Jewelery Responsive E-mail CampaignWe’ve just finished our first e-mail campaign for Gleim the Jeweler.  They have had a long-time account with Constant Contact – a platform we have not used for years.  We’d mainly dropped CC due to their terrible customer service and horrible phone system.  But they have dramatically turned that around.  The interface as also the best we’ve worked with – if you are not doing custom html e-mail campaigns, this would be a good option.

Our client has traced sales back to their store and their online store from this campaign, so hopefully we’ll be doing many more of these campaigns in the future.

We’re grateful to all our clients, of course, but Rachel especially enjoys working with Gleim so she can see the photos of beautiful jewelry.


Instagram Animation

This graphic is just an animated gif, but you can’t post a gif to Instagram.  If you need an animation for Instagram, you need to render a video and post that.  To see this one, you’ll need to visit our client’s feed, for which we produce content, run contests, and keep maintained, at  It’s pretty easy to do – this one took only a few minutes once the five photos were selected and prepped.


PDF vs. Out-going Link

It’s great marketing to be mentioned in print.  But if you simply link to the online version of the article, you are not getting the full benefit of the piece.

When you link to the article or post on the publishing website:

•  You are directing your visitor off of your site where you can lose them to the distractions of ads, other articles, post comments, or mentions of your competition.  (Look at all the distractions in the webpage capture of the article on the left side of our graphic above.)

•  The publisher may remove or change the link at any time.  Your article is lost and you have a dead link on your site.  (BTW, if you do go this route of simply linking to an article, put a reminder in your calendar for a few times a year to test all the links on your site so you can fix any that are broken.)

• Out-going links do not help search engine optimization (SEO) at all.

We recommend putting the content of the article to a PDF which is uploaded to your website’s server.  That way, you can control the content and remove ads, mentions of your competitors, and all distractions (see the clean article on the right side of the graphic above.)  You always have possession of the story.  And while PDFs may not be optimized for SEO the way a regular web page may be, they do help SEO.

To see samples:

HAWAII ISLAND ENERGY COOPERATIVE Click on any of the articles on this page.

SKINSPIRIT SKINCARE CLINIC AND SPA In this PDF, we removed all distractions, including mentions of our client’s competitors.  Here, we highlighted the relevant information and greyed-out the rest of the article.  Note that the URLs show the page is on our clients server.

HPD PUBLIC RELATIONS Here, we integrated press articles with items related to this event: postcard and poster (MPS designed and produced), photos, social media, blog posts, and the press release put out by our client, Hope Patricia Daly.

Send John a line for more information.




Photoshoot at Spa in San Francisco

The Hayes Valley, San Francisco location of Hayes Valley Medical is gorgeous.  It’s a beautiful facility, made even better by the artwork of Elizabeth Gorek.  We’ve been working with them on print and online marketing.  These shots have been posted to their web site.


Photo Shoot and Magazine Ad

Have you been to MenloVille?  It’s a fantastic shop on Valpariso Avenue between Alameda de las Pulgas and El Camino in Menlo Park.  It’s great for gifts and for high-end re purposed items.  We recently did a photoshoot there and then created this full-page magazine ad.  See the ad in the November issue of Gentry (we did the SkinSpirit ad too!)


Due to a terrible few weeks when many rush orders placed with a third–party were bungled by the vendor or delivered late (or both!), and we calculated a significant loss of time and money as we worked with the vendor on our client’s behalf to get reprints, a corrected order, or a refund, we have decided to change our policy on providing free customer support on rush order failures by a third–party.

From now on, any customer service time spent with third–party vendors on rush order failures will be billed to our clients at our regular hourly rate.

We know that rush orders are unavoidable and will continue to do all we can to meet any deadline, without any additional rush charges.

However, we are finding that more and more we are losing time and money responding to the issues that so often occur with a rush order or rush shipping. These issues arise from errors completely beyond our control, either from a client who has put off addressing a project or deadline, or a vendor or shipping company which has not met their promised service. Our hope is to always provide the best service and product to our clients, so we generally step in to do all we can to fix any issue, although we are not at fault and although this customer service work can be time–consuming and costly to us. This cost to us in this lack of fault and high–risk situation has led to this new policy.

Of course, if it was an error or delay on our part that caused the need for a rush, you will get our full, un–billed support until the issue is resolved.

Addressing deadlines and projects well ahead of time will prevent the high–risk rush order. For example, order all your holiday season items such as decor, gift bags and wrap, and stocking stuffers in the fall. That way you are not putting pressure on a vendor to rush a job and they can do their best work, checking and proofing as they go, and packaging it in a quality manner to prevent shipping damage. If your item arrives early and is damaged or not as promised, you have plenty of time to get a replacement or refund without impacting your deadline.

To help prevent rush shipping up-charges, we keep to a fast turn–around time. To help prevent rush orders, our newsletters include calendar reminders of upcoming holidays and other marketing dates of note to help our clients stay prepared and ahead of the game. We are happy to help our clients plan ahead and keep to a schedule. We can track down third party standard lead–times if requested, so a project management schedule can be prepared in advance.

The ultimate deterrent to procrastinating and ending up in rush order territory? The mark–ups for rush orders by third parties are astronomical.


Law Firm Website LaunchedWe recently finished this simple website for Marsten & Mosher An Association of Attorneys.  Check it out at:

They elected to do a simple site with a separate mobile version.  Their goals for this site where simple: allow clients to easily find their offices for meetings and provide a resource for those looking for the lawyers’ biographies.

They do so well from word-of-mouth marketing that they asked for only basic SEO work.

Thank you for the project, Mia and Michelle!


mousesThis – 408 252-8664 – is underlined, so it must be a phone number, right? We know, it’s irresistible to click it, and those of us with something to sell, hope you do click it. But unless the device you are holding is a smartphone, it won’t lead to a phone call.

The advantage of responsive web page and e-mail campaign design is also one of the disadvantages – the same code renders to all devices – from desktop, laptop, tablet to smartphone. Sure, these devices now offer many of the same features, but a computer is not a phone and you cannot make a phone call from it, even if you see an underlined phone number!

Fess up, how many of you have clicked on a phone number linked while on a device other than a phone? You open a dead, blank browser window or a page with a warning on it, right?

As a way to prevent a desktop, laptop or tablet user from clicking on a phone link and getting a dead page making your site look bad, we’ve come up with an intermediary page which guides the user of any device through to a successful phone connection. Here’s a sample we use in e-mail campaigns for our client, Halo Blow Dry Bar.

Pro: people who don’t understand they can’t call from a computer – they never see a dead page.  (Tech-savvy enough to know a dead page equates to a bad web site, but not tech-savvy enough to know their computer is not a phone!)

Con: it can be irritating for people who click from their phone to have to read a secondary page and click again.

We’ve learned from our clients that even in tech-savvy Silicon Valley users continue to click a phone link from a non-phone device and then complain about it. Many of our clients have opted to use an intermediary page feeling that it’s better to have people deal with two clicks to call, rather than risk a user seeing a dead web page.