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Deluxe Rings in 100 Years at the New York Stock Exchange

Deluxe Rings in 100 Years at NYSE

Deluxe CEO, Lee Schram, and Chief Brand & Communications Officer, Amanda Brinkman, ringing the Opening Bell at the New York Stock Exchange on November 23.


The term “bucket list” is probably overused. For most people, it means finally being able to do something they have always dreamed of; a trip to see the pyramids in Egypt, a round of golf at Augusta National or parachuting from a plane.

A colleague recently used the term to describe a truly unique experience we enjoyed when Deluxe Corporation ventured to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to ring the opening bell, celebrating our 100th year in business.

I try to never take for granted the privilege of attending such an occasion, but I must admit, even so, I underestimated the honor and experience that the bell-ringing would be. My colleague was right to have this on his bucket list and it quickly became one of the most memorable days in my career.

The day itself was remarkable in many ways, not only the chance to revel in our centennial, a true milestone few companies will ever reach, but having the chance to experience history by standing at the same podium so many other exceptional business leaders and professionals have stood at before. Our group soaked in the history and magnitude of a place where trillions of dollars have been traded and world leaders have graced.

Part of what made that day so incredible was two members of our small entourage. While we would have loved to bring dozens of our nearly 5,800 employees, we chose two long-tenured employees to join members of the executive and senior leadership team on the platform. Together – these two employees represent a combined 70+ years of service.

With 35 years of loyal service, Ken King, Jr. stood with his father, Ken King, Sr., himself a retired Deluxer, with pride and awe and joy in his eyes, enveloping the day in a way that can only be experienced with family. Ken and his father gave their working lives to our company, something rare in today’s modern world and the honor to be at the NYSE gives them a collective memory few families will share.

Ivory Williams, who always has a smile on her face at our Kansas City manufacturing plant, could barely contain her enthusiasm throughout the day, her infectious spirit further energizing our contingent. After 36 years with Deluxe, she revealed in the opportunity to share in this historical day.

Standing above the din of lights, digital screens and electronic trading on the floor below, we clapped and cheered and basked in a moment few companies will accomplish, eschewing title and position to recognize and celebrate what vision and dedication can achieve. There we stood, representing the vision our founder started with in 1915 and now endures in plants and offices around the country, and on the NYSE trading floor.

Pretty good day to add to that bucket.

Pop-up’s got a brand-new bag? Let customers know

November 24, 2015

Pop-up’s got a brand-new bag? Let customers know

The term “pop-up shop” might bring to mind those colorful 3D structures designed to spring from the pages of children’s books when opened.

In fact, those paper pop-ups often have the same sense of drama  Ta da!  as the so-called pop-up shops, restaurants, and events that spring up this time of year, temporarily offering holiday shoppers a (very targeted) plethora of merchandise. In 2013 pop-ups in the U.S. represented a whopping $8 billion market, according to Bloomberg Business.

Why the pop-ularity?

Because pop-ups can significantly boost sales for their parent companies, which these days include established retailers with year-round storefronts, online vendors and wannabes seeking to test the market. New York-based pop-up facilitator The Lionesque Group, for example, says its clients who establish pop-ups have seen an average 35 percent sales increase within six months of opening.

Pop-ups can also greatly impact awareness of your brand. Half of Lionesque’s customers have reportedly seen an average 30 percent increase in social media engagement within their first six months.

Already on the pop-up bandwagon for this season? Here are tips for navigating your marketing and publicity. If you’ve yet to form those plans, now would be a good time to get cracking.

  • Consider throwing a launch party and inviting local movers and shakers.   
  • Focus on the creative aspect of your brand, advises Nicole Leinbach Reyhle in Forbes. “Identify your brand and the story behind it,” she says. “Get granular down to the neighborhood … and think about how that will lend itself to attracting the customers you want to target.”
  • Create advertorial postcards with a clear call to action and coupon code, then place them at nearby outlets with a similar clientele to your target market, recommends Lionesque Group founder Melissa Gonzalez on
  • Offer products at easy-to-afford price points that encourage impulse buying and are easy to carry away, recommends Armando Roggio, contributing editor for Practical Ecommerce.
  • Be very strategic in your merchandising. Roggio recommends you take note (and maybe photographs) of how similar area stores craft their displays.
  • Consider sharing advertising with surrounding vendors. “Often they will have already cultivated a relationship with those on their mailing list, and for a small fee your ad can get their endorsement,” notes Tristan Pollock, co-founder of the California-based real estate rental service Storefront.
  • Consider giveaways to draw foot traffic, making sure they’re tangent and have value. Limit numbers to create a sense of urgency.
  • Attract locals by sending press releases to, and pursuing feature articles in, local newspapers or magazines. Avoid generic releases and shoot for unique, targeted messages for each writer based on their publications and coverage, recommends Gonzalez.
  • Direct-mail campaigns work well if you know your target audience. “Once you have your mailing list, all you do is work with your printer to ‘mail-merge’ first names and addresses throughout your mailer,” advises Pollock. Testimonials from existing customers can effectively introduce your product or service, he adds.
  • Consider sponsoring a local event or fundraiser to enhance your presence in the community.
  • Add a message about your pop-up to your regular phone line for customers on hold.
  • Create and use an editorial calendar for your social strategy, often emphasizing “What’s hot, what’s new, what’s fresh,” advises Gonzalez.

Conclusion:  “Don’t forget that the most important marketing and promotion tool you’ll need to make your pop-up a success is hustle,” adds Gonzalez. “The great thing about giving pop-up shops a shot is that with each pop-up experience, you’ll start seeing what works and what doesn’t for your brand, enabling you to potentially build out another sales channel for your business.”

Helpful? Check out more related posts on branding.

Book of Love: Establish your Design Preferences in Style

November 19, 2015

Book of Love: Establish your Design Preferences in Style

Say the staffer who handles your digital communications takes a three-month leave of absence. As the business owner, you recognize the importance of maintaining a regular, consistent presence on your website, through email, and on social media, so you ask another employee to fill in during her absence.

Unfortunately, the newbie doesn’t bring the same point or view, etiquette parameters or aesthetic sense as the permanent specialist. Or, as creative types tend to do, she may be sneaking in some of her own creative ideas. Either way, clients begin to notice your digital communications seem…well, a little off. Confusion may ensue as to who is running the show — and that’s not good when you want to establish yourself as a trusted authority in your industry.

That is why it is important to go the extra mile in establishing a style guide that sets standards for your brand. A thorough guide will allow any employee to step in and find answers regarding your preferred tone, grammar, word usage, use of color and form, and other elements related to how you present your company. A style guide is the visual DNA of your company’s branding, or the cheat sheet for how you wish to be perceived “on paper.”

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Deluxe Corporation Foundation Provides Boost by Taking Unique Approach to Grant Writing

Deluxe Corporation Foundation's Short & Tweet Grants Program offered nonprofits a one-time opportunity to tweet a grant application for one of ten $10,000 grants.

Deluxe Short & Tweet Grants Program

As a people, Americans are incredibly generous. Annually, we give hundreds of millions, if not billions, to charities and nonprofits, to disaster relief and to combating illness. It is part of our overall human nature to give of ourselves, our time and our money for the common good.

It is with that spirit that I feel incredibly humbled and blessed to work for a company that has sought new and innovative ways to connect with and enhance the various communities and organizations that we work with and serve across the nation. Our latest effort involves a grant program that is donating a total of $100,000 to 10 deserving nonprofits.

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Holiday Email Marketing: Don’t be Quiet as a Mouse

November 17, 2015

Holiday Email Marketing: Don't be Quiet as a Mouse

Halfway through Q4, you’re looking skeptically at your annual sales goals and wondering if they’re about to fly away like the geese overhead.

Never fear. Santa’s reindeer isn’t named Blitzen for nothing — this may be just the time for a last holiday email marketing blitz. Of course, that’s especially true for retailers, who on average earn 10.1 percent of their annual revenues in December, according to the National Retail Institute. But retail isn’t the only segment that can thrive during the holidays and other businesses should never assume their revenues are bound to trail off until after the New Year. 

Here are email marketing steps you can take to “rein in” the last of the year’s sales – all manageable within a less-than-two-month time frame. 

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You Put a Logo Where? 8 Creative Locations to Place Your Logo

November 12, 2015

Deluxe:  You Put a Logo Where? 8 Creative Locations to Place Your Logo

You just had your logo created and you know what? It looks pretty amazing. So now you want to splash it everywhere. It’s on your windows, your business cards, your stationery, your website and, of course, the products you make and the paperwork that goes with them. But you want to put it a few other places as well, because, after all, you really love your new logo.

We have the same passion for logos, so we can understand that. In fact, it’s got us thinking about some other fun places we’ve added logos before. Here are our ideas, so take a look and see what appeals to you:

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The Secrets of an Effective, Exciting and Successful Mobile Redesign

November 11, 2015

Deluxe: The Secrets of a Successful Mobile Website Redesign

So you’re considering redesigning your website in order to make it more mobile-friendly, yet you’re not sure how much to invest, how to maximize the benefit of the redesign, or how to introduce your new and improved site to consumers.

Is it worth the hassle and money? And even if the redesign looks great, how can you ensure it builds your business?

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The 4 Best Inserts for Subscription Box Marketing

November 10, 2015

The 4 Best Inserts for Subscription Box Marketing

Have you entered the rapidly-growing subscription box industry? Companies such as CrateJoy make it easier than ever to get started, and many subscription box companies start as home-based businesses. If you operate a subscription box business, inserts are ways to increase sales and attract new customers. The following presents some of the best inserts for subscription box marketing.

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Send a Customer Appreciation Email Campaign This Holiday

November 6, 2015

Send a Customer Appreciation Email Campaign This Holiday

This year, say your company’s holiday thank-yous with email

Here we are again, Q4. For businesses across the country, this is the most important time of year. Maybe you’re counting on Q4 to bring you into the black, or maybe you’ve been there for some time and you’re planning to use the revenue to further grow and improve your business. Whatever Q4 means to you, it presents a great opportunity to plan ahead and build for the start of 2016.

As a business, your past success and future growth are all tied to one essential component: your existing customers. Research from Gartner Group shows that 80 percent of a business’ future revenue comes from just 20 percent of its existing customers. That means the customers you’re counting on for a big Q4 in 2015 will be just as essential in 2016 as well.

To set your business up for success in the year ahead, it pays to support customer loyalty by thanking them for their support this year and their continued support next year.

Now you just need to find a way to send a meaningful thank you that doesn’t take too much of your own time during the busiest time of year.

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The 30 Magic Marketing Words You Should Be Using

The 30 Magic Marketing Words You Should Be Using

Savvy business owners, copywriters, and designers know how language influences emotions and persuades action. Certain words and phrases are time-tested to boost response and conversion rates almost across the board. Of course, different motivating words and phrases work better in different situations, and it’s up to you to figure out which work best for your business. It isn’t all that difficult to figure out, though: If your intuition doesn’t tell you, your customers will. Test the following 30 “magic marketing words” in your next email, social media or blog post, on a direct-mail postcard or website to see which yields the best response.

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