USPS Every Door Direct Mail – Small Business Marketing Just Got Easier (And Whole Lot Cheaper!)

Who says the government doesn’t do anything right? Uncle Sam just increased your small business marketing budget substantially. Introducing: “Every Door Direct Mail,” a new mailing program from your “gruntled” pals at the United States Post Office.Postage is now a whole lot cheaper as low as 14.2 cents per piece. And that postage covers a much, much larger postcard or brochure than a little bitty 4″ x 6″ postcard used to cost you. And as an added bonus with USPS “Every Door Direct Mail,” you don’t need to buy a mailing list.What’s the catch? No catch, but there are a few restrictions.1. You must mail a standard flat oversized piece (no letters) and size restrictions apply.2. You must mail to complete postal routes (subgroups of zip codes about 200 – 800 homes each).3. You need to prepare your bundles according to USPS specs.4. You have to drop them off at the appropriate post office location.5. You are limited to mailing no more than 5,000 pieces per post office on any one day.But there are huge advantages to “Every Door Direct Mail”!1. Postage as low as 14.2 cents a home even for an 11″ x 17″ brochure.2. It is cheaper than bulk mail and arrives at your recipient’s home sooner.3. Addressing is simpler. No need for bar coding.4. You can pick the day of the week to mail so you have more control on when it arrives.5. No need to buy an expensive mail permit.You are targeting your mail by USA geographic areas so if for example you were mailing in my neck of the woods, say Dublin, OH you could target only postal routes on the west side of the Scioto River and just north of the Hilliard, OH city limit. Select the Dublin homes you want to mail and you are on your way to targeting your list (without actually having to pay for a mailing list). The mailman will deliver your”Every Door Direct Mail” to just those postal routes.Be sure to select a direct mail piece that isn’t too small or too large. Popular sizes are 8.5″ x 11″ for postcards and 11″ x 17″ for folded brochures. You may want assistance from your local printing professional until you get the hang of the system before you fully take charge of your USPS “Every Door Direct Mail” program. The paperwork needs to be submitted in a specific way and your postcards or brochures need to be printed and bundled according to specs. But there is no reason you can’t handle it yourself after a while if you prefer to do these things yourself. The cash savings and added effectiveness will make it well worth it.

Can Virtual PBX Really Change How Small Businesses Are Run?

Everywhere you turn these days it seems like the expression “in the cloud” has taken on some strange magnetic pull or force all its own. Web users, business owners and companies of all sizes, are being bombarded with “cloud” or “virtual” services which are hosted on remote servers far removed from one’s place of business.According to Gartner, a well respected information technology advisory and research company, some of the leading cloud providers now include Amazon, Google, HP, AT&T, IBM and Microsoft. In addition, in a recent survey, Gartner found 19% of companies are using the cloud for most of their production computing and 20% use it for storage.However, these cloud services are just, not for storage or computing, we also have other business services hosted in the clouds. Online or Internet fax is growing in popularity as more and more companies and businesses modernize or update their means of communication in our computer driven world. Then you also have virtual phone and PBX (Private Branch Exchange) services for the home office and companies both big and small.Perhaps, the greatest force driving all these “cloud” services, is our insatiable need to be completely portable and mobile in today’s current wireless environment. We simply need the ability to do our work anywhere and at any time – regardless of location. It may even be argued any company or small business without this ability has already lost a competitive edge or advantage over their competitors.This factor is brought home when one considers the benefits of using a virtual PBX vs a conventional land-line system. Going with a cloud based system gives your company much more flexibility and scalability. You can be completely mobile and wireless, regardless of where your employees or salespersons are located.Then you have to factor in the much lower costs of running a virtual system, there’s no expensive hardware to install or maintain. Set-up is almost instant, and there’s only one low monthly fee to pay. Plus, all of these virtual systems are full-featured – you get voice mail, call waiting, message forwarding, online fax… and even a virtual receptionist to handle all your business communications.One of the major drawbacks for most people has to do with online security. How safe will your company’s vital information be when stored on a remote server? Do I really want my information and communications accessible on the web?We all have heard horror stories of sites being hacked and information stolen, but for the most part, online security has improved greatly over the last few years, and the major “cloud service” companies mentioned above are completely professional. Sad truth, most companies store their data on computers, which can be accessed from the Internet, depending on the security measures you have in place, your information could be MORE safe with one of these services supplied by Google, IBM, Amazon or Microsoft.Regardless, anyone running a home office or a business, must consider using the “cloud” to do their computing and storage. The lower costs, the complete mobility, the ease of use, the complete flexibility/scalability, the greater competitiveness and instant set-up… all have to be factored into one’s decision. It is probably a safe bet that in the future, more businesses and companies will be hosting their computing, storage and virtual PBX phone services in the cloud.

Optimizing Your Travel and Tourism Website

The internet has proven to be an interesting tool for travellers. It has now become extremely easy for internet users to plan and organize business and leisure holidays at a click of a mouse. The internet gives users the freedom to compare rates, get unbiased reviews and make informed decisions on holidays without worrying about being fleeced in foreign countries.Booking hotels, flight tickets and even visa applications are now easily done through the web. The travel industry can take tremendous advantage of this setting to offer to their audiences a wide choice via engaging websites.Give Your Audience a Peak into what’s Out thereBy using interesting design tools and interfaces you can easily create an appealing website for you visitors and give them an opportunity to travel, through your website. Integrating images into your web design is crucial to the success of any travel portal. The use of appealing images is a simple and the most straightforward way to entice visitors to your travel website.Getting Professional HelpAs a travel website it is strongly recommended that you get professional help to apply some interesting effects to your photos to create the best visual appeal. While this may go against most conventional design rules, considering the nature of your website, you could always incorporate some flash photo slideshows which further add to the appeal of the products you are promoting.Blending Static and Dynamic Design StructuresA quintessential travel website consists of some static structure that is complimented with Flash effects to attract the attention of the target audience. You can also make good use of these dynamic tools to promote specific products and holiday packages on your portal. With modern design technology, you can leverage the use of 3D effects, animations and other graphic elements to exhibit your USP.Give your target audience an opportunity to go through a mind-blowing journey through the Swiss Alps, the Canadian Rockies or the glaciers of Alaska by making use of these effects and visually enticing the audience.Incorporate Call to Action ButtonsDo not forget to integrate a call to action feature into your website. Buttons such as ‘Book Now!’ and ‘Compare Prices Now!’ will encourage audience members to take actions you intend them to; allowing you to further exemplify the benefits of your products and packages.Clarity in InformationWhile you design the content for your travel portal, you need to put yourself into the shoes of your audience and recognize their needs. Most travellers are looking for something new and exciting. Travellers want to make the most of every opportunity to learn new things, and expose themselves to different cultures.The information that you provide must be able to communicate these facets of travel. Talk about the various activities, things to see, do, and look out for on your time there. Work towards building the excitement of the place you are promoting.In addition to this, remember to optimize your website and provide easy navigation to facilitate easy decision making and sales conversions.

Make the Garden of Your Dreams With Garden Decorative Items

Garden is a place that we all love to visit, and if somebody has his own garden then it’s fantastic. In fact, many people possess their own garden nowadays. But, only having it is not enough, what’s important is that can your garden stand out from those of others’ or not. Everybody wants to make his/her garden look beautiful and pleasing. But, if you are of the opinion that some multicolored flowers and a variety of plants alone can lend the necessary beauty to your garden, you should think again. You should intelligently make use of the contemporary garden decorative items in order to make your garden into the garden of your dreams.Garden decorative items play a great deal in accentuating and complementing to the beauty of a garden. This is the reason that in the present times these decorative items have become an integral part of almost all gardens or lawns whether public or private. Some of the most used garden decorations these days are mentioned under:Lighting: Lights are not only decor, but utility items for a garden. These lights look more beautiful when they are switched on at the twilight time. At present, the fancy garden lights are available in a wide array of designs to adorn your lawn. These lights are specially designed to withstand the climatic conditions like heat, storm, and rain. The primary types of such lights include modern lanterns, hurricane lamps, and lamp posts.Furniture: Furniture again is a utility and garden decoration item. Garden furniture generally include benches, chairs, and table. The kind of furniture to be installed depends upon the type and nature of the lawn. Municipal gardens usually have iron and stone benches, which constitute their popular furniture. But, for private lawns, furniture like rest-chairs, round and oval shaped tables, and dining chairs are considered good.Fountains: Fountains are the life of a garden, which lend a serene and tranquil look to the whole scene. Nowadays, garden fountains are available in a wide variety of designs, styles, patterns, and sizes. Large sized fountains are considered good for spacious lawns while there are a lot of aesthetically designed small sized fountains that are ideal for small and medium sized gardens. These decorative items are mostly made from various types of stones. Their main varieties include normal outdoor fountain, wall fountains, and fountain statues.Sculptures & Statues: These are pure decorative items which could range from human or animal figures to any abstract figure. The garden sculptures and statues are generally fashioned from materials like iron, copper, bronze, clay and stone. These aesthetic and exquisite pieces of art lend such a unique artistic appeal to the garden that nobody can stop himself from admiring it.Bird Feeders: Bird feeders attract beautiful birds towards your garden as they are meant for feeding the birds. They are among one of the most beautiful garden decorative items that are available in a wide assortment of designs. These decorative items are generally crafted from sandstone, marble, clay, brass, and copper. Bird feeders are also very affordable and a must have garden accessory.You may browse through some more magnificent garden decorative items and accessories at Garden Accessories & Tools Marketplace.


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