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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Don't let the dark get you down



Thousands of people are still in the dark after Irene ravaged the East Coast. It's time to start getting creative with ways to keep yourself occupied while the lights are out. In case you are struggling for some ideas the folks at 4AllPromos have come up with a few ideas:

Cards-Play Go Fish, War, Uno, Crazy Eights

Frisbee- This is a classic outdoor game. Set up goals or checkpoints to play Frisbee golf. You'll even get a little exercise.

Flashlight tag: You know how this one goes. Just be careful not to trip or run into one another.

Puzzle: Challenge yourself with a difficult or big puzzle.

Board games: Try Scrabble, Life, Candy Land, Cranium or any of the good old favorites.

Or even better, invent your own game! You can even take one of your favorite games and add a twist. As long as you have a little light via a flashlight or candle there are plenty of ways to keep yourself busy in the dark. Read a book, talk to your family, draw or do arts and crafts and play games to pass the time.

Hope everyone is safe after Irene. The 4AllPromos did not have power as of Tuesday though several members of our staff have moved to a location with power to take care of e-mails and online orders. There are also plans to have the phones rolled over to the makeshift office. We apologize for any inconvenience  and we will continue to update our customers as information becomes available.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Have a Plan for Hurricane Irene


Hurricane Irene is headed this way. Weather experts are predicting that the hurricane will move up the east coast this weekend and many states have started issuing warnings and emergency weather plans.

4AllPromos wants to make sure all its customers are safe and prepared for the extreme weather that could take place as a result of hurricane Irene. Wind and water could knock out electricity and/or cell phone service. Downed trees and flooding could prevent travel plans and may even result in the evacuation of some neighborhoods.

Check your local weather stations and the National Weather Service website frequently in the next several days to stay tuned into what Irene is expected to do in your neighborhood.

Here are 3 steps you can take to make sure your family is prepared for the wicked weather:

1. Make a family plan: Have a pre-hurricane powwow with your family to outline your emergency plans and protocol. Designate jobs to certain family members-who will grab the valuables, who will take the dog, who will lock up the house, who will call 911 or emergency services, etc.. You'll feel better about your safety and the storm if you know who is doing what, where to meet up and how you are going to make sure everyone is safe. Use a memo board to outline duties so everyone knows what they are doing and where they should be!


                         

2. Create a disaster supply kit: Make sure you put all the
supplies you might need in case of a hurricane all in the same spot.
Your kit should include:
*Bottled water
*Batteries
*Radio
*Rain gear-jackets, umbrellas, boots
*First aid kit
*Flashlights for each member of the family (wind up ones suggested)
*Tools such as knives or a leatherman
(Also, make sure your cell phone, laptop and any other technology you
                                                      may need during the storm is all charged up)


3. Secure your home: Bring in or tie down any lawn furniture or decorations. If  you live near a body of water put sand bags around your property. Get your sump pump ready in case the basement floods. Tape up or board up windows if your city/state is advising you to. Check your insurance policy to see what will be covered in case the hurricane strikes and make any updates if possible.


Stay safe this weekend everyone!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Happy Halloween from 4AllPromos

Hurry it's almost time for Halloween! Stores are already stocking candy on the shelves, pumpkins are on the vine and costumes are hitting the stores. Does your business or organization do anything for Halloween? Many police departments and non-profits help promote safe and healthy Halloween activities in their communities.

This Halloween season 4AllPromos is introducing some new custom imprinted items for the spooky season including recyclable bags, candy corn, fortune cookies and coloring books. Order special Halloween bags for your neighborhood trick or treat night or your special Halloween sale. Teach children about Halloween safety with informational coloring books, fortune cookies or with custom imprinted trick or treating totes or recyclable bags.

Did you know Halloween is one of the highest grossing American holidays? Get on board and customize an orange, black or spooky promotional product with your company logo. There's always a reason to use promotional products-especially for popular holidays and events!

And remember to have a SAFE Halloween. For tips on how to keep your children safe on Halloween, visit The Center for Disease Control website.

And for more Halloween products from 4AllPromos simply search the term 'Halloween' in the search bar at the top of the homepage or call one of our knowledgeable promotional product experts to discuss useful Halloween giveaways or products for your frightening festivities.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

The good, the Bag and the ulgy: Why everyone should own a tote bag


You see this bag posted above? It is being sold for $9 (plus $4 shipping and handling). The kicker: It doesn't have anything in it! That's right high end, designer brands are now selling their shopping bags. What's worse, people are actually buying them to take on shopping trips. Why, you ask? According to some people it gives them status when shopping at the mall; even if they can't afford it, at least they can pretend.

Is it me or does this seem like a waste of money. Yes, many retailers are still using plastic and paper bags (4AllPromos can custom imprint them) for their merchandise but in recent years reusable shopping bags have really taken off.

At 4AllPromos we like to think we are ahead of the curve when it comes to being 'green' and environmentally conscious and that is why we offer a large assortment of recycled and reusable tote bags. By carrying a smart shopping bag you will bring a whole new meaning to the word status. Others will notice that you care abou the environment and hopefully you can help spread the word about how useful tote bags can be when you are on a shopping spree.

Use reusable tote bags for retail shopping, grocery shopping, at a farmer's market, on a picnic, on your boat, on vacation or really anywhere.

Still sold on shopping will a tote bag? How about these 3 reasons?
  • Tote bags have strong straps so you can carry heavy things or pack your bag full of goodies. 
  • Tote bags are lightweight and can be crumbled up and stored in your trunk, purse, kitchen drawer or anywhere else for safe keeping. 
  • Tote bags come in all kinds of shapes, colors and even with insulation and zippers so you can carry frozen or valuable goodies in them!

Skip the fufu shopping bags and start a tote bag movement at your business or home. Visit 4AllPromos.com or call 866-732-3386 for more information about how to custom imprint your logo on a tote bag. 


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Unite your company with uniforms


A few things come to mind when you think of uniforms- school children, police, mailmen and maybe even prisoners. Uniforms, badges, hats, lanyards, t-shirts, dress shirts and many other kinds of apparel and promotional paraphernalia can help customer's easily identify your employees and your brand.

In recent years many public schools have opted to follow the tradition of many private school by requiring students to wear more uniform clothing. In most cases students are being required to wear khaki pants and a blue polo shirt or button up. These types of uniforms are easy to pull together especially because stores like Wal-Mart and Target are setting up special uniform sections with these generic pieces. Also, many smart parents are remember to donate their children's gently used uniforms to thrift stores and consignments shops to help keep the cost down for other parents. Studies have shown that uniforms help cut down on distraction and bullying and create a more orderly environment for children. It also teaches students responsibility as they must make sure they have a clean uniform each day.

It's clear that uniforms create a different mentality both in schools and in workplaces. So, if you have traveling sales representatives, technicians or other employees out on the road doing networking a uniform may help them stand out. They don't need to be outfitted head to toe but crisp, clean button down or polo shirts in your company color with your company logo will certainly help make an impression.

First you must decide if uniforms are right for your line of work and if uniforms of any kind are cost effective for your business. It may be economical for your employees to invest in several shirts. Uniform shirts help cut down on the amount of work clothes your employee has to buy and eliminates the likelihood that some employees may dress inappropriately for their job setting. Require your employees to provide their own pants such as black slacks or khakis to complete the uniform look.

Remember, uniforms also act as additional advertising for your product or services. Using bold or complimentary color combinations with a unique or standout logo or mascot will help customer's remember your name the next time they are shopping around.

Uniforms also create a sense of unity among employees. They help everyone feel like they belong to a team. Select stylish, practical and comfortable uniform items to create a business casual look. Perhaps only require uniforms Monday through Thursday and celebrate casual Friday.

There are so many options when it comes to uniforms today. No matter what it is always a good idea to outfit your employees with some company swag. Shirts, hats, jackets, umbrellas, coffee mugs and other promotional items all help advertise your business. Whether you reward employees with company swag or instill a uniform policy these items all help create a sense of unity.

Consider what uniforms can do for your company. Visit 4AllPromos.com to see what kind of items can be custom imprinted with your logo or company colors. Although, the economy is weak uniforms maybe an advertising investment as well as a morale booster for loyal employees. Show your employees you appreciate them and invest in uniform products from 4AllPromos.

Friday, August 12, 2011

How to: Clean a reusable water bottle


Reusable water bottles are smart accessories to carry with you at all times. They are not only eco-friendly but keep beverages cold throughout the day and encourage you to drink more water or liquids preventing dehydration. However, if not cleaned properly these bottles can be hazardous to your health.

It's important to clean your reusable bottle everyday and then make sure the inside is wiped dry or left open to air dry. Bacteria loves warm, moist and dark environments so it's important to aerate your bottle and disinfect it so you are not contaminating the water or other liquid you put into it. Some bottles have straws, others have intricate tops so make sure you clean each part of your water bottle separately.

Not sure what the best way to clean out your water bottle is? Here are 4 suggestions:

1. Throw it in the dishwasher- Load up you bottles (and top separately) in your regular dishwashing cycle. Before doing so read any instructions that come with the bottle to ensure it is dishwasher safe.

2. Hand wash with soap and water- Use dishwashing soap, warm water and a scrub brush or baby bottle cleaner to disinfect your bottle. Let the bottle dry, open, on a dry rack or wipe dry with a dish towel.

3. Use a delicate bleach liquid- If you are really worried about germs or stains you can use a teaspoon of Clorox bleach and warm water to clean the bottle. Let the concoction sit overnight and then rinse out with clean, warm water and soap. A small amount of bleach isn't harmful but be careful not to use to much and to clean thoroughly after rinsing.

4. Use water bottle cleansing tablets-Similar to Alkaseltzer these effervescent tablets help clean the interior of your reusable bottle. They are easy to use-just fill your water bottle up, plop in a tablet and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Then rinse out and your free to use the bottle.

Be green but be clean too. Disinfect your reusable sports bottles on a regular basis to fight germs, colds and other airborne illnesses. You'll be doing everyone a favor!

Visit 4AllPromos.com to browse from a variety of reusable and BPA free water bottles.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Studies show QR codes aren't doing the trick for mobile marketing


You're not alone if you don't use QR codes or even know what they are. More than half of people surveyed admitted that they weren't familiar with the concept. Quick Response or 'QR' codes are popping up on billboards, in magazines and even on everyday products such as soda bottles or chips bags.

These codes are being used as a new means of sparking customer curiosity as well as driving people to either the product's website or social media platforms to receive discounts, deals or more information about the product or service. The catch is you have to own a smart phone and then you have to download an app that reads these QR codes. If you have an iPhone or even a Droid this is a pretty easy process and the more common these codes get the more apps become available.

Marketers are now creating codes that send customer's to platforms that allow them to use a coupon or ticket voucher right from their phone. There's little excuse as to why you should not be checking out these codes because you never know what will be waiting once you scan it!

Quick Response codes are easy to create. There are many websites that allow you to plug in a url to send customer's to and the site generates an authentic bar code to be printed on merchandise, print products or uploaded to a website.

These codes are a unique marketing concept which can be featured on a variety of promotional products advertising a company or service. 4AllPromos can print QR codes on almost any of our more than 15,000  products.

If you are considering using a QR campaign remember these five tips to ensure your customer's respond to the codes:
1. Send customer's directly to the discount, promotion or exact platform you are choosing to promote.

2. Express a definitive plan of action-scan to receive your discount, use this QR code on your next purchase, scan code for details, etc.

3.Keep it simple. Use spare but direct text and or photos to show customer's why it is you sent them here. Don't send them to your homepage and force them to scroll down to find discounts or complete information.

4.  Test it out. Try the code with a new campaign and then use the analytic provided by the site where you created it to test it's effectiveness. Ask customer's how they found the discount, take polls and find out what people think of your QR codes. 

5. If QR codes aren't for you or your business goals the create other excited ways to draw crowds in to your mobile or social strategies. Marketing is more digital than ever so it's important to stay ahead of the curve.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Keep your children and their lunches safe!



Just in time for back-to-school preparation news about the safety of home packed lunches is making headlines this week. Although, the contents of a home-packed lunch can be healthier than a lunch from the cafeteria there are some dangers when it comes to how you pack the food.

Here are some tips on things to consider when packing your child's lunch and even your own lunch:


Tip #1: Pack Safe Food
Start out by safe packing:
• Proper hand washing: Wash hands using warm soap and water.
• Clean reusable bags: Clean spills and debris from lunch bags. Odors can be removed with a touch of baking soda on a damp cloth. Wipe and rinse with clean water.
• Avoid cross-contamination: Harmful bacteria can easily be transferred from one surface to another. Be sure cutting boards, utensils, and countertops are cleaned and sanitized before getting started. If you are preparing raw and ready-to-eat foods (like raw chicken and fresh vegetables), consider using 2 different cutting boards.
• Start cold: Place closed jars of mayonnaise, cans of tuna, bread, and other ingredients in the refrigerator the night before. Starting with cool ingredients, keeps food colder for a longer period of time.

Tip #2: Control the Temperature
A basic food safety rule is to keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot. Bacteria love the temperatures between 41 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit. By keeping food out of this temperature range, it helps slow down their grown. The first step is finding out if the school refrigerates your child’s lunch. If not, you’ll need to take some action.
• Use insulated bags: Insulated bags help keep the appropriate temperature for a longer period of time. Reusable brown bags don’t hold in temperatures and can easily rip or tear.
• To keep food cold: Reusable ice packs cost about $1 and can keep food cold for hours. Be sure to place in freezer the night before. Be aware that sometimes ice packs burst—keeping them in a re-sealable plastic bag can help avoid a big mess. Juice boxes and bottles of water can be frozen the night before.
• To keep food hot: Use a thermos for hot food. If you are using leftovers, be sure to reheat properly in microwave or stovetop before placing in thermos.
Tip #3: Toss When Necessary
Items like unopened granola bars, pretzels, nuts, dried fruits can be re-used. However, leftover refrigerated items like milk, cheese, yogurt, deli meats, cottage cheese, and sliced fruits and veggies should be tossed. These foods should not sit out at unfavorable temperatures for more than 2 hours. If there is any doubt as to whether a food is still good, then toss it out. Better safe than sorry, especially when it is your precious ones!

-Courtesy of MyRecipes.com

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Back to school means back to packing lunches


The dreaded school lunch- a soggy peanut butter and jelly sandwich, an apple, a sugary juice box and a granola bar. I don't know about you but that sounds like it could get real old, real fast. Packing a lunch most days requires some creativity; but in the long run packing a lunch can be healthier and more affordable. It's also important to plan your meals because between soccer practice, trumpet lessons and Girl Scouts it's hard to find time to sit down to find time to eat healthy and smart.

Here are some easy meal ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Remember, 4AllPromos has a huge assortment of lunch boxes and backpacks that can be custom imprinted with school or sport team names. Encourage your school to promote health eating by giving out or selling lunch boxes. Promotional products such as t-shirts, drawstring backpacks, pens, notebooks and lunch boxes are great for fundraising.

Back-to-school breakfast:
*Waffles
*Trail mix
*Fruit muffins
*Bagels and cream cheese (try strawberry or maple cream cheese to make things interesting)
*Smoothies

Let go of traditional lunches with this salad on a stick recipe:


Ingredients
  • bread
  • cheese
  • lunch meat
  • grape tomatoes
  • lettuce
  • pickles
  • olive
Instructions
  1. Cut up cubes of bread, cheese, and lunch meat (we ordered 1/2-inch-thick slices of ham and turkey at the deli counter).
  2. Slide the cubes onto a skewer with other foods your child likes, such as a grape tomato, a piece of lettuce, a pickle, or an olive.
  3. Set out a side of mayo or mustard for dippin.


What the most important meal of the day? The after-school snack! Kids should refuel after using all that brain power at school and prepare for their homework or after school activities with some protein or fresh produce. Try this creative Caterpillar recipe:


Ingredients
  • Store-bought pizza dough (half a bag)
  • 2 white button mushrooms, sliced
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • Toppings, such as peppers, carrots, olives, fresh basil, and pepperoni
  • Sauce of your choice (we used both pesto and tomato)
  • Mozzarella (we cut deli-style slices into disks with a biscuit cutter)
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 400 F. Lay a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet so that it extends slightly beyond each end. If needed, let the dough rise according to the package directions. Divide the dough into 15 one-inch balls and combine 3 balls to make the head. Have your child dust her hands with flour, then let her arrange the balls on the cookie sheet and flatten them slightly with her palms.
  2. Press the mushroom slices under the dough for legs, as shown. Brush the dough and mushrooms with olive oil, then bake until the dough is starting to crisp around the edges, about 10 minutes.
  3. While the dough bakes, create the caterpillar features from your choice of toppings. We used green peppers and carrots.
  4.  Remove the cookie sheet from the oven. Using the parchment paper as a carrier, lift the caterpillar off the cookie sheet and set it on a wire rack. When it's cool enough for your child to touch, let her paint the surface with sauce and arrange the Mozzarella and toppings. Again using the parchment, set the caterpillar back on the cookie sheet and bake it until the cheese is just starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Let it cool slightly, slice, and serve.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

10 Products to promote your new business

It's important to create hype when opening a new business. Investing in promotional products for a grand opening, product launch, holiday or special event or sale will draw in customer's looking to score some discounts and free swag. Below you will find a list of some simple yet effective products to help market your new business or deal!



T-shirts- Everyone loves a free t-shirt. Plus, apparel becomes a walking and traveling billboard for your business. Make the t-shirts bold, witty and unique to get people talking.

Magnets- What a better way to make your name stick! Okay, bad pun but seriously magnets can stick on more than just refrigerators and they have just enough space to include all your important information including phone number, e-mail address and social networking info.

Pens, notebooks, office supplies- These kinds of items will make their way onto your clients own desk and offices and serve as a friendly reminder of your products and services.


Reusable shopping bags- These kinds of bags are all the rage right now as grocery stores are offering discounts for customer's who use them in lieu of plastic bags. They also show your customer's you care about the environment!


Chip clip- Nobody likes a stale chip! Kitchen items can be very useful and there are all kinds of affordable gadgets out there that make things a little easier at mealtime. 


Key chains- Car dealerships, rental car businesses, hotels and travel agents might want to consider key chain giveaways. Help your customer's keep track of their spares!


Coffee mug- Did  you know 54% of Americans drink coffee everyday! That's a lot so this giveaway will never go to waste. Help them keep their java nice and hot with a travel mug or a custom imprinted coffee cup for their desk.


Candy or snacks- Keep the angry mob happy with candy or snacks in case they have to wait in line at your grand opening or maybe just make it available to those perusing your store.


Umbrellas- How many times has it started to pour and you find yourself without an umbrella? Help your customer's stay dry!


Calendar- A calendar will be a daily reminder of your business. Calendar's make a great holiday present.

Not sure what to give away or what fits into your budget. Give 4AllPromos a call and we can help you select the perfect promotional product!