Enter your email for updates: 

Sprint Your Way to Savings

Filed under: Guest Blog, Member Benefits

Are your clients, family, friends and colleagues contacting you more frequently on your cell phone or by text message? Landlines, what are those?

I recently spent a few days in New York visiting family (yes, I’m a native New Yorker transplanted to Pennsylvania). At dinner one night, I was amazed at the number of people either talking on their cell phone or feverishly texting – something I try to avoid. Seems those of us who are “hooked” never turn our phones off because we’re afraid we’ll miss something.

With cell phones and wireless technology being a major mode of professional and personal communications, having the ability to cut monthly costs is a welcomed opportunity – an opportunity ASI members are taking advantage of through an exclusive discount program with Sprint.

I’m thrilled to tell you we recently negotiated even better discounts* that enable members, their employees and families to save even more.

  •  15% on select corporate liable plans
  • 10% on select individual liable plans

No worries if you’ve already enrolled your account will automatically roll over to the new enhanced rates. You won’t have to lift a finger to save even more on your wireless services.

If you haven’t enrolled yet, put your phone or blackberry down and click here to get started.

Please don’t hesitate to email benefits@asicentral.com, with questions, comments or suggestions regarding ASI’s Member Benefit programs.

– Cathy

Cathy Martino is ASI’s affiliate relations manager.

*Discount does not apply to Simply Everything Plans and Mobile Broadband plans.

A Virtual Thumbs Up

Filed under: ASI Shows, News About ASI

We love feedback because it helps us continually improve our products and services. Of course, we especially love positive feedback because it makes our day.

This week, during another of our popular Virtual Trade Shows, we got a number of encouraging messages and emails from participants. Here’s a sampling:

  • Todd B: I just want to let you know that I really enjoyed my first virtual show today.  The ease to navigate through the show and chat with the suppliers was amazingly seamless and productive.  I learned about many new products and was able to build some new relationships that will help me generate new sales.
  •  Becky T: I love the virtual trade show. No questions, just wanted to thank you guys for doing these virtual shows. It’s hard to get to a show sometimes when you are a small business.
  •  Dan: This is very impressive. We are getting a lot of activity both on the site and via e-mail.
  •  Phyllis E: Really am loving it. This is my first time attending a virtual show.

The June 22 trade show attracted top exhibitors, including Graphco Line (asi/57956), Ingredients Corp. of America (asi/62649), Logo Mats Inc. (asi/67849) and World Emblem (asi/98264). Each booth had an average of 812 visitors, and distributors spent about 47 minutes enjoying the show.

But there’s always room for more. In fact, since it’s a virtual experience, there’s room for everyone.

We know the all-day, online event is effective because exhibiting suppliers experience an average 24% increase in ESP searches the day after each show.

And if you missed this week’s show, you can access it on-demand at www.asicentral.com/vts.

Virtual events certainly won’t replace our bricks-and-mortar shows (Chicago is in a few weeks!) but definitely qualify as an added bonus.  The next ASI Virtual Trade Show is Wednesday, September 22 from 10 a.m. -3 p.m. ET.

Let me know how your virtual experience went by posting a comment or emailing me here. I’m also on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Celebrate the Top 10 U.S.-Made Promo Products

Filed under: News About ASI, Using Ad Specialties

Not long ago, The New York Times asked “Is anything made in the U.S.A. anymore?” Their answer? “You’d be surprised.” I know I was.

The U.S. remains by far the world’s leading manufacturer by value of goods produced. For every $1 of value produced in China factories, the United States generates $2.50, the Times said.

ASI is happy to do its part with its first-ever Top 10 list of promotional products made in the U.S., proving once again that the innovative American spirit remains in full force when it comes to promo products and creative ad campaigns.

Just in time to celebrate summer and Independence Day, here’s our list of Top 10 Made-in-the-USA Products:

  • Ice Cream Cone Hat: Fun, goofy hat is the perfect promo for ice cream shops.
  • Fireworks Fan/Viewer: Hand fan cools user and viewer enhances rockets’ red glare.
  • Picnic Stick: Jams into the sand or campsite to hold beverages without a wobble.
  • Head Lamp: Look out for bears! Great for hands-free campsite lighting and giveaways.
  • Flying Disc: For beach and outdoor promos, Frisbee golf courses or leagues.
  • Kite: Go fly one at your next corporate picnic. Comes bagged for easy hanging.
  • Igloo Cooler: Terrific addition to tailgating promotions.
  • Picnic Backpack: Party on-the-go with this catch-all backpack.
  • Flashing Buttons: Lights up any nightclub promotion.
  • Freezer Pop Mold: Perfect reminder for motels and hotels.

To see photos of the products and purchasing information for each, click here. To read our press release, click here.

What’s your favorite U.S.-made product? Let me know by posting a comment or emailing me here. I’m also on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Discount Credit Lines for Your Equipment Needs

Filed under: Industry Initiatives, Member Benefits, Members, News About ASI

At a time when banks and credit card companies are tightening up lines of credit, ASI is smoothing the way for members to increase their cash flow while building their business through another new member benefit.

The discount program – now available through ASI affiliate InteliLease – will save members an average of $800 on every $20,000 credit line used for new or upgraded equipment. 

That means any company, large or small, new or established, can apply for a line of credit at the lowest, most competitive rates available to lease everything from computers, furniture and phone systems to copiers, software (including ASI ProfitMaker) and more.

Program features include:

  • Lowest rate guarantee on up to $2 million in equipment leases
  • Instant approval on up to $6,000
  • All application fees waived
  • New businesses welcome.

ASI extensively researched numerous equipment leasing programs before selecting InteliLease for its low rates, personalized service and ease of application.

For more information, click here to read our press release. And let me know your favorite ASI benefit by posting a comment or emailing me here.  I’m also on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.



We’ve Got Your Number

Filed under: Guest Blog, Member Benefits, News About ASI, Using Ad Specialties

What would you say if someone offered you a complete customer service center – for free?

That’s exactly what ASI is now offering distributors who buy our 2011 Spectrum catalog. In December, the first 100,000 Spectrums will come complete with an 800 number on each page that leads to an ASI call center. When end-buyers need info on any of over 500 products, a representative will happily provide it.

Better yet – the ASI representative will then contact the distributor to let them know they have a hot lead and an interested client.

There’s no additional cost. The catalog just needs to be preordered before August 4. For more information, click here to read our press release.

With this latest program, distributors can better market themselves as a sophisticated, full-service operation – no matter their company size. And suppliers now have a way to track the performance of their advertising in the catalog.

Spectrum is already one of the most recognized catalogs in the industry, and the 2011 edition will still feature all of the qualities that make it so successful:

• “Customer Favorites” section, highlighting the most popular products
• Self-mailer size that fits easily into a 6” x 9” envelope
• Over 525 products from 100 quality suppliers
• Free digital version, including a customizable version on LogoMall websites.

Spectrum, which prints in November with a total circulation of 625,000, is just one of nine customized catalogs offered by ASI as sales-generating tools for suppliers to advertise a wide variety of products and for distributors to sell, market and promote their brand.

Please contact me at dbrown@asicentral.com or at 800-546-1350 if you’re interested in learning more about the program. Since we’re printing a limited number, this will be on a first-come, first-served basis, so I urge to be the first to take advantage of this special program today.

– Dan

Dan Brown is ASI’s executive director of distributor services.

Advisory Board Nominations Now Open

Filed under: Community, News About ASI

The only idea worth having is the one worth sharing. And one of the best idea-sharing forums in the industry is now accepting nominations. Now through July 31, you can nominate yourself or someone else for a term on any of four ASI Advisory Boards.

It’s simple. Just click here for more info and to submit a name.

 The ASI nominating committee (comprised of advisory board members and ASI staff) will review all nominations and open the pool to voting from September 1-30. The new board members will be announced at the ASI Power Summit in November and start their new terms in January 2011.

The four ASI advisory boards that help guide ASI and the industry are:

  • ASI Safety and Legislative Advisory Board
  • ASI Technology and Operations Advisory Board
  • ASI Marketing and Research Advisory Board
  • ASI Advisory Board

Who knows? Your next great idea could make a world of difference.

As always, I’d love to know your thoughts, so please post a comment or email me here. I’m also on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.


Save Thousands in Credit Card Processing Fees

Filed under: Guest Blog, Industry Initiatives, Member Benefits

Does your jaw drop to the floor each time you open your credit card statement?  One comment I often hear from members is they’re getting “killed” with additional merchant account fees.

You may not know, but there are two types of merchant account rate/fee structures:

  •  Tiered Rate: The most common merchant account structure, where all transactions fall to one of three tiers depending on the card type and how it is presented.  These tiers are commonly referred to as “qualified,” “mid-qualified” and “non-qualified.” 
  •  Interchange Pass Through (ICP): A universal schedule of Visa & MasterCard costs (every bank/processor pays the same cost) for every different transaction card type and the various ways the transaction can be presented. 

Ours is a B2B industry and most cards used are key-in business/commercial cards.  With most merchant accounts being the “tiered” type, the majority of transactions fall to the higher non-qualified (NQ) rate, which can be as high as 4% or more, depending on the processor/provider.  Yikes!

An ICP account eliminates all of those additional mid and non-qualified fees.  However, ICP pricing is traditionally limited to large volume merchant accounts ($120,000-$250,000 in annual processing volume).  Now, this is no longer the case, thanks to a new and exclusive ASI member program.

To help members save even more, ASI affiliate Access Group has agreed to offer all ASI members interchange plus pricing, regardless of their processing volume.  You can even get a free, no obligation savings comparison to see how much you will save by switching to the ASI member program.

The comment I hear the most from members who have switched to Access Group is “Wow, I’m saving at least 30% on processing costs each month.” Some bigger member companies who switched are now saving as much as $40,000 annually. 

Be sure to take a few minutes to look into this great ASI member benefit, get your savings comparison and let me know what you think.

Click here to request your free, no-obligation savings comparison to see how much you can save with the ASI member merchant account processing program.

In addition to discounts on merchant account processing, ASI members save on shipping, equipment lease lines of credit, wireless services with Sprint™, graphic and design services, and much more. Visit http://www.spotasisavings.com/ (asicentral username and password required) to learn more about how your ASI membership can save you thousands each year.

Please don’t hesitate to email benefits@asicentral.com with questions, comments or suggestions regarding ASI’s Member Benefit programs.

— Cathy

Cathy Martino is ASI’s affiliate relations manager.