Saturday, February 23, 2008

Vistaprint tempts me with free loot. Successfully.

And they would like to tempt you too. Boy, did they dangle lots of different choices in front of me - but I can only take two offers a day, and prefer to limit myself to one. Unless I'm really, really, really bored and have no other ideas.

Well, this following boilerplate had my ears perking up...

VistaPrint offers a wide array of printing services including: postcards, address labels, magnets, checks, and stamps! You can customize all of their products to your liking!

I a lot of business customizing things and selling them, it's still the primary support for this blog, so I'm always looking for stuff I can customize and resell. If I've ever been to Vistaprint, it hasn't been for a long, long time. (Here's the link I finally clicked, for save the date magnets,)

My art, super smooth vinyl, full color and full bleed - I'm drooling already! And free! But of course, I had to work this into a legitimate post about something. Ok, I didn't HAVE to, but like I said, I'm bored and had no ideas for a post that didn't make me want to shoot myself in the head.

I had a think about what I might actually want to do with one of their offerings, what you might want to have - and what could result in a legitimate follow-up post. After some thought, I settled on 25 free magnets (Coupon code “Blog25FreeMag”) though I was tempted by another offer for their pre-inked stamps. I'm tossing this code in for free, because it fits the post - I'll let you know why later. (Use coupon code “Stamp25” at checkout to receive 25% off your stamp order. )

People keep telling me is that offline publicity is something you really ought to consider doing. I've never done it. Hell, I have to be dragged kicking and screaming to do it ONline. So it has to be fun and easy or I will "forget."

I'm a graphic artist, so I look for things that will show off my skills.

And of course, we get a defined, limited number of magnets. It's perfect for our test - and perfect for yours, if you are interested in playing along with me.

I need to have a way of verifying the test over time, so I need to send results somewhere they will be counted. I don't have a perfect solution for this, but I'm getting very low traffic to my cafepress store, so results should show up and persist even using statcounter, which limits me to five hundred results. I'll figure out a way of including a coded link and include it in the graphics.

Server side stats would be better, but I can't do that right now.

Here's what the magnets look like, you can use a template, or upload your own, full bleed art. (specs below.)

Small Family Magnets

Full Bleed Size 3.54" x 2.05"
90mm x 52mm
1062 x 615 pixels

I'm going to post this and keyword it, so that all the follow-ups will show up on the same page.

My next post will be to show you what I upload, and then I'll follow up with a picture of what I get - and then finally, the results, which is the point to the exercise - gettin' me some free publicity and having some fun in the process.

Of course, if it proves that this is a really good way of getting publicity - I doubt Vistaprint will be at all unhappy with me. (Tips are always appreciated!) (So are links!)

Why did I mention the stamps? Well, when you have a pre-inked stamp, you can stamp your blog url on anything. Your mail, for instance. One blogger reported that simply by stamping the return envelopes of her bills, she saw significant increases in traffic.

Others stamp their money - and of course, you can stamp blank business cards. If you go to a craft store, you can find tools and supplies that turn that into a way of making cards that you would swear cost five dollars apiece. It's an ideal solution for mostly broke bloggers who still have a need to blow the socks off people once in a while.

I was a lot torn - but I have a pre-inked stamp already, and I use photo-prints for business cards. I figure your mileage may vary.


Bob King said...

Some fella chimed in here with a comment about how nice a post this was and a link to a competitor.

Since it may be the work of an errant idiot in their employ operating without sanction, I resist the temptation to name names.

Well, son, I'd be happy to consider looking at the competition - unless the competition demonstrates a willingness to cut corners and take advantage of both me and my client.

I disapproved the comment. And I disapprove of the link.

And if said firm asks me to blog about them, the answer is "no."

If I were to link to them, you would be impressed - it's a very slick presentation.

But, you see, I know something about them - other than the fact that I have never heard of them, while Vistaprint has been around since - well, not since Gutenberg, but I remember the name from a misspent youth. (Print publishing.)

I know they are willing to try to steal clients from my clients.

And, of course, from me and my good name.

yechiam said...

Those annoying magnets
The first time I have noticed those promoting magnets, advertising magnets, business cards magnets, it annoyed me. I found it stuck to my door, or in my post box, or handed to me by the pizza delivery boy, or by the Plummer who came over to fix something.
I couldn't understand my wife and kids why were they so excited to collect it and fanatically stick it to every available metallic surface in our house. Blurrily I looked at it as collection of colorful bothering elements which had the habit to fall down to the floor as to prove Newton's gravity law.
Until one day I met that beautiful amazing colorfully fine designed magnet which delivered the message to the potential client (you and me) with a lot of sense of humor. I liked it! I enjoyed it! And I began circling around in my apartment looking at all those magnets very carefully. All of a sudden I realized how fantastic the idea behind it is. Now I understood why people collect it the same way they collect post stamps or payphone cards.
A lot of creativity skill is needed to graphically design it. You got to have a lot of imagination to use that tinny space of 3.5 over 2 inches (the most common business card sized magnet) to attract the intention of the viewer, to deliver effectively the message, to establish ways of communication and to tell the whole world who you are and what are you doing, what is your business.
A few weeks ago I came home back from a working day and on my door was stuck a huge happily colorful magnet. If not for advertising I'll use it as a decoration masterpiece, I though to myself.
Several days later I was given a calendar on magnet and each week that had passed – you could tear it off and throw it away. I wish I had such a calendar when I was in the army. We had a lot of metallic surfaces over there and I could watch the time goes by up to that happy day of discharge.
Yesterday I received an invitation to my boss's son birthday party. It was attached to a reminding note, a magnet square note. I left it on the fridge door in order not to forget the occasion when ever I'm opening this door to fetch a beer can. That way I wouldn't get into trouble…….
There is a web site where you can on-line design and order business cards magnets and all kind of promoting and advertising printing products. You are invited to visit: any time.

Bob King said...

Dude, THAT is how you sneak in a free link on a post for a competitor. Give the reader a reason they should check out both of you - rather than neither.

Just incidentally - this is a really good working example of playing fair in a free market - and non-zero-sum thinking.


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