Here at Magnets USA, it's football season.
For the past three months, graphic designers Brian and Ray have been brainstorming, designing and perfecting our best-selling magnetic football schedules. Hear from them about what makes the 2016 lineup such a touchdown:
Brian has designed for a range of audiences, including an architecture firm and a software company. He approaches each project with multiple viewpoints, which helps him avoid creating something one-dimensional.
What’s the most important thing to consider when designing a football schedule?
The excitement of the sport. We try to reflect that in the design of each schedule.
What’s your favorite aspect about this year’s lineup?
We tried to approach the design process a little differently this year, and I think our designs will be appealing to both new and returning customers.
What’s your favorite song to listen to while you’re designing football schedules?
Something up-tempo to get into the right mindset.
Ray studied graphic design at Virginia Tech and has been designing for almost 16 years, mostly in print and web.
How do you get the creativity flowing?
Design ideas are brewing on the back of my head all through out the year, just waiting for the green light to start creating.
How does this lineup differ from years past?
This year's football lineup is pretty unique. We have the new middle personalization, so our clients' business information is more a part of the schedule — rather than just a football schedule with a business information attached to it. We also made it easier for our clients to pick and choose which teams they want featured on a larger schedule (available online soon). Lastly, eye-catching designs on most of our formats.
Who are you cheering for this football season?
It's way past due. This year is the year the Redskins reach the Superbowl. I love the time that leads to the beginning of football season because that's when every football fan is full of hope.
Our schedules feature eye-catching, die-cut shapes like house and bump. (Psst, We're offering shaped schedules at no additional cost right now. Hooray!)
Measuring 5.5 inches x 8.5 inches, our new Massive Make-Your-Own schedule can feature up to 14 teams of your choice.
Lucky for you, a lot of attention-grabbing features come naturally with our popular Festival & Event Schedules, like exclusive die-cut shapes, full-color printing and the best personalization around.
But here are some tips on getting the most out of your fun — and helpful — magnetic marketing piece:
1. Fine-tune your list of events.
Featuring great events will show you're a community expert. This is why we strongly encourage you to compile your own list — after all, you know your neighborhood and clients much better than we do! With the right tools, you can easily find the best, most interesting events in your area.
A great place to begin your search is your local Chamber of Commerce. They often offer visitor guides that are chock-full of popular festivals, fairs and shows. Other resources include civic center websites, local lifestyle magazines and the events section of your town's newspaper.
Remember, your schedule has room for 25 events, so make 'em count!
2. Make your schedule unique with a stellar photo.
While all of our festival schedules feature a gorgeous, high-resolution photo, you do have the option to provide your own. This is a creative way to showcase your town and make your schedule even more personal.
For best results, our graphic designers recommend sending an image that's at least 3.75 inches x 2.3 inches with a resolution of 300.
3. Choose Billboard Personalization.
Billboard Personalization is our modern, clutter-free way to feature your contact information and portrait. By only highlighting the essentials, your business has room to breath — and shine.
4. Mail smarter.
The very best schedule is one you don't have to mail yourself. With our comprehensive mailing services, we take care of everything — stuffing, sealing, addressing and delivering. We can even prepare a targeted mailing list for you.
Have more questions on creating a Festival & Event Schedule? Check out our 101 Guide.
So you just received your festival or baseball schedules. Now what? Sharing them with the masses! If you're up for a little legwork and a lot of fun, we can help you get them to the right people — because we understand that distributing is just as important as design. Here's what our marketing consultants suggest:
1. Your go-to businesses. Coffee shops, your doctor's office, a favorite sports bar — you're probably going here anyway, so why not leave behind some awesome marketing pieces?
2. Your friends and family. Give a stack of schedules to your biggest supporters, so they can distribute them while they're out and about.
3. Hair salons and barber shops. The latter is especially great for distributing sports schedules. Also, a useful schedule is the perfect pick-me-up for a bad haircut, right?
4. Elementary schools. By sending schedules home with students, their parents become your new prospective clients!
5. Chambers of Commerce. Leaving a stack of festival schedules at your local chamber is an easy and effective way to get your name out there to everyone who visits.
6. On your Facebook page. Post a photo of your schedules to your social media accounts, and ask followers to contact you if they'd like one. Don't underestimate the power of a post!
7. Minor League Baseball teams. Since these teams usually have very tight budgets, most are happy to partner with you to distribute their schedules.
8. Old-fashioned canvassing. As spring makes its way to your town, going door-to-door with your festival schedules is a tried-and-true way to interact with potential clients.
9. Convenience stores. Next time you fill up, leave a stack of baseball or festival schedules by the register.
10. Our full mailing services. No time to distribute schedules yourself? We completely understand. From stuffing and sealing to addressing and shipping your envelopes, we'll mail your pieces to your mailing list. Don't have a mailing list, or just want some fresh contacts? We can help with that, too.
Last week, our team rocked our biggest trade show ever.
Like every show, we revel in the opportunity to meet customers from all over the U.S. and Canada, shake their hand, look them in the eye and witness their reaction to our lineup of cutlery, calendars, sports schedules and more. Moments like these power us through those 10-hour days on our feet.
But what made this show — Keller Williams Family Reunion in New Orleans — so special? First, our booth. A Keller Williams Approved Vendor for nearly 19 years, we were very honored and excited to have eight tables for our Magnets USA and LifeLong Cutlery products. Not only did this gave us more opportunities to speak with agents one-on-one, but it also allowed us to introduce some fun new items from our LifeLong Cutlery Infinity Collection.
Thank you to everyone who stopped by the booth! We're happy to have you on board.
Lots of planning went into creating the perfect booth!
Two of our free cutlery winners, Keller Williams agents Kate M. (left) and Wende L.
We were treated to a front-row view of a New Orleans-themed parade. Only in NOLA!
Our team enjoying a group dinner at Mulate's.
Time flies when you team up with great people.
This week, we're celebrating 20 years as a RE/MAX Approved Supplier. As a result of this long-standing partnership — which began Jan. 30, 1996 — RE/MAX agents receive the very best that Magnets USA has to offer, including discounted pricing, company-approved designs, a tailored webpage and a dedicated team of personal representatives.
One of those representatives is Alan Dever, who's been working with RE/MAX agents since 2008.
"I'm privileged to get to work with them." Alan said. "I've learned so much about the industry, the brand and have not only made long-lasting business relationships, but actual friendships with many RE/MAX agents. RE/MAX is a unique real estate company — and No. 1 in the world for a reason."
Like the rest of our RE/MAX team, Alan travels to several conferences a year, meeting customers face-to-face and absorbing the company culture.
One of his most memorable moments occurred at the 2013 R4 Conference Opening Session, where co-founder Dave Liniger shared his story about battling MRSA.
"The audience hung onto every word," Alan said. "It was a moving message about not giving up, which he correlated with then then-struggling real estate market. He ended his speech with powerful words of encouragement, advice and stood up out of his wheelchair and walked off the stage. It was amazing, and I was honored to be there that evening."
It's moments like these — and countless others — that make our jobs and these partnerships so worthwhile.
Cheers to 20 more years, RE/MAX!
Ah, spring. The most wonderful time of the year for real estate agents.
The weather is warming up, and your neighbors are on the move.But to really reap the benefits, you'll need to make the most of these next few months. Getting your name out there in meaningful ways — and often — will yield more calls come April.
Below are a few of our favorite ways to connect:
When this mailing from Realtor Anthony B. came through our presses, we knew we had to share. After all, who says you can only send one sports schedule?
Not only is Anthony sending a hockey and a basketball schedule to his Philadelphia clients, but he took his idea a step further with a personalized insert and an attention-grabbing sports envelope. This all-in-one winter mailing means daily exposure through June.
Anthony also chose our bulk mailing services, which means he didn't have to waste any time at the post office. (Sounds awesome, right?)
Ready to start creating your own? Check out our sports schedule page now!
To our extended Magnets USA family,
As I look back on 2015 — our 25th year in business — I am deeply humbled. The year began with a major move across town to a larger facility. As you know, moving can be a stressful and challenging transition, but our team rallied together and made it seamless.
To celebrate, we hosted a Grand Opening in March. Once again, our employees and community united to make the day amazing. I’ll never forget using our very own LifeLong Cutlery to cut the ribbon!
Another big moment was learning that we had been nominated for Small Business of the Year. We are proud to have shared that recognition with so many other local businesses making a positive impact in our community.
Though these big moments are so important to our progress, so, too, are the millions of small moments — like meeting customers like you at trade shows, seeing your reaction when you use our cutlery for the first time, hearing that one of our calendars scored you a new client, watching a design for a new product finally come together or witnessing the laughter and conversations throughout our building.
As I look ahead to 2016, I am nothing short of inspired — by our team, by you and by the adventure that awaits each of us. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
President and Founder
If you wait until January 1 to be more organized, you're already in trouble. That's right — the road to a less-hectic 2016 begins here and now.
Here are three ways we can help you get a jump-start, so you can sit back, relax and ring in the new year.
1. Order your 2016 calendars ... now. It seems like our tear-off calendars fly a little faster off the shelves each day — but there are still so many gorgeous covers left! Check them out, and choose your favorite. And if you really, really need your calendars fast, see what covers are available as QuikShip.
Say hello with a pop-by or referral gift that lasts.
December is the perfect time to say "thank you" to clients and others who have made your year a success — but don't let your gesture get lost in the holiday rush. Choose a pop-by gift that will be used and talked about year-round, like our stainless steel soap. These powerful odor-eliminators can be engraved with your contact information, so clients will always know where to reach you.
Pro tip: Make your gift truly meaningful by including a small bag of onions and your favorite holiday stuffing recipe.
Stay relevant with a social media presence that inspires.
The best way to connect with — and gain — followers is to show them you're a real, relatable person. (Psst, that automatic reply you set up isn't helping at all.) Take the time to craft inspiring, helpful and original messages. Ask questions to learn about your audience and keep them engaged.
And if you're just sticking to Facebook and Twitter, this might be a great time to try marketing with other platforms, like Pinterest or Periscope. (Check out our ideas for real estate agents on using Periscope.)
Periscope, Twitter's first live-stream app, is ideal for showing off a new listing or hosting a Q-and-A session.
Stick to a marketing plan that makes sense.
With the new year comes an invaluable opportunity to plan ahead. This month, sit down and develop a strong, fresh marketing plan. Keep in mind that the best strategy will also reflect your business personality. Not sure where to start? Check out our season-by-season suggestions.
Reach out with a note that encourages action.
It's no secret that a little note can go a long way. So why not include one with your next marketing piece? With our Personalized Inserts, you can quickly and beautifully introduce yourself to clients, let them know you're always there to help and gently ask for referrals. Explore our designs — many of which coordinate with products you're already sending.