Which font conveys the most authority?

Both writers and graphic designers want to make an impact. They want their words to seem truthful and authoritative. The written word is a form of communication that tends to convey authority, but which font does this best?

Here’s an interesting article that explains why the Baskerville font is believed to create the most credulity among readers. This unadorned font allows almost unconscious absorption of information, making statements more likely to be accepted and less likely to be dismissed.

The second most authoritative font is Computer Modern.

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How to prepare for a successful trade show.

Trade shows are an excellent opportunity to make sales, build relationships and collect qualified leads. To prepare for your successful participation, you should consider following these steps:

1. Set specific goals.

Have a plan outlined with measurable goals. Are you introducing a new product or announcing an improved service? Are you prospecting for new business? Set your objectives, then track the results.

2. Develop a follow-up plan.

Make sure you have a lead fulfillment system already in place. You might prepare a follow-up package ready to mail after the trade show. Include a letter that can be personalized with a hand written note referencing your initial conversation at the show. Industry statistics reveal that 89 percent of exhibitors go with the intention of gathering leads, but only 21 percent of the leads are followed up on. Prepare ahead!

3. Build pre-show interest.

Know your audience. Request a registration list from the event organizer and try to identify suitable prospects. Create buzz about your participation prior to the show by sending a mail piece to targeted prospects. Include a simple card that can be redeemed at your booth for something of value.

4. Use public relations.

Many organizations will publish a guide for attendees that includes exhibitor profiles. Contact the event organizer well in advance of the show to see how you might be featured. Learn the editor’s name and forward a news release focusing on what’s new about your products and services. Be sure to follow up with the editor to offer additional information if needed.

5. Choose your staff.

Your enthusiastic staff should be easily identifiable through dress and present a professional image. Use your top salespeople. Encourage personal goals and have rewards and recognition for a job well done.

6. Select printed materials.

Determine the amount of business cards, brochures and flyers you want to have on hand. Save your high quality brochures that show off your capabilities for qualified leads or a follow-up mailing. Provide compelling reasons for future contact.

7. Choose premiums.

Some shows are marketed with a specific theme. You can tie into the overall theme or create your own. Your giveaways should be memorable and complement your marketing message. It’s best if they are used as a “thank you” for participating in a demonstration or survey.

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Increase the online visibility of a small business.

When potential customers search the internet, do they immediately see your business? Or do they see the competition?

Today, it’s essential to have high visibility online. Particularly if you’re a small business. To be successful, consumers must find you.

Millions of consumers regularly use online searches to find local information, including local products and services. There are over two billion unique searches with local intent each month on Google. On mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, over 50 percent of all searches have local intent. Research shows 82 percent of consumers have used the internet to find a local business.

Your online visibility is critically important, and it is impacted by something called Local Search.

Local Search is today’s Yellow Pages. It is a prominent part of many search engine results. You’ve probably seen it while using Google.

Local Search occurs when someone types a geographic keyword in a search to find a nearby business. Take, for example, the search “San Diego collision repair”. Local Search will not only deliver the websites of individual businesses, and a map of those located nearby, but also listings for San Diego body shops on popular directory sites such as Yelp.com, Superpages.com and Yellowpages.com.

Claiming your business listings on these internet directories will lead more customers to your door.

By claiming these listings, you will be seen by consumers who utilize online directories. It will also improve your website’s SEO, boosting the position of your company’s website in organic search engine results. In addition, your business will have a greater chance to appear in the prominent Local Search results, and on the resulting map of local businesses.

Allegra Marketing – Print – Web – Mail, San Diego would be pleased to help you. We offer a low-cost program designed to improve your online visibility. We will:

1. Provide a full review of your presence on up to 12 local search engines.

2. Assess industry specific online directories that are targeted to your business type.

3. Create a comprehensive profile for your business listings.

4. Implement an improved online presence through population of your local business listings on the following directories:

Yahoo Local
Bing Local
Best of the Web
Super Pages
YP (Yellow Pages)
City Search

To learn more about this affordable program and increase your visibility on the internet, please call Jen Smith at 619.295.8307, or email Jen@allegrasandiego.com

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A business marketing lesson from street performers.

This weekend I took a long walk through downtown San Diego. I strolled in the warm sunshine along the Embarcadero and up through Balboa Park. During the walk I enjoyed the performances of several entertaining and very talented street performers.

While watching, something noteworthy caught my attention. The amount of tips that street performers receive is not necessarily related to the quality of their act.

What seems most important is salesmanship.

At Seaport Village, I watched two very good magic acts. The first magician was also a mime; he performed his tricks silently and in a deadpan style, which I found very humorous. The second magician was vocal, hilarious and engaging. He addressed his audience directly.

When the silent mime concluded his act and bowed, people who were watching hesitated for a moment, then merely drifted away. No money went into the hat. They were all enjoying their walk, like me, and were off to see the next thing.

When the second magician finished, he immediately addressed the audience. He made a personal, direct plea for tips. He asked to be rewarded. He pointed at his hat on the ground. People immediately responded and walked over to drop dollars in the hat.

This is an interesting phenomenon I’ve observed many times. When street performers make a direct appeal for money, they rake it in. Those who are more modest or quiet, don’t.

I’ve found this to be a practical lesson about human communication, effective business and marketing in general. To successfully market a service or product, you must make a direct and bold appeal. You cannot be shy. You cannot assume that busy people will stop and voluntarily do a thing that to you seems irresistible or obvious.

You must grab people’s attention. You must place the idea in their mind.

You must direct your potential customers to take action.

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Make a website look good on any mobile device.

Mobile technology is everywhere. Smartphones and tablets have become common features of everyday life. Your business is losing customers if your website isn’t optimized for mobile browsers. When frustrated by a bad mobile experience, most consumers have very little patience, and they will quickly migrate to a competing website.

Today, there are over 120 million internet-enabled iPhone and Droid users in the the United States. The popularity of iPads and other tablets continues to grow exponentially. Many of your customers now make critical purchasing decisions based on what they see on your mobile website. Businesses who ignore this fact of life are losing market share to their more tech savvy competitors.

Google research has shown that 68 percent of mobile users will visit a business online or in person after conducting a search, and 53 percent will make a purchase. But these sophisticated consumers expect a high quality experience. According to statistics compiled by Limelight Networks, 80 percent of smartphone or tablet owners will abandon a mobile site due to frustration or poor functionality.

A service is offered by Allegra San Diego, an innovative marketing solutions company, that will optimize your website and make it more accessible and friendly to the mobile user.

This essential service:

1. Renders your website’s content in narrower columns for easier viewing on smartphone screens.

2. Streamlines your website, making commonly used content like maps and menus extremely easy to navigate.

3. Optimizes your website automatically. Your improved website will distinguish between regular and mobile browsers, providing an optimized screen for every viewer.

4. Provides advanced tools for your website, including a contact form with emailed leads, on-page Search Engine Optimization (SEO), integrated Google Analytics, a navigational site map, and an intuitive content management system for easy updates.

For more information, please contact Jen Smith at 619.295.8307, or email Jen@allegrasandiego.com.

Allegra San Diego has helped companies large and small with their marketing needs for over 50 years. Our friendly professionals will be pleased to help you.

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Free marketing information for small businesses.

Facebook can be a valuable source of practical information. One San Diego company has transformed their Facebook page into a free, convenient marketing resource for small businesses.

Follow this Facebook page and you’ll receive frequent articles and in-depth information concerning a variety of topics. These include: using social media to promote your business, email marketing, how to effectively use direct mail, tips for trade shows, how to create buzz, successfully building your unique brand, standing apart from competitors, and much more.

This valuable information will be delivered to your Facebook newsfeed on an ongoing basis.

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Take a tour of your local print shop!

Here’s a great idea. Ask for a tour of your local print shop! Printers are usually happy to show prospective or existing customers the workings of their facility.

Exposure to every aspect of printing–from graphic design, to the offset printing presses and digital copy machines, to cutting, drilling, scoring, folding, collating, inserting, padding, punching, stitching, coiling, book and booklet making, and the many other processes in bindery–will provide you with a better understanding of the options available for your business or for your product.

Asking pertinent questions during your tour might uncover a path or process that would be otherwise unconsidered. New ideas to improve your company’s messaging or product might emerge. You might discover an unexpected way to reduce costs. Artists, writers and potential self-publishers shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to expand their knowledge.

And as with any behind-the-scenes tour, it’s just plain fascinating to learn something new!

A tour is a great way to get to know your printer better. It will likely result in better service and mutual understanding, which is a benefit to everyone involved!

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