Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tip #100: Review the Past 99 Tips

Celebrating 100 Tips!

We’re celebrating 100 tips on the RCI Tip of the Week blog this week!

Celebrate with us by using this tip to look back over the past 99 tips. Use the blog archive at right or the search function to find tips by topic (label). From merchandising to candy holidays to marketing and employee management, we have covered a lot of ground since our first tip on January 4, 2012.

We hope you have enjoyed our tips and learned as much as we have along the way. Please take a moment to share the RCI Tip of the Week blog with someone you know; link to www.retailconfectionersinternational.blogspot.com and let others in the confectionery industry know about this FREE resource provided by Retail Confectioners International. We look forward to continuing to provide you with fun, quick and useful tips to help simplify the lives of confectioners!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tip #99: Celebrate National Candy Cane Day All Month

Did you know the day after Christmas is National Candy Cane Day? In honor of these holidays, this week’s tip is to celebrate National Candy Cane Day leading up to Christmas. To help you celebrate, we’ve gathered a few creative and easy ways to include candy canes in your product mix and presentation.

Hot Chocolate or Coffee Stirrers

Candy Cane Tree (Great for window display!)

Candy Cane Marshmallow

Candy Cane Popcorn

If you have creative candy cane ideas to share, leave us a comment below!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tip #98: Optimize Your Marketing Emails Using Images

You’re busy sending out emails to your customer list but are you thinking about how the emails will be viewed depending on elements such as email service providers and screen size? This week’s tip is to take time to optimize your marketing emails for the images you are using.

First of all, be sure you are including images in your email campaigns, especially since you create such beautiful confections! And don’t forget to be sure they are great photos – it will make a world of difference!
See this recent blog tip about why you should invest in having high quality photos of your products.

Next, be sure your images are optimized for web. For example, check to be sure it has the right file size, type and format to avoid your receiver getting upload errors. Your email marketing service provider should provide the guidelines they recommend. For example, no larger than 350KB and no wider than 800 pixels wide is what is recommended by Constant Contact. Anything larger than that and they will likely automatically shrink the image for you which may result in loss of quality.

Additionally, remember that many email programs automatically block images until the receiver chooses to download them. Therefore, it is not recommended that every call to action be included in an image. Instead, utilize both images and text to tell your customers to “Order Online Now” or whatever it is you would like them to do in response to your email.

You are now ready to send effective email marketing messages using photos. If you have additional tips for email marketing, please leave them in the comments below!

RCI Members:  Are you taking advantage of the Constant Contact Email Marketing discount you receive as an RCI member? Just sign in to the RCI website and click on Member Programs under Member Resources for details.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tip #97: Stay Informed and Get Involved in Legislature

In honor of today’s Election Day in the United States, this week’s tip is to stay informed and get involved in legislature as it relates to and affects your business. Whether it is from a local, state or national level, it is up to you as a business owner to speak out on behalf of the interests of your business.

State and Local
Your state and local chambers of commerce will have a variety resources and information for you on legislature that affects businesses in your local and state area. For most chambers, you may visit their website for information on current legislature. Be sure to also visit with the staff and volunteers of the chamber about how you can get involved to make your voice heard.

Govtrack.us is a website that helps you to research pending federal legislation in the U.S. that might impact your life or business. Quickly view information by doing a search on relevant topics or specific bills moving through Congress.  You may also sign up to receive email updates to track activities for the bills or topics that matter most to your business.  Another important part of staying informed is to know who is representing you in Congress. Visit www.house.gov or www.senate.gov to find the most up-to-date contact and voting information on your members of Congress.

For our Canadian friends, www.parl.gc.ca provides a wealth of information on Senators and Members of Congress in Canada as well as current bills before Parliament.

As Thomas Jefferson said, “Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.”