Sunday, March 18, 2012

Paperly's Field Trip to Personalization Mall

This past week, I had the good fortune of being invited to visit Personalization Mall ( in Burr Ridge, IL. I've always held PMall in the highest esteem. Their line of personalized products is enviably large, their online preview technology is best-in-class and their belief that "nothing says 'you're special' like a personalized gift" mimics Paperly's.

I learned so much from my visit; I wish I could share everything.  However, I would never wish to betray their confidences. So instead of delving into specifics, I wanted to share a few general, but important, observations:

1. Personalization is HUGE. PMall personalizes everything from picture frames to doormats... and everything in-between. They have proved that it's big business putting names on things.  Paperly's personalization model is built similarly, but using a completely different distribution model.  Theirs is online; Paperly's is via at-home parties.

2. Personalization is SCALABLE.  Just a few years ago, it would have been impossible to successfully conduct "mass personalization".  Today's technology has made it incredibly do-able.  PMall has proven you can do millions of personalized orders.  Paperly aims to do the same.

3. Personalization is SPECIAL.  Paperly is built on the belief that the handwritten note - and for that matter, a personalized gift - will be forever treasured. Turns out, PMall is built on the same principle.  In today's electronic world, both companies appreciate the power of making connections via personalized products.

I'm honored to share the same competitive space as Personalization Mall (even though we compete using vastly different distribution models). I thank them for the office visit.  It meant a lot to me.  I aspire to be as successful as PMall.  Given Paperly's unfaltering path towards personalization, I'm confident we'll be their equal sooner than later.

- Jay Rudman, CEO, Paperly
The leading direct seller of personalized stationery & gifts

Friday, March 2, 2012

Paperly's Leap Day Promotion

On February 29th, Paperly launched its first-ever Leap Day Promotion: For 24 hours, Paperly's Starter Kit was marked down to only $29. (The regular price is $99).  Paperly's Kit has never been priced so low and may never be again... until Leap Day 2016.

Wow! What a response we received! In those 24 hours, Paperly enrolled 25 new Consultants. I was utterly speechless!

Now that I've had a bit to digest the impact of the promotion, I thought I'd share a few of my thoughts:

1. Demand is high. It's exciting to know there are so many who want to be Paperly Consultants. And why wouldn't they?  It's fun and energizing to be part of a fast-growing, direct selling company that sells one-of-a-kind, personalized paper and gift products.

2. Sometimes time is your friend.  Was $29 ridiculously inexpensive, and therefore, hard to pass up?  Absolutely. But personally, I think the 24-hour time limit was even more potent. Knowing that the deal was fleeting caused the on-rush. That's a good lesson for all of us to remember for future promotions.

3.  The Field trumps Home Office.  I purposely decided not to promote this limited-time offer through corporate. Instead, I asked Paperly's Consultants to use their marketing prowess to communicate the promotion to their potential teammates. Their efforts far exceeded my expectations (and abilities)! Facebook, blogs, email campaigns... you name it, the Field tried it and they were wildly successful! I believe 80-90% of the new Consultants enrolled because of a personal connection with an existing Consultant. I was so excited to see this number, because these new Consultants now have a friend and mentor to help kick-start their Paperly business.

Now that the promotion is over, our job is to train, educate, mentor and lead these new Consultants towards a wildly successful Paperly business.  And of course, I've got to put on my thinking cap as to what Paperly's next great promotion will be.  Any suggestions?

- Jay Rudman, CEO, Paperly
The leading direct seller of personalized stationery and gifts