Monthly Archives

June 2016

Print Techniques

Not All Printing Is The Same

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Understanding Your Options

There are a wide variety of printing options available. Most printing techniques were developed for very specific applications. The main printing processes we frequently use are Offset, Digital and Screen printing.

Offset Printing is the most common printing process today. It offsets ink from metal plates to a rubber blanket and onto the paper. Almost all commercial printers do offset printing. This method is the most dependable for superior image quality. You receive the most value, as it is the least expensive technique for creating top quality work in large volumes.

Digital Printing is the newest printing process. This method includes Inkjet (use of print heads that spray ink) or xerography (uses electrical charges that attract toner particles) to create prints. Digital printing is best for short-run and fast turnaround work. With this method you are very limited in color, paper choices and quality. However, due to its rising popularity, this technology is fast rising.

Screen Printing is also known as silk-screening. Ink is transferred onto a substrate following a stencil pattern. One shade of ink is printed at a time. Several screens are used to create multicolored graphics. This method is best suited for clothing, stickers and billboards.

Finishing Touches

There are also some really amazing finishing techniques available that can add more visual interest to printed work. We most commonly use Embossing, Varnish, Die Cuts and Foils.

PrintFinishesVarnish is a liquid coating applied to a printed surface to add a clear glossy, matte, satin, or neutral finish.
creates a raised impression on a surface.
Die Cuts involve cutting of shapes in paper or paperboard using a die.
Foils are affixed to a certain material by a heating process.

Choosing the Right Printing Techniques

It’s very important that both printing supplier and consumer know the answer to these 6 questions in order to choose the proper method for any given project:

  1. How many print copies are needed?
  2. When is the deadline?
  3. What must be printed and why?
  4. What additional finishes must be completed after the printing?
  5. Which printing tools are available?
  6. Which method can meet the project’s budget?

So when you’re looking for a printer, make sure you know that they can deliver what you need. Printing is a complicated process. The more you ask, the better your printed results will be!

4 Tips To Optimize Your Web Page Load Time

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We’ve all experienced the joys of staring at a computer screen or mobile device while embracing the warm glow of the benevolent loading screen. Wait no… no we haven’t. Usually when you need information the quicker the better. A lot of people would agree considering that 47% of people expect a web page to load in two seconds or less. Up to 40% will abandon the site all together if they have to wait more the three seconds. This can hurt your bottom line. When people don’t even bother to stick around to see what your site has to offer, you lose out on conversions.

Have you noticed this problem on your own site? Are you worried that you are missing out on sharing your message or service to potential patients? If you are experiencing these problems, try out these four tips to optimize your site for the best possible load time.

1.  Optimize images and design elements.
When the site begins to load, it has to load all the images from the entire site. This is how the user can actually see them. This process can take a lot of bandwidth, which in turn slows down the load time of the site. Make sure to optimize your images to be web friendly by reducing the resolution or size, by using an image editor. Don’ts use unnecessary large sized images and plan ahead when selecting your images and design elements.

2.  Javascript and CSS files should be external files.
They should not be directly placed into your HTML. This allows your browser to cache these files and will reduce page load time. You should also place any javascript files at the end of the body or use the ‘async’ attribute to load them asynchronously. If there is an error in your javascript files and you try to load them first, you might cause your page to render improperly or not at all.

3.  The less HTTP requests the better.
If you can reduce the number of image requests by using CSS Sprites it will speed up your load time for images. This is because you are making one request for an image that contains a variety of the images that you actually need. You should also consider combining javascript files together, as well as combining CSS files. Every time you load an image, javascript file or CSS file, your browser makes a request for the files and has to wait for a response. These requests can significantly bog down your load time if not managed properly.

4.  Reduce the size of cookies.
Cookies are used to store data that needs to persist between requests. This data is sent on every request and adds to the load time when it’s big. By reducing the size of the cookies you reduce the size of the data that is transferred, and decrease the page load time. Eliminate unnecessary cookies or reduce the size of the cookies.

25 Quick Tips and Statistics to Grow Your Practice

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From phone support to counselor training and the importance of a successful post-op day, take these quick and easy tips and statistics to improve your practice today!

1.  Less that four percent of practices use a caller’s name on the phone. Make it personal.

2.  Thirty-four percent of callers who hang up don’t call back. Don’t risk losing valuable refractive leads by sending callers to voicemail.

3.  Forty-five percent of LASIK consumers don’t book their appointment at the first place they call. Roll out a red carpet experience for your patients at the beginning, to avoid losing potential revenue.

4.  Forty percent of patients that had a procedure couldn’t remember the surgeon or practice. Make memorable experiences.

5.  Sixty percent of refractive calls were rated poorly in the area of qualifying the needs and interests of the caller. Practice active listening!

6.  Seventy-three percent of consumers claim they have spent more with a company because of great customer service. Whether or not you want to believe it, you are in the business of customer service, so make it count.

7.  The repercussions of bad customer service hurt. Fifty-two percent of unhappy customers told friends and family. Thirty-two percent said they will cease doing business with the company altogether.

8.  Thirty-nine percent of employees feel under appreciated at work, with seventy-seven percent reporting that they would work harder if they felt better recognized. Building workplace morale can make a huge difference.

9.  Patient referrals should be a minimum of forty-four percent. Improve patient experience to increase word of mouth referrals.

10.  Secret shop your own practice to ensure a quality experience.

11.  Seventy-six percent of men and women stated that they had more trust in a business and considered the company more professional, when their employees wore name badges. Does your practice use them?

12.  Eighty percent of leads require five follow-ups before converting. Set up a follow-up protocol to maximize results.

13.  Don’t be scared to ask. Ninety-one percent of customers say they’d give referrals. Only eleven percent of salespeople ask for referrals.

14.  Answer the phone with a smile. On the phone, tone is eighty-six percent of our communication. The words we actually use are only fourteen percent of our communication.

15.  Twenty-three percent of patients who don’t receive a reminder call don’t show up. Seventeen percent of patients no show when an automated reminder call is made. That number goes down to thirteen and one-half percent when a live reminder call is made.

16.  Forty-one percent of people said social media would affect their choice of a specific doctor, hospital or medical facility.

17.  Forty-five percent of consumers looking for local services search on mobile first. Is your website optimized for mobile?

18.  Online reputation is important. Respond to all positive and negative reviews with a tailored customer service approach.

19.  The rate of converting an online lead drops by fifty percent if not responded to within an hour. Are you missing out?

20.  Fifty-three percent of local businesses only optimize their search campaigns one time per campaign. Measure and monitor your progress consistently to get the best results.

21.  Get discovered! People who are retargeted with display ads are seventy percent more likely to convert.

22.  Thirty-eight percent of people will stop engaging with a website, if the content or layout is unattractive. How does your website stack up?

23.  Follow the five second rule! Make website navigation easy on your practice website, so all patients can find what they need in five seconds.

24.  The best times to email lead prospects are 8 AM and 3 PM.

25.  Subject lines in emails with more than three words experience a drop in open rate by over sixty percent. Make your message count!

Getting More Out of Your Brainstorming Sessions

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Brainstorming sessions are a great way to solve problems and think up new ideas. If you are preparing for a brainstorming session with your staff, why not implement a few new tactics? Here are a few ways to get the most out of your brainstorming sessions.

Give Your Team Time to Prepare

Great ideas don’t manifest if they are forced. Ideas appear when someone has time to think and when they don’t feel pressured to come up with something on the spot. This is why it’s a good idea to give your team a few days to think before the brainstorming session. It is also helpful to let your team know what you’re NOT looking for. With this information your team can focus on the specifics, instead of being overwhelmed by an open ended question or idea.

Work with a Diverse Group of People

This is strategy is helpful if you ever need to get out of a rut. A great way to come up with new and innovating ideas is by inviting a variety of people with different skill sets and experiences, in on your brainstorming session. Most of the time all you need is a new perspective. It can help you see something in a new light and help generate new ideas. If you always brainstorm with the same people with the same perspective; your ideas will end up being very similar and not original.

Everyone is Equal

No matter if you’re the CEO or the intern, the most important thing during a brainstorming session is to make everyone feel equal. Regardless of who you are, your ideas have the same amount of validity as the person next to you.

During these sessions you should also remember not to judge any “bad” ideas. In fact, if someone is told that their idea is poor or lacking, they will be less likely to speak up the rest of session (and most likely future sessions). The more ideas that are discussed, the more likely it is that you will land on a good one. The object is to let your mind run free and not to judge others. No matter how wild your ideas are, keep them coming. A wild idea can always be simplified or morphed into another idea. It’s crucial to be open to different perspectives.

Compile Your Ideas

During your session, make sure someone is comprising a list of ALL the ideas that are being discussed. Even the worst idea may include an element you can use. Later you can use your list to connect the dots. Once you have your master list, separate your ideas into three categories: lacking, good and awesome. Once you have your final list go through and come up with variations of your ideas, by incorporating random or unrelated factors. Look for alternative ways to think about a subject even if the old ways are working well.

Switch up the Environment

It’s always a good idea to change up your physical environment. It can be fun and actually effect the way the brain works. By having a brainstorming session in a new place, you can help your team come up with new and better ideas. Neurobiologists believe an enriched environment can speed up the rate at which the human brain creates new neurons and neural connections. If you can’t change the location, at least change the room that the meeting will be held in. You can rearrange furniture, hang up pictures, or even have people stand and walk around during the meeting to stimulate the brain.

Create a Mood Board

Combining imagery, color and visual-spatial arrangements can help spark new, fresh ideas. While there are many ways to use visual prompts in brainstorming, creating a mood board is one of the most common — especially in coming up with new branding and design concepts. A mood board is simply a random collection of images, words and textures focused on one topic, theme or idea. Like with mind mapping, the visual components of the mood board can be anything branching off that central topic.

Play Games

Whether it be word games or improv games, both are great ways to get people to start thinking outside the box and produce original ideas. Playing games also helps people relax and get out of their work shell. When people feel more comfortable in an environment, they will start sharing more creative and innovate ideas. So, try to have some fun during your brainstorming sessions.

Make Some Doodles

While many brainstorming sessions are based on talking and reading, doodling helps people break out of the traditional mindset. They will begin to think about familiar things in a different way, perhaps leading to unexpected connections. Doodling can actually help spur creative insight, increase attention span and free up short and long-term memory.

There are a few different approaches to doodling. Have your team take an object and visually break it down into its tiniest parts. For example, if your object was coffee you could draw the mug, the lid, the bean, etc. Thinking about all the elements of an object and the environment it is found in, will allow you to view an object in a new way. Another approach to doodling is by taking two unrelated things, such as ice cream and a basketball and first draw them separate. Then, create sketches of the two objects morphed together. Such as a melting basketball or basketball ice cream. This helps people to come up with unique ideas and have a different view point on the problem.

6 Reasons You Should Blog for your Business

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Why Blog? Blogging can be a crucial tool in your overall marketing plan. Why not take advantage of this low-risk content marketing strategy? If you’re not sure what a blog can do for you, here are 6 reasons you should blog for your business.

Create Brand Awareness

If you are working toward building your brand recognition, a blog can reinforce your brand message. This gives you the opportunity to show your unique voice, what makes your brand special. A blog is the perfect platform to inform your audience of who you are and what your company has to offer. Show your personality, skills, values and passions. A blog offers insights into your company, philosophy, employees and ideas. These branding techniques, in addition to your logo, will help jump start your brand awareness.

Gain Credibility

Blogging is a great way to gain credibility in your market. By authoring and controlling your own content, you can begin to gain the trust of your audience. You are in charge of your own reputation management and can show the value of your business. Give your product or service a voice and use that voice to show your authority in your field. Develop content that answers your audience’s questions, before they ask them.

Blogging can also help your website’s credibility. Every blog is one more indexed page on your website. Your blog contributes to your website’s SEO, which can also help raise your Google ranking. This means that you will show up higher in search engines, potentially increasing traffic to your website.

Showcase Your Expertise

Blogging can help you position yourself as a subject matter expert in your field. Show off your knowledge of your industry and what resources you have available to you. Comment on up-to-the-minute news topics, market trends and groundbreaking technologies. Show that you are a leader in your industry, not simply a follower. This information will benefit your audience, as well as help consumers gain confidence in your business. After realizing your expertise, consumers are more likely to choose you for the service they need.

Build Up Valuable Content

The effort you put into writing now, can benefit you in the future. You will be building up valuable content that is out there forever! Your blogs are resources of information for your products or services. This is media that YOU own, that is stored in an easy to access, streamlined CMS.

Having this all in one place will help you stay focused on your content marketing strategy. Check your blog analytics to track your most popular topics and build on those subjects. Use the blog analytics to shape your overall strategy.

Use your content to create E-books, webinars, infographics and other downloadable material. Give freebies to readers & use this as a way to capture information like email addresses.

Create a Social Media Buzz

Use your blog to strengthen your social reach. Premiere your blog with a crossover social media campaign. This will increase the visibility of your brand, showcase your blog and drive traffic to your website. Share on all your personal social media pages, business pages and ask others to share. Get your blog out there: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest. This helps expose your business to a new audience that may not even know they need your services yet. Include social sharing buttons with each blog post and encourage readers to share your content.

Free Marketing

If your marketing budget is tight, blogging can be a very cost-effective tool. If you already have a website, add a blog page. If you do not have an active website for your business, you can start with a free blog from a website like WordPress.

A blog can offer you free marketing and free PR. Your blog is a long-term asset that creates a clear brand voice, brand awareness, showcases your expertise and promotes products or services. Use your blog to send readers to your other social media accounts or link to your current promotional campaigns. A simple call to action in your post, could convert readers into new leads.


Use your blog as a platform to connect with influencers and reputable brands in your industry. Share and publish your blogs on your personal LinkedIn page, in LinkedIn groups and on your LinkedIn business page to widen your reach. Build positive relationships that could result in more exposure for your brand. Networking can lead to potential partnerships, guest blog opportunities, podcasts or even invitations to speak at lectures. The possibilities are endless, once you start to build valuable connections.

When you use a blog as a content marketing strategy, you will see results over time. Now that you know what blogging can do for your business, are you willing to take the plunge?