of bleed through on the darker colours. Any suggestions?

A: Expanding from embroidery into heat printing is an excellent way to increase your profit potential. Heat Printing compliments embroidery services since you can decorate a wide variety of apparel and accessories that may be cost prohibitive, labour intensive, or just not possible with embroidery. Heat transfer products have come long way over the years. Today, the technology offers decorating methods that are durable, long-lasting, and have a high end look. You can print full colour, add foil finishes, you can add glitter and flock textures and more, all at a relatively low cost. In addition, there are many heat printing products embroiders can use as alternatives to direct embroidery, we like to call them time savers. One example is Pro Cap embroidery. These individual letters are embroidered and have a permanent adhesive. Simply apply with a heat press in a matter of seconds. SimStitchÂŽ also has a permanent adhesive and is made from Perma-TWILL and features a laser etched zig-zag stitch, which delivers the look of sewing, but in a heat applied product.

A: This problem is known as dye migration. Stahlsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Thermo-FILMÂŽ is a tried and true performer when it comes to this issue. A slightly thicker heat transfer material is ideal for blocking dye migration. For a full colour option, CAD-PRINTZ digital transfers can be ordered in Sub-Block, appropriately names for blocking sublimation or dye migration. Remember, ink saturation levels can vary across koozies and other neoprene based substrates.

Q: Why does my vinyl cutter blade leaves tiny uncut sections in my designs?

A: This result can be typical of polyester based fabrics, especially those with a mid to dark colour range. Try reducing the temperature and increasing your time on the application if possible. Another option is using a flexible application pad. This rubber silicone pad helps reduce this â&#x20AC;&#x153;shadow boxâ&#x20AC;? effect on heat sensitive items.

A: These tiny uncut sections can be caused by a variety of factors. First, check your blade extension. The blade should only stick out of the holder half the thickness of a credit card. Check the Cutting Strip on the bottom of the cutter to ensure there are no grooves in it. Lastly, check to make sure the Offset on the cutter is correct for the blade angle being used. Often, operators switch to the proper angle blade for cutting varying materials but forget that changing the offset is a critical step when changing the blade to achieve accurate cuts.

Q: We applied plastisol transfers onto polyester shirts using a pad (to avoid buttons) and covered it with a nonstick sheet. When we pre-pressed the garment for a few seconds to remove wrinkles, a box where the pad was appears. Is there any way to fix this?

Q: When creating artwork for a CAD-Printz transfer design, what is the recommended contour distance if you want unprinted media around the design? A: By selecting outline, we will automatically add a white contour of .05" around the design.  If you are interested in matching the colour of the item you are decorating, you can choose the contour outline colour from our colour selection or enter a Pantone colour for us to target.

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Industry News Debco's BBQ a resounding success Debco's summer BBQ was a resounding hit, with more than 200 distributors in attendance to enjoy an afternoon filled with food, music, fun and great prizes. In the midst of an exciting year for Debco, this event - which was hosted on July 11 at their head office in Concord, ON - provided them with the opportunity to thank their distributors for their ongoing support. "It was a tremendous success," said Debco president Stan Gallen. "I am a believer in always being memorable, and to this end I would have to say we achieved our goal." In addition to the great food, *JW^M# =MIU -MJKW  *TM` 6WZQV 4I\M /I[[MT

guests thoroughly enjoyed being =MZQM ,ZIQO IVL <\IV 0ITTMV treated to live music, provided cour+MTW_# 6WZM \PIV  LQ[\ZQJ]\WZ[ KIUM W]\

\W MVRWa \PM OZMI\ NWWL N]V IVL TQ^M U][QK tesy of Debco's own Alex Morin. "The results exceeded our expectations," said Kate Fassel, lead marketing coordinator for Debco. "The print shop tours were wildly popular and the buzz surrounding the ice cream truck can still be heard." To see more photos from this event, please visit Imprint Canada's Facebook page.

Bulletin is Moving Bulletin has announced that effective August 1, 2012, they will be operating out of their new office located at: 490 Blvd. Montpellier Saint-Laurent, Quebec, H4N 2G7 Bulletin would like to thank all of its customers and partners for their continued support. For more information, Bulletin can be reached at: Tel: 514.279.4581 / Toll Free: 800.463.1483 / Fax: 877.279.9816 Email: info@bulletincanada.com

Whiteridge Inc. adds GTA representation Whiteridge Inc. is happy to announce it has partnered with GTA-based multi-line supplier marketing agency Promo Expo, to bring it's fresh and innovative collection to more distributors in Ontario. Deidre McCloskey, Whiteridge Inc.'s GTA account manager, will be working exclusively with Promo Expo staff to service all distributors' Whiteridge product needs.  For more information, Promo Expo's Showroom is located at 422 North Rivermede Rd. #14 in Vaughan, ON. 

Kobe Launches "Hoops and Dreams Fund" Kobe Sportswear is proud to establish the "Kobe Hoops and Dreams Fund" for the members of the Toronto Kiwanis Boys And Girls Clubs.



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The fund is designed to outfit and bring together at risk inner city youths who are part of the Toronto Kiwanis Boys and Girls Clubsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; basketball program. It will also encourage effective team work and healthy competition amongst youths from low income families in Regent Park. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are thrilled about this opportunity,â&#x20AC;? said Ian Edward, executive director, Toronto Kiwanis Boys and Girls Clubs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Kobe Sportswear Inc. is not only outfitting our youth basketball team, but they are impacting the self-esteem and confidence of our youth.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Kobe Sportswear is committed to supporting initiatives that will help shape the next generation of Canadian athletes and scholars,â&#x20AC;? said William Chen, marketing director, Kobe Sportswear Inc. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We want to encourage everyone to show their Red and White spirit, by helping to support this program.â&#x20AC;? From July 9 to August 31, Kobe Sportswear will donate $1 for every select Red and White product sold towards the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Kobe Sportswear Hoops and Dreams Fundâ&#x20AC;?. For more information, please visit www.kobesportswear.com/ hoopsanddreams.


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Industry News (continued )

Freshening Up Your Companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Logo (Part 2) Typography, Colour, and Creating Second Marks By Mark L. Venit, MBA

In Part 1 of this article, I discussed the evolution of logos and why a new look and feel for your companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s logo is an important effort. Now weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll turn to the issues of typography, colour, and the possibility of creating a second identity to compliment your new look. Typography and colour are matters of personal taste as well as expanded mechanisms for getting your logo to tell a fuller story about who you are and how you want to be perceived.

Typography Different fonts give you the ability to convey different attributes. Fonts can communicate 675(1*7+ or &+5%4'6+10, they can be BAIEJEJA or eYk[mdaf], they can express QO>AFQFLK or PRG HUQLW\, excitement or FRPSRVXUH, PLAYFULLNESS or WIRWMFMPMX], VXSHULRULW\ or deference, VLPSOLFLW\ or SOPHISTICATION.....or just about anything else you want to portray. So, whether you opt for creativity or elect a conservative cast, think about how different fonts can effect different outcomes for a distinctive look and feel.

Colour Once you like what you see in black and white, consider what colour youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like your company to wear when colour is a suitable option. Two-colour logos can be lovely, but not necessarily twice as good as a monochromatic logo. Using three or more colours isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t three or four times as nice, nor will it properly show in many smaller applications. But there are logos and names that scream for colour (i.e., Celebration Sportswear, Rainbow Fashions, et cetera.) Use two, three, or even four colours to create impact, but always be sure to design your logo in such a way that it maintains its integrity in all monochromatic applications. There is no one-size-fits-all answer as the issue of colour is one that comes down to personal taste; like chocolate or vanilla. When you think youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re done, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not; you wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a final logo until youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve given people whose opinions you value a chance to weigh in. When it comes to logos, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not looking for â&#x20AC;&#x153;cute,â&#x20AC;? youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking for smart, effective,

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and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking to make an impact. But your ultimate decision shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be democratic; not unless those weighing in have as much money at risk as you have. Getting input is good, but this decision is one reserved to the owner(s) of the business. Before you embark on your logo mission, reflect on some selected recent statistical conclusions compiled a few years ago (2010) in a review of the logos of the firms listed in Business Weekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top 100 global brands. The study was done by an enterprising blogger, graphic designer Jacob Cass. 94% The brand name does not describe the product sold. 90% The tag line is not included in the logo 84% The font style is clean and clear 74% The logo design uses only one colour (other than black and white) 66% The logo design is rectangular in shape 48% Logo designs include the trademark symbol (â&#x201E;˘) at the top-right 52% The name is six letters or less 52% The background is filled and solid 44% The brand uses upper & lower case letters (excluding acronyms)

Second Marks As a little boy I met a real, live celebrity who worked near my Grandfather's house in Atlantic City outside of the Planterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Peanut Store on the Boardwalk. Mr. Peanutâ&#x201E;˘ has been hard at work on Planterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;sÂŽ product labels since 1918. I still have my Mr. Peanut drinking cups proudly displayed in my kitchen. The Morton SaltÂŽ girl has been holding her umbrella on packaging since 1916 (the current version had her most recent makeover in 1968). Leo the Lion has been roaring in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer logo since 1927. Rice Krispiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Snap, Crackle and PopÂŽ got their working papers in 1933. These characters could be the Michelin Manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s grandchildren, since he hit the street in 1898. His grandchild could be Tony the Tiger, who has been working for Kelloggâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Frosted FlakesÂŽ since 1952. Perhaps your kids â&#x20AC;&#x201C; or YOU -- own M & M toys, likenesses of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Redâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Yellow,â&#x20AC;? who debuted as â&#x20AC;&#x153;spokescandiesâ&#x20AC;? in 1954

and have gone on to becoming a best-selling toy brand. The Energizer BunnyÂŽ, now a 20-something, has grown beyond merely being a battery companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s CBO (chief bunny officer) to boasting his own line of toys as well. 0 {bTR^]S \PaZ| Xb P STeXRT cWPc bTaeTb X] P bd__^acX]V a^[T c^ h^da [^V^ fWT] cWT [^V^ \XVWcQTX]bdUUXRXT]cX]RTacPX]P__[XRPcX^]b

Maybe your kids have a close personal relationship with Ronald McDonaldÂŽ, who first appeared in 1963, portrayed by Willard Scott who went on to become NBCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s legendary weatherman. (Scott also played Bozo the clown on Washington D.C.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s WRC in the late 1950s). The Roaming GnomeÂŽ is instantaneously recognized as working for TravelocityÂŽ, though his travel shtick is the result of his proclivity for being kidnapped. Met LifeÂŽ is represented by one smart dog, but SnoopyÂŽ is old school compared another insurance companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s representative reptilian. He does have a name (Martin) but most of us know him simply as the GEICOÂŽ Gecko. Note though that some see Martin as a â&#x20AC;&#x153;scab,â&#x20AC;? however, since he got hired in 1999 when the Screen Actors Guild went on strike. We also know GEICO employs cavemen from time to time as well. Oh, yeah, and Budweiser has Clydesdale horses. Who knew that long-standing recognition could come from â&#x20AC;&#x153;second marks?â&#x20AC;? A â&#x20AC;&#x153;second markâ&#x20AC;? is a device that serves in a supporting role to your logo when the logo might be insufficient in certain applications. This second mark could be a mascot, an anthropomorphic character or some other representation of your company. It can serve as a spokesperson for your company in newsletters, advertising, product and package labels. It also can enhance a mountain of applications where your logo and identity need reinforcement or a convenient ready-to-go helper to make your visual image go that much further when the situation warrants. You'll find this second mark a convenient way to build your identity when a logo doesn't do the whole job. Second marks also can be part of your branding strategies, especially when used as sleeve or collar icons on the garments you decorate. Your own second marks not only reinforce loyalty from the people whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll wear them, but theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll also generate millions of advertising impressions to everyone who sees them. Hmmmm, whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s that sound I hear? Ahhhh, it must be the creative wheels in your head spinning! When a prospect sees your advertising, accesses your website, calls or visits your shop, or otherwise encounters your enterprise for the first time, will your company sound and look engaging and professional? Will the prospectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first impression help you close the sale or will it kill it? If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re uncertain, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s likely you need to work on making those first impressions more positive experiences. Good luck and have fun making your company look as good as it wants to be seen. Mark L. Venit, MBA, provides management and marketing conulting and proprietary research to apparel graphics companies throughout the Americas and Europe. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the author of several books and over 500 articles published in trade magazines and professional journals. His book, The Business of T-Shirts: A Textbook for Success in Marketing and Selling Decorated Apparel, released in March 2011, is available from Stahls' Canada and from the author.



IMPRINT CANADA _ -XO\$XJXVW

Venit is engaged extensively as an expert witness, qualified in all U.S. and Canadian jurisdictions in the areas of trademark and copyright applications, business conventions and trade practices in the apparel graphics industry. A former professor of advertising and marketing, Venit earned his bachelors and masters degrees at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mark Venit can be reached at: markvenit@cs.com, 410.641.7300.


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THINK LIKE A CUSTOMER

SHOW YOUR STUFF

Once you have found the perfect niche, you still need to promote your business. However you choose to market your heat printing products and services, keep these questions in mind: Am I thinking like a customer? Am I answering their concerns? Am I making sure they know why they should buy from me instead of from someone else? Your pricing needs to be @Q\P N]TT KWTW]Z LQOQ\IT \ZIV[NMZ

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may have about quality and ]VLMZ I PMI\ XZM[[ reliability need to be addressed in your marketing pieces or store signs. You have to be able to imagine that your customer doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really know what they want to buy. They donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know what colour their logo should be, they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how to get their logo to you, and they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how many shirts they will need. Make it easy for your customer. Create a binder that shows examples of your one, two and full colour designs on all the colour ways you carry. Explain the difference between one and two colour lettering or numbering on a sign or with a showroom sample. Create seasonal displays and put out flyers with a monthly special on them. Even if the customer doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want that particular special, they will be made aware of your heat printing and apparel decorating services.

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your job to make it as easy as possible for your customers to place an order. In addition to having a sample book on your counter, here are some other ideas:

ASK FOR THE SALE Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the biggest mistake most marketers make? They donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ASK FOR THE SALE! Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s true, the world belongs to the askers; ask and you shall receive. Some people donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like asking for the sale because they are afraid the person might say â&#x20AC;&#x153;Noâ&#x20AC;?. Even if the person does say no, think of it as an opportunity to find out. Find out what you could have done to make them say â&#x20AC;&#x153;Yes!â&#x20AC;? It might be something that is out of your control - like they need 12 dozen XXL shirts in lime green by tomorrow. But if it is something else, maybe there is actions you can take to correct the situation. However, you wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know unless you ASK. This is also true for any printed piece of literature you createâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;it must contain a â&#x20AC;&#x153;call to actionâ&#x20AC;? statement, telling people exactly what you want them to do, like â&#x20AC;&#x153;Call Todayâ&#x20AC;? or â&#x20AC;&#x153;Schedule an Appointment.â&#x20AC;?

INCREASE YOUR EXPOSURE What do I mean by exposure? It means letting people know what you do. Tell the world what you do; donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t assume they already know. Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s how: â&#x20AC;˘ Always carry a supply of business cards and give them out to everyone you meet. Everyone needs T-shirts at some point, or they know someone who will. â&#x20AC;˘ Consider low-cost advertising in places where business owners might congregate. â&#x20AC;˘ Print out flyers and tuck them under windshields of cars parked outside the office supply or quickie-print store. â&#x20AC;˘ If you know the owner of a printing shop and he/she doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mind, ask to put a stack of flyers or a â&#x20AC;&#x153;drop your cardâ&#x20AC;? in this bowl to gather names of other businesses. â&#x20AC;˘ Post your card at the car wash or on other information boards that have exposure in the community. â&#x20AC;˘ Sponsor a local sports league that includes the privilege of putting a banner with your store info on the fields. Find the leagues that will give you the most exposure. â&#x20AC;˘ Approach stores that sell performance wear and inform them that you have the ability to add their logo to the items they sell. â&#x20AC;˘ Do you already have a sign in your store window that says We Print Custom T-Shirts? If not, that should be the first thing you do after reading this. You might think the name of your business makes it obvious as to what you do, but you would be surprised. You can also add words such as â&#x20AC;&#x153;No Minimumsâ&#x20AC;?; â&#x20AC;&#x153;Overnight Servicesâ&#x20AC;?; â&#x20AC;&#x153;Custom Printing While You Waitâ&#x20AC;?; â&#x20AC;&#x153;We Print on Anythingâ&#x20AC;? is also a good one.



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â&#x20AC;˘ Display your best work on your walls or create a rack of printed samples you have done for other customers. You can put a sign on the rack that says â&#x20AC;&#x153;NOT FOR SALEâ&#x20AC;? and this will draw people to it. Showing samples of your work accomplishes two things: it shows your quality work, and it demonstrates that you do business with a lot of people. â&#x20AC;˘ Have your employees wear printed shirts. If you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have employees, YOU should be the one wearing printed shirts. I am always shocked at how many folks with shirt printing businesses donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even have a shirt with their own business name on it. As an alternative to plain uniform type shirts with a name on the pocket, allow employees to get creative and create their own shirts to wear. Encourage them to take current events themes and trends into consideration. â&#x20AC;˘ Make a photo album. Customers enjoy being able to point to a garment and say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll take that, but in a different colour.â&#x20AC;? This way they feel creative, even if they needed a little help. If you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t afford to keep samples of actual shirts you have printed on hand, take a picture of some of the better shirts created in your store and post them where other customers can see. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also helpful for you to remember the jobs you have done and what the customer wants when they call in to place a re-order. They assume you will know! â&#x20AC;˘ Buy a 5XL T-shirt in the brightest colour and print custom logos all over it. The size of the shirt will grab peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attention and you can fit a lot of designs on it to tell a story of what you have to offer.

What Can You Offer That Your Competition Isn't? Even though you may already be customizing and personalizing apparel, why not expand your niche and try offering the following as well: AL=EK>GJH9J=FLK#L=9EK2

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THINK BEYOND THE JERSEY OR T-SHIRT ORDER Even if you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get the T-shirt or team jersey business, there are a lot of items you can offer to local schools, teams and businesses. Here are just some ideas: â&#x20AC;˘ Team uniform sales can be very competitive at the school level, but donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget that you can provide â&#x20AC;&#x153;non-uniformâ&#x20AC;? items to players (off playing field shirts, caps, water bottles, banners) and all the items you can provide the fans like: graphically-intensive / â&#x20AC;&#x153;blingedoutâ&#x20AC;? fan apparel, seat cushions for bleacher seats, scarves for cold games, window decals to â&#x20AC;&#x153;ride with prideâ&#x20AC;?, et cetera. â&#x20AC;˘ Find out which schools have Student Stores: visit the store and show them some up to date cool samples of what you can offer. â&#x20AC;˘ Ask if you could set up a table at sporting events: baseball games, football games, hockey, basketball, et cetera. All you need is a table, electricity, and heat applied products for the event and to offer the service of personalized names on existing shirts. A good idea would also be to donate a portion of the proceeds back to the team. â&#x20AC;˘ Homecoming & Proms: all the kids have shirts with the theme and the date of the dance as a parting gift â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it is the norm now. â&#x20AC;˘ Keep track of who is winning in what sports: all championship games need a shirt commemorating the BIG WIN! Most schools hold assemblies the first school day back from a BIG WIN â&#x20AC;&#x201C; hundreds of shirts could be sold. â&#x20AC;˘Swim teams and track meets need not only T-shirts, but also tote bags and towels that can be personalized for each team or each member. Think of items that other sports need in addition to uniforms.

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People wearing custom shirts often donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know where they came from. If someone asks, make sure you have a reminder printed right on the shirt. A good idea is to order or create your own custom printed â&#x20AC;&#x153;apparel or shirt tagsâ&#x20AC;? that can be heat printed onto each shirt purchased. It should have your business name and phone/web address. That is advertising that will last a long time. You can also add washing instructions to the tag. Your customers will appreciate that as well. Tagless labels are also a great idea if you are creating a limited edition line of clothing. You can create a sheet of consecutively numbered tags if you need to.

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TAKE SOME TIME TO REFLECT If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always wondered how you could get into the lucrative safety market, the answer is as close as your heat press. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so easy to add a bit of heat transfer reflective material to any item. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more to safety than paramedics, firefighters and police. How many times have you seen people out jogging at dawn or dusk and thought that they should be wearing something to make them more visible? Or what about school kids? Kids around the country are getting ready to go back to school. Why not run a special on reflective printing? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy to add a logo, name, or just a few innocent stripes to a pant leg, jacket, or backpack. And donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget, if the item already has reflective material on it, like a crossing guardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vest, you can heat print other, non-reflective logos on these items to personalize them.

UPSELL AND CROSS SELL Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve all been asked that very important question in our lives: Do you want fries with that? This question is a classic in the world of increasing the value of the sale. You should be

OPPORTUNITIES ARE EVERYWHERE The custom decorated garment industry is alive and well, there are opportunities everywhere you look. With a heat press you are able to create just about any type of custom look you see, so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy to capitalize on trends and help people get the on-demand personalization they are seeking.

Ted Stahl is the Executive Chairman of the Board of GroupeSTAHL, an international group of companies specializing in heat printing methods. Stahl is a well-known industry veteran with more than 40 yearsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; experience in all aspects of apparel graphics, from manufacturing and marketing, to product design and retail operations. Stahl has played a major role in bringing sportswear graphics into the computer era, with the introduction of high-tech digital imprinting products, including Stahlsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; CAD-CUTÂŽ materials, Drawmateâ&#x201E;˘ software and CADWorxlive.com, a free online art creation website. In 2010, Stahl was inducted into the National Sporting Goods Association Hall of Fame. You can follow Ted on his blog: www.tedstahl.com


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Staying in the Money

10 Ways to Keep Cash Flow Problems from Hurting Your Business By Tage Tracy & John A. Tracy

Every small business owner knows that you can have tons of loyal customers and be an expert at getting new business and still be kept awake at night with cash flow worries. Authors Tage Tracy and John A. Tracy commiserate; they know cash flow is an issue that can send good businesses to their graves. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Cash flow problems have a habit of sneaking up on a business, especially in a rocky economy,â&#x20AC;? says Tage Tracy, coauthor along with John A. Tracy of Cash Flow For DummiesÂŽ â&#x20AC;&#x153;If a business is earning a profit, many business managers simply assume that cash flow is satisfactory. But even if profit is good, cash flow can be bad.â&#x20AC;? Cash flows pose an unending challenge to business owners and managers because they have to be carefully managed. The following are some tips for what you can do to help cash flow reboot for your business.

Respect & understand financial statements The bottom line for small business owners is simple: if you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make an effort to prepare, review, and completely understand your financial statements, then you need to ask yourself why youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in business in the first place. This especially holds true for the statement of cash flows, because an abundance of invaluable information is available from this most commonly overlooked and mismanaged financial statement.

Plan, do projections, and plan some more Proper planning is essential to the launch, growth, management, and ultimate success of your business as measured by the ability to generate profits and, just as important, to avoid running out of cash. Having access to sound financial plans structured for different operating scenarios is an absolute must.

Focus on capital and cash - the lifeblood of your business One of the most common reasons small businesses fail is that they lack adequate cash or capital, not only to survive difficult times, but also to prosper during growth opportunities. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Remember, one of the greatest losses a small business can realize is that of lost opportunity, which has its roots in not being prepared to properly capitalize on market opportunities,â&#x20AC;? explains Tracy. The harsh reality is that this great loss is never accounted for or presented in any way, shape, or form on the businessâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s financial statements. Rather, missed market and business opportunities lurk in the torturous thought: "Imagine what I could have achieved!"

Understand your selling cycle The length of the complete selling cycle is often much longer than the aspiring entrepreneur projects and/ or wants to believe. The selling cycle in its entirety spans the time from the very start of the process when a product or service is first visualized and developed to supporting customers after the sale and developing additional products or services that may be in demand. If not properly managed, the selling cycle generally becomes one of the largest consumers of cash in a business. Without fail, almost every aspiring business owner, at one point or another, will experience delays in the selling cycle.

Manage your disbursements cycle To counteract the selling cycle cash consumption machine, businesses need to understand that the disbursement cycle (managing expenditures and cash payments to vendors, employees, and other creditors) can be leveraged and managed to be a primary source of cash for your business. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Invoke whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s called the matching principle,â&#x20AC;? advises Tracy. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That is, you should be able to match cash inflows and outflows.â&#x20AC;?

Be creative to generate cash The following three areas offer significant opportunities for creativity when looking to improve cash flows: 1. Turn your assets over more quickly. The more quickly you can turn over assets, the more quickly they turn into cash. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s as simple as that. 2. Leverage your vendors, suppliers, and financing sources. They donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to lose your business, so placing just the right amount of leverage on these groups can result in enhanced cash flows because liabilities offer a source of cash. 3. Manage external sources of cash proactively. Proactively manage your relationships with banks, leasing com IMPRINT CANADA _ -XO\$XJXVW

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panies, and even the federal government to ensure that cash is made available when needed.

Balance the balance sheet Many businesses overlook the concept of properly managing the financial structure of their balance sheet, which has gotten more than a few businesses in trouble. Your business needs to strike a proper balance between making sure that current assets are financed or supported with current liabilities, and making sure that long-term assets are financed or supported with longterm sources of capital, such as a five-year note payable or equity. Every business should strive to achieve a financial condition that ensures constant maintenance of adequate levels of both solvency (the ability to pay all just debts) and liquidity (the ability to quickly access cash to support business operations).

Understand external capital markets When it comes to external capital markets, think well ahead. In todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economic climate, it takes a long time to identify external sources of capital and to secure them. So plan well ahead to make sure that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have cash available when needed, because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a process you can rush.

Protect cash at all times Cash has a unique characteristic unlike other assets that makes it highly susceptible to additional risk of loss: Cash is an extremely liquid and marketable asset.

Always think: CART CART stands for: Complete, Accurate, Reliable, and Timely. Your companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s financial and accounting information system needs to produce complete, accurate, reliable, and timely financial information, reports, data, and so on - which management can use to make informed business decisions. When you have the proper systems in place and know what to look for, you can keep cash flowing, helping you to grow a successful business. If you haven't already, it is probably time to place a renewed focus on properly managing your cash flows.

About the Authors: Tage C. Tracy is principal owner of TMK & Associates, an accounting, financial, and strategic business planning consulting firm. John A. Tracy is professor of accounting at the University of Colorado in Boulder and the author of Accounting For DummiesÂŽ


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For: Owners, managers, and salespeople of companies in business for two years or less and for entrepreneurs considering starting a custom decorated apparel business

For: Owners, managers, and investors of custom decorated-apparel companies

Have you taken the plunge and your company is stuck at the starting line or stalled in neutral? Contemplating starting a custom decorated-apparel company? Among the key topics being addressed are: Why do so many start-up decorated-apparel companies fail? How and when can you transform your parttime effect into a full-time livelihood that makes you REAL money? How do small companies become big, profitable enterprises despite being in environments with long-entrenched competition and good olâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; boy networks? Cut your learning curve by years through Markâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s insiderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s view of the pathologies that impact start-up decorated apparel companies while learning specific techniques for building your account base and establishing your own long-term viability. Mark has personally guided over 100 start-up decorated apparel businesses to success and profitability and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll get a solid understanding on whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll make it â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and who wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll take home a solid, workable game plan designed for immediate implementation, learn the secrets of lowering your garment costs, understand when to buy equipment â&#x20AC;&#x201C; or reasons to defer buying -- along with how to buy it smarter and cheaper. Learn how your company can accomplish all this in this landmark workshop -- or pay a fortune in tuition at the School of Hard Knocks.

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Why and how do some custom decorated-apparel companies thrive and grow even more profitable -- even during uncertain economic times -- while too many others constantly struggle just to remain afloat? How can small companies become big companies within just a few years? How do you get your business to the â&#x20AC;&#x153;next level?â&#x20AC;? How much will it cost to get it there, and how long will it take until you can count on a respectable, sustainable income? The answers to these questions and realistic, attainable paths to achieving real growth and solid profitability are the agenda for this all-day advanced workshop on rethinking, revitalizing, and repositioning your company for the next 3-5 years and beyond. Designed specifically for owners, investors, and senior managers of decorated-apparel companies experiencing limited growth -- or retrenchment -- and weak or nonexistent profitability for the past few years, this course will give you the framework and the tools for diagnosing your companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s challenges and present achievable solutions for getting back into the passing lane.

O9JFAF?2OaehkYf\`Yj\`]Y\kf]]\fglYhhdq3 Yjjan]Yd]jloal`Yfgh]feaf\$Ykljgf_klgeY[`Yf\Y hgkalan]\akhgkalagf& â&#x20AC;&#x153;Survivorsâ&#x20AC;? of this course can count on leaving with clear alternatives, reinvigorated motivation, a foundation for writing a new business plan, and a brightened outlook for the future for your enterprise.

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For: Owners, salespeople, administrative personnel

Can your production employees perform at higher levels to lower your labour costs? How can you minimize mistakes to improve quality and output? How do you boost administrative productivity to get the work done faster and better? Learn innovative, field-proven ways to improve employee motivation, increase staff loyalty, and connect better wages to heightened performance. The emphasis here is on practical, do-able, affordable, bottomline improvements that create happier employees and generate bigger profits. Two advanced-level simulation exercises are included in the program. Attendees will also take home Venitâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s copyrighted Personnel Review System and Employee Evaluation Scorekeeper.

When customers walk in the front door to your showroom or shop, call your company, or arrive at your website, do they get an immediate 100% positive impression and confirmation that your company is the best place to buy custom-decorated apparel? Will you likely get an order as a result of their first encounter with your company? Learn how to set your company apart from the competition and build a loyal account base that keeps coming back for more. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll get nuts-and-bolts specifics for revitalizing your image and your bottom line. Topics include: smarter techniques for handling inquiries; segregating account types into different marketing agendas; developing catalogues and websites for market-specific customers as well as general buying audiences; secrets for creating an irresistible showroom; rethinking your companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name; and the magic words for converting price shoppers into loyal multiple-item customers.

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K) %C==HAF?K;GJ=2AF<MKLJQ%KH=;A>A;9;;GMFLAF? Industry-specific accounting transforms your financial record-keeping into a powerful tool for seeing in black and white, what parts of your business are making money and which parts are wasting money. Among key topics: tracking trends in product sales that alert you to new opportunities; measuring sales performance by product categories, target audiences, and by sales representatives; and forecasting purchases to lower garment costs, among other benefits. Mark Venit, the industryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s management guru, has counseled hundreds of apparel-decorating companies and will share his insider insights and innovative ways to reduce business and personal taxes along with industry-specific operating ratios for benchmarking key ledger categories. Each attendee will also receive Markâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own comprehensive industry-specific chart of accounts for reconfiguring and upgrading your companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s general ledger. EYjcN]fal$E:9$9hhYj]d?jYh`a[kAfklalml]

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K*%O@Q:MKAF=KKH=GHD=EMKL9<GHLKG;A9DE=<A99F< O@Q J=KAKL9F;=AK>MLAD= This seminar will clearly identify all of the reasons why you need to be active with your online social circles. Understanding how search engines are gathering information, in part, is key to leveraging this massively large database called The Internet. By the end of this session we will answer the questions once and for all: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Do I really need to be on Twitter? Does Facebook really work for business? If a website is found online, will it really make more money? Very few people fully recognize the ramifications -- both positive and negative -- that the Internet is having on our business and our personal reputations. During this session, we will explore the power of a social strategy for business people. We will explore how operating systems, web browsers, tool bars and other tools on your computer are feeding information about your behaviour to service providers and search engines alike. Bring it all around to leveraging our knowledge of how the internet, as a massively large database can be manipulated to our advantage as business owners, managers, and employees. <Yna\9O]kl$C9QCEYjc]laf_Af[&

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Want to turn customers into fans? Working with a slender marketing budget? This 90-minute investment will pay handsome dividends in helping you win accounts and keep your customers from straying to competitors. Laugh all the way to the bank as the master 30-year marketer opens his bag of tricks on the how-toâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s of dramatically boosting your closing ratio, enhancing your companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good-will value, garnering referrals, building your companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s identity, increasing customer satisfaction, and strengthening account loyalty. And youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be pleased to learn that most of these field-proven, industry-specific, giant-killing techniques require little or no additional outlays of cash! EYjcN]fal$E:9$9hhYj]d?jYh`a[kAfklalml]

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K,%:=;GE=9GF=%KLGHK@GH You may already know that the wearables industry makes up more than 25% of the promotional products industry, so that means there is an ability to grow by another 75% with just a little bit more effort. During this seminar we will discuss how to introduce and position your company as a one-stop shop to your clients. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll also learn statistics from the Promotional Products industry that can be used to grow your business. BYqGkljgo$:9KA$9KA;YfY\Y


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3630 Macleod Trail South Calgary, Alberta T2G 2P9 (403) 287-3900 http://www.bwcalgarycentre.com For reservations, call: 1-877-287-3900

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4206 MacLeod Trail South, Calgary, AB (403) 287-2700 or 1-866-554-0162 www.hihotelcalgary.ca RATE: $119 CODE: WIC or Western Imprint Canada Show DEADLINE: September 11

 

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3828 MacLeod Trail South, Calgary, AB (403) 243-5531 or 1-800-361-3422 www.daysinn-calgarysouth.com RATE: $89.99 CODE: CG4872 DEADLINE: September 9

KH=;A9DJ9L=>GJAEHJAFL;9F9<9K@GO?M=KLK2 $127.49 (Includes a complimentary hot breakfast). SHOW CODE: Imprint Canada Show DEADLINE (To receive special rate): September 30, 2012

@GL=D9JLK

119 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 12th Avenue S.W., Calgary, AB (403) 266-4611 or 1-800-661-9378 www.hotelarts.ca RATE: $119-$189 CODE: 1210WESTER 002 or Western Imprint Show DEADLINE: September 10

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Air Canada is pleased to offer special rates to delegates attending the Western Imprint Canada Show.

WestJet is pleased to offer a 10% discount off our best available fare at the time of the booking (excluding seat sales and web fares) to delegates flying to and from the Western Imprint Canada Show in Calgary.

Please book your Air Canada flight by visiting AirCanada.com and enter Promotion Code CQ43XYA1 in the search panel. Discounts do not apply to TANGO packages. Rates are available from October 3-20, 2012.

For bookings, please contact the WestJet Groups Department at 1-888493-7853. The convention code CC6062 must be quoted at the time of booking. Please note that Convention Codes are not available for use on WestJet.com at this time. Discount is available October 7-15, 2012.


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TECHNOSPORT Anjou/Montreal (800) 711-1600, Calgary, AB (800) 711-1600, Moncton, New Brunswick (800) 711-1600, Woodbridge, ON (800) 711-1600

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TOBA SPORTSWEAR Winnipeg, MB (888) 632-8622 WESTMOUNT DISTRIBUTORS London, ON (800) 461-4906

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Many options support database integration, segmentation, and various other techniques for improving the targeting of outgoing messages. You can generate on-the-fly mass email blasts, or customize them down to target specific recipient groups. Best of all, every email campaign you send out will generate a heap of actionable data and metrics you can use to refine your approach and messages. If you aren't measuring your results, then how can you know where you need to improve?

Here are some tips to consider to get the most out of your next e-blast:

If content is king, then subject lines are your ace It all starts with your subject line; effectively written ones are a must if you want your audience to take notice. If you don't want your e-blast to go straight into your recipients' trash or spam folder (who does?), then you need to have an easy-to-read, concise and descriptive subject line that tells whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inside rather than one which is trying to sell what's inside. How should you write your subject lines so that more recipients will open your emails? Avoid writing subject lines that read like headlines for ads, like: "Source Now and Save Money." While these may seem more creative, their open rates are far less effective. According to MailChimp - the email marketing service provider with more than 1.9 million subscribers worldwide that sends about 3 billion emails per month - their Subject Line Comparison statistics highlight the fact that the subject lines with the highest open rates (60%-87%) are relatively straightforward. These would include subject lines, like "(Company Name) Sales & Marketing Newsletter" - or - "(Company Name) Staff Shirts & Photos". Conversely, the subject lines with the lowest open rates (1%-14%) tended to be on the "salesy" side, e.g. "Need More Value From Your Promotional Product Distributor?" - or - "Give a Gift this Holiday." It's easy to assume that subject lines have to jump off the screen and grab the reader's attention but the reality is that it's best to avoid common clichĂŠs, ALL CAPS, exclamation points or common industry jargon, and rather focus on crafting concise and descriptive subject lines.

Don't Get Spammed In order to get your recipients to open your emails, you first need to ensure that you avoid their spam filters; nowadays

people get so much junk mail in their inbox that anything that even remotely resembles spam gets either blocked automatically or discarded immediately by the recipient. Spam filters look at a long list of criteria to determine whether your email is considered junk or not. Filters look for spammy phrases like: â&#x20AC;&#x153;SIGN UP NOW!â&#x20AC;? or â&#x20AC;&#x153;CLICK HERE FOR FREE STUFF!â&#x20AC;? and they assign points every time they see one of those phrases. So if your campaignâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s total â&#x20AC;&#x153;spam scoreâ&#x20AC;? exceeds a certain threshold, then your email goes to the junk folder. Certain phrases are assigned more points than others. Spam Assassin, the popular spam filtering program, uses the following breakdown: refers to a lot of money (.193 points); describes some sort of breakthrough (.232 points); sounds like mortgage pitch (.297 points); contains urgent matter (.288 points); offers a money back guarantee (2.051 points). The spam threshold is different for every server, and the criteria for defining what spam is constantly evolves as spam filters learn more about junk every time someone clicks the "This is spam" button in their email program. Spam filters even sync-up with each other to share what theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve learned.

Setting Expectations It should go without saying that you should establish what you actually expect to achieve via your email marketing plan before you actually start blasting out to your audience. Like any other marketing initiative you decide to undertake, you'd be surprised at how clear your objectives become once you actually write them down and formulate a thought-out plan. When you set expectations for your email marketing, you'll have a road map to follow which will enable to you to better craft an effective communication vehicle. If your goal is to simply build better relationships with your customers (rather than hard selling them on your services) creating e-blasts which contain relevant content that interests and engages your recipients will work extremely well here. Use these types of emails to gradually open your customers up for a sale and to keep them informed of the distinctiveness of your brand and/or company. For example, a screen printer could use this format as a marketing vehicle with which to keep clients informed of the various specialty printing techniques it has perfected. The campaign could include links to eye-catching images and cool multimedia content highlighting how the process

was achieved and implemented in retail and promotional programs would be a great way to keep recipients interested. Typically, if your recipients agreed to receive informative, "soft-selling" emails, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t expect them to be very receptive if, all of a sudden, you switch things up and start hard-selling them with promotional offers. Consistency is key here. On the other hand, if your audience signed up to be kept abreast of any special offers or latest promos, then your subject lines and content should be tailored accordingly. There's nothing wrong in this case with saying thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a limited-time e-coupon inside as theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re already expecting a â&#x20AC;&#x153;hard sellâ&#x20AC;? from you.

Segregation is Good Sending the same promotional email campaign to your entire subscriber database is ill-advised. Segmenting your database into various groups, and creating opt-in lists which will allow you to develop specific content according to the target base, is strongly recommended if you want your email marketing campaigns to have any chance of success. A promotional product distributor could segment lists based on client category (i.e. academic, financial, professional, retail, et cetera) and then tailor specific content and special offers based on the respective needs and interests of your groups. The more focused the target audience, the more effective your email marketing campaign will likely be.

Get Social

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Truly getting to know your subscribers involves taking the time to learn about their interests and studying their social media habits so you can effectively tailor your email campaigns to the people, or specific groups, reading them. This is the only way you'll be able to share relevant information with your readers, and they wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be overwhelmed with useless content. The experts at MailChimp recommend targeting your subscribers on the social media platforms they are most comfortable with. If only small percentage of your audience uses Twitter, but most of them interact on Facebook, then they recommend focusing your energy accordingly. Likewise, if you have a lot of great pictures of interesting designs and past work projects, engaging your audience on Flickr or Pinterest is a good way to go. Posting links to your campaigns on Facebook or announcing them via your Twitter handle is good, but it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t enough if you want to establish profitable, long-lasting relationships with your audience. If your email campaigns or newsletters contain relevant content or engaging information, you will have a much better chance that your readers will connect with you via these social networks and help spread the word about your business and your campaign's focus. Remember: including relavant content your recipents will benefit from will go a long way in ensuring the success of your email marketing campaigns. If your audience and potential customers feel as if you have a truly genuine focus on what interests them, they will be far more receptive to your messages.


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IMPRINT CANADA thanks its readership for making it

1 in the industry! #

Imprint Canadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recent Readership Survey highlighted the following findings:

93.9% of readers prefer Imprint Canada over any other trade publication 97.8% of readers recommend or make the final purchasing decisions for their company 96.7% of readers share their copy with at least one colleague 51.9% of readers also receive other industry trade publications 86.4% of readers have been compelled to contact an advertiser as a direct result of seeing their ad

85.6% of readers say they are directly influenced in their purchasing decisions by what they read in Imprint Canada

89.3% of readers hold onto their copy of Imprint Canada for at least one month 84.8% of readers read most or all of the publication 81.3% of readers have been a regular reader of Imprint Canada for at least three years


NEW

NEW

NEW

$1.938 billion

Canadian wholesale merchant inventories of textiles, clothing and footwear in May 2012, an increase of 1.5% from 2011

NEW

NEW

$912 million

Canadian wholesale merchant sales of textiles, clothing and footwear in May 2012

$908 million

Canadian wholesale merchant sales of textiles, clothing and footwear in May 2011

+ 0.5%

Change in Canadian wholesale merchant sales of textiles, clothing and footwear from May 2011 to May 2012

60

Our new Heavy Cotton HD™ and is made from a denser fabric for more vibrant prints.

Chained (2002) Dollars Current Dollars

55

SELECTION IN 29 COLORS

Collection comes in 29 colors

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fresh All at the same great value you expect from Fruit of the Loom ® Activewear.

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FruitActivewear.com 888.378.4829 ©2012 Fruit of the Loom, Inc.


©2012 Fruit of the Loom, Inc.

fresh

COLORS

Our new Heavy Cotton HD™ Collection offers a selection of colors that are fresher than ever. With up to 29 stylish shades available, ranging in size from Youth XS through Adult 4XL, our color offering is the perfect complement to your creativity. Now, having more of what you need means choosing from a rainbow of looks that offer something for everyone. And the collection boasts one of our densest fabrics yet, along with the same level of consistency and superior decorating surface you expect from the always fresh, ever-colorful Fruit of the Loom® Activewear. FruitActivewear.com | 888.378.4829


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IC_July/August 2012