Marketing Ideas for Printers from Outside of the Box
Insider advice followed along two lines. One…send out a price increase notice and tell the customers that’s the way it is. Two…make less money. I felt the first option would leave a bad taste with customers and I really didn’t care if the industry was used to such dealings. Option two, well, that wasn’t an option. But apparently many print industry insiders think it’s OK to sell something at a loss as long as you’re selling something. (I still haven’t figured that one out!)
At the time I happened to be a member of Glazer-Kennedy’s Peak Performer group, made up of dozens of business owners in all kinds of industries from all around the world. During a lunch break at one of our meetings I was sharing my pricing crisis with a very successful chiropractor and fellow member. I didn’t expect any help, after all, how could a doctor help me with a printing business marketing problem?
In seconds, he offered an idea that inspired a solution because he had faced the same problem several times in his practice. I excused myself to work on the idea and in twenty minutes I had the sales letter written. It mailed the next day to our list of customers. It turned out to be one of the most successful short-term promotions we’ve ever done, one which we have yet to beat.
The ‘spark’ he supplied was brilliant in its simplicity and we refined it like this:
- Announce the price increase (pretty normal so far.)
- Give customers a chance to buy at the old price for the next 30 days (a little less normal)
- Give customers a chance to lock in today’s price for up to 60 days by making a small deposit today and paying up to 60 or even 90 days later (totally NOT normal.)
- Write the letter in a completely fun, non-business manner, signed and written by the staff with comments by the office cat. It included photos of staff and cat. Probably the ugliest letter ever. (Now we are in off-the-wall marketing territory.)