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SPPA to honor Dianne Watson, MAS, at Holiday Party
The Board of Directors of SPPA will be honoring past president and longtime volunteer, Dianne Watson, MAS, at the SPPA Holiday Party on Dec. 4 in Birmingham. As a member for over 30 years, Dianne is the longest-serving active member of the association. Active is probably an understatement. She has served on every committee, been elected to two terms on the Board of Directors, and been our President, Vice President and delegate to the Regional Association Council.

“If I had only two words to describe Dianne it would be “She Cares,” says Charlie Cochran, president of SPPA. “She Cares about anyone she comes in contact with…Distributors, Suppliers, Board Members and especially SPPA. The amount of time she works as a volunteer for SPPA would be a fulltime job for most. “

The SPPA Holiday Party will be held at Carrigan’s Public House, named by Southern Living Magazine as one of the “Best Bars in the South.” The evening will feature dinner, music, a special holiday “punch,” and a toast to the grand “Lady Di.” Tickets are on sale now at

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Date Event Location
Dec. 4, 2014 Holiday Party Birmingham, Alabama
Jan. 27-28, 2015 THE Show of the South Birmingham, Alabama
Sept. 9, 2015 Louisiana Fall Showcase Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Sept. 10 2015 Mississippi Fall Showcase Jackson, Mississippi
Sept. 11, 2015 Alabama Fall Showcase Birmingham, Alabama

For more information on these SPPA events, go to


It's tested, right?
Promo Marketing
You do business with suppliers you have a relationship with, and we can assume one of the criteria for increasing that business is trust. Over the years, you probably have received great service and prices, which is the reason you kept coming back. But now, if you are a distributor, you find that your end-user clients are turning up the heat on requirements of product safety and compliance. You may be tempted to accept a simple "yes" when you ask, "it's tested, right?" After all, you've done business for a long time together; surely the supplier wouldn't do anything to put your client's brand at risk.
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Wanna professionally print something? There's a new marketplace for that
In the latest attempt to make an industry more efficient, San Mateo, California-based Keen Systems is launching a public beta of its PrintMo marketplace for finding and booking local printers. This first phase of the market-by-market rollout, CEO and founder Vitaly Golomb told VentureBeat, begins with several dozen local printers in the San Francisco Bay area. There’s no charge for printers to join.
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Our real business is not the promotional products business
Promo Marketing
Staying focused on the right activities (prospecting, penetrating current accounts, hiring and managing sales reps, and mergers and acquisitions), and building and moving your pipeline are the two most important keys to success. Every day at Proforma the team weighs in on what they have been able to add or move in their pipeline and we distribute a daily report. They organize their deals by where they are in the pipeline: Deals that are going to close in a year, six months to a year, within the next six months. And, of course, they share their “wins” when they close a deal in the pipeline.
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20 tools for customer feedback, surveys
Practical Ecommerce
Feedback tools can help you find out what is, and what is not, working with your website. Better yet, they can help you get fresh insights from your most important resource — your customers. Here is a list of 20 customer feedback tools. There are survey and polling tools, customer support platforms with feedback forums, live chat solutions, and user testing tools for consumers to voice their opinions.
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Snail mail is even slower now with Postal Service changes, report says
The Washington Post
First-class mail has been taking longer to reach its destination since the financially struggling U.S. Postal Service relaxed its delivery standards in an attempt to cut costs two years ago, according to a federal study. Performance has generally declined for first-class mail this year, with the USPS missing its target delivery times at a greater rate than before, the Government Accountability Office said in a recent report.
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How to get more people to read your emails
Business 2 Community
Having emails full of great content doesn’t matter unless people are opening them. This often starts with a catchy headline to get recipients to click it. Successful email marketing efforts take a mix of factors to get exactly right. First, you need to avoid the spam filter and end up in the inbox. Then, you need to get people to open the message. However, even if these first two steps happen, there’s no guarantee recipients will click through to your website. Here are some tips to make your email campaigns more successful.
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Where to find great designers
Fast Company Design
Where do you find designers to hire? Twenty-five years ago, you might've mined the halls of the Rhode Island School of Design or the cubicles at big, traditional design agencies. Today, with designers employed across the working world, from tech startups to banks, the smartest employers are casting a wide net. Design schools aren't a bad place to look. But they're just a start. Here are 10 tips for finding your next great designer.
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The psychology of online reviews
Business 2 Community
We are thrilled when we get positive reviews — it’s a reaffirmation that the investment we’ve made in the customer’s experience has been worthwhile. But correspondingly when we get negative reviews, that’s why it can feel so personally wounding. Yet to truly exploit reviews, it is essential to look at all of them — whether they’re good or bad. To do this, we need to understand shopping psychology, to see the reviews through our customers’ eyes so we can strategize accordingly.
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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