NO MORE GROUP RUNS ON TICKET JACKETS – Is good news for you!

February 7th, 2012

Group runs have always been an incredible way for agents and wholesalers to save money; and our family has been running them for 30 years.

They were great for you as it reduced your price by 75% but the downside was that because they were grouped with other orders it 3 months to deliver.

Thanks to you Big Bark Graphics is the number one custom ticket jacket producer in North America and as a result we can now safely do our group runs WEEKLY.

What does that mean to YOU?….NO MORE WAITING! That’s right, now when you place your larger orders it will be shipped with 2 weeks after your art approval.

AND it will be at our GREAT GROUP RUN PRICE!

Plus, we still offer our new short run custom ticket jackets up to 500 in a 5 day delivery for all your groups, weddings, niches and corporate clients.

For more details click here for our 1 Pocket design & here for our two pocket design.

Big Bark Welcomes a New Addition to the Pack – Andrea Paxman

February 7th, 2012

Yes, Big Bark has added a new face to our company with the addition of Andrea in our customer service department.

While new to Big Bark, Andrea is not new to print and has 15 years’ experience with digital print, design; typography and working very close with the customers.   Officially, Andrea joined us at the beginning of October and has already been a great asset with the launch of a number of our new E-stores.

The online stores have been incredibly popular with all of you, but without our great customer service team to assist the online orders and answer your questions it would not be a success.

Welcome Andrea to the Big Bark dog pound!

BARKOLOGY 2.0 and the Principle of The Right PAW

February 7th, 2012
PAW stands Prospecting Always Works. If you understand how to prospect where and when then you’ll like this idea. Doing it RIGHT is the key, as doing anything right it the best way to go. The right PAW than is all about how to prospect your existing customers and also how to fill the sales funnel with potential clients. The concept of Barkology 2.0 is to use every possible combination of imagery and text to gain recognition, turn heads, offer eye-candy and somewhere along the line cause the recipient of your promotional prowess to click, call or walk in. Keep this top of mind: With an ongoing prospecting activity you will slowly be going out of business.

PAW 1: First things first, do you fully understand that even a long term customer is a “prospect”? You do? Good.

PAW 2: Always include your existing customers in any new promotion you send out – even if the promotion is opposite to what they normally book.

PAW 3: An existing cruise client can be prospected for a coach tour and vice versa. If they don’t respond they may pass it along to someone who will.

PAW 4: The slogan is: You have two types of customers, the ones who business with you, and the ones who don’t…(pause)… yet! It’s old and it’s true. If you have 500 existing clients and you live in an area with a population of 50,000 then you have a prospecting list of 49,500 when it comes to attracting new customers to your agency.

PAW 5: You need a Prospecting Plan. Work with the Big Bark Team to make this happen. You’ll have two streams to work on – one will be to excite your existing clients about booking something extra, booking a repeat trip, changing vacation type, spending more and referring their friends. The other stream is to attract those new leads that through your fantastic service and knowledge will sign on as repeat customers over time.

PAW 6: Step one in the Prospecting Plan is to ask your existing customers for a referral. You do this in hard copy. You enclose something to help the referral happen. Could be a redemption coupon or even a pen. These things work. Step two in the Prospecting Plan is to be ready to service any such referral that comes your way and have something ready to sweeten the pot based on the type and size of booking. Step three in the Prospecting Plan is to target a younger age bracket than you are now serving. You do this to build business continuity which means as your older clients stop travelling for whatever reason, you have a younger client base to take their place. The graphics and text you use to attract this younger audience might need to be more edgy than what you normally send out to your older clients. Once again, use the talent at Big Bark when it comes to matching fonts and text size and colours, words and phrases to the targeted audience.

Your mission then is to think about putting The Right PAW forward. Your goal is to attract 10 new prospects per week!

Our monthly marketing tip is provided by speaker and author Steve Crowhurst.  Big Bark is the publisher for Steve’s great book for the Travel Industry “273 “No Fluff-No Theory” Marketing Ideas for Travel Agents” you can buy Steve’s book here.  To visit Steve’s website for information on Webinars and events click here.

Alternative Papers will Save you Money!

February 7th, 2012

Sometimes a small change to your product can have a huge impact to your bottom line costs.

1) Use 80# uncoated text in 100% PCW, when switching from 100# gloss recycled text for your next run
The uncoated text paper bulks higher than coated paper. The 80# text would feel as thick as the 100# coated text, and save you 25% in the amount of pounds of paper needed. Plus, this would also save you money on postage for any mailing jobs.

2) Use a 90 bright white grade, instead of 96 bright white for your newsletters
That would save you $700, if you needed 500 pounds of paper. Our 90 bright 100% PCW paper is half the price of our 96 brightness papers in 100% PCW. If you needed 5000 pounds of paper, that is a huge $7000 savings.

Do you have more questions about going green and saving money on your next print job? Email scott@bigbarkgraphics.com. If you have any questions you would like us to address in future tips please email us to info@bigbarkgraphics.com .

11 Funny Valentine’s Day Jokes

February 7th, 2012

The only good time for love to hurt is when it’s funny enough to split your sides. Make your sweetheart giggle this Valentine’s…

The only good time for love to hurt is when it’s funny enough to split your sides. Make your sweetheart giggle this Valentine’s Day with this love-inspired joke collection.

Perfectly Paired Puns As Valentine’s Day approached, I tried to think of an unusual gift for my husband. When I discovered that his favorite red-plaid pants had a broken zipper, I thought I had the “perfect Valentine.” I had the pants repaired, and gift-wrapped them. On the package I put a huge red heart on which I printed: “My Heart Pants for You.” I was the surprised one, however, when I saw the same heart taped to our formerly empty, but now overflowing, wood box. On it he had written: “Wood You Be My Valentine?” – Contributed by Mary Lou Pittman

A Little Nuts About Love Driving through Southern California, I stopped at a roadside stand that sold fruit, vegetables and crafts. As I went to pay, I noticed the young woman behind the counter was painting a sign. “Why the new sign?” I asked. “My boyfriend didn’t approve of the old one,” she said. When I glanced at what hung above the counter, I understood. It declared: “Local Honey Dates Nuts” – Contributed by Theodore Bologna

Check Out a Romance I met my husband while I was working in a science library. He came in every week to read the latest journals and eventually decided to take out the librarian instead of the books. After a year and a half of dating, he showed up at the library and started rummaging through my desk. I asked what he was looking for, but he didn’t answer. Finally he unearthed one of the rubber stamps I used to identify reference books. “Since I couldn’t find the right engagement ring,” he said, “this will have to do,” and he firmly stamped my hand. Across my knuckles, in capital letters, it read “NOT FOR CIRCULATION.” – Contributed by Ruth E. Chodrow

Sweet Nothings (.com) My boyfriend and I met online and we’d been dating for over a year. I introduced Hans to my uncle, who was fascinated by the fact that we met over the Internet. He asked Hans what kind of line he had used to pick me up. Ever the geek, Hans naively replied, “I just used a regular 56K modem.” – Contributed by Anne McConnell

Pastoral Passion The lingerie store where my aunt works was crowded with shoppers selecting Valentine’s Day gifts for their wives. A young businessman came to the register with a lacy black negligee. My aunt noticed that the next customer, an elderly farmer, was holding a long flannel nightgown and kept glancing at the younger man’s sexier choice. When it was his turn, the farmer placed the nightgown on the counter. “Would you have anything in black flannel?” He asked. – Contributed by Christine A. Pandolfo

9 to 5 Love My husband, a certified public accountant, works 15-hour days for the first few months of the year. In spite of his hectic schedule, he took time out to order me flowers for Valentine’s Day. While pondering what sweet endearment to write on the card, he obviously began thinking of the many hours of work still ahead of him. His note read: “Roses are red, violets are blue. If I weren’t thinking of you, I’d probably be through.” – Contributed by Cindy Wolf

Mower Than a Greeting Card My friend Mark and I work in a lawn-mower-parts warehouse. Somehow Mark got the idea that his wife did not want a card on Valentine’s Day, but when he spoke to her on the phone he discovered she was expecting one. Not having time to buy a card on his way home, Mark was in a quandary. Then he looked at the lawn-mower trade magazines scattered around the office — and got an idea. Using scissors and glue, he created a card with pictures of mowers, next to which he wrote: “I lawn for you mower and mower each day.” Mark’s wife loved it. The card immediately graced their refrigerator door. – Contributed by Gene Hyde

Irresistable Irony About a year had passed since my amicable divorce, and I decided it was time to start dating again. Unsure how to begin, I thought I’d scan the personals column of my local newspaper. I came across three men who seemed like they’d be promising candidates. A couple of days later, I was checking my answering machine and discovered a message from my ex-husband. “I was over visiting the kids yesterday,” he said. “While I was there I happened to notice you had circled some ads in the paper. Don’t bother calling the guy in the second column. I can tell you right now it won’t work out. That guy is me.” – Contributed by Pat Patel

Making the Grade My high-school English teacher was well known for being a fair, but hard, grader. One day I received a B minus on a theme paper. In hopes of bettering my grade and in the spirit of the valentine season, I sent her an extravagant heart-shaped box of chocolates with the pre-printed inscription: “BE MINE.” The following day, I received in return a valentine from the teacher. It read: “Thank you, but it’s still BE MINE-US.” – Contributed by Brad Wilcox

Read All About It Every Valentine’s Day our campus newspaper has a section for student messages. Last year my roommate surprised his girlfriend with roses and dinner at a fancy restaurant. When they returned from their date, she leafed through the paper to see if he had written a note to her. Near the bottom of one page she found: “Bonnie — What are you looking here for? Aren’t dinner and flowers enough? Love, Scott.” – Contributed by Richard B. Blackwell

Devoted and Determined During World War II my parents had planned a romantic Valentine’s Day wedding. Suddenly my father, then stationed at Camp Edwards in Massachusetts, received orders to prepare to ship out, and all leaves were canceled. Being a young man in love, he went AWOL. He and my mother were married four days earlier than originally planned and he returned to base to an angry sergeant. After hearing the explanation, the sergeant understandingly replied, “Okay, okay!” Then, as an afterthought: “But don’t let it happen again!” – Contributed by Sandra L. Caron

Social Media Saves Valentine’s Day

February 7th, 2012

Offbeat Valentine’s Day Gifts

February 7th, 2012
Candy, flowers, and jewelry will never go out of style, but if you’re looking for something fresh to give this year, here are 8 perfectly awesome Valentine’s Day presents for unconventional couples. I mean, I wouldn’t recommend proposing to anyone with any of these (although the Lego heart box might be a great place to put a ring), but for the rest of us, these clever gifts may be just the thing.

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1. For the health-conscious: Chocolate molecule t-shirt
Chocolate is always an appropriate gift, especially when it’s in calorie-free t-shirt form. This is a great gift for the sweetie in your family who’s just had gastric bypass surgery and/or the proud science geek.
Buy this shirt
chocolate molecule t-shirt
2. For the non-sappy Valentine: Snarky mug
For the person in your life who thinks nothing is sexier than laughter, here’s a mug that proclaims your unending love. No commitment issues here!
Buy this mug
Snarky mug
3. For the long-term relationship: Funny coaster
You know what your hilarious coffee mug will look good on? A hilarious coaster. Sure, you may not be newlyweds anymore, but that doesn’t mean you’re not totally still into each other.
Buy this coaster
funny coaster
4. For the eco-trendy: I love you bean plant
Roses last what, a week? This kit lets you grow a whole plant that says “I love you.” Literally. The bean plant grows with the words “I love you” on it. I have no idea how that works, but there it is. Magic beans? Could be.
Buy this bean plant
I love you bean plant
5. For the texter: Fingerless gloves
These hand-knit lambswool/acrylic fingerless gloves are embroidered with the Interwebz symbol for a heart. They’re clever, hip, and leave your fingers free for texting, Angry Birds, and checking Facebook. In theory, you could also use your fingers for dialing your phone, but who does that anymore?
Buy these gloves
fingerless gloves
6. For the math geek: Plotting for your love t-shirt
Is there anything sexier than smarts? Math for the Valentine win! There’s an equation on front and implicit heart curve plot on the back of the shirt. Note: Don’t call it a parabola, or your math-loving Valentine will mock you mercilessly.
Buy this shirt
Plotting for your love t-shirt
7. For everyone: Plush, beating heart
This looks like the result of a teddy bear autopsy, but in my mind nothing says, “Happy Valentine’s Day!” for all ages like a snuggly, yet anatomically correct, heart.
Buy this plush beating heart
plush, beating heart
8. For the young (and young at heart): Lego heart necklace
There is some really wack stuff on Etsy, but I can’t think of a more perfect Valentine present than this sweet and playful necklace.
Buy this necklace
Lego heart necklace