24 & July 1,
2003 Volume 3 Issue 3
An “ole fashioned” story
Stickers have been around since paper and glue came together. Sometime
way back when.
Jack Renton, credit manager at a construction company in Sydney, Australia “discovered” stickers
in 1965. And a business is born.
This is one of those garage / attic / kitchen table stories. Really! Jack
started his own business because, although he liked the idea of colorful
and enticing stickers to remind customers to pay their bill, he didn’t
like the designs available. So, being a true entrepreneur, he started his
own company and did something about it. Soon his wife Patience and their
three kids were involved.
It wasn’t long before part-time became full-time, and the kids, including
Peter Renton, are making it their life work. There is an exploratory look
at small New Zealand ... and a big time interest in the huge United States.
Peter lands in the USA October 7, 1991. Within a week the first mail-order
package is in the post, and the rest is marketing history.
First, a little about “why stickers”. Paying bills is never
fun. Yet, for a business getting paid for product and service is what it’s
all about. The bottom line. Cash flow is life blood. When it dries up big
time problems happen. Lack of income is particularly painful for small companies
- it can hurt a larger organization, too.
For very human reasons, a fun and colorful message on a sticker slapped
on an invoice gets attention. It is out of the ordinary. It is seen. It
is different. It is kind and polite. It can be inviting. It gives a message
in a very few words. And it makes an impact. It can even be a part of building
relationships with customers. Each a very good thing.
Collection telephone calls are never welcome. Frequently unpleasant. And
can be embarrassing. Yet, a simple sticker that “pops” off the
page with a friendly reminder message that money is owed, can, and does
work. And work well. Much of the time.
So, stickers that remind customers to pay their bill is the business. Simple. “Ole
fashion”. And a true direct marketing story.
Peter Renton comes to the States. He looks at San Diego, Portland, and
picks Denver as his base. A dozen years later he still writes his direct
mail letters with a pinch of humor and a major touch of personality. Here
is an example;
“Sometimes they get it right. For days the weather forecasters
had been warning of this monster winter storm that was going to hit Denver.
And what a monster it was.
“As I sit in my office today it is still snowing lightly and we
have already had almost three feet of snow here at work. Some areas have
more (up to 7 feet!), some less, but everywhere
has had at least two feet of snow. There are no cars on the roads; I
see the occasional snow plow
come trundling by.”
This story continues for 5 more paragraphs! Not a bit of news about business.
No pitch. It’s not until the final 25 words of a full page letter
that a comment is made about the sales flyer enclosed. And that message
is softly nestled against a graphic of their Koala bear mascot.
You undoubted noticed the salutation; G’day. Peter plays his Australian
heritage to the hilt. Not in place of real marketing and business ... as
an asset with it.
This letter arrives in a simple, plain, white with black corner card window
business size #10 envelope, with a presort USPS postage indicia. No teaser
copy. Inside is a four color flyer filled on one side with their “Most
Popular Collection Stickers”, and on the other with “Say Thank
You All Year Long” examples. The pricing is summarized in a box. The
4 East Ways To Order info (phone, fax, mail, internet) is adjacent. Oh,
there is a one color/one side order form - no BRE.
Talk about basic direct mail!
A while back I visited Peter in his Colorado office. And saw tens of thousands
of stickers - and truly hundreds of variations. In a most tasteful way Peter
has created a new variety of red/white/blue flag, 4th of July and other
patriotic stickers, window decals and bumper stickers. The timing is right
- he is there.
The web is a major part of Renton’s Inc. There are several pieces
of the site you may find worthy of a visit ...
The signature block of the last E-mail I received from Peter closes with
his name, title, the 800#, web site URL ... and this; “America’s
largest selection of Collection, Thank You and Holiday stickers.”
I believe him.
. . . a loose thought
I used to believe
. . . is a collection of ideas adults thought were true when they were
It will remind you what it was like to be a child, fascinated and horrified
by the world in equal parts. These pages reassure you that the things you
used to believe weren't so strange after all.
For instance . . . "My brother and I used to fight over the chicken
legs whenever my mom would cook it. So Mom would always buy an extra package
of legs when she bought a whole chicken. She and had my brother and me convinced
that all this had come from a six-legged racing chicken.”
For more of the “I used to believe” site and stories,
"click" here - www.iusedtobelieve.com.
Speaking of Speaking
Almost forever ago I met Lilly Walters.
She reminds me it was in South Africa. If YOU are interested in ways to
enhance your speaking skills, and how to be a terrific presenter at your next
meeting ... or want to look at the world of paid professional speaking - Lilly
Walters can help.
She is the author of four best selling books on the subject. And Lilly has an
interesting website, too:
Drop in and visit. And tell Lilly "Ray sent me".
"It IS What's Next!"
It's become known as "the story".
I've shared it with a number of health care organizations, a database
marketing business, a direct marketing firm, a publishing organization,
a DM association
- and several others. And I'm ready to bring it to your group. (Visit
It IS What's Next!)
When you have a need for a 40-60 minute program, I'll give you this
different, interesting, meaningful, warm and true action presentation.
If you want a half-day
interactive seminar, that can happen, too. For your club. Your company. Your
organization. Your association. Your school or University. Any group you have.
At any place. At any time. For any reason.
It IS What’s Next! is available to you as a Keynote Address. As a special
program. As an opening or closing presentation. As a different / unique session.
Interested? Visit the web site @ It IS What's
And E-mail me Ray@RayJutkins.com
and let's make it happen. I look forward to hearing from you. Soon.
A FREE Audio Tape for YOU!
Because Ray Speaks ... it is expected he'll have audio and video tapes.
Why? To share with speakers bureaus, meeting planners and others interested
in what he may have to say. So "yes", there is an audio
tape. And he'll be happy to send you a copy. FREE. No strings attached.
The tape is a selection from several speaking gigs. A few case histories,
some "how to..." ideas. And such. About an hour's worth
of chatter ... some of it actually very entertaining!
If you'd like you very own copy, send an E-mail to ...
with your complete mailing address.
Your tape will be on the way to you within the day.
Oh, when you have a need for a speaker, and feel a demo video tape
could be valuable to you, just ask for a copy. Not much use for video
these days - with the Web - still, we'll be happy to forward one to
This E-zine is hopefully a communication missile. Sometimes, it probably
This pair from Anonymous fit that later thinking.
“I wish people who have trouble communicating
just shut up!”
And . . .
knowledge is more stupid than ignorance.”
"Quotes with Direction" has been a part of my web site collection
from day one. If you like quotes visit the archives ... www.rayjutkins.com/quotes/.
There's a new batch up every 4 weeks.
Magic Marketing Minutes
How You Use Direct Mail
What does Direct Mail do? Direct Mail can do these 5 things:
Help you get new customers. Because Direct Mail is target--specific
you can identify and reach your market specifically
every time. This allows you the opportunity to reach out into the marketplace
find yourself some
Direct Mail can help you keep the customers you've
already got. Your best source of new business
is your current customer base. Because
who those people are, you can us Direct Mail
to reach out and ask them to come back again. And again! And continue to grow
from you current
Direct Mail allows you to upgrade your current
customers to a higher level. When
people are already doing business with you,
it's not unusual that you can upgrade
them to a higher level. An upscale model. A more advanced technology.
helps you upgrade.
Direct Mail opens the door for you
to cross-sell your customers.
If they buy hardware, you sell them software. If
them a hamburger
about some french fries.
Cross-sell your customers.
Direct Mail allows you
to reach out to
your customers and keep them coming back for more. And
more. And more!
offers the opportunity
to continue to
stay in touch with your customers and let them know you do
care about them.
5ive ideas on
use Direct Mail. Give them a try one-by-one.
... another Idea
New business friend Gerry Sacks of Houston, Texas sent me here. It turns out
this leading information
resource from the financial world offers a
collection of marketing & sales ideas. Still, no matter your business, you
will find good material here. Offered by 80+ experts (including me!)
... visit ProducersWEB.com