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.

Expo & Event Planning: Promote, Educate, Follow-up

Having a booth at your industry’s annual trade show or at local expos and events is an effective way to market your company.

PlanningYourEventFace-to-face events offer the unique opportunity to meet new suspects and narrow in on your prospect list. Expos and trade shows are also a great venue for promoting new products.

Experiencing a successful event doesn’t happen on its own…

Successful vendors create a plan well in advance of an upcoming show. Print collateral pieces can be used to promote where you will be, educate attendees at your booth and follow-up with interested parties after your event is over. Planning your before, during and after is key in creating a return on your investment.

Before the Event

Navigating a trade show floor can be exhausting. Seasoned attendees map out routes of the key booths they want to hit. Make sure your booth is a target on their route by sending out postcards announcing when and where you will be. Offering an incentive for those receiving the postcard is a good way to encourage traffic to your booth.

During the Event

Having an arsenal of people working your booth is great when you have traffic. But how do people remember you and your product/service after they walk away?

Business cards are a great introduction piece. Business cards help break the ice and provide all the information one needs to follow up.

Rack cards can be a great alternative to business cards. The real-estate on a rack card can be your greatest asset. Make the rack card valuable to someone picking it up. Include tips, a calendar of events, or anything else that might encourage one to hang it on their fridge. Of course, include your business card information on the card as well.

Brochures provide attendees with an in-depth look at what you and your company do. Show samples and testimonials. Turn your brochure into a useful handbook to make it a must have from your booth.

After the Event

Once your event is over, the direct marketing begins. Having collected specific contact information you are now armed with the information, you need to grow the relationship.

Follow up with a phone call to thank them for visiting the booth within a business day of the event. Offer to send a customized product packet with items they may be interested in. This packet can include a company overview, catalogs or brochures of products/services, and samples of product.

After the event is another opportunity to send a direct mail postcard to attendees. This will be a smaller quantity than the initial before event postcard. Personalize this one with the attendee’s name and interests.

If your company has a need for any or all of the above materials, please reach out to an account representative from Mitchell Graphics. We have a wide array of print and email options available to make your next booth event a complete success!
Call 800.583.9401 to speak with an Account Consultant or email us at mgi@mitchellgraphics.com.

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!

How to Develop A Marketing Plan for the New Year

Start your business New Year resolution with a marketing plan that outlines your business objectives and marketing strategies.

An annual marketing plan keeps businesses on track with goals. It ensures marketing opportunities and budgets are maximized.

1. Start You Annual Marketing Plan by Reviewing Your Previous Year’s Marketing Performance

MarketingPlanNewYearYou’ll want to take a close look at how you performed over the current year. What marketing strategies worked and what marketing strategies were a bust? Adjustments that incorporate past marketing lessons should be made each year.

Here are some questions to ask when evaluating the previous year’s marketing performance:

  • Did you achieve desired results from your marketing efforts (such as improved brand recognition, X number of leads generated or sales/revenue figures)?
  • Has your target market, audience or geographic area changed over the year?
  • Were you able to stay within a marketing budget at the end of the year?
  • What areas of your marketing budget do you need to cut costs in for the coming year?
  • What areas of your marketing budget do you want to invest more in for the coming year?
2. Get Organized

The first step in developing an annual marketing plan is getting organized. Make a list of all the marketing categories that are important for your business.

Typical categories in a marketing plan include:

  • Advertising (print and/or online)
  • Branding and Graphics (photography, video production, graphic development)
  • Collateral (sell sheets, brochures, business cards)
  • Events (trade shows, webinars)
  • Direct Marketing (email, direct mail, list generation, promotional incentives/contests)
  • Public Relations (press release distribution)
  • Research (focus groups, surveys, marketing references)
  • Social Media (social media networks)
  • Website (search engine optimization, web development/hosting)
3. Define Strategies, Tactics and Budgets

Once marketing categories are outlined for your business, strategies, tactics, and budgets should be defined per category.

Here is an example of defining a strategy and tactics for the “advertising” category:

Marketing Category: Advertising
Strategy #1 – Drive traffic to website via social media
Tactic # 1 – Pinterest Pins
Tactic #2 – Facebook Posts
Tactic #3 – Twitter Posts

Each tactic will also need to have a budget, if applicable. You should record your budgets and what was actually spent so you can make any adjustments needed throughout the year such as moving funds from one tactic to another if needed.

Flexibility to adapt to a changing business environment and being “opportunistic” in your marketing plan throughout the year is important.

A Guide to Using the Correct Social Media Logos

SocialMediaBrandingToday it’s standard practice for businesses to list their social networks (facebook, twitter, instagram, etc.) on their marketing materials. Did you know that each social network has guidelines for its logo? These guidelines include what logo version you should and should not be using, and the proper way to display it. This is called a Branding Guideline and almost every business has one. For example, Twitter is commonly misrepresented with the small ‘t’ square logo. The small ‘t’ logo is not the official Twitter logo and according to Twitter’s Branding Guidelines, it should not be used. Twitter is very specific (as all Branding Guidelines are).  Only the Twitter bird icon should be used when representing Twitter. It’s important to research the Branding Guidelines for logos included in your marketing material to make sure you are using them correctly. The proper use of logos is a contributor to making your marketing materials look current and up-to-date. Here is a list of links to the most commonly used social networks, and their Branding Guidelines:

facebook: https://www.facebookbrand.com/guidelines?asset=2&media=1,2,3
twitter: https://about.twitter.com/company/brand-assets
instagram: https://www.instagram-brand.com/
pinterest: https://business.pinterest.com/en-gb/brand-guidelines

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5 Reasons Why Direct Mail Works

In a world that has turned to online for the media hub it is common to question direct mail in today’s virtual era. Contrary to what you may contemplate, direct mail is not only effective, it has an outstanding return on investment. Why is it so effective you ask? Here are five reasons why.

DirectMailWorks1. It’s not easily missed

It’s easy to miss or ignore an email or web ad. The big postcard in the mailbox customers have to physically touch is not as easy to overlook. Even if the mail piece is promptly discarded the viewer still had to acknowledge it. When done properly, a good direct mail piece will stand out in a crowded mailbox, grab the customer’s attention and entice them to act.

2. It appeals to the senses

Direct mail delivers sensations that online activity can’t. You can feel a mail piece in your hands. You can hear an envelope or tab tear open. You might even be able to smell it. Websites and e-mail cannot compare to this experience. If we do our jobs effectively, the piece will fully capture their attention.

3. It can be targeted

Direct mail has the advantage to target your market — not only with lists, but with variable messages. You can tailor your direct mail design to different lists — best customers, lapsed customers, even prospects. The more targeted the message and the list, the better the response. In fact, if you’re not customizing your print products, you may be wasting your efforts and creating “junk mail” that won’t get noticed.

4. It can seem more genuine

Direct mail doesn’t have to be solely about getting a sale. For instance, a sweet “thank you” mailing on quality paper can make your customer feel special and consequently have a deeper connection with your company. Try sending this to your best customer segment to significantly add sales without overly promoting a sale.

5. It can be integrated

Direct mail should be one of many pieces in your marketing strategy. Build your marketing plan with direct mail as a component. Use e-mail to pre-announce mailings or to remind customers of an expiring offer and to push traffic to your website for convenient ordering.

Let the marketing and design staff at Mitchell Graphics assist with your direct mail project.

Call 800.583.9401 to speak with an Account Consultant or email us at mgi@mitchellgraphics.com.