What Our Customers Are Saying – Camp Daggett

We love helping our customers beyond just printing! This month’s customer feedback is from Grace Ketchum, Development Director at Camp Daggett

Annual Giving 2017 - Camp Daggett
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Camp Daggett’s 2017 Annual Giving Report

Many non-profits are skittish about direct mail fundraising. Unlike email and phone calls to donors which are free, direct mail requires an initial investment of time and money.

With direct mail, there are design, printing, and mailing costs involved, so organizations worry about whether they should use it, and if they do use it, they worry about whether or not they’re doing it right.

The team at Mitchell Graphics guides non-profit appeal planners through the process. We assist with copy writing and design to ensure your message is tailored to encourage recipient response. Our mailing experts scrub your house list to ensure your pieces are landing in the hands of your targets and help you develop a qualified prospect list through demographic profiling to find new donors.

As Camp Daggett learned with their November mailing through Mitchell Graphics, a well-written letter, presented in a graphically appealing manner, with a simple response mechanism can produce powerful results. Camp Daggett Development Director Grace Ketchum shared the following:

“The annual appeal of 2017 was very successful and met our goal of reaching $25,000 for general operations. In addition, significant dollars were raised for the Camp Daggett Adventure Center (CDAC) and the Camp Daggett Funds within the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation and the Charlevoix County Community Foundation.

Additional dollars were also designated for Summer Camp scholarships. There were a total of 131 donors, 24 of which were new donors. These are increases over the previous year. Thank you to all that helped us meet our goals!”

Our non-profit partners have a mission and we are dedicated to helping them share that mission with their stakeholders and to raise funds needed to reach their goals.

Click here to learn more about Mitchell’s nonprofit partnerships. Read about the Grand Traverse Conservation District case study by clicking here.

Interested in working with Mitchell Graphics? Click here to find out what else we can assist you with or call:
Petoskey Location: 231-347-4635
Traverse City Location: 231-947-5311

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What Our Customers Are Saying – Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area

We love helping our customers beyond just printing! This month’s customer feedback is from Judy Vajda, Executive Officer at Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area

Customer Testimonial

“From customer service, to graphic design ideas, to the finished product, Mitchell Graphics has provided the Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area with superior service.” 

More great feedback from happy customers is a great way to ring in the new year! Judy appreciates Mitchell Graphics’ variety of options, high-quality products, and helpful service. As a customer of Mitchell Graphics since 2001, it is exciting to hear our customers say our quality has never faltered. 

Mitchell Graphics partners with the Home Builders Association to provide graphic design and branding expertise as well as direct mail pieces, the membership directory, and a Parade of Homes guide. Aside from these specialized pieces, Mitchell also assists with office products including business cards and stationary.

“Jeff Dufort has endless energy and strives for success! He is a vital resource to the Home Builders Association. Jayne is also amazing to work with! Although we contract with a marketing firm, we have started to work with Jayne for the creative on several projects. Your team is friendly and approachable.”

A 17-year partnership and counting! Mitchell Graphics is proud to partner with Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area and work with such great people like Judy Vajda. A huge thank you to our Traverse City office, Jeff Dufort and Jayne Kellogg. 

Learn more about Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area by clicking here.

Interested in working with Mitchell Graphics? Click here to find out what else we can assist you with or call:
Petoskey Location: 231-347-4635
Traverse City Location: 231-947-5311

What Our Customers Are Saying – ODTmaps

We love helping our customers beyond just printing! Read below to hear what Bob Abramms, Chair-of-the-Board at ODTmaps, has to say about his experience while working with Mitchell Graphics.

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“We have huge appreciation for all the great work Mitchell Graphics has done for ODTmaps. Our first order was placed in 2001, and was for 50,000 cards. We chose Mitchell based on price, as they were competitive with all the other quality postcard manufacturers. But it soon became apparent that we were getting far more than just good prices…

Mitchell’s staff guided us through the production process and had quality standards that met and exceeded our own. They worked to tweak files and bring them up to snuff for very modest charges. Eventually in the last 16 years we ran over 362,000 cards. The latest job we ran was quite complex and included 14 different postcards totaling 91,000 units.

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One of the ODTmaps postcards from the most recent print run Mitchell Graphics produced.

Again, attention to exacting quality standards was only part of the value we received. I was coached on the value of including new technology (at least new for ODTmaps) like QR codes. We also took Mitchell’s recommendations about including Facebook logos on each of our cards. They know the business. Not just of printing high-quality postcards, but they know a ton about how the end user takes advantage of the information they find on the back of the card.

Mitchell Graphics has been fabulous in guiding us through the challenges of quality production. We couldn’t be a happier or a more loyal customer. They have helped us leverage our “connection power” with customers, audiences at trade shows, and as tip-ins with customer orders for maps to cross-sell other maps, books and geography resources.” – Bob Abramms

It is always great to hear how the team at Mitchell Graphics has improved it’s game over it’s 45 years in business. Thank you to ODTmaps and Bob Abramms’ fantastic customer testimonial of Mitchell Graphics and thank you to our staff for the quality work!

Learn more about ODTmaps by clicking here.

Interested in working with Mitchell Graphics? Click here to find out what else we can assist you with or call:
Petoskey Location: 231-347-4635
Traverse City Location: 231-947-5311

10 Tips: Small Business Event Planning

10TipsSmallBusiness EventPlanning1. Decide upon your target audience.  The first step — before you do anything else — should be to clearly define who your target audience is. From this, all the other decisions will fall into place in terms of format, content, prices, location, etc.

2. Make a list of details — everything, including lighting and public transportation, to content and refreshments.  When you decide to have an event, everything matters. From program content and lighting to transportation and parking — everything counts. And your audience will attribute everything to you and your brand.  Making a list will ensure you don’t overlook things.

3. Have a clear business purpose.  Before you begin planning a successful event, be clear on why you are doing it in the first place, because every decision after that should support your main goal. Is it lead generation? Is it to create awareness of your company or a particular product?  Is it to develop customer loyalty? Or do you simply want to make money (which is okay too)?  Make sure the team is aware of the purpose.

4. Watch out for other industry events when scheduling.  Check the calendar. Make sure you don’t schedule your event on or too close to holidays or popular vacation times. It’s just as important to check for other events that your target attendees might be going to.

5. Create goals. Always start with strategy. Just like building any business, great events start with a strong, thoughtful and measurable strategy. Then make sure that you proceed in line with reaching these goals.

6. You’ll need a DETAILED marketing plan. Create a marketing plan for the event. The more organized you are, the more professional your event will be.

7. Define good reason(s) for people to show up.  What’s the draw for attendees? You need to define WHAT you’re doing at the event that will bring those target attendees in the door. For a consumer product it might be a party with entertainment and product demos and freebies. For a business crowd it might be educational content or an exciting, well-known expert speaker. Whatever it is, don’t lose the connection with why you want this particular audience clamoring to get in.

8. Delegate responsibilities.  No matter the size of your business, always try to delegate responsibilities. Having one person in charge of every detail typically doesn’t work out well. Whenever possible, let people take control of the areas they most enjoy. For example, let the foodie in your company handle the catering details. The more someone enjoys their responsibilities, the more likely they will carry them out with success.

9. Set expectations carefully – then deliver. Ensure that the audience has a great (not good) experience, and that you give them what they expected from attending.

10. Ask people what they think, and be ready for feedback–good or bad. Ask for critiques. If you’ve done half a decent job, you’ll get lots of kudos. Say thanks, but then ask for the critique and be ready for it.

How to market with direct mail and email together

Working together is better. Some of the best marketing results come when direct mail is paired with email.

The challenge is figuring out how to combine email with direct mail effectively. Retailers can market with the two together by first direct mailing a quarterly catalog. Afterwards, they can email sale promotions and discounts for items in the catalog.

EmailMarketingComplimentHere are some other ways you can use direct mail and email together:
  •  Reinforce a Call to Action. Send a direct mail piece with tracking. When the customer receives the piece, have an email triggered that reinforces the Call to Action.
  • Expand your email subscriber list. Send direct mail to guide customers to a landing page. Use the landing page to collect their email address for your future campaigns.
  • Use direct mail to re-engage. Send a direct mail piece to re-engage a customer who is no longer opening your emails.
  • Reach shopping cart abandoners. Send a direct mail piece to a customer who has abandoned an online shopping cart. Offer them a special incentive for making a purchase either in-stores or online.

Direct mail and email shouldn’t be in competition with each other. When used together, they can ensure your message is delivered to your audience. After analyzing your marketing campaign’s performance, adjust as necessary. In other words, be sure to test, compare, test, compare, and test again!

Why We Don’t Like Coupons

We like coupons a lot! That’s what we said in our last Marketing post. And it’s true…for the most part.

There is one thing we don’t like about coupons, and that’s how they can turn into monsters by becoming the norm rather than the exception. Pizza provides a good example. Many pizza restaurants, especially the chain restaurants, make their coupons so available that it’s rare than anyone orders a pizza from them without using one. Essentially, the “special” price becomes the “regular” price.

That’s OK if you’re really willing to sell every pizza at those prices, but it’s not OK if the goal was to use special pricing as an incentive to get new customers to give you a try. In theory, they’ll be happy to pay full price once they “taste” your product or service, whatever it may be.

Here’s a special offer for you, and you don’t need a coupon to take advantage of it. Tell us what your marketing goals are, and we’ll apply this kind of expertise to help you to achieve them.

Why We Like Coupons

In an earlier post, we wrote about the difference between advertising and promotion. Advertising tells people what you hope they will buy from you. The role of promotion is to give them an incentive to buy now. It’s been proven over and over again in the marketplace that buyers love a deal, and coupons can be a very effective way to communicate that deal.

Beyond that, they can be a very effective way for you to keep track of who’s taking you up on your deal. The coupon becomes a record of the response, and simply counting coupons can give you an idea of whether a campaign is working.

Coupons can do even more than that, though. You can use them to capture information that goes beyond what you currently have in your mailing list or marketing database. For example, if you’d like to collect e-mail addresses, you can use coupons to do that. If you’d like to explore other areas of a customer’s interest you can use coupons to do that too. Think of a coupon as a blank canvas. You can send information out, using text and graphics. You can also bring information in, using words and graphics along with fields and check boxes.

We like coupons a lot!

Green printing: Recycling…Sustainability…”Going Green”

There are many terms to describe eco-friendly business practices. But no matter how you label it theygreenprint all share one purpose: to reduce waste. We’re all looking for ways to improve efficiency and reduce our negative impacts on the environment. But when it comes to your marketing and print material you shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality to be eco-friendly.

Your company’s success is affected by your ability to communicate with potential clients. Don’t lose that connection or dilute your message in an effort to become eco-friendly. Mitchell Graphics makes it easy to fulfill your print and communications needs while maintaining sensitivity for environmental impacts. We offer several basic solutions that improve your literature’s footprint.

Our house stock contains 10% post-consumer recycled content. Not only can unused material be recycled, but selecting paper with recycled content completes the cycle. Don’t worry; you won’t have to compromise quality of stock. Our house stock ranks in quality of brightness among other stock options with no recycled content.

Through the use of vegetable based inks, we’ve reduced the amount of harmful fumes and VOC (or volatile organic compound) emissions that adversely effect the ozone and health of production staff.

Aqueous coating is a non-toxic, water based finish that can be used to achieve either a gloss, dull, or matte finish that is both durable and biodegradable. Not only will the finished product withstand scuffing during folding and fulfillment, but unused pieces can be recycled without worry of harmful effects. As an added benefit, Aqueous coatings require less dry time so production time is decreased putting finished product in your hands faster.

For Mitchell, sustainability is more than a business practice; it has been a major part of our business philosophy for many years. In an industry that normally produces a multitude of waste we’ve taken steps to recycle and reuse paper, cardboard, ink, metal, plastic bagging and wooden pallets. In 2009 we recycled 111.6 tons of paper and cardboard stock and 1,414 gallons of combustible liquids, earning Emmet County’s Recycler of the Year award.

Gary Fedus, President of Mitchell Graphics, explains “Not only is it a matter of being thrifty, but of recognizing where waste is going and the impact on future generations.”

 

Delivering Instant and Relevant Information with Matchbook

Matchbook: Ask student prospects what they want and deliver instant, personalized communication.

In a world of instant information and data, the need for immediate, personal and relevant communication is a key challenge for colleges and universities looking to grow enrollment.

Those seeking to capitalize on students researching options for higher education online rely heavily on analytics to make generalizations as to who their target prospect is. Many are collecting general contact information through a simple form and mailing or emailing the complete course catalog to interested prospects.

Why Matchbook?
Why Matchbook?

In this model, a student seeking business school information for example is receiving a course catalog with the complete campus guide in which only a few pages apply to them. The process is costly with high volume printing and mailing expenses felt by the marketer and is more likely to be disregarded as the student is asked to wade through information to reach their area of interest.

Advanced search has changed little over the years, leaving it stale and boring. With Matchbook, a cloud-based online and direct mail marketing tool providing real time market research, visitors can find what they’re looking for and enjoy the process.

“Matchbook isn’t a catalog of everything your campus is. It’s a discovery process through which you learn who your prospective students are and what they are looking for,” said Dylan Valade, creator of Matchbook and president of its parent company, Sungem.

Customers interactively select what they’re interested in, based on a school’s offerings, and Matchbook provides them with personalized information.

That preference data is then collected and used to instantly publish customized electronic and print marketing materials and catalogs.

No more wasted print. No more anonymous leads.

Highly involved decisions like choosing a college are exhaustive. Matchbook helps streamline this process and allows your customers to learn more about you in an interface and process that is relevant to them. By choosing their tastes and preferences along the way, their customized Matchbook provides them with a college or university’s best content in their interest areas.

To test drive the process, visit TryMatchbook.com. For more information about Matchbook, contact Jeff Johnson at 1-800-583-9403.Matchbook-1

A small, East Coast university, has seen a 28 percent conversion rate for high school students reached through Matchbook email campaigns in 2013.  80 percent of the high school freshman, sophomores and juniors requested a personalized hard copy brochure in addition to the instant online version.  Real-time market research shows us that high school students are most interested in financial aid and residence life content, which were previously assumed to be secondary to academics and course information. Acting on the Matchbook data across all marketing channels increases student engagement.