5 Essential Ways to Create Customers for Life

Every employee of Eastlake, OH-based wholesale printer Blue Moon Promotional Inc. is involved in providing their customers with exemplary customer service and CEO, Pierre John Jamnicky, makes sure of that. “Every person knows what we’re after and is dedicated to making it happen,” Jamnicky says. “Yes, some are more into it than others, as is the case with all employees, but the reality is we’re all on the same page.”

Any business owner will tell you that, while bringing in new customers is certainly important, retaining your existing customer base is the real key to surviving in any industry. It’s the loyal customer who returns to you time and time again or refers you to other clients because of your ability to meet their product or service needs

But, don’t take our word for it—let’s break down the numbers showing how important returning customers can be:

You have a 60% to 70% chance of selling a product to a returning customer as opposed to a 5% to 20% chance of selling to a new one.

( Matt Mansfield, smallbiztrends.com )
  • Your returning customers will provide you with 65% of your company’s sales.
  • The average business will lose about 15% of these returning customers each year.

Since it’s so important to cultivate a close-knit relationship with your returning buyers to run a successful business, let’s look at exactly how you can keep these customers coming back for more.

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5 Proven Content Marketing Strategies You Can’t Ignore

Is a video worth 1,000 decorated-apparel orders? Jonathan Ornelas, owner of Success Print Shop, thinks so. On the regular, he shoots short videos of his screen-printing process and posts them to Facebook and Instagram to connect with customers and prospects.

“We show how we decorate t-shirts, and that we’re experts,” Ornelas says. “Our customers can also see that we love what we do and have a lot of fun.” For example, he plays his team’s favorite music in his videos, like Vistas’ song “Like an American.” 

“These days, the most human company wins,”

– Marshall Atkinson, Owner of Atkinson Consulting

As a result of the pandemic, 7 in 10 (69%) CMOs asked their staff to get more active online to promote their company and what it offers. And it makes total sense: Half of U.S. consumers say they’ve spent more time taking in online content this year, according to Media Frenzy Global. Buyers are also looking to brands for inspiration. That means many companies are making their messaging and content strategy their highest brand-related priority. Are you?

The most important component of your shop’s messaging is to be human first, according to Marshall Atkinson, a decorated-apparel business coach. “These days, the most human company wins,” he says. “Are you showing your vulnerability? Emotions? Victories? Defeats? People respond to other people, so inject some personality into your marketing. We all like smiling faces.”

The great news is that It’s not too late to kick your content strategy into high gear for 2020. Here are five ways to dive right in.

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“If You Stand For Something, They Will Come” – SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 5 (feat. Roger Burnett of Social Good Promotions)

Promotional marketing companies have always tried to connect customers with the best products for their needs, but do those products always make the world a better place?

One company has found success with targeting the marketing needs of clients and aligning them with products that offer a deeper and more meaningful story.

Social Good Promotions works diligently to use promotional marketing products in a way that serves a greater purpose other than just simply being a canvas for a logo. They deeply believe in being socially responsible and try to give back in some way.

On this episode of Success Stories, we’ll discuss this with Roger Burnett and discover how his passion for improving the world, providing value, and always surprising and delighting his clients has moved him to the forefront of the promotional marketing space.

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Does Your Customer Experience Need a Big Makeover?

Whether you call this our “new normal” or “next normal,” things definitely aren’t the same as they were back in January. Your business is different, and your customer also has different concerns and needs now.

The question isn’t what needs to change. It’s what do you change first?”

Marshall Atkinson, Owner of Atkinson Consulting

“It’s time to revamp what’s not working—back in Q1, you could live with it because you were busy,” says Marshall Atkinson, decorated-apparel expert and owner of Atkinson Consulting. “But now, the river has receded with the drought and exposed the flaws in your system. The question isn’t what needs to change. It’s what do you change first?”

Now is the time to take a closer look at how customers are experiencing your business during consultations, while shopping online or browsing social media. Here are five expert-recommended ways you can start adjusting and improving your customers’ overall experience with your company.

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The Tech Behind Columbia Sportswear

When it comes to outerwear, Columbia needs no introduction. Their products have been loved by people of all ages for decades, especially those that can’t get enough of the outdoorsy lifestyle.

What you may not know about them, though, is how much technology there is under the hood of some of your favorite Columbia hats, jackets, pullovers and shirts. When you look at the continuous evolution of their products, adding in features like Omni-Wick™, Omni-Shade™, and Themerator™ insulation, you can see how the core of this company has always been about innovation, problem solving, and striving for perfection. These kinds of technology give Columbia a quality that’s unmatched by most comparable products, especially in the outerwear space.

“It’s perfect. Now make it better.”

Gert Boyle, Founder of Columbia Sportswear

For bigger corporate clients, the brand name itself is enough of a selling point to get them to buy these premium branded products. But, when you’re trying to upsell to clients with smaller budgets, being able to point out and explain what these features do, can get them to spend a little more than they may have planned to. And really, who doesn’t want to make more money?

Let’s take a closer look at some of the technology you’ll find built into your favorite Columbia styles.

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“Creating Impactful Apparel Designs For Clients” – SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 4 (feat. Jeremy Picker of AMB3R Creative)

How do you tie creative art development into more sales? 

On this edition of the Success Stories podcast, we’ll dig into that by discussing how Jeremy Picker and his team of creative professionals have found success by going the extra mile when developing ideas for their clients. 

We’ll also touch on AMB3R Creative’s approach to developing impactful designs, that’ll get end users choosing to wear their clients’ promotional apparel over and over again.

AMB3R is a Colorado-based apparel design firm that brings fashion to people by creating products that people love. They serve non-profits, churches, restaurants, corporations, and other businesses with their team of talented designers and project managers that takes a kernel of an idea from start to finish. 

We’ll learn how they use t-shirts for everything from an entire clothing line, to a merchandising campaign for promotional products. 


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Are You Dealing with Employee Mistakes the Right Way?

At Printed Threads in Keller, TX, the laid-back El Capitan, Brett Bowden does a lot of measuring. “We track the amount of work everyone gets done each day,” he says. “We track all errors.” Why? “Mistakes happen, and we try to coach through them. Since we track the different types of errors, we see if there’s a pattern.”

For example, if there’s a misprint or mistake on a job, a Printed Thread QC (Quality control) staffer fills out a slip and turns it over to the rep managing that account. The rep then uses Google Sheets to record the job name, type of error, cost of the mistake and the person responsible.

“We keep a running tally and make sure that misprint errors don’t exceed 1% of our monthly sales”

– Brett Bowden, Printed Threads

Madeira USA, out of Gilford, NH, has a similar approach to monitoring mistakes, where process operations are metrics-driven, depending on the role. “We hold employees accountable to success metrics like customer satisfaction ratings or order fulfillment rates,” says Sam Young, vice president of marketing and sales. “We track performance so we can deliver the highest-quality service for our customers.”

And if Bowden notices that a particular press keeps logging errors because there’s not enough glue on the pallet, he knows the operator needs more training. “But look, inevitably there will be someone who isn’t good at their job,” he says. “That leads to a conversation of, ‘Maybe it’s time for you to find another company or position to make you happier.’”

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“Lessons Learned from ‘Here For Good’ Campaigns” – SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 3 (feat. Jarrod Hennis of Rockford Art Deli)

During and after the coronavirus pandemic, many screen-printing shops found success by developing a local “Here for Good” campaign to help surrounding businesses in their community stay afloat during these difficult times.

In Rockford, Illinois, Jarrod Hennis developed a “Here for Good” campaign and assisted businesses in his area to raise money by selling t-shirts.  Each shirt sold helped that local business, but also kept Jarrod’s shop, the Rockford Art Deli in business as well.

On this edition of Success Stories, we’re going to discuss the Rockford Art Deli’s “Here for Good” campaign and learn how it worked, what Jarrod learned, and how this idea is laying a solid foundation for a successful future in his community of Rockford, Illinois.

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“The Clinic Your Website Can’t Live Without” – SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 2 (feat. Shelby Craig of Rocket Shirts)

COVID-19 has shifted a lot more business online recently and with great uncertainty ahead, you’ll need to make sure people can find you online.  In this episode of Success Stories, we’ll help you get ahead of the competition and make sure you’re set up to drive new business to your website.

Shelby Craig with Rocket Shirts will be sharing his knowledge of what you’ll need to get optimized, and how it’s helped his business.  We’ll be touching on web design, search engine optimization, and tools that you can use to bring out your best results.

Shelby is a serial entrepreneur, marketing junkie, home chef, coffee connoisseur, and girl dad times three.  He’s also a t-shirt snob and is the founder of Rocket Shirts in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Join us on this podcast as we explore ways to make your website work for you and drive more sales to your door.

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8 Ways Decorators Are Keeping Their Shops Safe During COVID-19

Across the country, businesses small and large have had to figure out how to operate, while keeping employees and customers safe. Like many shops, during the pandemic’s early days, AZ-based decorator, Print & Stitch, closed for several weeks. When it reopened, the management team introduced a lot of new safety procedures for staffers and customers. “Now our employees work staggered shifts,” says project manager, Hilary Gardner. “Plus, our techs clean their equipment and work areas at the beginning and end of every shift.”

In this new normal, Print & Stitch also requires every employee to take their temperature before clocking into work. “And, it’s mandatory to wear a mask at all times in the building,” Gardner says.

Making customers feel at ease is also important, which is why back in March, Howard Potter, CEO of Master Your Image in Utica, NY, took to social media to let his customers know how he prioritized their safety. “They had choices when placing or picking up an order,” he says. “They could order online, and then opt for in-person delivery, shipping or curbside pickup.”

Some people have even found that they’ve benefitted from these changes, in ways they wouldn’t have thought of before. In Ann Arbor, Jeanne Fitzsimons, owner of FitzStitch Embroidery & Monogramming, heavily steered her customers toward online ordering, which made client interactions and collecting payments much easier. “That’s been a bonus, since I never wonder when I’ll receive a payment,” she says. “I also do Zoom videos with customers. It’s been more productive and time-efficient.”

How’s your shop keeping employees and customers safe? Here are eight ways smart decorators have adjusted their operations to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their shops.

1. Be open about COVID-19 with your staff.

At A&P Master Images, Potter was ready to answer his employees’ most pressing questions: Will there be work? How do we handle customer interactions? Do we need to wear masks?

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