Monday, June 28, 2010

Paperly Promotions: The Good & The Bad

Save 25%!
Double your Hostess Rewards!
Starter Kits reduced to $149!

All of the above are examples of promotions Paperly either has offered in the past or could offer in the future.

Typically, Paperly offers such promotions once per month.  Some target customers who are interested in purchasing Paperly products: e.g. “save 25%” or “buy 2, get 1 free”.  Others target Hostesses who wish to maximize the free or discounted products they can earn: e.g. “double your Hostess Rewards” or “book a party at your current party and earn a $20 credit”.  And lastly, some target Consultants who either run, or wish to run a Paperly business: e.g. “Starter Kits reduced to $149” or “double the Paperly dollars you earn”.

Given that brief summary, most would say “Paperly promotions are good!”  But there are downsides to promotions.  First, promotions “train” customers, Hostesses and Consultants to “wait for a better deal”.  Like a bad drug, promotions are habit forming.  Plus, folks constantly expect better and better deals.  For example, a customer might say, “last year you gave 25% off, what are you going to do for me this year?”  To combat this behavior, Paperly purposely attempts to announce its promotions as late as reasonably possible, often just 7-14 days prior to the beginning of that promotion.  This purposeful tardiness lessens the likelihood of customers, Hostesses and Consultants delaying their actions while awaiting the next best thing.

A second negative is that Paperly’s promotions typically target only one constituent – either customers, Hostesses or Consultants – and the 2 remaining groups feel “left out”.  To be fair, Paperly tries to evenly rotate the promotions it offers.  However, certain promotions simply work better at certain times of the year.  For example, hosting a Paperly party in May can sometimes be challenging because the seasons are changing, schools are ending and sports leagues are in full gear.  Therefore, it may make sense for Paperly to offer a Hostess promotion in May.

All-in-all, Paperly will continue to offer monthly promotions, assuming it remains prudent, because we believe promotions are greatly appreciated by customers, Hostesses and Consultants.  Yet, Paperly also acknowledges that perhaps tomorrow, or some time far into the future, we may need to dampen the reliance on promotions.  Until then, I urge to take advantage of the promotions we offer… you never know when, or if it’ll come again.

Jay Rudman, CEO * Co-Owner, Paperly

Friday, June 18, 2010

Not your typical stationery finds… MUCH more

I have been fortunate to host two Paperly parties within the past few years, and it’s so nice to see how the company keeps their stationery and gifts current. They offer so much more than just "stationery"! Everyone who attended the parties was able to find that perfect thing for them  or that perfect gift for someone else. The personalized gift tags and stickers were a huge hit, and the wine tags are adorable. Paperly also offers many items for kids, as well: plates, placemats, and ‘thank you‘ notes for all of those party gifts the kids receive. The personalized self-ink stamps were probably the most popular items. They’re great for everyday use. All told, my friends LOVE everything they ordered – once they could finally decide among Paperly’s unique items. I know that we’ll all continue to check out the latest at Paperly – it’s hard not to!

CarrieP, 2x Paperly Hostess


A couple of the items Carrie's ordered using her Hostess Rewards:

Monday, June 14, 2010

Paperly & My Six-Year Old Niece

I recently had the joy of helping my soon-to-be six-year old niece design her birthday invitations. Since the party theme was Pinkalicious (like the book, for those who don’t know) the invitations had to be … pink, of course! Deciding on the borders and ink color were easy, since she already knew she wanted pink. However, choosing the perfect icon wasn’t as simple, since Paperly has so many cute “girly” options that would complement her party theme. Even for a six-year old, she is a very thorough researcher, so she carefully browsed the catalog for any designs that were pink and recorded their item numbers. Then she looked at each one online several times to narrow down the choices to her favorite three. She still couldn’t decide and wanted a little more time to think about it.

Two days later, as we celebrated her last day of Kindergarten, she announced she had chosen #10725 (Garden from the Personally Yours collection) for her invitations. I doubted she had remembered the correct item number and consulted the Paperly Web site via my BlackBerry to search for the item. Sure enough, she had the numbers exactly correct. Well, of course, she had. Aside from her incredible memory (which I should know by now not to question), she had even more reason to remember these numbers for they represented a very special day (for which she had been planning a very long time) for a very special girl.

Below, I’ve included an online proof.  I can’t wait for the invitations to arrive!

LauraS, Paperly Consultant (

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Money matters, but it’s not the only thing

To date, the #1 reason Consultants have joined Paperly is because they love our products.  The #2 reason is that they’re looking for a fun, stay-at-home business that isn’t overly saturated in their area.  Not until you get to #3 does the word “income” or “money” start to appear.

As Paperly’s co-owner, I’m VERY pleased to know that folks are joining Paperly for the right reasons!  After all, if my Consultants are not passionate about our products, then their “selling” of Paperly’s stationery is essentially a farce, and ultimately, that Consultant will fail.

That said, even though money is #3 on the list, it does matter.  As Paperly’s CEO, I need to ensure Consultants see the rewards of their efforts… and fast.  Thus, Paperly has begun the complex task of reviewing its compensation plan.  To me, Paperly’s comp plan needs to achieve the following 3 objectives:

1. Enable the “Seller” to succeed
Not every Paperly Consultant wants to recruit or manage a team.  Many simply enjoy selling Paperly’s products.  As such, I need to help these Consultants earn a very competitive commission on their personal sales, plus reward them with significant bonuses when they exceed reasonable targets.

2. Let the “Leaders” thrive
Some Consultants want to share their passion for Paperly with others.  They relish sponsoring others.  They love the challenge of building, managing and leading a team.  As such, I want these Consultants to earn a commission on the success of their direct recruits, their recruits’ recruits, and so on.  To me, a team leader spends a significant portion of her time cultivating her team, and therefore, needs to be rewarded when her team succeeds.

3. Provide plenty of “Known Surprises”
What’s a “known surprise”?  Imagine joining Paperly, reviewing the comp plan, and seeing that one day, you may earn a $100 bonus when X or Y occurs.  Sure, you know that bonus exists, but you forget about it, because you’re too busy falling in love with your Starter Kit and booking parties.  Then, a month or two pass, and you see in your commission check an extra $100 because you achieved X or Y.  Wow!  What a wonderful surprise, even though you knew it existed.  To me, a Consultant needs a constant shot of such surprises – often known but forgotten – that makes her smile and say, “yahoo!”

All 3 of these objectives will underlie Paperly’s future comp plan.  We’re confident it’ll enable Paperly to continue its torrid growth.  Personally, I can’t wait to start writing bigger and bigger commission checks to my Consultants.

Jay Rudman, CEO * Co-Owner, Paperly