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Amie Baker Creative is a boutique graphic design studio focused on helping businesses and their brands through visual identities, print design and web design.

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Is Your Data List Offending Your Recipients?


There are many pieces that come together in a marketing promotion that must work together in order to reach the ROI goal. Often times when I’m discussing a new project that deals with data, an issue comes to the surface. When I say data, I am referring to your guarded treasure chest of contact names and contact information that your promotion is targeting. These are the names you’ve likely worked very hard to gather and equally as hard to keep engaged with your brand. I’ve assembled some tips about keeping your data clean.

If you are sending a direct mail piece, you’ll want to be sure the data field you provide is optimized for output in the address field. Common problems that happen are:

  1. Names like “McKormick” often are printed “Mckormick” so you’ll want to communicate to your mail house that you require proper capitalization.
  2. If you are mailing to a business you will want to keep the entire business name in one field in your data list. If your business name is “The Business Group” and the name isn’t isolated in fields correctly it could print, “Business Group, The.”

Those are a couple examples of technical issues that will make an instant impact. People expect their names to be correct and having a perfect mailer arrive with errors in their name can cause them to ignore the entire piece.

In addition to technical issues, there are some other issues to watch for too. Here are some examples:

  1. Investigate your data to find out if it is stale. If you have a list to brides that you want to send an email blast to, look at when you received these names. Brides are only brides for short period so if you are using this list for too long your return will take a dive. Once you know this answer you can tailor your email to speak to you list. Instead of sending an email about a new dress collection, send an email about dress preserving.
  2. If you have a list that is partially stale, you’ll want to clean that up and create a list that removes stale contacts so you are sending your message to people who want to engage and not people who will build frustration towards your brand. This could also reduce their willingness to refer your business.

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Stand Out In A Crowd At Trade Shows

Recently, I’ve gotten to work a lot on trade show designs. I thought I’d share some insight based on my experiences designing supporting marketing collateral. Perhaps you are considering participating in an upcoming show or you have one in your near future. Let the work begin! I hope these tips help jump start the planning process.


  • If you have an existing client list, use it! Keep that list clean and up to date. That is a whole other post regarding data maintenance. Put together a mailing and/or an email blast announcing your participation in the upcoming Expo to your data base. Invite them and include a teaser of what is in it for them if they come by and see you. Consider a give-a-way or a special discount. Be sure and include your booth number. You’ll want to send this shortly before the expo to allow for arrangements and also for keeping it top of mind. If you don’t have a data list, some shows offer a list of registered participants pre-show. Be sure to ask.
  • Decide how you’ll collect data from interested visitors at the show. You can collect names through a promotion, newsletter sign up, a coupon or a promotional drawing. Decide which one you’ll offer and then design a form that meets the needs to collect the appropriate data for your use after the show on your follow up.
  • Handouts: Don’t rely on your company website for visitors to learn about your company when there is a warm body in front of you. Have a simple handout to provide a visitor during conversation to capture what your business is about. You can use this as a tool to help direct them to your website by plugging in your contact information or by using a QR code. Also, be sure to have your business card handy for the individuals who engage in conversation with you.
  • Signage: Don’t skimp here. You’ve got a lot of competition everywhere the eye glances around your booth so making a statement and accurately reflecting what you are offering is key. One of my favorite is a Roll Up Pro pictured here:

    These are an investment for the hardware but they make a strong, professional statement and they represent your brand. If you’re interested in this product, ask me about renting the stand and purchasing your own banner for use to see if you qualify.
  • Think about even the small details. Wear your brand colors the day of the show or mute colors, you don’t want your outfit clashing or distracting from your booth.
  • Enjoy yourself and engage with as many people as you can. It will be worth it after you’ve built a healthy follow up list.


  • Now that the show is over, you’ve got to pack up and catch up on the work you’ve missed. Before you know it you have a lengthy to-do list and it is possible the contacts you’ve made haven’t made it on your to-do list for follow up. When this happens, you’ve lost opportunity.
  • Plan your follow up and make it happen. Consider sending an email blast to attendees thanking them for visiting and extending a special offer to them. Include links for your social media outlets, like Facebook, to offer additional ways to keep in contact with you. If you’ve collected mailing address, plan a follow up mailing and add the names to your database to be included in future mailings. For those individuals you personally connected with, send them a personal email.
  • When it is all over make sure you take a few moments to analyze how you felt about participating in the show. Track responses on your promotions to decide if your investment was worth it. Take notes so that when the opportunity comes up to participate again you’ll be able to recall your thoughts and make the best decision for your business.