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5 Reasons Why You Should Use Email to Market Your Business

13. April 2016 06:35

5 Reasons Why You Should Use Email to Market Your Business

In today’s day and age, every company has a wide range of marketing tools practically at their fingertips. In the digital world alone, you can run a Google Adwords campaign, post a graphic ad online, promote your company on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest… the list goes on and on. And while there’s value to using these tools to promote your business, I think email is still the tool with the greatest potential to reach your audience, build relationships and increase sales. So, here’re the top five reasons I think every small business should be using email for their digital marketing efforts.

Everyone has email. Your audience potential is huge essentially because if someone is online they have an email account. According to the Radicati Group, in 2013, there were 3.9 billion email accounts worldwide – that’s three times the number of Facebook and Twitter accounts combined. And that number is growing. They also project that the number of email accounts will grow to nearly 5 billion by the end of 2017.

Your audience wants to hear from you. Great email marketing is permission based – that is, your audience tells you in advance that they want to receive emails from you.  They may be current customers, you may have met them at a trade show, they may have requested additional information through your website, registered to receive your e-newsletter, or any number of other opt-in methods. Whatever way they came to you, they asked you to be in contact and look forward to your email.  And every time you reach out to them, you ensure that you stay top of mind and continue to nurture the relationship.

Email can be highly personalized. You can send a specific message to a specific audience, or even a subset of an audience, and speak directly to that unique group or individual. Most email programs make it easy to pull the recipient’s name, company, past purchases, etc. into the subject line and body of your message. This level of personalization can be powerful – and effective. A 2013 Experian report reflects a 29% higher unique open rate and a 41% increase in click-through rates when personalization is used in promotional emails.

Emails engage and drive conversions. Email is an effective, affordable marketing tool that can positively impact your company’s bottom line, and the statistics bear that out. Venture Beat reports that email marketing returns $38 for every $1 spent – that’s a 3800 percent return. CampaignMonitor.com statistics reveal that email campaigns yield six times the number of click-throughs than you’ll get from a tweet. A 2014 McKinsey report indicates that email is 40 times more likely than Twitter or Facebook to result in new customer acquisition.

Metrics, metrics, metrics. Email marketing is relatively easy to measure – and do so consistently over time. You can track how many recipients opened, forwarded, clicked a link, shared the message to social media, and more. You can even tie sales directly back to a specific email campaign. You can use the feedback to improve your message, increase effectiveness of campaigns, and positively impact your bottom line – and have the numbers to prove it!

Join us on Thursday, August 25 from 9-10:30 a.m. for an educational session designed to help you use email to build your business. Register for the session at Email Marketing - Techniques for Staying Top of Mind with Your Customers.

 Submitted by: Susan Bagnall, Owner: ConsultingMarketer.com and Ralph Bagnall, Owner: ConsultingWoodworker.com


It’s Time to Build the Muscle in Your Woodworking Business and “Get Fit” for a Successful Future

12. April 2016 09:25

It’s Time to Build the Muscle in Your Woodworking Business and “Get Fit” for a Successful Future

By Christine Corelli

Over the past few years, you’ve gotten “lean and mean.” You’ve cut costs and struggled to manage your company’s working capital.  You did all of these things and more in order to survive through the most challenging times you’ve ever experienced. 

You trimmed the fat. Now that the economy is finally improving, it’s time to build the muscle in your company and “Get Fit for a Successful Future. Although it may seem like a daunting task, there are several ways to pump up the muscle. One of the most effective is to establish an Accountability Culture. Creating this type of culture will provide you with a competitive edge while increasing your opportunities for long-term business growth.  It will also make your job much easier, and help you to develop a great reputation.

Where to Begin

Interestingly, if you were to ask your office staff and workers to define “accountability,” you may find that each person has a different definition. Some might not even have a clue. Begin to establish accountability by explaining its importance to your employees and help them to clearly understand its meaning.

In simple terms, accountability means that an individual is responsible for a positive result in their job role and accepts that responsibility. It also means that an individual must answer to you and their immediate boss. In progressive companies, however, employees are not only accountable for their performance, but they are also accountable to every member of their team. In addition, to help their company move forward, they are accountable to display initiative beyond their job description.  For example, if an employee sees something that needs to be done, they just flex their muscles and do it.  If someone needs help they help. If they receive a problem they own the problem. And, they take ownership for their role in the construction project.

Real world example

A prime example of how to establish accountability comes from a business owner. Each year in he holds an meeting. He takes his employees to a restaurant with a private room and breaks them into groups of three. Then, he directs each team to create a list of where they think the entire company performed well the previous year. Then, together, they discuss how they can build upon what they did well. 

The next area of discussion is on where performance improvement is needed. How well did we perform for our customers? Did we deliver on time? How was the quality of our workmanship?

 Proactive Complaint Prevention is key

Next, there is a discussion on how complaints might have been prevented, and what new policies and practices should they put into place to prevent complaints in the future.

Time to Excel

The next areas of discussion are to identify ways they exceeded customer expectations and how they can continue to exceed – even “Wow” the customer. Here’s where the combined brainpower of a team can come up with ideas and solutions to problems.

Accountable for what?

Next is the most important part of the event. Together, the group compiles a list of what every employee should be accountable for. Agreement is reached. This business owner recognizes that Employee Involvement is what makes organizations fit for success, as people tend to “buy-into” what they help to create.

An “Accountability List” is compiled and given to each employee. Some departments are different than others. The owner directs them to look at that list often. Throughout the year, the owner and managers “talk up” the promises they made on their “Accountability List” to their employees.

Accountability creates excellence

Build the muscle and get fit for success. Define the meaning of accountability to your employees and ask what it means to them.  Clarify the areas in which people will be held accountable. Expectations must be stated in a specific and clearly differentiating manner. To accomplish this and strive for excellence in all you do, define precisely whatever old behaviors or attitudes must be abandoned, and what new behaviors must be exhibited on a consistent basis. Below are examples of how your list might look.

“We will be accountable to:

Make sure our inventory is neat.

Never cut corners. We know that if the job is not done right, people can get hurt.

Take safety seriously, if not to an extreme

Ask if we are not sure we will ask.

Make every effort to answer the phone by the third ring and apologize if a customer is put on hold.

Improve upon how we keep the factory running smoothly.

Bring a positive attitude to customers and each other every day

Recognize that with every interaction with customers, we must remember that we are “ambassadors of the business and have the biggest effect on customer loyalty.

Be cost-conscious and avoid waste in every area

Respect company property – trucks, tools, and equipment.

Make every effort to become the best woodworking business by continuously improving the level of service we provide

Provide the same high level of service to each other, as we do to customers

Work together for the betterment of our company.

Deliver our best performance, with every task, and every interaction, every day.”

Be Patient

Positive change does not occur overnight.  At first, you may encounter some resistance and uncertainty from your team on whether establishing an accountability culture will benefit them as individuals. Set the tone and be the example for others to follow. Be relentless in your pursuit of accountability and excellence and consistently communicate its importance to others.  If you are a great boss, where workers respect and admire you, and are happy to see you when you come in each morning, your job will be easier.

Hire Right

Communicate your Accountability list and customers service policies to new hires.  Let them know they must agree to adhere to these, or they will not fit in with your culture and your team. Hire only the absolute best and most talented people who fully accept accountability.

The Bottom Line

In your efforts to establish accountability in your business, keep this in mind: You will never succeed if your people are not made to feel valued. Ideally, management should be accountable to treat their employees as well as their best customers. Recognize it’s up to your entire leadership team to keep people motivated and help instill this culture.   You motivate them by being the best leader you can possibly be, while setting the highest standards for quality workmanship and superior customer service.

Treat employees with respect and appreciate their efforts on a daily basis. To support your Accountability culture, provide a working environment that fosters dynamic leadership, employee involvement and empowerment.

Be absolutely the best boss you can be! Then, you will be able to establish the accountability you need to build the muscle in your business and become fit for success in the future.


©Copyright, 2016 Christine Corelli & Associates, Inc.

Christine Corelli will be a featured speaker at the Woodworking Fair. She is the author of six business books including the best selling Wake Up and Smell the Competition. Don’t miss her sessions! To learn more visit www.christinespeaks.com, or call 847 581 9968.



Social Media: What’s the Big Deal?

11. April 2016 12:25

Social Media:  What’s the Big Deal? 

By: Iris Montague, Research Forester: USDA Forest Service; Kathryn Arano, Associate Professor of Forest Resources Management: West Virginia University and Jan Wiedenbeck, Team Leader/Research Forest Products Technologis: USDA Forest Service

 During the past two decades, the technology advances have greatly exceeded imagination. A world that once depended largely on printed material has become heavily digitalized. These technologies allow companies and consumers to be more productive and efficient in everyday activities. Companies are no longer dependent solely on newspapers, magazines, billboards, or mass mailings to market products or distribute company information. Individuals can gather information about favorite products and keep in touch with friends, family, and colleagues all at the same time. Many studies have shown that companies that are early adopters of new technology frequently are more successful in business applications. However, with the current economic climate, many companies must be careful in their capital allocation. Yet, one technological advance, the Internet, may help companies market their products and improve business functions with very little expense to them.

Internet usage has grown exponentially since it was introduced for commercial use in the early 1990’s (All About Market Research 2010). Within 5 years of its introduction, the number of users increased from 16 million to 248 million. Today, according to Internet World Stats (November, 2015), there are almost 3.4 billion Internet users world-wide – 46 percent of the World’s population.  In North America, 88 percent of the population uses the Internet.  According to a recent study, 80 percent of Americans 18 years or older use the Internet and they spend an average of 13 hours per week online at home. The Internet also has had a great impact on companies globally. It is at once a world-wide broadcasting mechanism, a channel for information dissemination, and a medium for collaboration and interaction between individuals and their computers without regard for geographic location (Internet Society 2012).

A new Internet trend, social media networking, has had an even greater impact on the development and maintenance of social relationships. Social media can be defined as any online tool that allows social interaction between groups of people through the sharing of content, profiles, opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives. These tools may include message boards, podcasts, blogs, micro blogs, lifestreams, bookmarks, networks, communities, wikis, and vlogs. Currently, there are hundreds of social media network sites available online that cover a wide range of interests (e.g., business, politics, dating, cooking, fashion) and cater to just about every demographic group. Although the social networking services Twitter and Facebook have garnered a lot of attention in the entertainment world, these sites also have been successful in business applications. Facebook and Twitter, as well as other social media sites, provide businesses the mechanism to develop social relationships with their customers. These social media sites have allowed businesses to have “up close and personal” relationships with countless consumers, a connection that was not possible before the introduction of the Internet and social media.

Companies all over the world have responded to the strategic and operational benefits attributed to using social media as a marketing tool. Some of these benefits include gaining comprehensions into consumer behavior and preferences; urging consumers to share the brand’s message as word of mouth to their peers; increasing brand message exposure; connecting to consumers for research and development; building and increasing brand awareness; increasing brand equity; improving search engine rankings; and driving traffic to corporate websites (Trusov et al. 2009; Palmer and Koenig-Lewis 2009; Lebherz 2011). The forest products industry has thrived on communicating with and strengthening bonds within a specifically defined community (Koenig 2009). Facebook and Twitter, as well as other social media sites, provide businesses the mechanism to further develop social relationships with their customers. These close relationships were harder to cultivate with dozens to thousands of customers before the introduction of the Internet and social media. There is an opportunity, so far largely untapped, for the forest products industry to benefit from the enhanced relationships these tools create.

Join us at IWF 2016 Education Conference  for our sessions, "Social Media Tips and Trends for the Forest Product Industry" as we share information with you on how you can improve your social media game plan to achieve your business and marketing goals more effectively.

All About Market Research. 2010. Internet Growth and Stats: Today's Road to eCommerce and Global Trade. http://www.allaboutmarketresearch.com/Internet.htm

Internet Society. 2012. http://www.Internetsociety.org/Internet/Internet-51/history-Internet/briefhistory-Internet

Internet World Stats. 2015. Internet World Stats: Usage and Population Statistics.


Koenig, D. 2009. Lumber dealers cautious about social media. Hardwood Matters December: 8–10.

Palmer, A. and N. Koenig-Lewis. 2009. An experiential, social network based approach to direct marketing. Direct Mark. Int. J. 3(3):162–176.

Trusov, M., R. E. Bucklin, and K. H. Pauwels. 2009. Effects of word of mouth versus traditional marketing: Findings from an Internet Social Networking Site. J. Mark. 73(5):90–102.

Lebherz, P. R. 2011. Relevant factors for the impact of social media marketing strategies: empirical study of the internet travel sector. B.S. Thesis. Karlsruher Institut für Technologie. 119 p.


Estimating – from days to minutes!

4. April 2016 12:47

Estimating – from days to minutes!

Windows/Doors/Modular Buildings: For the past 10 years D3 Technologies has been working with the leading industry tools used in the design-to-estimate-to-engineering process.  To that regard, they have also developed many of those industry leading tools along with providing clients the means to truly achieve their goals.  While working with companies that design many different products (HVAC, Fans/Blowers, Tanks, Conveyors, Canopies, etc.) we have done a lot to help clients caught in the gray area between manufactured products and construction.


The Current State: these industries are all old, which has many good things to boast, however, there are several things that can be a detractor when you consider leveraging technology and the change that it can bring or the resistance to it.  It is not uncommon to see large numbers of tenured team members with 20+ years at a manufacturer.  That ability to have very knowledgeable employees is a big strength not always seen in other industries that often have a very fluid workforce with very wide age ranges.


The Challenge: old and stable as they are, it is not without the need to adapt to market changes and to be able to leverage technology where it makes sense.  However, that is not always very easy to do considering the leap that may need to take place between the user and the technology.  It is also not without risk when you consider the fear that change can bring.  This is very true for these industries that often has a very tough and rugged industrial feel to them when you consider their cultures.


The Change: very early on in D3’s focus on automation technologies, we realized that there were some realizations starting to occur that were gaining momentum.  Certain scenarios were beginning to play out that were leading to a shift that very coincidentally led to a fundamental cultural change.  Companies in general were starting to leverage sophisticated solutions at a rapid rate.  Here are some of the ingredients that we witnessed:

·        A very predictable product that was same but different

·        Similar industry challenges from one company to the next

·        Similar industry use of Excel

·        Similar industry use of AutoCAD

·        Rapidly evolving technical solutions that solved parts of the problem

·        Early adopters – companies willing to invest to prove it out and remove the problem


Check back for my next post that will cover the solutions and results of the work we have done for others.


Daryl Price

Director of Sales

D3 Technologies



International Woodworking Fair Registration is now open

29. February 2016 09:17

The International Woodworking Fair attendee registration is now open. IWF will take place August 24-27, 2016 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta Georgia USA.

Industry professionals will have the opportunity to meet with over 900 exhibitors which will be displaying thousands of products. Go online to register for the Fair at www.iwfatlanta.com.


IWF Educational Program Discounts

17. July 2014 08:07

The conference is biggest year for IWF. Take advantage of great deals on discounts. Buy a one-day symposium and receive one free educational session per individual registration.


Or buy one educational session and get 50% off of the second educational session. 

IWF Opening Night Reception is August 20th at the Georgia World Congress Center

14. July 2014 09:53

IWF Opening Night Reception will take place August 20th at the Georgia World Congress. The reception will begin at 5pm and end at 9pm.


Enjoy some Southern Rock Style Music, drinks and some food while you relax and network with fellow industry professionals. The Reception is open for exhibitors and attendees.


Price to attend is $85 per person. Or you can purchase a table of 10 for $750.00

IWF Network Group Membership

10. September 2013 09:34

IWF has created a new network group. Please sign up if you are supplier/exhibitor so that you can take advantage of the opportunity to upload video, product news, blog and join the forum.


If you are user/attendee. Make sure you sign-up to join the newsletter, get special discounts on registration, post jobs, blog, join the forum etc.

The membership is at the top of the www.iwfatlanta.com home page. Where it says Are you already a member.


Welcome to the IWF Atlanta blog

23. May 2013 23:00

IWF is where people connect online and face-to-face. 


As we launch our new blog we look forward to all of you joining us in a conversation. Sharing ideas, product innovations and answers to industry challenges.


IWF is already again the largest show in the Americas with over 14 months until the next IWF. 

We look forward to you joining us online and meeting with you face-to-face at IWF 2014.



Good luck and happy writing.

The IWFAtlanta team