Build Enthusiasm with Gorgeous Print Catalogs

Do you have a favorite catalog?

In days past, the Sears Christmas edition or the Lana Lobell fashion catalogs were the birthplace of many shopping addictions.

But though these nostalgic beauties hold a special place in many hearts, catalogs certainly haven’t disappeared from today’s marketing landscape. Companies like L.L. Bean, Ikea, J. Crew, and Athleta continue to dominate sales through the distribution of printed catalogs.

And people enjoy reading them. According to USPS, 47% of people set aside catalogs to read later, and 84% of consumers said they genuinely enjoyed receiving unexpected catalogs from places they had previously shopped. Enthusiasm has soared – response rates from catalogs has increased 170% from 2004 to 2018! 

Using Hard Copy Catalogs in Your Omnichannel Marketing

With a decrease in printed mail, today’s paper catalog is primarily a marketing tool – one of maximum potential during the holiday season.

The most sophisticated retailers are continuously working to build a seamless omnichannel operation, and companies that integrate catalogs, websites, and physical stores can simplify the shopping experience while closing more sales.

Print advertising is a great compliment to your online sales platforms, because print marketing often prompts greater follow-through. BRAND United reports that 86% of shoppers bought an item online after seeing it in a printed catalog.

Want to weave together catalogs and online purchasing? Here’s one inspiring example of a killer omnichannel strategy.

Quadratic: Selling the Adventure

For 30 years, Quadratic has prided itself on providing Jeep enthusiasts with the best parts and accessories for their customers.

From Antenna kits to light bars, Quadratic is committed to providing parts and accessories for daily on- and off-road needs.

Today millions of people receive Quadratec’s printed catalog in the mail. Even though there are more products on the company’s website than in their catalog, Quadratec uses printed catalogs to demonstrate it is an authoritative brand leader. Jeep enthusiasts love “jeeping,” and there’s just something about a giant catalog that gets that adventurer’s heart pumping!

In combination with its print success, Quadratec has elevated digital marketing efforts. By creating a corresponding mobile app, Quadratec allows customers to scan each product in the catalog with a mobile device. Scanned items bring customers to that item’s specific page on the website, so customers can easily tag it for a wish list, add it to their shopping cart, or purchase it from their phone.

Is this effective? Absolutely. Since launching its first AR-enabled catalog, Quadratec has experienced a three percent sales boost, and its mobile app is used an average of 200,000 times each month.

A One-Two Punch

Direct mail meets customers where they live, and catalogs are a long-standing customer favorite.

Data shows 44 percent of customers visit a brand’s website after receiving direct mail marketing, which is 10 percent more than people who visit landing pages after receiving an email. And because catalogs are extremely engaging, people feel more confident about purchasing when they receive one.

David Naumann, vice president of marketing for BRP, noted studies that have shown people can spend upward of 20 minutes looking at catalogs compared to the seconds they might spend looking at product images displayed online:

“When you have that physical catalog, customers might ponder it longer, even write notes on it,” he said. “It’s something you really can’t replicate in other media.”

Want to explore catalog marketing options for your business? Visit us online today for a free quote!

Unique Fold Options for Your Marketing Masterpiece

Looking to add some finishing flair to your next marketing piece?

Unique, eye-catching folds offer so much room to flex your creativity! When creating your next masterpiece, here are some fun print folds to consider:

Sliding Message Sleeve Mailers

To fuel engagement with your prospects, try a die-cut envelope that peaks through to a sleeve mailer inside.

Upon first glance, readers see one message or image. But when they slip the inner card out of the envelope, a brilliant reveal appears from the back panel.  

Accordion Folds

Accordion folds are great because they fold down small but hold a great deal of information.

Accordion folds resemble the letter “Z” and zig-zag back and forth, dividing a page into thirds (or even sixths!). Use them for brochures, mini-booklets, or sticker-sealed mailers. The average accordion-folded sheet includes two folds and six panels of design space (front and back). Make the most of your real estate with this flexible, engaging design.

Poster Folds with a Zip Strip

Looking to send something large in a pocket-sized package?

Try a zip strip opener with an inner package that unfolds to a unique shape or size. Whether the folded section is wide and narrow or opens as an iron-cross brochure, this small package blooms bright for a big, memorable impact.

Roll Folds

Rolls folds consist of four or more panels that roll into each other.

Also known as a barrel fold, this option is perfect when you have a considerable amount of content but you need to keep the finished product as compact as possible. Roll folds also spark curiosity and depth as you reveal a new message or theme with each opening panel.

Exotic Folds

Like intricate origami, exotic folds are non-standard, completely unique folds created to a designer’s specifications.

Though they can be expensive, exotic folds allow you to stretch the limits in unforgettable ways. From a flower-petaled postcard to a custom-printed folding box, these highly tailored pieces will give your media a fancy, luxurious edge.

Pop-up Folds

When you want to add extra dimension to your booklet or brochure, go 3D with a die-cut and fold technique that creates a pop-up feature from within.

Pop-up pieces should instantly pique customer interest with a direct focus on the product or service you are promoting. Examples might include:

  • A performing arts invitation that reveals a pop-out “stage” once the card is unfolded
  • A fold-over mailer or brochure designed to look like a briefcase, which springs open to deliver your unforgettable offer
  • An architect’s brochure that brings to life a 3D city skyline, with revitalized storefronts in the center

A Shape That Tells Your Story

No matter what fold or design you choose, remember your story should play the starring role.

Choose a focused narrative and weave it through your imagery, tabs, pullouts, pop-up text, or brochure copy. From fun folds to creative exterior packaging, great designs will blend all these elements to share your clever, cohesive story. 

Want to go a cut above the competition? Leverage your printed piece’s shape to add character or dimension people just won’t forget!

 

Share Your Brand Story to Create Distinct, Authentic Connections

In a noisy marketplace, businesses must work smarter to grab prospects and lock in loyalty.

But the desire for relationship is mutual. According to Cheetah Mobile marketing director Josh Ong, customers don’t just want to buy, they want to buy into something:

“Millennials are more likely than any other demographic to be brand loyal. But millennials don’t choose which brand to be loyal to at random, instead, they are highly attuned to the story that a brand tells, as well as the values that brand exhibits.”

No one can resist a good story! Need proof? Here’s a fun brand story from eyewear retailer Warby Parker:

Warby was founded as a rebellious upstart to tackle the problem of expensive eyewear because of a frustrating personal experience. During a backpacking trip, one of Warby’s founders lost his glasses. Since he was a broke grad student, he couldn’t afford to replace them, and he spent the rest of the semester squinting.

By circumventing traditional channels, designing glasses in-house, and engaging with customers directly, Warby now provides higher-quality, better-looking prescription eyewear at a fraction of the going price. The company believes buying glasses should be easy, fun, and should leave money in your pocket. Warby also believes everyone has a right to see, and they partner with nonprofits like VisionSpring to ensure that for every pair of glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need.

Warby sums up its brand story in this simple phrase: good eyewear, good outcome.  

4 Traits of Captivating Brand Stories

A brand story is a valuable marketing asset.

It sharpens your values, shapes your message, and guides your sales. Here are common traits of brands with especially effective stories:

1. Start with Problems

From the beginning, successful brands have identified market needs or specific injustices.

Sharing their journey in confronting or solving these issues builds a very compelling narrative. The founder often retains an active role and holds a starring role in the company’s ever-evolving story.

2. Embrace Underdog Status

Everyone loves an underdog.

Brands that are (or were) on the outsider are considered disruptors. Their adventures in confronting the establishment make them easy to love and fun to listen to.

3. Foster Niche Lifestyle Communities

Brands that have a clear identity and purpose can to form more meaningful connections that result in truly devoted fans.

Make your brand integral to the lifestyle your prospects covet. When emotional attachments to brands are built, this connection often starts with a shared conviction or a particular life vision.

4. Stand for Something Specific

Most people aren’t particularly loyal to a company; instead, they are loyal to what that company stands for.

A recent study published by the Harvard Business Review showed that, of those consumers that had a strong relationship with a brand or business, 64 percent cited “shared values” as the primary reason. Companies that stand for more than just dollar signs will forge emotional connections with their customers.

Whether its fostering sustainability or giving back to specific communities, a commitment to social good can make your brand story more authentic and memorable.

Share Your Story Today

What is your brand story?

You may believe you don’t have a story to tell, but that’s just not true! Every firm can share a portrait of who they are and why they exist. This may include your mission, inspiration, or goals and it can be shared through direct mail, photography, banners, blogs, and any medium that authentically touches people.

Stories create something your clients want to be part of, building confidence and receptivity. People buy into what they trust, so find your story and share it today!

Snag Younger Customers: How to Build Connections with Generation Z

With the oldest of Generation Z graduating and entering the workforce, it’s time to set your sights on this powerful consumer demographic.

Who are these Gen Z individuals, and what is the most effective way to reach them? While many media companies have written them off as “screen addicts,” Gen Z is actually very nimble, engaged, and unique.

Here are a few facts to consider:

  • As of 2020, Gen Z makes up more than 40% of U.S. consumers.
  • Born after 1996, most members of this generation are not yet old enough to vote.
  • Generation Z represents the leading edge of the country’s changing racial and ethnic makeup. 52% are non-Hispanic white, 25% are Hispanic, 14% are black, 6% are Asian.
  • Gen Z logs on to social media for roughly two hours and 55 minutes each day. This is almost an hour longer than the average millennial.

Want to engage younger prospects? Here are five tips to consider:

1. Diverse images are extremely impactful

Gen Z has a natural awareness of how diversity is depicted (or overlooked) in your media.

Whether it’s custom photography or variety in your testimonials, it will seem strange (or even offensive) if your media is too homogenized.

2. Gen Z loves a good deal

Estimated at having $4 billion in discretionary spending, the buying power of Gen Z is significant.

But having grown up during the 2008 recession, Gen Z has an innate appreciation for a bargain. Gen Z will hunt for value in two ways: buying from inexpensive brands or purchasing expensive items with durability guarantees. Generous warranties and engaging in-store experiences are also a way to offer them more bang for their buck.

3. Gen Z was born social

Over 91% of Gen Z kids have a digital footprint, and Gen Z spends more time on mobile devices than Millennials.

Gen’s Z’s favorite sites are YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat. Because they are so visual, whenever possible you should “show,” not just “tell.” Image-based advertising and short-videos are especially effective!

4. Real is best

Gen Z people seek uniqueness in all walks of life, and particularly through the brands they buy from.

Gen Z-ers prefer brands that are authentic: 82% said they trust a company more if it uses images of real customers in its advertising, and 72% said they’re more likely to buy from a company that contributes to social causes. Product quality, positive reviews, and customer service are the top three characteristics that fortify their trust in a brand.

5. Give them a voice or a role

Given how socially aware this generation is, remember Gen Z-ers love opportunities to contribute, create, lead, and learn.

Whether you allow them to personalize your product or you prioritize ethical marketing (like partnering with nonprofits or standing for a cause), Gen Z appreciates buying from brands that give them a role in the journey.

Help Them Live in Person

Finally, remember that Gen Z longs to engage, and this doesn’t have to be online. 

A new A.T. Kearney study reports that 81% of Gen Z respondents prefer to purchase in stores, 73% like to discover new products in stores, and 58% browse in-store selections to disconnect from social media and live in the moment.

From gorgeous window banners to sharp point-of-purchase displays, sensory impact plays a principal role in creating the right mood for an impulse purchase.

Expand Your Influence by Growing in Self-Awareness

Have you exited a bathroom without realizing there was toilet paper on your shoe?

Or awkwardly tried to make conversation with someone who had food on their face? Whether someone is clumsy in conversation or they have really bad breath, a lack of self-awareness can profoundly hinder their reputation or influence.

Success Starts in Relationships

What is self-awareness?

Self-awareness involves being aware of different aspects of the self: including traits, behaviors, appearance, and feelings. Researchers find two areas of self-awareness to be especially important in leadership:

Internal self-awareness: This represents how clearly you see your values, passions, aspirations, fit with your environment, reactions (including thoughts, feelings, behaviors, strengths, and weaknesses), and impact on others.

Internal self-awareness is associated with higher job and relationship satisfaction, personal and social control, and happiness. It is negatively related to anxiety, stress, and depression.

External self-awareness: Understanding how other people view you can make you more responsive as a team member and more skilled at showing empathy or taking others’ perspectives. 

When you more clearly see yourself as others do, you will have better relationships with your team, and they will view you as a more effective leader. 

If success starts in relationships, self-awareness is arguably the most important capability for leaders to develop. The numbers reflect this. In a study of the stock performance of 486 publicly traded companies, Korn/Ferry International found that companies with strong financial performance tend to have employees with higher levels of self-awareness than poorly performing companies.

Know Yourself to Empower Better Choices

Do you want to grow in self-awareness? Here are a few areas to focus on:

1- Strengths and weaknesses

Each of us has strengths and weaknesses that can hinder us or help us reach our goals.

Take ownership over these regularly, and compensate for shortcomings through personal development, honest acknowledgement of your struggles, or by delegating weak areas to someone with greater expertise.  

2- Triggers

Identify what factors, triggers, or indicators – both negative and positive – prompt others’ behaviors toward you.

Think about questions like: why do you do the things you do, and how do others respond? How do you respond in turn, and why do you react the way you do? What is the impact of culture on your perspective and others’ perceptions?

3- Moods

Try not to make decisions when you’re in a bad mood.

Whether you’re feeling depressed or just “hangry,” bad moods can make you lose sight of your hope or your values. Emotionally aware people can push pause, allowing trying situations to simmer down before they respond.

4- Personal Curiosity

Leaders are learners, and curious people are nimble amidst challenges.

While you can’t control your circumstances, you can take responsibility for who you become. Stay curious, respect others’ opinions, and don’t stop seeking to grow and change.

Commit to Continual Growth

Emotional intelligence empowers you to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others, and to proactively manage your relationships in healthier ways.  

Leaders who focus on building self-awareness will seek honest feedback from others and examine why they succeed or fail in different circumstances. And this can be fun! Remember, no matter how much progress you make, there’s always more to learn. That’s one of the things that makes personal growth so exciting. 

Envelopes: The Humble Hero of Direct Mail

Who doesn’t love a good party? 

As we move toward year-end holiday gatherings, many of us look forward to gathering with friends and family. However, a party is only successful if people actually COME, and most people attend for one primary reason — they were invited!

Attractive Envelopes Invite People to “Come on In” 

The same principle is true in business. 

A mailing is only as effective as its response rate, and an envelope serves as a great invitation to dig deeper. Custom envelopes are a simple tool that dramatically increases reader response. In a world of distraction, envelopes serve as a soft introduction, inviting people to “come on in” and experience more of what you have to offer. Thoughtful, creative envelopes will entice people to dial into (and not discard!) the message you have carefully crafted.

Do you want to expand your business by reaching new prospects? Current direct mail statistics are exciting! The 2018 Direct Mail Association Response Rate Report revealed household list response rates are around nine percent, significantly up from 2017, when it was 5.1%. The prospect list response rate was 4.9%, also showing a significant increase compared to the 2.9% the previous year.

What’s contributing to this spike? Technology. Thanks to technological advancements, mail marketers are gathering more data about consumer behavior. On average, response rates increase by 30% when direct mail is paired with digital targeting. 

When you send mail to people who actually look forward to it, you’ll prompt much greater interest! 

4 Keys to Getting Your Envelopes Opened

When you’re ready to create your custom envelope, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Oversized envelopes have the highest response rate

Larger envelopes prompt a reader response rate of around five percent, the highest of any direct mail format.

When you break from the norm, people will notice. Experiment with a wide variety of shapes and sizes, colors, and textures (linen, cockle, matte, coated, glossy, or metallic). Make your envelope stand out from the other envelopes people receive every day!

Follow the three-second rule

When designing your mailing, remember the envelope has about three seconds to engage readers.

Grab attention with enticing product photos or short teaser prompts (like, “your free gift is here!”). You pay for the whole envelope, so why not use it? Use every inch for impact by including your logo, taglines, or back-flap branding.

Experiment with the “extras”

There are so many ways to build curiosity with your envelope.

Have fun with options like these: 

  • Try a peek-through window featuring a color photograph of your product, a membership card, or contest entry form.
  • Embellish your envelopes with foil stamping or embossing to feature an anniversary or warranty seal. 
  • Drive engagement by using a zip-strip opener, a peel-off sticker, or a pull-off repositionable note to encourage reader retention and reaction. The longer your prospects engage with your envelope, the more likely they will be to open it. 

Put the reader First

When crafting a sales pitch, many marketers focus more on the product than its audience.

But readers are not primarily concerned with how slick your idea is, they are concerned with how great it will make their lives. Envelope taglines or images should concisely present a key benefit your product brings to consumers.

Packaging Matters

Great packaging can increase response rates and enhance emotional connections with your clients. 

Are your envelopes offering people your best? In a world of visual clutter, excellent envelopes are a vital component of every marketing mix. Be sure your envelopes carry a message that’s classy and confident, just like you.

Why Direct Mail Postcards are Worth Every Penny

Although postcards are one of today’s beloved print pieces, they had a humble beginning.

The earliest postcard dates back to 1840 when an English man named Theodore Hook sent one to himself. By 1861, the US Congress allowed privately printed cards, weighing one ounce or under, to be sent through the mail. That year, John P. Charlton copyrighted the first postcard, and by 1901 postcards were a regular part of mailed communication.

Generate Huge Exposure with Just One Mailing

Fast forward a century. 

Postcards are now an essential marketing option for many businesses, and with good reason. These versatile tools represent a huge opportunity for companies that do it right.

And the results are compelling. One real estate agent makes $5,000 to $20,000 in commissions every time she runs a direct mail campaign. A Texas dentist added six figures in new revenue thanks to one mailing. And a financial services firm spent a few thousand dollars to net dozens of new clients with an average value of $1,500 each.

Why are postcards so effective?

According to UnitedMail, 79 percent of people act on direct mail immediately (while only 45 percent do so for email). More than two-thirds of consumers open all of their mail, even easily recognizable junk. And this is especially true for young people! According to the U.S. Postal Service, 36 percent of people under age 30 look forward to checking their mail, and 37 percent of the coveted 25- to 35-year-old demographic immediately read their mail.

Since postcards are so visually accessible, they are read frequently and generate huge exposure. When businesses target specific audiences and link to tailored landing pages on their website, they can spark considerable revenue with just one mailing.

Postcards generate fast results, and they work for any business. As long as you have a clear marketing strategy and great graphic design, postcards will work for you!

4 Keys for Designs that Deliver

When you are ready to launch your direct mail postcard, here are four keys for generating compelling, actionable designs:

1. Design with Your Audience in Mind

If there’s one mistake common to most marketers, it is this: assuming your audience knows the terminology of your industry.

Whether you’re a financial advisor or a chiropractor, frame your ideas in words that would make sense to anyone. 

2. Paint a Picture of the Problem You Can Solve

People won’t read every word you share, so don’t bury the lead.

Immediately communicate the problem your business can fix. Center your writing around how your product can make people’s lives easier or better.

3. Use Simple, Crisp Graphics

The image on your postcard should be instantly recognizable.

While it may be fun to try something clever, this often confuses the audience. Since you have mere seconds to communicate an idea, your image should reinforce the concept in a strong, obvious way.

4. Add Bulleted Lists and Distinct Next Steps

Readers won’t engage with longer text, so shoot for punchy subheadings or bulleted items that clarify value.

People want more than just a phone number or a web link. Be specific with CTAs like, “subscribe to ___ for ______” or “call today for your free consultation!” 

Let Our Team Mail for You

Ready to expand your reach with a focused direct mail campaign?

Save on stress and expense by consolidating your creative processes. Our full-service design specialists can provide the artwork, the printing, and even the mailing services. To get a quote, visit our website today! 

Generate Innovative Solutions with Strategic Design Thinking

Several years ago, a truck driver tried to pass under a low bridge.

Underestimating the truck height, the driver became firmly lodged under the bridge, unable to move his vehicle forward or backward. Emergency workers and city engineers gathered onsite, debating whether they should dismantle the truck or chip away parts of the bridge. Each proposed a solution most aligned with their area of expertise.

Just then, a boy walked by, observed the intense debate, and made a casual comment. “Why not just let the air out of the tires?”

When the solution was tested, the truck squeezed forward with ease, suffering only slight damage to his cab. The specialists were amazed at the solution and also by the fact that they were initially blind to an answer a child could easily recognize. 

A Human-Centric Way of Thinking

This story symbolizes the struggles we face when the most obvious solutions are hard to recognize.

That’s just one reason strategic design thinking has become so prevalent in business. Design thinking is a solution-based, human-centric approach to solving problems, one that embodies both a particular way of thinking and a collection of hands-on methods. In business, design thinking allows you to look at things through your customers’ eyes while devising meaningful, profitable solutions. 

Design thinking can be helpful because it pushes you to challenge existing assumptions, redefine problems, and uncover options. It is especially useful for creatively devising alternatives and prototypes with a team. While there can be three to seven phases in this process, many people find five modes to be particularly helpful. These stages do not have to follow any specific order and can occur in parallel or repeat iteratively.

5 Stages to Shaping Nimble, Profitable Ideas

Here’s how to implement the five-stage process of design thinking with your team.

1. Observe with Empathy

The first step in design thinking is to empathize with your clients and partners, investing in conversations, and identifying hidden needs by living the customer experience

During the 2020 pandemic, one design-build storage company noticed a significant uptick in interest for luxury storage sheds (can you say “man cave?”). Before pumping out products, team leaders spent considerable time with prospects, architects, and manufacturers. By looking at things from the customers’ perspective, the storage specialists became intimately acquainted with changing markets and how demand should drive innovation.

2. Define the Problem

Once you genuinely live and understand your customers’ needs, you can redefine the problem and approach it from different angles.

Through conversations with many families, designers from the storage company realized that a post-pandemic need was not for increased storage but for alternate living spaces that were affordable, durable, and even portable.

3. Ideate with Your Team

The next step is to develop solutions by involving all internal and external team members.

The wider your base, the more imaginative you can be. Creative sessions led our Midwest storage specialists to develop prefabricated backyard offices, “granny” pods, and even elegant miniature lake cabins that could be delivered and assembled on site.

4. Prototype Rapidly

After quickly building and releasing designs, it is important to make your ideas as nimble and customizable as possible.

Whether you add a “Most Popular Items” section to your website or you give customers access to “build it yourself” 3D configurator software, speed and wide-ranging accessibility are key.

5. Test and Validate 

Design thinking is an adaptable process.

Results from prototype tests may show that you’ve misinterpreted customer behaviors and needs in steps one and two. That’s ok! From here, you can return to previous steps and tweak solutions so they are best tailored for current needs. View every blueprint as a living document, and keep working to capture the right opportunities in the right way. 

As you test solutions with your team, you will unleash people’s full creative energies, win their commitment, and radically improve the end product.

Why Carbonless Forms Make a Great Tech-Free Solution

When you “cc” someone on an email, do you ever think about what this abbreviation actually means?

In 1801, Pellegrino Turri invented carbon paper to provide ink for his mechanical typing machine, which was one of the first typewriters. Five years later, carbon paper was patented and released to the general public. Carbon paper soon became a primary method for rapidly reproducing documents or booklets, and today its legacy has remained in the header of emails. The “cc” abbreviation stands for “carbon copies,” or copies intended for recipients other than the principal addressee.

Since Turri’s day, carbonless forms have largely replaced their early ancestor. Carbonless copy paper has micro-encapsulated dye or ink on the back side of the top sheet, and a clay coating on the front side of the bottom sheet. When pressure is applied (from writing or impact printing), the dye capsules rupture and react with the clay to form a permanent mark duplicating the markings made to the top sheet. In the span of seconds, intermediary layers act as multipart stationery, adding flexibility and convenience to any business exchange.

Simplify and Save

In many industries, carbonless forms work better than electronic documents, and they may be a perfect fit for your business.

Carbonless forms offer a speedy solution that is ideal for capturing handwritten signatures or personal notes taken during an order or appointment. Want to ditch the unnecessary equipment or the headaches of expensive tech repairs? These forms are especially handy for team members who are frequently in the field, when you’re working face-to-face with clients, or when time and accuracy are essential.

Where can you put carbonless forms to work? The possibilities abound! Try these sensible custom pads for:

  • Invoices or inventory tracking
  • Design drafts or sales estimates
  • Onsite service calls
  • Patient intake forms
  • Inspections, permits, or delivery confirmations
  • As a customizable receipt for your small business

Carbonless forms are used in a wide range of industries, including mechanical, agriculture, funeral services, transportation, home improvement, auctions, and more. They are great for any situation where you want a simple business solution or a quick reproduction of up to four simultaneous copies.

And just because these forms are practical doesn’t mean they have to be boring! Experiment with bold graphics, two colors of ink, custom finishes, or three-hole drilling to allow for archiving in binders or booklets. Sequential numbering will enable you to easily track your transactions, or you can also send varying designs to print multiple for types in the same size and finish.

Get Your Forms ASAP

Ready to get started? Go carbonless with this convenient, budget-friendly option. Craft smart, rapid-return designs that will hold up for years.

Send an inquiry today for your free estimate!

How to Keep Your Cool in Pressure-Packed Situations

In July of 2020, more than four million people savored the chance to watch live Major League Baseball on the opening night of a historic 60 game series.

Due to the intensity of the abbreviated coronavirus season, each game matters immensely. By winning the first game, a team instantly has nearly a 3-game lead over the team that it beats. With the number of season games shrinking by half, every homerun and strikeout is intensified. Only those teams that can perform well under pressure can pull out a short season victory.

Many people in the business world are facing a similar pressure. 

Corporate teams have been forced to adopt tighter timelines, operate with a slimmer margin, or do more with fewer teammates. How will you respond to that pressure? And how can you encourage those around you to avoid panic or stress?

Here are three tips to guide you through moments of high intensity:

1. Create a Prioritization Strategy

Make a list of monthly tasks and then assess each item. 

Ask questions like: is this item important to me? Will it relieve pressure or clear space in my day? Does it move our team forward? If not, look at delegating, postponing, or eliminating this task. 

2. Focus on the Fundamentals

You never really become better in the moment. 

In moments of immense stress, it is easy to make foolish decisions or go for the “Hail Mary” option. With so much uncertainty, playing a wild card can be a costly mistake. Instead of looking for a magic bullet, focus more on the most basic, time-tested strategies for success. Whether this is following up on prospects, or just a willingness to make the high-percentage “predictable” move again and again, stick with strategies that have historically brought success. 

3. Change How You Think About Pressure

“Pressure is a privilege.”

Tennis great Billie Jean King has been credited with this quote, and there is a reason it hits home for so many.

One of the most daunting parts about working in tense conditions is the temptation to psyche yourself out. Sports psychologists help athletes overcome this by using visualization of positive outcomes. Before a match or competition, top players coin short phrases describing who they are at their best: “I am consistent, I am intimidating, and I never give up without a fight.” When stressful moments come, athletes don’t focus on the worst (“don’t strike out, don’t strike out”) but consciously visualize success. When confidence flows, players are more likely to rise to their potential.

Another way to visualize success is by breaking a mammoth task into manageable pieces so you can actually “see” how the work could be completed. Best-selling author and business coach Dave Anderson says people can face overwhelming situations by breaking their response into manageable pieces:  

“More often than not, we worry about some imaginary catastrophe that never happens, and that tends to render us powerless,” Anderson said. “Focus on one aspect of the task at a time, instead of looking at it in its totality. If you make a list of every step and use a “paint-by-numbers” approach, you’ll be fine.”

Resistance Training Builds Strength

Whether it is demands from your boss or supply chain obstructions, every person has obstacles that threaten to derail them from success.

But ultimately, stressful situations can push your performance to levels you could never reach otherwise. As University of Tulsa psychologist Jennifer Ragsdale says, “without challenge comes boredom. A life with zero stress is not a life worth living.”