Give Thanks for Your Customers This Holiday Season

thanksgiving promos

Every year, Americans from sea to shining sea take a Thursday in late November to gather together, eat some turkey, watch some football, eat some more turkey, and count our many blessings. We sit around tables with our friends and family and take some time to think about everything we have to be thankful for.

We give thanks for our good health, for the friends and family we’re surrounded by, for Thursday football and leftover turkey sandwiches. We also give thanks for our business successes and the security they provide. It’s important to take some time and think about how far your business has come, but it’s also important to think of how far you can still go.

No matter how hard you worked or what you sacrificed, you didn’t build your business by yourself. Without your employees, clients, and customers, none of the things you’re so thankful for would have been possible. Remembering how you go to where you are is the best way to get where you want to go.

This year, instead of taking a break to silently give thanks in between the second and third slice of pie, why not take a moment to show your thanks directly? A personalized gift is a great way to celebrate your past with your employees, clients, and customers while building a stronger relationship going forward.

More Than a Number

Give and take is the nature of a solid professional relationship. Sure, your clients are getting your services in exchange for their payments, but the fact is that they chose your company out of a crowded marketplace. Anything you can do to reinforce that they made the right decision is only going to strengthen your relationship and guarantee future business.

Thanksgiving is about two things: thankfulness and eating. Why not combine both and send your most valued clients one of our delicious custom gift baskets? Getting a magnificent tower of treats with your company’s logo prominently displayed is a great way to remind your clients that you value them.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

While you’re watching those Thursday football games, pay attention to the fact that football is a team sport. The best quarterback in the world can’t complete passes without receivers who run the right route and an offensive line that blocks for him. Your business is the same way. It requires everyone to be on the same page, fulfilling their personal role to complete a team objective.

Your employees are the ones out there running routes and blocking for you, and there’s no better time than Thanksgiving to let them know how much you appreciate it. By late November, it’s getting cold outside. Why not outfit your team in some of our custom winter wear? It’ll help them brave the elements and put their team spirit on display all winter long. The teams out on the field have uniforms, why shouldn’t yours?

Time to Come Together

The turkey and the pie and the football are all nice, but in the end Thanksgiving is all about relationships. It’s about celebrating the relationships you’ve built and coming together to make them even stronger. Enjoy your time with your friends and family, but also take some time to be thankful for your business relationships. Don’t settle for a moment of quiet reflection, though. Do something to show your thanks this year. By strengthening your relationships now, you’ll make sure that you have even more to show thanks for next year.

The Dangers of Rushing a Product to Market | The Galaxy Note 7 Debacle

Galaxy Note 7

Rushing is never something any of us wants to do, and doing so can lead to numerous negative outcomes as focus shifts from speed to safety. If you rush your prep work for dinner, you may end up with a little less skin on your finger. If you rush to work, perhaps you’ll earn yourself a nice new speeding ticket or, even worse, a court date. Those are minor issues compared to what Samsung is dealing with after rushing to release their newest phone, the Galaxy Note 7. Samsung had hoped to beat Apple’s iPhone 7 to market, but their misguided haste resulted in major losses and a severely damaged reputation.

The Galaxy Note 7 does all the things you’d expect a phone to do. It makes calls, it messages, it takes pictures, and can make use of all the latest and greatest from the app world; but the most explosive (and unfortunate) new feature is that – well – it explodes. Soon after release, consumers started reporting that the batteries installed in the Galaxy Note 7 were overheating, sometimes resulting in fires and explosions.

Dangerous Consequences

treacherous bridge

Most of us treat our phones like an extra limb, and keep it either on our person or close by as much as possible. Most of us even sleep with it sitting right next to our heads every single night, keeping it close for emergencies while also using it as an alarm clock. Samsung’s issues with Galaxy Note 7 meant that customers essentially had a fire hazard (or even worse, a bomb) next to them at all times without them even knowing it.

As such, other companies and agencies are treating it less like a phone and more like a dangerous weapon. Certain insurance companies are issuing warnings that owning a Galaxy Note 7 may invalidate their home insurance policies. Numerous airlines have moved from restrictions to outright bans on the phone in an effort to avoid a potentially disastrous incident on their flights. Samsung has recalled the Note 7 twice and since shut down production completely. It’s an unprecedented move, and only the company is to blame.

Speed and Greed

heck with safety

Samsung’s desire to beat Apple’s release of the newest iPhone model may have played a part in this disaster. Battery testing for the Galaxy Note 7 was handled in-house and not by a third-party operation overseas, so Samsung only has itself to blame. Clearly, the level of testing performed by the company on its new model’s batteries was substandard, likely because of an internal rush that prioritized getting the Note 7 at the expense of thorough testing to ensure the safety of its consumers.

The result of this misguided attempt to rush production is that Samsung has already incurred billions of dollars in losses. The company is issuing credits for customers to switch to other Samsung models, but many are insisting that they’ll be switching to a competitor. The loss of profits and the loss of current and future customers is being topped off by a class-action lawsuit over the Galaxy Note 7, the first of many that will likely be filed against the company.

There are lessons to be learned from Samsung, though. Take care in the production of your product, even if it means you might have to push back a release date. Rushing things along can lead to any number of unintended consequences, from basic disappointment for a faulty product to injuries, or maybe even death. Don’t let pressure talk you into cutting corners, because the risks of doing so could be disastrous.

Rushes Aren’t Always Bad

Debacles aside, we understand that sometimes a rush is necessary. That’s why we offer 24-hour rush production on many of our top-selling products. We’ve even combined come of these products into convenient kits to hasten your shopping experience even more. Check out our rush kits by clicking the image below and start saving time and money today!

What’s in a Name? | Consol Energy Center Re-branded to PPG Paints Arena

PPG Paints Arena
Pittsburgh Penguins

This year when the Pittsburgh Penguins take the ice for the first game of the season as the defending Stanley Cup champions, they will do so at the PPG Paints Arena, and not the Consol Energy Center. Fear not Penguins fans, as this will be the very same building that the Penguins have called home for the last six seasons.

Only the name has changed, as the Pittsburgh-based PPG (Pittsburgh Plate Glass) acquired the naming rights from Consol Energy Inc. just six years into a 20-year deal originally signed before the arena’s inaugural season. PPG’s deal with the Penguins is another 20-year agreement, and the former will join fellow Pittsburgh-based companies Heinz and PNC Bank as the major stadium and arena sponsors for the city’s professional sports teams.

An Unexpected Change

With Consol Energy struggling because of low energy prices, they were forced to abandon their deal. They will remain as a minor sponsor, but PPG Paints will take over as the cream of the crop and the arena’s namesake.

PPG’s goal with this new agreement is to increase “top of mind” marketing and awareness for its already established brand. People arriving to or driving by the arena will see the PPG Paints logo. Fans watching from home will repeatedly hear PPG Paints referenced by the game’s commentators. Fans at the game will benefit from entertainment, giveaways, and other freebies sponsored by the company. As a result, PPG Paints will gain a new avenue to connect with potential consumers on a regular basis. If a deal makes sense, naming rights agreements and other sponsorships are an excellent way to promote brand awareness.

Awareness or Awkwardness?

KFC Yum Center

However, naming rights agreements are not always well-received, as sports fans can be notoriously protective of their city’s franchises. Common issues can arise due to already existing perceptions of the sponsoring company, or due to the resulting name of the arena.

Heinz Field and PNC Park were both fairly well-received by football and baseball fans, respectively, as both brands were established and respected presences within the city. Both stadium names are also concise and clean, which helps when fans and commentators discuss the venues. When the H.J. Heinz Co. merged with Kraft Foods in 2015, there was some fear that the home of the Pittsburgh Steelers would be renamed “Kraft Heinz Field.” Luckily, Kraft Heinz saw the possible negative reaction by fans and opted to keep the existing name.

The Consol Energy Center was never widely accepted, even after six years. Fans tended to avoid the arena’s full name in favor of the shortened “Consol,” and some were turned off by an energy company being the one to hold the naming rights. PPG’s own takeover of the Penguins’ home has led to mixed reactions overall.

On one hand, PPG is a respected company with deep roots in the city, two traits that help to endear to fans in the Pittsburgh area. On the other hand, the decision to go with “PPG Paints Arena” instead of “PPG Arena” is not going over as well. While it’s certainly not the most hideously-named sports venue in the US (hello to Louisville’s KFC Yum! Center or Oakland’s former Coliseum), it certainly doesn’t flow off the tongue. It’s extremely clunky and awkward.

While that may dampen enthusiasm initially, there is no doubt that PPG stands to benefit from this agreement overall. Though your average business can’t afford to sponsor an arena, any opportunity to get your name out there should be seized. In the world of marketing, brand awareness is of the utmost importance. Consumers won’t make use of you if they don’t know you exist.

Evolving Your Product: How Pokémon Go is Still Going Strong

Perhaps one of the most surprising stories of 2016 was the complete explosion of Pokémania throughout the world in July. Pokémon, originally launched in 1996 by Nintendo, was a pair of handheld video games in which players caught, trained, and battled a large selection of fictional monsters called Pokémon. The franchise quickly took off, spawning game after game in addition to movies, tv shows, comics, and trading cards. This summer, it made the leap to augmented reality with the help of software developed by Niantic with the release of Pokémon Go.

Pokémon Go brought the monster-catching game to the real world, with real-life landmarks becoming “Pokéstops” used to catch supplies or “Gyms” to battle over, features that were only visible on a player’s phone. The Google-Maps-style overlay also showed Pokémon themselves, allowing players to throw items called Pokéballs to capture them, and eventually train them up to battle others.

Pokémania Sweeps the Nation

The love affair with Pokémon Go was instant. Millions were playing with regularity, visiting real life locales to catch the virtual monsters. Restaurants that happened to be near important in-game landmarks saw their sales increase. Once-empty parks were now full of Pokémon trainers. Players reported that they were more physically active now than they had ever been. This was a result of one of the game’s mechanics by which walking a set distance allows a player to hatch a Pokémon from eggs.

Pokémon Go was downloaded over 500 million times in its first two months, setting numerous records in both app stores and even the Guinness World Book of Records. While the mania has predictably cooled significantly, the game still has tens of millions of active users roaming the world.

Regenerating Interest

One way that Niantic is trying to once again heighten interest around Pokémon Go is with the introduction of the Pokémon Go Plus, a small Bluetooth-controlled device (usually attached to a wristband) that allows players to visit Pokéstops, capture Pokémon, and accumulate walking distance while the user’s phone rests safely locked in her or her pocket. This new product saves trainers the hassle of constantly looking at their phones, which also saves a significant amount of battery life.

This wasn’t a shot-in-the-dark money grab though, but a planned release that many were looking forward to from the start. The emergence of Pokémon Go Plus will help invigorate the current player base while helping to draw former players back into the fold. While it has only been out for a few days, it is expected that it will lead to an uptick in active players and playtime, as well as an uptick in company profits at a tidy $34.99 a pop.

Evolution is Key

One of the features of Pokémon Go and the Pokémon franchise is evolution, where a trainer can turn their basic monster into a bigger, better form. It’s only fitting that Niantic has taken the idea of evolution to heart with their approach of making sure the game is constantly moving full steam ahead. Pokémon Go Plus is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to product development.

Soon, players will be able to trade their Pokémon with other real live people. The battle system will become much more complex. And, of course, the next batch of monsters themselves will join the fray by year’s end. Niantic launched a successful product, but they’ve invested in constantly evolving that product, a winning strategy which will keep current users around and bring new and old users alike back into their arms.

No Man’s Sky – How NOT to Promote Your Product

No Man's Sky

No Man’s Sky from Hello Games was one of the most hyped video games of the past few years, and it was easy to see why. It allowed players to fully explore a procedurally generated universe, the scale of which had never been seen before in a video game. That universe boasts an unfathomable number of planets; so many that if you spent just one second at each one, it would take you 5 billion years to visit all of them.

So, it was no surprise that when No Man’s Sky finally arrived on the Steam gaming platform on August 12, it launched to a massive audience. At one point on launch night, No Man’s Sky peaked with 212,613 concurrent players, the fifth highest peak ever by a game on Steam, just behind well-established franchises like Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V, and Bethesda’s Fallout 4.

Empty Promises

No mans sky space battles

Unfortunately, players quickly realized that the game was missing many key features shown in trailers or discussed by the game’s creator, Sean Murray. Multiplayer was non-existent. Large-scale space battles had been removed, along with numerous other “big” locales and settings. The physics behind the game had been dumbed down; planets were stationary and tied to stars the player could never reach. Interactions between the game’s various creatures and the environment suffered the same fate, as did the crafting system.

Hello Games had essentially released a shell of what was promised, a game that none of the fanbase was expecting, and the backlash was in full swing by the end of the weekend. Negative reviews started pouring in and players turned to Steam for full refunds in such force that Steam had to issue a release re-stating the limitations of their return policy.

Cause and Effect

no man's sky

Within a week, No Man’s Sky’s concurrent player base dropped to less than 43,000. Nearly four weeks after launch on a Wednesday night, only 4,000 players are currently playing. While all games, even well-received ones, experience a significant drop in users, No Man’s Sky is setting the bar extremely high in terms of fiery crashes.

However, the lack of previously advertised features might not be the biggest reason for the continued decline. Studios often have to cut content late in the process as deadlines approach, and the relatively tiny Hello Games likely had to make numerous such cuts. That, at least, is understandable to more level-headed members of the fanbase. Not ideal, but understandable.

The importance of Communication

The real problem is that the communication between the company and its community has been sorely lacking at best, and non-existent at worst. There were no hints beforehand that major gameplay elements had been removed, and little acknowledgement of the issues in the days after launch. Sean Murray, a frequent interviewee prior to launch, hasn’t done an interview since. His Twitter has gone dark for three weeks. The only word out of Hello Games has been the occasional patch notes addressing various bugs.

It’s a deafening silence that No Man’s Sky players are taking to heart. While many quit after the disastrous launch, more are leaving in droves as the lines of communication fade. Players are frustrated that there has been no apology, no acknowledgement of player concerns, or no explanation as to how it all went so wrong.

While the poor launch drove players away from No Man’s Sky, the lack of communication will likely keep those same players from coming back, no matter how many improvements they make to a game that still does have the potential to be great. As a result, Hello Games has provided an excellent blueprint on how not to communicate (quite literally) after a crisis.

Learn from these missteps. When promoting your product or service, it’s imperative to communicate your value to consumers. Clarify what it is you can offer and make sure to follow through on these assertions. A critical step in this process is establishing brand recognition. An assortment of kitted merchandise imprinted with your logo is a great way to provide customers with a tangible reminder of which company to turn to when they need the product or service you provide.

NFL and Fantasy Drafts | A Delicate Balance of Cost and Value

With both fantasy football and its professional counterpart kicking off this September, a great deal of attention will be on drafted players. In the real NFL, fans will finally get their chance to see whether the players their team selected this past April turn into star-caliber performers or plain old lumps of coal. Fantasy football players will be knocking their drafts out, hoping to assemble a roster capable of winning money and pride.

Some Players Offer Excellent ROI, Others May Not

In both situations, the goal is to find the best players, while also getting the best bang for your buck. The Seattle Seahawks are the perfect team to emulate in that regard. Their starting quarterback, Russell Wilson, was drafted in the third round and was the sixth passer off the board. Wilson has developed into one of the best quarterbacks in the game today and the Seahawks picked him up for a relative pittance compared to where players of his caliber are usually selected. They’ve also nabbed other players late, such as cornerback Richard Sherman (4th round) and safety Kam Chancellor (5th round), both of whom are now among the very best as their respective positions.

Contrast that with the Dallas Cowboys, who have made some solid picks in recent history without getting the same value. There’s no question that the Cowboys’ starting center, Travis Frederick, is among the three best centers in the game, if not the best. However, Dallas selected him late in the first round on the 2012 draft, almost a full round ahead of where he was expected to go.

The FOMO Is Real

While the pick certainly worked out, they may have missed out on a chance to get another high-caliber player at that spot, while still picking up Frederick later in the draft. It was a great choice, but a poor use of available resources, and draft picks are among the most precious resources an NFL team is given. The Cowboys’ selection this past April of Ezekiel Elliott with the fourth-overall pick may fall into the same trap. Elliott looks like a fine player, but he’s a running back, a position that can filled cheaply in the modern NFL. For the Cowboys to get proper return on that selection, Elliott will have to have a hall-of-fame career.

Fantasy football follows the same principles. Managers need to find the best players at the best prices. Getting the best quarterback in the league might not be the best plan if there will be a second-tier option available for a fifth-tier price later in the draft. Indeed, managers can also fall into the trap of reaching for one of those “sleeper” picks, which essentially makes the pick no longer a sleeper.

When Buying Promos, Weigh Price Vs. Quality

These are all basic principles of the business world as well. Every company’s goal is to make or obtain the best possible product or service at the best possible price point. A great idea can turn into a negative pretty quickly if there’s no basis of value behind it. That’s not to say that the ideal goal is to be a cheap as possible. There’s a tightrope to walk between having a good product at a bad price and having a bad product at a good price.

An NFL team that doesn’t find the balance between production and value won’t make the playoffs; a fantasy team without that balance will be the laughingstock of its league; and a business without that balance could very well lead to an empty bank account.

Why Your Business Needs an Online Store

Unless you own a restaurant, there is really no such thing as a purely local business anymore. You may own a store in a small town in the middle of Wisconsin, but you’re still competing with manufacturers, retailers, and other services from all over the world. The internet has erased most of the borders that used to allow businesses to thrive exclusively in a local market. Consumers have a wide variety of choices now, and in order to stay competitive, owners have to find ways to compete in a global economy.

As the old saying goes, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. There’s no way to roll back the clock to the days when a business could count on staying local, so savvy business owners are finding ways to compete in a new global economy. There is no better way to succeed in the modern marketplace than by having a robust, well-built online store. An online store offers tremendous benefits that range from the obvious to the frequently overlooked.

Reach Out And Sell Something

The most obvious benefit of an online store is also the most important. A brick-and-mortar store is able to effectively serve anyone who has the means to reach your location. An online store is able to serve anyone on the planet with a working internet connection and a computer, tablet, or smartphone. There is nothing you could ever do to expand the reach of your business so far or so effectively.

For the price of building an online store and setting up a shipping mechanism, your reach is extending from one section of one city to essentially the entire world. An effective online store adds literally millions of people to your potential customer base. No advertising campaign, sale, or promotion will ever generate that many potential customers. It’s the single most powerful tool a business owner has to increase reach.

The More You Know

Having a well-built online store doesn’t just let you reach more customers, it lets you know more about who you’re reaching. One of the great things about an online store is that it provides you with useful data on each transaction. Every time you sell something, you’re gaining valuable information about what works for your business and why. You don’t know just know that you sold, for instance, a new computer monitor. You know that you sold a new computer monitor to a man in Upstate New York, at 4:13 PM Eastern Time on a Wednesday, and that before he bought that monitor he looked at 4 other models.

That kind of detailed transaction data lets you identify patterns which you can exploit to grow your business. It shows you what is working so that you can expand those efforts and what isn’t working so that you can make course corrections and plug holes. Just as importantly, it gives you a huge database of names, physical addresses, and e-mail addresses which you can couple with the transaction data to build laser-focused marketing campaigns and promote repeat business. An online store doesn’t just let you sell to more people, it gives you tools you would never have had otherwise.

Something For Everyone

Obviously, an online store is a huge boon to a business owner. Believe it or not, though, you aren’t the only one who benefits from internet retail. There’s a reason that online shopping has become a multi-billion-dollar industry. Consumers love the convenience, the ability to instantly compare prices, and the huge increase in options that online shopping provides.

Not only that, online shopping gives them a whole set of tools that they wouldn’t get at a physical location. Things like order tracking, e-mail feedback, and a saved order history at your store give them flexibility and freedom that a traditional shopping experience can’t match. They can shop when and where they want, from anywhere in the world, the second they make the decision to buy something.

The Future is Now

If your retail location doesn’t already have an online companion, there’s no time like the present. It is the single best investment you can possibly make to grow your business. The overhead isn’t dangerously high and the benefits so far outweigh the risks that you’d be crazy to let the opportunity pass you by. An online store will not only expand your customer base and dramatically grow your revenue, it will open up new options for your existing customers that will keep them coming back time after time. Don’t let your competition render you obsolete. Embrace the future today.

Back-to-School Essentials

Summer is almost over, and that means back to school time is here again. While kids pick out those first-day outfits, sharpen up those pencils, and load their bookbags, school administrators and teachers are preparing for every facet of the new school year. That means ordering textbooks, writing lesson plans, setting up classrooms, and planning for the year ahead.

This year, to help our friends in the Principals’ Office and the School Board, we’re offering a special Back To School Sale on custom-branded merchandise specially selected to help educators and administrators save big while promoting school spirit.

Having an affordable, reliable source of custom merchandise for your school has a whole range of benefits, from promoting a sense of community to helping generate donations.

School Athletics

Your teams are already competing in matching uniforms that are designed to promote the school’s name. Why stop at the uniforms, though? With our custom branded merchandise, your athletes can represent the team to the fullest. We’re talking water bottles, equipment bags, and everything else you need to keep your team totally decked out in school merchandise.

Field Day

Field Day is a beloved elementary school tradition. It promotes healthy physical activity and teaches kids the value of teamwork and cooperation. What better way to hammer that message home than by providing branded t-shirts in a variety of colors to the participants. It helps instill the concept of the team into your students and, best of all, it gives them a functional souvenir to remember all the fun they had.


Branded school merchandise makes a great way to reward exceptional behavior in both students and faculty. Why not give out a Teacher of the Month award with a grand prize of one of our USB flash drives? It’s a great way to keep the teachers motivated and engaged. For the students, our custom pens and notebooks make great rewards for Honor Roll students, perfect attendance, or any other exemplary behavior.


A lot of people don’t realize just how much fundraising goes into running a thriving school. Whether it’s a bake sale to send the cheerleading squad on an away trip, a candy sale to buy instruments for the band, or a raffle to put new computers in the lab, schools find any number of ways to expand their budget. Branded merchandise is a great way to get more donations and larger amounts. Offering a little big of swag is a proven way to promote giving. Just ask NPR or anyone who has ever run a successful Kickstarter campaign. At these unbeatable sale prices, some custom-branded “stretch goals” for your next fundraising campaign will more than pay for themselves.

Put simply, our Back to School sale helps you add those special touches to your teams, functions, and fundraisers that really make your school shine. There’s no better way to promote school spirit, increase fundraising, and create an overall environment of excellence at your school. Take advantage of our summer sale or your math teacher might have to put you in detention.

Rush Kits – Bundle Your Promos and Save

rush kits

Scouring the internet for promos can be taxing, especially when there are so many other facets of your event to plan. From reserving your booth to speaking to the efficacy of your product or service, planning a promotional event involves a myriad of steps. Bouncing from site to site to compare prices and inventory doesn’t have to be one of them. Instead, get all of the promos you need in one place with Rush Kits.

The concept of kitting isn’t exactly groundbreaking. Remember the first time you took the training wheels off your bike? That feeling of short-lived freedom punctuated sharply as your inept limbs sent you crashing to the side of the road. The good news was the brush you fell into broke your fall, leaving you only with minor scrapes and cuts. The bad news was that brush was actually poison ivy.

Good thing mom had that first aid kit in the medicine cabinet. Inside was antiseptic to disinfect your wounds, a bandage to cover them, and calamine lotion to soothe your itching poison ivy rash. The kiss on the boo wasn’t included in the kit, but was, of course, just as essential.

What made that first aid kit so great was the fact that it encompassed all of the necessities into one convenient package. This is the same model behind our Rush Kits. Here, the promos you need are bundled into kits suitable for any event. Think of it as a one-stop shop for your promotional product needs.

No matter what event you’re planning, there’s a Rush Kit that will fit.

With football season on the horizon, the Tailgate Kit is just what you need to make sure your brand is seen at stadium parking lots and man caves around the country. Your customers can carry their belongings in the small hit sports pack, leaving their hands free to barbecue or hold an ice-cold beverage in your imprinted cup. Stylish Malibu sunglasses and a durable rally towel round out this kit to make it a must-have for marketing planned around sporting events.

If this heat wave is any indication, it’s clear that we’re still firmly in the unforgiving grip of summer. To that end, the Poolside Fun Budget Kit is exactly the thing to keep your customers both cool and brand-conscious. The included rubberized sunglasses and waterproof phone pouch make this kit a perfect beach or pool-side companion.

Marketing to a health-conscious clientele? The Active Lifestyle Kit is designed for you. It includes everything an outdoor fitness enthusiast would need to stay active on the go. This expansive kit contains retractable ear buds to keep them motivated with their favorite music, sun stick and lip balm to protect their skin from the elements, folding Malibu sunglasses, a safety light wristband for late night jogging, and a mason jar with a straw to keep them hydrated.

These are just a few examples of our Rush Kits designed to save you time and money when shopping for promos online. There’s no easier or cheaper way to get the products you need all in one spot. Just like mom’s first aid kit salved your scrapes, let our rush kits soothe the pain that comes with planning a promotional event. Just don’t expect us to kiss your boo boos.

Always Read the Comments

If you’ve spent much time on the internet, you’ve no doubt heard the oft-repeated advice, “Never read the comments!” There’s a reason this has become such a pervasive idea. For a normal person browsing the internet, avoiding the comments is a brilliant way to avoid shocking assaults against the English language, hideous vitriol, spam ads, and all of the baser aspects of human nature. For a business owner, though, not reading the comments would be a cataclysmic mistake.

The anonymity promised by the internet makes it possible for business owners to gather unvarnished feedback that it’s nearly impossible to get in person. That’s why the level of discourse is so low in so many comment sections. It might make for unpleasant reading if you’re just trying to watch YouTube videos, but when it’s your business, it serves you well to pay attention.

Give Your Customers a Platform to Speak

Not only should you read any and all comments about your business, you should set up your entire online presence to generate as much feedback as possible. Obviously that means having a contact form, but a savvy entrepreneur will take it much further. Using your website to collect e-mail addresses gives you an easy way to generate honest feedback from existing customers. You can entice them by offering giveaway contests, coupons, or e-mail only specials. It helps you solicit input from your customers while driving business to your location at the same time. Another extremely smart way to create conversation is to post specials or coupons on your website’s blog and then enable the comments. Sure, you might get a few spam ads, but they’re easy to weed out and it’s a small price to pay for the invaluable information you can get.

If it’s important to listen to comments on your website, it’s absolutely essential on social media. Way too many business owners think of social media as just another advertising platform. To them, it’s a place to post pictures and run advertisements and not much else. In order to get the most out of social media, though, it has to be a two-way street. You can’t just fire off a post, wait a couple of days, and then fire off another. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, the real strength of social media is the ability to interact directly with customers. That means reading what they have to say and, even more importantly, responding promptly.

Don’t Just Read, Reply

Simply reading the responses your posts get has an incredible number of benefits. It lets you know which posts your customers do and don’t like, which helps you craft a more effective social media strategy. It helps to identify any potential problems your customers may have and allows you to address them instantly. Listening to your customers makes it much easier to deliver exactly what they’re looking for.

By replying to the comments, you can create an authentic connection with your customers. If something goes wrong, dealing directly with someone on social media can help retain them as a customer. Getting involved in conversations is a great way to create deep brand recognition and trust. It’s also a great way to generate word of mouth interest and reach your followers’ friends with no additional budgeting required.

In short, if you’re a business owner, always read the comments. Go out of your way to generate as much input as you can and read all of it. Sure, you might have to wade through an occasional tornado of misspellings and a few pitches to make $20,000 working from home, but the benefits are well worth the cost. Don’t worry, though, you can still avoid the comments section on those random YouTube videos. No one should have to deal with that.