Friday, July 2, 2021

Deadlines? We eat them for Breakfast!!!! Why Duplicates INK is so good at WOWING Clients.

One KEY trait that most successful businesses share is that the entire TEAM understands, believes and embraces their Company's Uniqueness.

Since 1991 Duplicates INK - marketSMART has constantly been evolving while staying laser focused on one of our Unique Traits.  This unique trait is how we are OBSESSED with meeting or beating deadlines.  In some cases unrealistic Deadlines.  Learn more about what makes Duplicates INK so special HERE

A few words of wisdom.   

Some are lucky enough to have natural organization skills; others have to work at managing their time in order to work quickly and efficiently.

In general, organization will help manage your time, and it will also ease the stress of having deadlines. Having a clear-cut plan with driven direction will help conquer any and all deadlines thrown your way.

We thought it would be fun to share with you our take on the importance of organization when meeting deadlines.   I hope you enjoy.

Prioritizing is Key

Larger projects that have a quicker deadline should be the ones you’re working on first.

Many people want to put off larger projects because they seem intimidating. Make a plan to break down the larger projects into smaller ones and accomplish one at a time.

Conquering smaller projects at a time will seem less intimidating and less stressful. Sometimes you might be working diligently on a project and -- in the middle of it -- get thrown a project that has a quicker deadline. Dropping the current project can be hard to do but is necessary for meeting deadlines.

Identify Your Productive Time and Use It

If you’re a morning person and motivated with a cup of coffee to start your day, use the morning to accomplish those intimidating tasks.

Or if you’re more motivated in the afternoon, then use that time. Working within your productive time will help keep you on track and get important tasks accomplished. In the less productive times, concentrate on checking emails and doing research -- the things that ease your brain.

Another key to factor into your productive time is making sure that time is uninterrupted. Set aside time that you know will be quiet to work on things, and make sure that time is within your productive time of the day. Fewer interruptions will help keep your focus streamlined.

Embrace the Lists

The largest benefit to writing your lists on paper is the gratification of checking things off.

Once an item is checked off as complete, your brain realizes that it doesn’t need to think about that anymore. This can relieve the stress of feeling like your to-do list is never-ending. Writing it down shows you that there is an end to the list and will keep you focused on what’s important.

Keeping these things in mind will create an efficient and stress-free atmosphere when working on projects and meeting important deadlines. If organization is not your cup of tea, working with someone who is organized can help balance your routine.

Strategic Alignment

Have you ever been in a situation where you, or someone you know, completed a project that just didn't seem possible when considering the time and resources needed?  But somehow it happened.  When asked "How in the world did they get it done?"   the answer commonly used is "The Stars must have been Aligned"  a simple phrase meaning "I don't have any idea how but we did".

I've found along my journey in business that creating strategic alignments with complementing businesses provides me with an arsenal of Unique Traits which ultimately allows our team at Duplicates INK - marketSMART to provide our clients an incredible Strategic Partner.  This Strategic Alignment has resulted in many "I don't know...the stars must have been aligned" responses.   

Our team at Duplicates INK - marketSMART take all deadlines serious and with priority status.  Just see for yourself.  Next time you have an impossible deadline give us a Call we eat deadlines for breakfast.

Duplicates INK - marketSMART

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

6 Winning Direct Mail Campaigns

One of the most common questions we receive at Duplicates INK - marketSMART is.......

"Does Direct Mail still work?"  the simple straightforward truthful answer is 


Direct mail offers results that other channels just can't match.

***BONUS at the end of this article***

According to a recent study, direct mail has a response rate as high as 9%. However, there are always ways to engage your audience better and improve your mailers' effectiveness. These methods below catch your recipents' attention and increase the chances that they'll read and respond to your direct mail piece. 

6 Winning Direct Mail Campaigns

1. Instill Curiosity with a Quiz

Do you worry your direct mail envelopes are going in the trash unread?

Take a page from Harvard Medical School's playbook. In a recent mailing to woo subscribers for their Harvard Heart Letter newsletter, they put a heart health quiz on the front. The answers to the three-question quiz were inside the mailer, giving recipients a reason to open.

2. Benefits, Not Features

As marketers, it's so easy to get caught up in promoting all the neat features of your product.

Your readers, however, don't care about that. They care about how your product can be of benefit to them.

HelloFresh hit the mark with a February 2020 mailer that highlighted three big benefits to ordering their kits. At a glance, readers could see that the service could save them time, save them money, and offer more variety.

3. Leverage Testimonials

Research shows that a recommendation, whether from a friend or a stranger, has a lot of sway on reader opinions.

In fact, 70% of people will trust a recommendation even when it comes from someone who they don't know. 

Florida Gulf Coast University used the power of testimonials by putting recommendations from past students right on their mailing postcard. Having names, faces, and a glowing recommendation from current students helped convince potential attendees that the school is a good choice. 

4. Use the Magic Word

No, not "please." The powerful word that gets your mailer a second look instead of a quick trip to the recycle bin is "free." 

A March 2020 mailer from Estee Lauder catches attention with bright coloration and a prominent offer for a free gift when people visit their counter inside Macy's. Offering a gift is a way to get people inside your brick-and-mortar location, where there is an increased chance that they'll take the opportunity to buy.

5. Catch the Eye with Familiar Forms and Images

When Nestle was promoting their Kit Kat Chunky bar in the UK, they used a familiar image -- a Royal Mail card about an undeliverable package.

However, instead of the normal reasons for failure to deliver, recipients learn that the free chocolate bar Nestle intended to send them was "too chunky" to fit through their mail slot. The mailer served as a coupon to get a free bar to try from the store.

6. Invite Recipients to Interact with Your Mail Piece

To raise awareness for World Water Day in Belgium, the organization demonstrated the importance of water in an innovative way.

They sent a postcard that could only be read after the reader held it under running water. This tactile trick increased engagement and also got the group a viral bump on social media.

No matter what your business, it's possible to catch readers' eyes and attention with your direct mail pieces. Think about how to evoke your recipient's curiosity, which can lead to engagement and conversion.

For over 30 Years the team at Duplicates INK - marketSMART has helped clients achieve unheard of results because we have a system that works.  This winning system is rather simple and is only 10 steps.

We are making this system available as a workbook for you to execute your very own winning Direct Mail Campaign

Download your FREE 10 Steps to Success Workbook Here

10 Steps to Success with Direct Mail Workbook

Tuesday, April 20, 2021


Incredible One-Liners: Crafting a Magical Sentence to Grow Your Business

Our life is made with words.

Words create worlds – not only physical worlds but the worlds we perceive. From naming your children to articulating a political platform, words speak life and shape reality.

In marketing, often you have just one chance to get your message right. When you have someone’s attention, can you quickly and dramatically communicate ideas? That’s where a strong one-liner can make all the difference! A one-liner is a concise statement you can use to spark curiosity and clearly explain what you offer.

Here are three steps for building a one-liner that makes people lean in and take interest:

Step 1: Articulate the Problem

When you’re inviting customers into your story, always start with a problem.


The problem is the hook. If a story doesn’t have a problem, the story never gets started. When shaping your one-liner, start by stating the problem or pain point your clients face. Make sure the first statement in your pitch is a clear problem that people actually experience. Something like this:

  • A: Most parents get stressed when they think of taking their kids to the dentist . . .
  • B: With 110 people moving to Nashville every day, people are wasting more and more time sitting in traffic . . .

Step 2: Preview the Solution

After you open a story loop, your customer is ready to hear about a solution.

Here comes the reveal! After you’ve grown anticipation about the problem, turn the corner by offering a remedy. This can be as simple as naming your business or presenting the product itself. Here are a few examples:

  • A: At Kid’s Teeth, our fun and welcoming office puts kids at ease . . .
  • B: With a Circuit E-bike fitted just for you . . .


Step Three: Describe the Result

Like the climax of the opera, the third part of your one-liner should release the tension you initially created.

When you write the solution part of your one-liner, try to articulate the final result a customer will experience: something tangible people can see, feel, or count. For example:

  • A: Our fun and welcoming office puts kids at ease so that they aren’t afraid and their parents actually enjoy their dentist visit.
  • B: With a Circuit E-bike fitted just for you, you’ll get hours back in your day and arrive at work promptly.

Snag New Customers

There is no hammer, no chisel, and no generator more powerful than the spoken word.

Once you’ve perfected your one-liner, put it on the back of your business card, print it on the wall in your retail space, and memorize it for your next elevator pitch. Cast your bait far and wide and reel in great results!

Here is one of our One Liners

Most companies never know how many visitors to their website were generated through their direct mail marketing efforts, until NOW!  Our latest technology we call marketSMART2.0 tracks each and every engagement from your direct mail campaign as well as your digital campaigns.  Let me show you how it works.  Check it out here and get a complimentary Digital Report on "The Future of Marketing is NOW"  Download yours here.  

Any help you need for marketing your business, event, product or service, give our expert marketers a call at Duplicates INK - marketSMART - 843-248-2574   or visit us at  -

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Diversifying with Direct Mail


Diversifying with Direct Mail

Direct mail is the steady hand every digital marketing campaign needs to boost performance

By Christopher Karpenko

Tera Vector/Getty Images

Marketing has always been about getting the right message to the right people at the right time, no matter the medium.

Digital tactics, such as social media, online search, display ads, and email, have added layers of precision to this tried-and-true mission. They allow marketers to home in on the best message for their target audience and automate delivery timing for optimal exposure.

Rather than putting more resources and energy into the same digital channels and hoping that results will improve, marketers should try sistering digital tactics with physical ones.Some of these digital channels perform well across the customer journey, helping brands build awareness and consideration, influence conversions, and earn loyalty. But many others see drop-offs in effectiveness at various stages. In fact, a 2019 report by London Research and dotdigital shows that social media is highly effective for building brand awareness but less effective for converting leads into customers. While 59 percent of respondents noted social media as most effective at building visibility and awareness, only 32 percent said it was most effective for converting customers.

Direct mail reaches prospective customers in a different space: their physical home.

Its effectiveness is fairly stable — and builds up steadily — across the customer journey. According to the same London Research/dotdigital report, 13 percent of businesses see direct mail as most effective for building awareness, 19 percent for engagement and nurturing, 20 percent for converting, and 25 percent for retention and loyalty.

By combining this steady strength with the most effective digital channels at four stages in the customer journey, marketers can gain a boost for their campaigns that drives more action. Here's how:


Stage 1: Awareness

Introducing a brand or a new product to a fresh slate of prospective users calls for a wide reach. That's why respondents in the London Research/dotdigital report note that social media is most effective for building awareness. But social media posts offer limited space and time to tell a brand story.

To engage consumers, brands can pair introductory posts on social with direct mail. In doing so, marketers can tell the story of a new-to-market brand or exciting new product through an in-depth brochure or catalog that pushes users online with personalized URLs.

According to a case study from Aircards, a company that builds augmented reality (AR) experiences for brands, the private financial- and investing-advice company The Motley Fool wanted to increase awareness with an existing customer base around the launch of a new service. Together, they created a postcard that recipients could scan to connect to an engaging AR experience. The campaign saw a 40.3 percent engagement rate.


Stage 2: Consideration

After gaining some recognition in the market and piquing people's interest, a brand needs to position itself as the right solution to address prospective customers' needs. Regular, noninvasive interactions can help with this positioning and keep consumers engaged. That's why many marketers turn to digital display ads. In fact, research from eMarketer shows that U.S. marketers will spend more than $134 billion on digital ads in 2020, and they are projected to spend about 21 percent more in 2021.

But data from the London Research/dotdigital report shows that these ads aren't necessarily the most effective channels on their own. Only 15 percent of respondents called it the most effective for engagement and lead nurturing.

However, paired with direct mail, which 19 percent of respondents called effective, a brand can turn curiosity into active evaluation and push a prospect further down the funnel toward conversion.


Stage 3: Conversion

Once consumers are considering a brand, it's time for marketers to transform those interested leads into customers. At this stage, many marketers turn to paid search advertising. After all, when customers are nearly ready to buy, many conduct an online search to find the best option.

Marketers can match paid search advertising with targeted direct mail follow-ups. Paid search advertising is a top-ranked channel for converting customers, with 31 percent of respondents in the London Research/dotdigital report marking it as most effective. And direct mail is not far behind, with 20 percent of respondents calling it most effective. Together, these channels can encourage a customer to purchase.

NatureBox, a subscription service offering nutritionist-approved snacks, used direct mail to reengage and convert prospects who had fallen off, according to a case study from direct mail automation firm Inkit. To encourage a purchase, NatureBox targeted customers using a postcard with store credit. Nearly 9 percent of recipients redeemed it. The mail campaign also drove a 35 percent increase in orders for NatureBox and increased revenue per customer by 60 percent.

After a prospect searches and interacts with a paid search ad, brands can use retargeted direct mail tactics to quickly send a direct mail piece. This nudge can be just what they need to become a customer.


Stage 4: Loyalty

By this stage, the prospect is now the customer. But brands know that the first transaction is just the beginning of a longer lifecycle. To retain customers, brands need to earn their loyalty.

Email is far and away the favorite tactic here, with 71 percent of respondents in the London Research/dotdigital report calling it the most effective channel for customer retention and loyalty. Direct mail isn't far behind (it's the fourth most effective channel, per the London Research/dotdigital report), with 25 percent of respondents noting its effectiveness. Together, the two mail formats form a dynamic duo.

As a case study by marketing automation platform Sumo notes, a catering company that focuses on serving businesses sent postcards featuring personalized URLs to people who had not opened recent emails. The result was a long-lasting boost: Orders attributable to the direct mail campaign piece came in throughout the month, creating a steady stream of revenue and a return on investment of more than 113 percent.

In the world of retention, direct mail works because it carries high response rates — around nine times that of digital channels, per a 2018 report by the ANA and DMA. Marketers should use it in lockstep with email to help create a loyalty cycle that delivers repeat customers.


Building Integrated Campaigns that Deliver

When a brand needs a boost, marketers should diversify their delivery channels. Direct mail can be a reliable catchall that bolsters a brand's digital tactics.

To amplify their efforts, marketers should find the digital channels that work best at each stage and then partner each one with a coordinated, complementary mail campaign.

With a well-planned omnichannel strategy that incorporates physical and digital channels, a brand can drive more action from start to finish.

Christopher Karpenko is the executive director of brand marketing at the United States Postal Service, a partner in the ANA Thought Leadership Program. You can email Christopher at

Want to make the most out of your next direct mail project?  Reach out to our marketing experts at Duplicates INK and ask them to show you how marketSMART2.0 works  843-248-2574  or

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

5 Ideas for Holiday Marketing Inspiration

 At Duplicates INK - marketSMART we see our clients an partners are all taking new out of the box actions marketing this Holiday Season.  As life evolves as it continues to do, successful businesses adapt and make challenges and barriers and actually embrace them in order to create an opportunity our to the forsaid challenge.

This is where Duplicates INK - marketSMART shines.  We can help you think and see outside of the box.

If you are like many people, you may be wondering about the best way to celebrate the holidays this season.

As the world grapples with COVID-19, everyone will be making adjustments. This includes families, businesses, and even brands.

What will the 2020 holidays look like? And how will you adjust your sales and marketing plans accordingly? Agile marketing requires you to anticipate customer needs now and pivot to the demands of this new season.

Need inspiration? Here are just a few ideas about how to market your business this year.

1. Spread Out the Sales

Black Friday, one of the biggest shopping days of the holiday season, is seeing the biggest change this year, with many major retailers like Target Corp., Walmart Inc., Macy’s Inc., and others instead hosting month-long sales and online initiatives to offer their customers safer ways to shop.

In particular, Target’s “Black Friday Now” initiative offers four weeklong sales, starting with a focus on electronics, then kitchen items and floor care, then electronics apparel and beauty, and then ending with deals on toys, kitchen items, floor care and electronics. The deals also qualify for the retailer’s Price Match Guarantee, where shoppers can request a price adjustment on any item between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24.

2. Push Local Pleasures

Since people are traveling less, consider how you can offer a hometown experience that is both safe and special.

In some communities, local businesses are banding together to compile curated boxes tailored to specific buyer personas. For example, a coffee box might feature a mug, a book, a pair of cozy socks, and several specialty roasts from 3-4 local businesses. A foodie gift box might include a few baked goodies with several gift cards for specialized, private dining experiences in your neighborhood.

Whether you offer a retail item or an unforgettable outing, today is a great time to put your community on a pedestal!

3. Offer Early Shopping Incentives

When people want to avoid the rush, offering freebies can tip them toward your business.

Can you build a unique stocking stuffer to go with each purchase? Or offer a fun experience with grab bags or surprise items they can purchase at a discounted rate for unwrapping at home? From BOGO specials to free shipping, make it worth their while to buy early!

4. Make Returns a Snap

With so much uncertainty this year, people will be craving extra assurance.

How do you publicize your return policy? Make things as simple as possible and spread the word far and wide. If you have a retail space, post it on your wall, your front counter, your cash register, or on customer receipts or purchase inserts. On your website, spell it out on a page and make sure that links to that page are visible on the home page. Add it to your flyers, social media pages, or anywhere you can assure clients you’ve got their back. 

5. Add Custom Packaging to Brighten the Mood

Whether it’s getting the mail each day or unwrapping a customer appreciation gift, the ”unboxing” process has become a critical part of the customer experience.

Around 45% of surveyed people say they were more excited about receiving their order when it included customized wrapping. Be creative and colorful to make this season merry and bright!

Tis the Season to Set Yourself Apart

Want to increase the emotional attachment customers have to your business?

From a dash of color on your envelope to a custom print piece, holiday pizazz can be a part of any business budget. If you'd like to chat about options, give us a call!

Duplicates INK - marketSMART

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

How to Restart the Conversation When a Lead Has Gone Cold

I've been working Business Development, Sales, Account Management or whatever you want to call it for almost 30 years.  One of the most powerful ways to rekindle or reignite a conversation that has gone dead is send a Handwritten Note!  At Duplicates INK - marketSMART this has been a great tool to re engage prospects. 

Adding new customers to your sales funnel is essential for growth, and lead generation is vital.

For many industries, generating a lead can cost anywhere from $25 to $300. So, after you’ve made an initial contact or pushed for a commitment, what should you do when prospects disengage?

Don’t give up! When leads stop responding, hope is not lost. Smart entrepreneurs can use many strategies to rekindle interest. Here are a few options to consider:

Prime the Pump

Leads go cold for a variety of reasons, but that doesn’t mean you should abandon them.

According to Jim Obermayer, author of Managing Sales Leads: Turning Cold Prospects Into Hot Customers, 56% of people who indicated they might like to buy a product are still in play six months later, and 35% percent are still in the market after one year.

“Leads do not go cold as much as it is not yet their time to buy in the one-year cycle,” Obermayer said. “A rep may approach them before they are ready.”

Though it’s challenging to follow up after a long window of time, Obermayer suggests priming the pump, using an email first, followed by a personal call.

Ask One Key Question

Don’t start a conversation without a strategy or direction.

When you reconnect, remind the prospect of the last time you spoke, the level of interest they expressed, and any questions you discussed.

If they weren’t initially ready to buy, tell them you’re following up to gauge interest or update them on what’s changed since the last interaction (like a revamped product or updated subscription options). If they still seem non-committal, don’t be afraid to ask this question:

“Should I close your file?”

Differentiate Your Approach

If leads have been ignoring your outreach attempts, try adding value, or shifting your approach.

Consider a direct text message campaign, an email with a link to a freebie, or a direct mail invitation to a special event. Custom videos can also provide a non-threatening way to break the ice. Call prospects by name, refer to your previous conversation, and send an encouraging message to show you care about them personally.

You may be surprised by what a kind word can do!

Send a Break-Up Email

If you’ve followed up with someone multiple times and your prospects seem bleak, it’s ok to send a farewell message.

In fact, a last chance email can elicit a 76% response rate. Used in a friendly, conversational way, giving final notice can jolt someone out of complacency and get them moving.

Here’s one example:

Hi Tina,

After several attempts to reconnect, it seems your interest in _____ may have waned. That’s totally fine, but I’m just wondering if we should keep trying or find a better time?

To keep things simple, I’d appreciate if you could respond with a simple keystroke (reply with either A, B, C, D, or E) to indicate your level of interest:

  • A. Stop emailing me with attempts to connect but continue to send event invitations.

  • B. Please remove me from your list.

  • C. I may need your help, but the timing isn’t right. Please keep trying!

  • D. I want to schedule a time to talk – could you please send your availability?

  • E. I forgot who you are. Can you refresh my memory?

Thanks again, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Think of Reconnecting as an Opportunity

One of the best ways to revive a cold lead is to stay positive.

Don’t worry about annoying a prospect; the only way you’ll know if someone’s interested is by asking! While you don’t want to be pushy, it’s better to error on the side of optimism. In reality, only 10% to 25% of all leads are followed up on. By following up, you stand a chance of standing out.

Give us a Call at Duplicates INK - marketSMART and we can get you set up with some personalized Branded Note Cards.  843-248-2574 or


Thursday, October 29, 2020

Connect with Younger Customers: How to Build Connections with Generation Z

My 2 daughters are Generation Z'rs (lol)  It is intriguing observing how they make purchasing decisions.  Actually when they get a direct mail piece they get excited.  In this quick read I will share a few ways to connect with Generation Z since they are over 40% of consumers....Enjoy.

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.

Our team at Duplicates INK - marketSMART our experts at connecting with the right audience you are trying to connect with. Give us a call or email and lets simply chat about what you would like to accomplish.  Duplicates INK - marketSMART 843-248-2574 or


Happy Marketing
John Cassidy