Happy birthday to us!

Five years old today

Happy-Birthday
On our fifth birthday, it’s a real time of celebration for us, because we’ve grown from strength to strength in just five short years. The time has whizzed by and the main thing is,  it’s been fun – hard work, but fun. What more could we ask?

We thought it would be a great idea to catch up with David Vaughan, the main man, to see how he’s feeling on such a momentous occasion, so we plied him with questions.

How did Mailing Expert all start up?

We wanted to created a environment where there was a focus on quality of service and consistency of approach. Having worked for a number of print and mail companies where the company priorities mattered more than customers, we wanted to work in a business where we could put people first and create symbiotic relationships that delivered real value to our clients.

How has the company grown over the past 5 years?

The business has grown through referrals and recommendations. Doing a good job for a client, big or small, is rewarding not just because it’s great to do a good job, but because happy customers are a great advertisement for what we do.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

We want to continue with steady growth, maintaining our focus on quality. In five years time we aim to have doubled the size of the business and be recognised as the best mailing company in Sussex for delivering customer satisfaction.

What has been the highlight for you in the time you’ve been in business?

Our first employee!  We took Mathew on as an apprentice. It’s been wonderful to see him grow with the company.

If you could change one thing, what would it be?

We sometimes hide our light under a bushel – we do fabulous things for our customers and forget that not everyone offers quality as standard.

And finally…how are you going to celebrate?

With cake!  We are also going to plant 5 trees (a fifth anniversary is represented by wood). This also symbolises our commitment to sustainability – we use environmental inks, paper that’s recycled or from managed woodland and recommend biodegradable poly-outers. We recycle all of our waste materials and packing – including staff drink cans and bottles.

Congratulations, David, and on behalf of Mailing Expert as a whole, we’d like to extend our thanks to all our clients, past and present. Without you, we wouldn’t be here.

Here’s to the next five years! And the next…

Mailing Expert

The font of all knowledge? Part 1

We all know that writing compelling content is crucial for marketing material but it’s easy to underestimate the importance of using the right font – a word now interchangeable with typeface  – for your website, flyers, posters or other paper collateral.

A font speaks volumes

Whatever you choose has an impact. It can make your business stand out from the competition.  When it’s too fancy or too small to read easily, it can annoy potential customers so much that you’ve lost them forever. It can convey your brand or the tone of the message you wish to get across or it can confuse because it’s inappropriate to the content.

For instance:

You’re advertising pre-paid funerals. Tell you what, let’s not use Curlz MT …

Curlz MT Font

Perhaps just a tad too jolly and informal?

In recent years, there’s been a lot of interest in what is actually a very complex subject. In 2001, Dr. Aric Sigman was commissioned to research into the psychology of fonts. Ten years later, Simon Garfield published a book called Just My Type.  These studies offer a fascinating insight into some of the different aspects of your font choice.

Yes, fonts are people too

First, each font has its own personality and in choosing one over another it says a lot about us at the same time. The infamous Comic Sans, for example, is meant to be perfect for ‘annoying attention-seekers,’ while Times gives a trustworthy and respectable impression. You’re advised not to use Courier unless you want to appear to be a real nerd. Oh and by the way, this is written in Calibri, which apparently has ‘a warm and soft character.’ Well, thank you kindly, but less of the soft, please.

The names of famous people are even attributed to fonts in the study, so for example, Richard Branson is Verdana (professional yet appealing) and Jennifer Lopez is Shelley (sex kitten).

Shelly Script Regular Font

It’s all very subjective, isn’t it? To us, Shelley doesn’t so much say ‘sex kitten’ as ‘Victorian school child’ – which brings us on to the next point.

Font preferences for readers

Apparently, different fonts appeal to different demographics and provoke various reactions, so when creating a web page or paper document of any sort, we should consider gender, age, culture and even personality to be more effective in reaching and captivating our chosen audience.

These considerations  all seems to become a bit simplistic and stereotypical, with blocky, bold, rectilinear fonts supposedly appealing to men, and curvy, round fonts allegedly preferred by women. Then, let’s use something funky for young people and LARGE AND CLEAR for an older age group.

In reality, we suspect, the most all of us want is something that’s easy to read!

Part 2 in this series, to follow shortly, is about fancy fonts.

 

Mailing Expert

Networking at Christmas

Yes, you did read that correctly. Let’s just repeat that to make sure. Networking at Christmas. It isn’t as crazy as it may sound.

Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle!

You don’t have to do anything special. All you have to do is be prepared. We know that the temptation is to forget all about work, break the world record for mince-pie consumption and slump on the sofa in front of the Downton Abbey Christmas special (if sufficiently fortified by sweet British sherry) – but we’d all do well to remember that this time of the year is stuffed full of opportunities to build lasting business relationships. Stuffed like the turkey!

The season for giving…

Christmas is a wonderful time to send out cards and gifts to your clients to let them know how much you value them – and possibly to rekindle fading relationships, exactly the same as with your family and friends. Make the most of it.

It’s party time…

Think of all those invitations you receive to Christmas events from companies, clients, professional organisations, chambers of commerce, networking groups…just go to them.
Of course, socialising is the main thing. Nobody very much wants your slick sixty-second elevator pitch rammed down their throats on these occasions – but socialising is building relationships, and building relationships is how your business will grow. Getting to know people on a personal level as well as a professional level adds a whole new dimension to mutual business connections. How dull life would be if all we ever talked about was the economic climate or sales figures?!

Eat, drink and be merry…

But not too merry. You want to be remembered for the right reasons – ‘This is someone I’d like to do business with’ – rather than, ‘That’s the person who drank too much and danced on the table wearing only a party hat.’

Keep in touch…

The important thing is having the means to stay in touch after the event. Take your business cards, or at least a pen and notebook to jot down numbers. Finish your conversation with a cheery, ‘It would be great to have a chat in the New Year!’ then don’t forget to follow up.
Send your party host a thank you note – that’s a tradition which seems to have died out in recent years. You’ll be appreciated and remembered with warm feelings.
Don’t forget to let clients and business associates know if you’re planning to close the office over the Christmas break. You could also provide suppliers and contacts with details of how to reach someone in case of emergency.

And finally…

Have fun! Use those networking opportunities but also allow yourself time to relax, regroup and revitalise ready for whatever 2016 will bring.

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