Employee Spotlight: Jim Dombrovske

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing Coordinator

A big part of what makes Nahan a great place to be is our amazing employees! I’d like to introduce you to Jim Dombrovske, our Shift Leader for 2nd Shift Finishing. We are happy to be sharing more about Jim and his time at Nahan.

Jim Dombrovske

27 Years of Dedication to Nahan

Jim began his career at Nahan in July 1994 as a Helper in the Bindery Department. Soon after, he was promoted to a Cutter Operator, which was the first of many promotions over the years. In his twenty-seven years, Jim has worked in the role of both Folder Operator 1 and 2, Stitcher Operator and has worked on various presses. Since October of 2019, Jim has been in the role of Shift Leader for 2nd Shift in Finishing. He considers his promotion to Shift Leader as his proudest achievement at Nahan. Additionally, Jim has loved the opportunities Nahan has given him to travel, including a memorable trip to Switzerland for training.

“I am most passionate about not only meeting the company’s expectations, but also the needs for the team I work with daily.”

Jim Dombrovske, Shift Leader, 2nd Shift Finishing

Beyond Nahan

When Jim is not busy working hard at Nahan, he enjoys spending quality time with his wife and three sons. In his extra time, Jim likes being outside either playing a few rounds of golf or relaxing with some fishing. His biggest passion is volunteering as a Peer Recovery Coach, spending as much time as he can helping anyone who struggles with substance abuse.

“While I’ve received much great advice in my life, the best so far has been to write down ten things I am grateful for if I am having a bad day. I had asked how this would help and was told a grateful thinking mind will replace a negative thinking mind. The two can’t exist at the same time.”

Jim Dombrovske, Shift Leader, 2nd Shift Finishing

Careers at Nahan

If you are interested in learning more about a career at Nahan, visit our careers page or contact us to learn more.

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She graduated with her Master’s of Science in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management in 2020. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

Nahan Takes Home Best of Category at 2021 PIM Star Awards

SAINT CLOUD, MN – June 22, 2021 – Nahan has received a Best of Category award win at the 2021 Star Awards, hosted by Printing Industry Midwest (PIM). The Star Awards is an annual five-state print competition that recognizes excellence in print quality in the printing, communication, and graphic arts industries.

Nahan was proud to receive the award for Best of Category – Booklets, which is the highest award a printer can receive in this category, for a mailer produced for an international natural fragrances company. Nahan also received four Awards of Recognition in the Booklet, Product/Service Catalog, and Consumer Promotional Campaigns categories, and three Certificates of Merit.

It was also an honor to have our very own, Aaron Weekes, Director of Technology and Service Operations, speak at the event on behalf of the PIM Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DE&I) Program. This program is a “coalition of graphic communications companies and professionals. The coalition works to solve the racial inequities in our industry and to promote diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace” (https://www.pimw.org/pim-diversity/).

(https://www.pimw.org/pim-diversity/).

About PIM Star Awards

The PIM Star Awards competition recognizes the companies, teams, and individuals who take part in the creation and production of print communications in the Midwest. For more information about the Printing Industry Midwest Star Awards, please visit www.pimw.org or call PIM’s office at 612.400.6200.

About Nahan

Nahan is a world-class, privately owned, direct marketing services and print solutions company. Nahan produces integrated marketing solutions for their clients, enabling them to successfully acquire, develop, and retain profitable customer relationships. Nahan leverages the power of omnichannel marketing strategy, creative, data, and analytics coupled with exceptional production and postal strategies to closely connect brands with customers. For more information about Nahan and to learn more about joining the Nahan team, please visit http://www.nahan.com.

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Nahan Announces New CEO as Mike Nahan Retires

SAINT CLOUD, MN – June 16, 2021 – After decades of leadership as Nahan’s CEO, Mike Nahan, the son of company founders Jim and Helen Nahan, has announced his retirement effective June 7, 2021. Nahan will serve as an active board member following his retirement as CEO.

Mike Ertel has been named as Nahan’s new CEO, effective June 7, 2021. Mike Ertel is a highly respected industry veteran who brings a wealth of industry experience and an entrepreneurial mindset that will continue to propel Nahan into the future. Mike is excited to join the Nahan team and to continue the legacy, momentum, and explosive growth that Nahan is experiencing.

“Nahan is well on its way to becoming the leading provider of direct marketing services and print in the country, and I am thrilled to join this award-winning organization,” said Mike Ertel, CEO of Nahan. “With double digit growth planned in 2021, major equipment investments underway, and a recent influx of new talent, Nahan is positioned for explosive growth, now more than ever before. And the best part is we are just getting started.”                

For almost 60 years, Nahan has been known for superior print production and distribution. With a client roster of legendary brands, Nahan prints iconic work that represents some of the highest level of quality and innovation in the industry. Nahan’s client base includes many of the most well-known brands across the U.S. and globally.

In January of this year, Nahan announced an expansion of services to include a Marketing Services division. Nahan now leverages the power of omnichannel marketing strategy, creative, data, and analytics—coupled with world-class print production and postal strategies—to closely connect brands with customers. Check out the video introducing Nahan’s marketing services here: https://youtu.be/2094UttFo1E

“After 37 years serving as CEO, I could not be prouder of how our company has evolved, and I am immensely excited for this next chapter in our company’s growth. I can’t wait to see Mike Ertel drive Nahan’s success to even higher levels,” said Mike Nahan.

About Nahan

Nahan is a world-class, privately owned, direct marketing services and print solutions company. Nahan produces integrated marketing solutions for their clients, enabling them to successfully acquire, develop, and retain profitable customer relationships. Nahan leverages the power of omnichannel marketing strategy, creative, data, and analytics coupled with exceptional production and postal strategies to closely connect brands with customers. For more information about Nahan and to learn more about joining the Nahan team, please visit http://www.Nahan.com.

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New at Nahan

Author: Nick Hammitt

Being “The New Guy” (T.N.G.) at a company can be a tall task for any person. I personally have been the new guy at several different companies in multiple types of industries. T.N.G is always a new and unique experience, but share that same common feeling of nervousness on that first day. You ask yourself, “How can I overcome being T.N.G.?” It wasn’t long before I quickly realized that I didn’t have to worry about that here at Nahan.

Nick Hammitt, Marketing Intern

Day 0

In the past, I’ve had some not-so-good experiences applying for jobs online, and with Covid happening, I found myself doing it more now than ever. That’s why it’s always a relief to me when the job application process is user-friendly. The Nahan careers website was exactly that. It was easy for me to seamlessly scroll through the Careers page, find the posted job, and complete the steps needed to apply. The website was smooth, easy to navigate, and was filled with useful information. Since I live so far from the company, being able to do all of this remotely was important to me. The teamwork between the marketing and recruiting team was unmatched making it easy for me to traverse through the hiring process remotely.

Day 1

On my first day at the office, as usual, I was nervous about what to expect. Most of the people I had never met before and let’s face it, I was T.N.G. It was a happy surprise for me when I was given such a warm welcome by everyone I met. They seemed just as excited for me to be there as I was, making for a great first experience I won’t soon forget. As much as this team was welcoming, they were also about getting right down to business. Just like the easy application and hiring process, the orientation process I experienced when I arrived here was just the same, smooth, concise, and filled with important training information that would further help me down the road. It will definitely take some time for me to learn the ropes, but the hands-on collaborative training I received just on the first day leads me to believe it won’t be long before I too am an effective member of the team.

Day 7  

In my first week, I learned a lot about not only my individual job, but I had a chance to meet team members in other departments to learn how everyone works together towards the same goal as a whole team. Nahan is a large company, and there are a lot of moving parts that go into making a quality product. One of the most important things I learned so far is that Nahan’s success is due to the complete collaborative effort between all the members of the Nahan team. Communication is key for any successful business to thrive. Things like the monthly eNewsletter, (subscribe at the footer of any page of the website) and weekly collaborative meetings, allow for the teams to be informed and aware of each other’s ideas and important events that are in the works. They also ensure everyone is set up for success.

Today

I was excited to start my job, now a couple of weeks later, I’m excited to start my career. I’ve been set up for success thanks to the problem-solving and detailed oriented teams at Nahan. The training I received was given to me by some of the most experienced and knowledgeable members of the team. Thanks to this team, I was able to quickly find my spot among them in a position that I feel is best suited to grow my creative talents inside an advancing industry. Nahan has given me the tools to be the best asset I can be. There’s only up from here. As Mike Logar, SVP of Business Development best put it, “Nahan is rocket ship launching ahead and we’re just strapping in preparing for the ride.”

Bio: Before Nahan I was T.N.G. at several different places. Right out of high school, I decided I wasn’t ready or wanting to go to college, so I joined the Army. I learned things there I wouldn’t learn anywhere else. It gave me the tools and confidence to do anything I set my mind to. It was shortly after coming home from the military that I decided I wanted to be a welder. I loved the thought of being able to take an idea from my head put it to paper and then create it. It wasn’t long before I realized welding isn’t something I wanted as a career though. I then decided to enroll in business school and last December, I graduated with a Marketing Degree from the University of San Francisco. Now here at Nahan, instead of me creating with my hands I’m creating with my mind. In my free time I like to spend it on the course, playing very mediocre golf. I grew up hunting and fishing so when I get a chance to do that, you’ll either find me on a lake or in the woods. SKOL!

Humor in the Workplace: It’ll Get You Through Pretty Much Anything

Author: Ben Schemelin, Account Executive

Earlier this year I was blessed to be sharing some laughs with friends and former colleagues while we attended a retirement party for one of my mentors. We recalled humorous stories from two decades ago – jokes, crazy circumstances, our various quirks – so many fond memories came rushing back.

As we departed with full hearts and our sides aching from laughter, my friend handed over one last piece of business (and life) wisdom from his four decades in the industry: “You know, as stressful as our business can be, laughter will get you through pretty much anything.”

As I walked to my car that evening, I started to reflect on how critical laughter and joy is to a thriving workplace environment.

Humor in the Workplace – The Benefits

It is no secret that strong communication is critical to any successful business. For anyone who has had to sit through a dull presentation, it’s probably safe to say that your mind started to wander and your retention of the information being communicated began to fade with each passing moment. Compare that experience to one where a masterful storyteller wove an engaging narrative mixed with humorous anecdotes. It becomes easy to see how our natural deeper engagement in an entertaining storyline facilitates our ability to pick up other important details along the way. The same principle applies in other communications we engage in: the right mix of humor will draw people in and ideas are more easily absorbed.

There are numerous studies that show that a healthy dose of humor actually increases brain function, boosts creative problem solving, deepens interpersonal connections, builds trust/collaboration, and breaks down barriers between individuals just to name a few of the additional benefits.

Leaders who utilize humor effectively in their roles often foster healthier work cultures where employees are more at ease, have higher morale, and are more productive overall.

Laughter Really is the Best Medicine

The world renowned Mayo Clinic sites the researched physical and physiological stress relief that laughter has on our bodies. Our organs (namely heart, lungs, and brain) all see immediate, tangible benefits from a good amount of regular laughter. Tension and stress decrease as our bodies respond to humorous stimuli in the form of decreased heart rates and lower blood pressure.

The chemical response of our bodies over time to a humor-and-joy lifestyle can lead to improved immunity, natural pain relief, better coping stills, improved outlook on life, and deeper and richer connections with those around us.

In today’s crazy world, doesn’t that sound like a great prescription for a better, more fulfilling life?

Workplace Humor 101

With all of these benefits, there are some practical application items that we should all keep in mind:

  • Know Your Audience – The ability to “read the room” is key for any comedic endeavor. In my early 20’s I cracked a “Dumb & Dumber” type of joke at lunch during my first week of employment, and my two new colleagues looked at me like I had a horn growing out of my head. They didn’t know me, and I didn’t know them well enough – so it landed awkwardly. It may have gotten a chuckle six months down the road when we had an established rapport, but it’s always best to err on the side of caution if you think a wisecrack may not resonate with your audience.
  • Don’t Force It – Like the example above, don’t try to make a joke simply for the sake of being funny. Unless the sign outside your office reads “The Improv” – you are not being paid to be a comedian trying out cutting edge humor on colleagues. The best workplace humor should come organically and feel natural.
  • Laughing With, Not At – Self-deprecating humor can show you are relatable and do not take yourself too seriously, but humor at the expense of others is a completely different story and should be avoided. It’s always best for humor to be pointed at situations rather than people.
  • Keep it Clean – If you would not say something if HR happened to be walking past your office, it’s probably best to leave a quip on the cutting room floor of your brain.

Humor, laughter, and finding joy in the workplace every day can be an important pillar of a thriving business culture – as well as increasing job satisfaction. It’s one of the many aspects of Nahan’s culture that I’ve quickly come to appreciate and cherish.

It’s been said that the average 4 year old laughs 300 times a day, while the average adult laughs less than 20. I’d say it’s time for us to rediscover the simpler joys that can be found in our everyday lives!

What is one thing you can do to can bring an extra smile or laugh to someone in your workplace? Do it today – and make it a daily habit!

Bio: Ben Schemelin is a 28-year industry veteran and an Account Executive with Nahan. He’s passionate about taking a 40,000 foot view of projects, and then zooming in on the finite details to creatively problem solve, enhance workflows, and most importantly serve clients’ wants and needs above their expectations as a team. In his spare time, Ben enjoys motorcycling, grilling/cooking, woodworking, camping, fishing, & biking. He also likes cheering for the Green Bay Packers, much to the chagrin of his diehard Minnesota Viking-fan wife and daughter.

Direct Marketing Strategy: Direct Mail Testing

Author: Maggie Stack, Account Director

At least once a week, while doing homework, one of my kids will say “when will I ever use this in real life?” I like to point out to them how often I use my Algebra skills, but I never thought I would use science in my marketing career. As my colleague, Alan Sherman, mentioned in a previous blog, we use direct mail testing to determine the best direct marketing strategy. This is where science comes in. By following the steps of the scientific method with a continuous improvement mindset, we aim to exceed our clients’ marketing goals.

Purpose

When thinking about our clients’ direct marketing strategy, our question is always how can we improve results. The exact Key Performance Indicator (KPI) we are trying to improve varies by client, but it always means a better Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI).

Research

We start by reviewing current marketing efforts. Who is the target audience? What motivates them to respond? What tactics are currently being used? How do those tactics work together?

Hypothesis

Once our research is complete, we make recommendations for the elements or options we believe will improve results. Sometimes this is the choice to reduce the cost of a campaign while maintaining response and sometimes it is a higher cost option that will improve response. This could be a new data source, a new offer positioning, a new direct mail format, or addition of a complimentary digital tactic. In direct marketing, the options are truly endless. Once we decide on what will be tested, we can begin the experiment!

Experiment

The two most commonly used experiments in direct mail testing are a split test and a multivariate test. Split tests, or A/B tests, involve testing the same package except for the specific element to be tested. Multivariate testing involves testing multiple elements at the same time. The right one to use is based on several factors: budget, available quantity, quantity needed for the result to be statistically significant, and the number of items we want to test. Once the experiment is in the hands of the prospects, we wait for results.

Analyze Data

Depending on what we are measuring, results could take months to gather. There must be enough responders to be confident in the results. Analysis comes in the form of charts and graphs. Our goal is to always improve results, but sometimes we learn what does not work. As my high school science teacher would say after a failed experiment, “if you learned something, the experiment wasn’t wasted.” In direct marketing, the win in a losing test is that it leads to better, more refined hypotheses.

Conclusion

While there is a conclusion to every individual experiment, direct mail testing should never end.  We believe marketers should always be striving to improve their data, improve their messaging, and improve the tactics they use. And we love partnering with those that feel that same. Looking to apply a little bit of the scientific method to your direct marketing strategy? We are here to help.

Bio: Maggie Stack is an Account Director with over 20 years of experience in marketing services and direct mail production. When she isn’t discussing data and creative with her clients, you can find her and her husband cheering on their children in hockey, baseball, and dance.

Employee Spotlight: Janelle Kolle, Senior Recruiter

Author: Camille Lehmann

At Nahan, we are so grateful for our talented employees. I’d like to introduce you to Janelle Kolle, one of the newest members of our Human Resources team. Janelle joined us in April as our Senior Recruiter. We are thrilled that Janelle chose Nahan to use her recruiting talents, and we cannot wait to share more about her!

Janelle Kolle

Janelle’s Background in the Human Resources Field

Before joining the Nahan team, Janelle was a Human Resources Consultant with her own consulting company. During her six years of consulting, she worked with both international and local organizations. Janelle is very proud of the successes she had in her career as an independent Human Resources Consultant and being an integral part of hiring a variety of talented individuals – including a Rocket Scientist! (or Propulsion Engineering Scientist to be technical). While she is thankful for her time at her own consulting company, she is excited to be starting a new adventure at Nahan. Janelle describes her passion for recruiting as similar to being a matchmaker – being able to meet new people, getting to know them, and then helping them find their career marriage.

“I am glad to join a team of seasoned professionals to help grow the Nahan talent and work to attract local talent. I am happy to offer my experience to an organization that values a new perspective.

Janelle Kolle, when asked what she’s most excited about in joining the Nahan team
Janelle and her family.

Beyond Nahan

When Janelle is not focused on Nahan’s talent, she first enjoys being a wife and mother. Additionally, she enjoys simple moments when she gets to watch TV uninterrupted, being outside hiking, camping, swimming, and fishing, as well as just laughing alongside friends. Janelle also loves a good opportunity to travel and credits both St. Lucia and her time living in Mexico as her favorite places to date! A few of her favorite adventures she’s experienced include swimming with sharks, cliff jumping, and RV’ing across the United States.

Janelle and her family on one of their many adventures.

“Some of the best advice I’ve been given is from a few books I’ve read over my life. Do your best so when you look back there are no regrets! Grow from your mistakes and even those cannot hold you back. It will all bring you to a place you most certainly will love.”

Janelle Kolle

Careers at Nahan

If you are interested in learning more about a career at Nahan, visit our careers page or contact us to learn more.

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She graduated with her Master’s of Science in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management in 2020. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

The Importance of Data in Direct Mail Marketing

Author: Alan Sherman, VP of Marketing Strategy

Quite often, when we work with clients in direct mail marketing, creative development is the first focus. But, just as in any marketing channel, who we target is just as important, if not more so for driving increased direct mail response and a successful direct mail campaign. For a full-service direct marketing company like Nahan, using data in direct mail marketing is a crucial component of an integrated success chain that includes strategy, data, creative and production execution.

Direct mail provides more data points to target against than any other marketing channel. The typical national data compiler manages over three thousand data points per person.*  Combine a multi-sourced wealth of data with sophisticated predictive analytics, and we can precisely rank prospects based on their propensity to respond (or other desired outcomes).

Let us take a look at typical data used by various direct mail industry clients. In the interest of time and space, what follows is not an exhaustive list.

Financial Services and Insurance – Credit Data

For financial and insurance clients, we see widespread use of credit bureau prescreened data – both in terms of trigger (credit or insurance inquiries by consumers) and broad market (often dictated by credit score and other data points) campaigns.

As a direct marketing service provider, Nahan partners with credit data agents, which can provide unique sources of value. Credit data agents typically receive and maintain real-time data from all 3 main credit bureaus, providing a comprehensive picture of all credit behavior across bureaus. More data across all 3 bureaus means more net qualified names, typically 15-20% more, and improved credit decisioning.

It also means more flexibility in terms of FCRA regulations, allowing for counts to be more easily run before actually pulling a file. Typically, when one pulls a complete prescreened credit file, one is obligated to make everyone on that list a firm offer of credit. Credit data agents have more flexibility in this regard. Custom models can make use of both credit and non-credit data for increased predictive power.

While credit data is usually the go-to data source for most financial and insurance acquisition mailers, it can often be supplemented by Invitation to Apply (ITA) data, which is primarily driven by a lifecycle event – such as college graduation, marriage, having children and buying a home. While ITA prospects are typically not as responsive, it is less expensive, and can be tested and paired with credit data as an effective supplemental data source.

Multiple Industries – Modeled Compiled Data

Compiled data is just that – data compiled from multiple sources and then linked to individuals and households. It’s typically used in travel, healthcare, retail, telecom, and auto direct mail.  There are a number of medium and large-sized data compilers that we partner with to provide the best data for our clients. Compiled data typically includes demographic, psychographic, and attitudinal data. 

Demographic data includes data elements like age, gender, income, occupation, and more.

Psychographic data is focused upon people’s interests and hobbies, often obtained via surveys, donations, and specialty lists.

Attitudinal data reflects attitudes and belief systems, typically from surveys and donations made to non-profits.

Compiled data is best paired with predictive analytics to identify the data elements that will give the greatest response.

Catalogers, Non-Profits, E-tailors and Others – Cooperative (Co-op) Data

Co-op data is customer purchase data collected from thousands of co-op members and maintained in a database. Typically, a member marketer must provide their customer data on a regular basis to join and participate. Co-op members include companies from the catalog, retail, etail, continuity, non-profit, publishers, finance, insurance, and business-to-business industries. Some co-ops focus on non-profit donation behavior specifically.

Co-ops collect over 1500 data elements for a given household and cover 190MM U.S. consumers. The depth and granularity of the data can vary by co-op. Given that customer behavior is often the most predictive of future behavior, this data is very powerful in its ability to predict the future response and purchasing.

Using marketer-provided customer purchase data, the co-ops use predictive models to find prospects elsewhere in the database with similar product and purchase behavior. Co-op data has long been a go-to data source for catalogers, replacing many of the more expensive specialty, “vertical” lists that exist, such as magazine subscriber files.

Business-to-Business (B2B) Data

B2B direct mail data used to come from two main data sources – Data Axle (formerly InfoGroup) and Dun & Bradstreet. They are still major players providing excellent data. Both, along with a continual flow of new players, now offer much more than the traditional data points like annual sales, number of employees, SIC code, and NAIC Code. Data points such as B2B buying behavior, public filings and linked consumer information all provide additional targeting insights. Because people change jobs much more frequently than they change addresses, B2B data is more challenging and labor intensive to maintain and keep up to date, resulting in a higher cost.

The Role of Analytics

The performance of all data mentioned here can and should be enhanced by predictive analytics. We simply can’t leverage any of these types of data to their full potential without the use of modeling to prioritize prospects. While a predictive model adds to the cost, it usually pays for itself in the first direct mail campaign with the increased direct response it produces. Depending on the circumstances, the model can be re-used until market conditions change. Machine learning and artificial intelligence have sped up the modeling process, and in certain cases, such as co-op data or credit models, new models may be built with every direct marketing campaign.

Our Data Role

Nahan has deep and long-time relationships with many types of direct mail data providers and list brokers. We can determine which source is the right fit for our clients’ objectives. Typically at a lower cost than our clients can obtain on their own. Our expertise ensures the best possible data at the best possible price. For any questions about data, please feel free to reach out to me at alan.sherman@nahan.com.

*Source: WebFX

Bio: Alan Sherman is our Vice President of Marketing Strategy. Alan enhances Nahan’s current value proposition with strategy solutions that support new/existing client relationships. For clients, he leverages market, customer, and competitive intelligence to build achievable strategies for omnichannel marketing success. His marketing plan strategies include targeted data, predictive analytics, testing and creative that drive ongoing client performance improvement. In his spare time, Alan enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, going to concerts, watching sports (he’s a fan of the NY Giants, Boston Red Sox and Celtics) and walking the dog, even though it was just out.

USPS Informed Delivery: A Great Way to Drive Increased Direct Mail ROI

Author: Melissa Fransen

If you are looking for a way to drive incremental responses and increased ROI from your direct mail campaigns, USPS Informed Delivery is a great way to do just that.

What is USPS Informed Delivery?

Informed Delivery from the United States Postal Service (USPS) gives consumers a sneak peak of their letter-sized mail (outer envelope or self-mailer image) before it arrives in their mailbox through a daily email that the consumer signs up for.

It consists of two main elements:

1) A large grayscale image of the piece or a 4-color representative image of the mailer.

2) A smaller, accompanying image that offers interactive marketing potential. Clicking on this image or on the “Learn More” call to action opens the URL associated with the campaign. It can also be used to open a marketer’s phone app for the recipient to call.

How Many People Are Signed Up for Informed Delivery?

As of 4/23/2021, the USPS reports that Informed Delivery has nearly 38 million users and a national saturation of over 22%.

Based on a 2020 Spring Mail Moment Study, the USPS reports that 50% of the audience surveyed had seen an interactive ad in the past 6 months. Of those, 74% have clicked on an interactive ad, and an astounding 63% had purchased from the website they accessed from the Informed Delivery campaign!

This presents a huge opportunity for marketers to drive incremental sales before the mail piece even arrives to the consumer’s home!

What Data Can I See as a Marketer with USPS Informed Delivery?

The following data is provided for Informed Delivery Campaigns.

  1. Density and Email Statistics (Number of users and % who elect to receive Informed Delivery emails)
  2. Email Open Rates (Number and % of emails opened)
  3. Click Through Rates (Number and % of people that clicked through on the digital content)

Nahan Can Help You Get Started

Our team at Nahan is here to help! We can provide input and guidance on setup, creative, measurement, and more with USPS Informed Delivery campaigns. Plus, as an extra bonus, the USPS is offering an Informed Delivery promotion later this year, so this is a great way to save on postage! Contact us to learn more!

Bio: Melissa Fransen is our Marketing Manager. She started with Nahan in May of 2017. Melissa is responsible for Nahan’s marketing initiatives, which includes everything from conference planning to social media initiatives. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and enjoying time in the outdoors with family and friends.

Employee Spotlight: Doug Karls

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

One of the aspects we pride ourselves on most at Nahan, is our top-notch team. We are so thankful to have employees that support our effort in building and maintaining an amazing team. Doug Karls, one of our production trainers, plays a significant role in this effort. I had the privilege to get to know Doug better, learn about his time at Nahan, and how he enjoys his time outside of work.

Doug Karls, Production Trainer

29 Years of Dedication to Nahan

Doug Karls began working at Nahan as a Helper in 1992. Over the years, he gained experience in several positions throughout the company, including a few years each as a Folder Operator, Cutter Operator, and Stitcher Operator. Doug then spent 14 years as a Shift Leader until becoming a Production Trainer in 2019. Since the opening of Nahan University in July of 2019, Doug has been an integral part of leading the program’s training initiatives. His longevity and dedication to Nahan is something he is proud of and he greatly enjoys how that has allowed him to learn about different departments at Nahan. Being a part of a company with an exciting vision for the future that continually strives for growth in all areas, is something that makes Doug excited about being on the Nahan team.

“My favorite part about my role at Nahan is helping new employees get the right training they need so they can achieve long term success as a Nahan employee.”

Doug Karls, Production Trainer

Life Beyond Nahan

Doug credits Michael Jordan, John C. Maxwell, and Simon Sinek as people who inspire him. Their work ethic, commitment, and leadership are qualities Doug admires and hopes to reflect in his role in training others at Nahan as well. In his free time, Doug enjoys watching the Vikings, Twins, and Wild teams play. Additionally, he likes to look for new smart home gadgets that he is sure he doesn’t need, spend time outside, and binge watch tv shows. In the future, Doug also hopes to travel to other areas of the world and eventually retire to Florida.

“The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is to always ask yourself, ‘what did you learn today?’ You will find that you always learn something new no matter what.”

-Doug Karls, Production Trainer

Careers at Nahan

If you are interested in learning more about a career at Nahan, visit our careers page or contact us to learn more.

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She graduated with her Master’s of Science in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management in 2020. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

NEMOA Spring Summit Takeaways: 4 Trends to Watch in 2021

Author: Krista Black, Group Account Director

I had the pleasure of participating in the NEMOA (National Etailing and Mailing Organization of America) Spring Summit last week. As you can imagine, attending a trade show looks a little different these days, with visiting booths, attending seminars and networking all done virtually. I was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly the event was run and how impactful the content was even though it was presented under different conditions. I found myself wondering if trade shows might maintain some of this new approach in the future even when a higher level of normalcy returns – a hybrid model where attendees could choose to participate in-person or online – or a combination of the two.

This thread of the “new normal” went beyond how the conference was run. It was woven into much of the content – the trends and predictions for our industry for the year ahead – predictions of a permanent shift in consumers’ behaviors as well as strategies to reach them.

Here are a few of my favorite COVID-inspired trends to watch from the 2021 NEMOA Spring Summit:

1. Resurgence of Mail

While mail volumes declined during the beginning of the pandemic, over 2/3 of Americans continue to collect their mail EVERY. DAY. Additionally, 77% of Americans indicate that they have a high interest in receiving mail and 50% of Millennials surveyed see mail as being more important than it was three years ago1. Meanwhile, packages from online shopping orders were delivered to doorsteps in record numbers, training us to check the doorstep and the mailbox more than ever before to retrieve them. As more and more brands re-enter the mail channel, they can benefit from these newly formed routines.

2. Test and Learn Mindset

In these times of rapidly changing consumer behavior, marketers must be nimble in terms of channel strategy, target, offers, and creative. A test and learn mindset is more critical than ever and will continue to remain imperative to helping marketers determine what’s working, what’s not, and what changes need to be made.

3. Rise of Social Commerce2

Consumers are buying directly from digital ads on social platforms at incredible rates, helping fuel a 33% year-over-year increase in ecommerce sales2. Thanks to Elizabeth Drori, Chief Marketing Officer at Sperry, for introducing me to the phrase, “thumb-stopping content” when describing how to capture attention and engage your audience when designing social content. Thumb-stopping content has lured me in many times; I’ve purchased everything from snacks to socks while scrolling through Instagram. But of course, social ads are only one piece of the puzzle – by aligning social ad strategy together with mail, we can fuel increased interaction and purchase behavior beyond what either channel can do alone. In the future, these channels will continue to become more interwoven.

4. Getting Real with Your Audience

The pandemic forced many brands to share their story differently during Covid shutdowns when travel, photo shoots, and large-scale productions were brought to a grinding halt. The silver lining? Many brands found new ways to connect with their audience, often leveraging user generated content to deliver an authentic brand message. With the shiny veneer of high production brand assets removed from the equation, smart brands were able to connect with audiences in new and more “real” way and “humanize” their brands.

Our team invites the opportunity to connect with you to strategize on these trends and to talk through your direct marketing strategies now and into the future. Reach out to us to schedule a time to chat.

Sources:

1Engaging with Customers in the Time of COVID, United States Postal Service

2How you succeed in an environment of rapid consumer behavior change, Oracle

Bio: Krista is our Group Account Director and brings over 15 years of marketing and agency experience. She and her husband have two children. Krista enjoys volunteering as a manager for her daughters’ dance teams, spending time with family, and watching reality TV.

5 Advantages of Working with Nahan as a Direct Marketing Agency

Author: Melissa Fransen

We have many exciting things happening at Nahan!

In January, we announced an expansion of our services to include a full omnichannel suite of direct marketing services, including strategy, creative, data, analytics, and more! These new services are being offered as needed a la cart style or in a fully integrated approach. Where you need help, our team can plug in and bring our expertise to take your direct marketing initiatives to new performance levels.

For many of our customers, our business relationship will remain unchanged and we are proud to continue our relationship as a trusted print partner. For others, these new resources bring forth a whole new world of opportunity.

Our team has been thrilled with the buzz we’ve been getting in the marketplace regarding our new services and the excitement we’re hearing from our customers. We want to say thank you for all of the questions we have received thus far. Keep the inquiries coming!

Here are 5 advantages of working with Nahan as a Direct Marketing Agency.

1. We Are Direct Marketing Strategy Experts

For over 50 years, Nahan has been known as a world-class printer. We know direct marketing production inside and out. We know best practices, what works, postal efficiencies, and much more. With our strategy offering, we can work with your team to optimize your entire direct marketing strategy and/or plug in where needed. Here are some examples of topics you could expect us to cover and ultimately address:

  • Discussion of your current direct marketing go-to-market strategy
  • Understanding your top-line goals and provide recommendations for helping you achieve and exceed them
  • What do successful KPIs look like for you?
  • Introduction of omnichannel and integrated tools to provide incremental response and lowered cost per acquisition
  • What is your data strategy?
  • How we leverage a test and learn approach with data and creative to continually improve results

2. We Bring Design/Creative Expertise

When it comes to the design of your next direct marketing program, our design experts are at your service. Whether it’s building an entire campaign from scratch to helping with new, efficient format ideas, we bring an unsurpassed level of creative expertise to your direct marketing projects. We can help with design, copywriting, personalization, versioning, best practices, and more! Here are some examples of things we’d likely cover in a design/creative review:

  • Understanding your audience
  • Understanding what’s worked and hasn’t in the past
  • What is the action you want the recipient to take?
  • Reviewing the developed creative brief
  • Offer and supporting benefits development
  • Optimal design and content placement
  • Copy that engages, makes an emotional connection, and prompts action
  • Accommodating differences in how readers consume content
  • Communicating your unique selling proposition

3. We Can Help with Your Data, Targeting, and Analytics

Whether you are a seasoned direct marketer or are just getting started, our team can help with your data and targeting strategies. From list research in identifying your best target audience to predictive modeling tools, we love to help our customers with their data/targeting strategies. Topics surrounding data and targeting would include items such as:

  • Understanding your target market
  • Reviewing current and introducing potential new sources of data
  • Leveraging sophisticated analytics to boost response, cut costs, and lower cost of acquisition
  • Understanding your current CRM strategy and how we can enhance it
  • Leveraging your customer and prospect data to further enhance personalization

4. We Bring Analysis Experience

Once the mailing gets to the recipient, our team is equipped to step in to help you analyze results of your direct marketing campaigns. Examples of items we’d analyze include:

  • KPIs and what they tell us
  • What can be learn from what worked and what didn’t
  • Go-forward testing recommendations

5. We Take What’s Working (or Not!) and Build Upon It

The best part of working together is that you will realize . . .

Request a Quote

Are you interested in learning more about our direct marketing service offerings? Reach out and contact us today!

Bio: Melissa Fransen is our Marketing Manager. She started with Nahan in May of 2017. Melissa is responsible for Nahan’s marketing initiatives, which includes everything from conference planning to social media initiatives. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and enjoying time in the outdoors with family and friends.

Looking for a Unique Take on Direct Mail? Try the Peek Fold Format!

Author: Laura Karels, Lead Designer

Check out our spin on a traditional direct mail format with the peek fold format. You’ll grab your recipient’s attention with a personalized headline as the first thing they see when they pull this peek folded letter out of the envelope. The longer form allows for a traditional letter using direct mail best practices along with extra real estate for a branded or promotional panel.

  • Unique folded letter peeks a large headline at the top
  • 14” long form for additional real estate
  • Tip on card for a tactile feel
  • 6” x 9” envelope stands out in the mailbox
  • Options: Fold style can be incorporated on other size formats

Watch the short video below to see the peek fold format in action!

For more inspiration, check out our other format ideas, including a double gate mailer, iron cross mailer, and 5 panel rollfold mailer.

Bio: Laura Karels is our Lead Designer. She is responsible for all things direct marketing design—from format sketches to final art—and truly enjoys the creative process of helping clients develop winning direct marketing campaigns. In her spare time, Laura enjoys great coffee and cross-country road trips with her family. She’s also getting really good at finding humor in her husband bringing home yet another “project” vehicle.

Employee Spotlight: Elena Cunningham

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

At Nahan, we pride ourselves on the quality and talent of our team members. Each department is comprised of amazing employees whose dedication is what makes Nahan great. Elena Cunningham, our Human Resources Manager/Business Partner, is one of our newer employees who make Nahan special. I had the privilege to get to know Elena better, learn about her time at Nahan and how she enjoys her time outside of work.

Elena Cunningham

Elena’s Career in Human Resources

Elena joined the Nahan team at the beginning of February and has proved to be a vital part of the Human Resources team in a short time. In coming aboard the Nahan team, she brought five years of experience as an HR Business Partner at a technology solutions company. One of Elena’s impressive career accomplishments includes creating and running the Human Resources department at her previous employer. The ability to build a needed and significant piece of that company and turn it into an effective and trusted department is an example of the talent Elena possesses. Bringing that skill and experience to Nahan has made her a great addition to the team. When asked what she enjoys most about her role at Nahan, Elena explained that she enjoys being able to work with people every day and the ability to be a helpful resource to them.

“My favorite part about Nahan so far is getting to know the staff and the excitement of continually meeting more of the team!”

Elena Cunningham

Life Beyond Nahan

In her daily life, Elena’s parents are two people who inspire her. She describes them as strong-willed people who never give up and always stay humble, despite the challenges in life. When Elena is not working hard on the Human Resources team, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, running, painting, and going to brunch. She hopes to travel to Asia, South America, and Europe someday soon, as well as complete a half marathon.

Careers at Nahan

If you are interested in learning more about a career at Nahan, visit our careers page or contact us to learn more.

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She graduated with her Master’s of Science in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management in 2020. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

USPS Promotions – A Great Way to Engage Customers and Save on Postage

Author: Jen Bender, Senior Account Executive

Client engagement with your brand, products, and services begins at the mailbox. The look and feel of the piece you are mailing needs to draw in the consumer and make them want to open the package. 

USPS Promotions provide a great opportunity to engage customers, while saving on postage. We recently shared the 2021 USPS Postal Promotions calendar, which highlights the upcoming postal promotions for this year. In this blog, we are featuring two promotions that have been of particular interest to many of our customers.

Tactile, Sensory and Interactive Promotion

The Tactile, Sensory and Interactive Promotion (TSI) encourages sensory engagement with the physical mail piece using technical advances within the direct marketing industry.  Categories that qualify within this promotion include – specialty inks, specialty papers and interactive mail piece design.

The addition of a visual or textural element(s) can create intrigue for the recipient.  The addition of these treatments – like soft touch or sandpaper on the envelope or the addition of a lenticular card on the letter – can boost client interaction with the mail piece.

Treatments can be applied to the envelope and/or the mail piece but must be both visible and distinguishable and must meet automation compatibility requirements. The TSI promotion runs February 1, 2021 through July 31, 2021 and approved pieces receive a 2% postage discount.

Emerging and Advanced Technology Promotion

The Emerging and Advanced Technology Promotion integrates direct mail with advances in technology.  This promotion incorporates Enhanced Augmented Reality, Near Field Communication (NFC) Technology, Virtual Reality, and other digital methods to enhance your direct mail piece.

Creating an omnichannel marketing experience for your audience can accentuate your marketing strategy.  For example, add your logo, image or icon to the piece to create an interactive experience for the client by featuring a new product or service. 

The Emerging and Advanced Technology promotion runs March 1, 2021 – August 31, 2021.  Approved mail pieces quality for a 2% postage discount.

Getting Started with USPS Promotions

Our team is happy help you learn more about USPS Promotions and how to get started. Reach out to your Sales Representative, Account Executive or Account Manager for additional details as there are rules and restrictions that apply.

Bio: Jen Bender is a Senior Account Executive at Nahan. Jen has over 20 years of direct marketing experience and she enjoys working with clients to bring their direct marketing initiatives to the next level. Jen and her husband have two children and as family, they enjoy cheering on the team her husband coaches. Jen also enjoys reading, writing, and music.

How To Build an Effective Direct Marketing Strategy

Author: Alan Sherman, VP of Marketing Strategy

How many times have we in business or marketing heard the word “strategy?” or “strategic?” or “strategic direction?”  It’s one of those common business buzzwords that we hear all the time, but when it comes to direct marketing, what does “strategy” really mean? Merriam-Webster offers up several definitions of “strategy,” but the one I think is most relevant to direct marketing is “The art of devising or employing plans towards a goal.” After all, successful direct marketing strategy requires effective planning – putting the components of a winning program together.

From Our Perspective, What is Strategy?  

Nahan provides Strategic Planning, which is most simply about enabling clients to achieve their direct marketing goals.  This means improving direct mail gross response, while lowering cost without corresponding drops in response. This can be a challenge, as adding package components, increasing package size or paper quality will often lift response, but add cost. Ultimately, improving upon both response and cost leads to an improved cost per acquisition and superior return on marketing investment. So how do we do this?

A Step by Step, Rigorous Approach Gets Results

We recommend initially approaching this from a macro level. Who will we target and why? If we are focusing on direct mail, what kind of package format is needed? What does our creative and messaging need to look like? What are our target metrics?

The answers to these questions can be found in a step-by-step approach to direct marketing performance improvement. We suggest beginning with a marketing assessment to best understand everything that has been done in the past, from creative, targeting, cadence and offers to the competitive landscape.

Based on our knowledge of data and analytics and an analysis of the marketer’s data, we will likely propose specific types of data and the right predictive analytic tools for data testing. On the creative side, although budget is usually a factor, when we can test more than one creative, we create more opportunities for success.

Finally, based on what we see in the data and from our knowledge of direct mail creative best practices, we design the creative, with the target audience in mind. The data analysis tells us quite a bit about our prospects. We develop messaging, the package design, articulate the offer, supporting benefits and Call to Action.

How Strategy is Rolled Out Against Data, Analytics, and Creative

The available universe is determined. Because we take a “test and learn” approach, a test plan that minimizes risk while testing creative, data, and analytics is developed. When results come back, we measure them and make recommendations for further improvements in targeting and creative. Feeling more comfortable in what works, we can invest more dollars in reaching more people, often expanding to an omnichannel campaign, particularly where we can simultaneously target the same direct mail recipients with online campaigns, can substantially lift results further.

A subsequent results analysis leads to additional improvement – ideally, a never-ending improvement process. Which is necessary, given that costs like paper and postage are always rising!

The Results

We can almost always improve response through our knowledge of what creative and data works, creative and data testing, and predictive analytics. We can also test less expensive materials to bring down package costs. When we work these “levers” in the right way, cost per acquisition drops.

Questions To Ask Yourself and Your Team

What are your acquisition goals for the year? Where do you think your program is working and where might improvement be needed? Are you testing creative and data on a regular basis? Do you rotate your creative to keep it fresh and performance up? If you would like to achieve better results or simply discuss your challenges and receive suggestions, give us a call.

Bio: Alan Sherman is our Vice President of Marketing Strategy. Alan enhances Nahan’s current value proposition with strategy solutions that support new/existing client relationships. For clients, he leverages market, customer, and competitive intelligence to build achievable strategies for omnichannel marketing success. His marketing plan strategies include targeted data, predictive analytics, testing and creative that drive ongoing client performance improvement. In his spare time, Alan enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, going to concerts, watching sports (he’s a fan of the NY Giants, Boston Red Sox and Celtics) and walking the dog, even though it was just out.

Direct Mail Design Best Practices: Personalization Matters

Author: Laura Karels, Lead Designer

Designers of all mediums have best practices they follow when creating their best product and direct mail designers are no different. One of the most important best practices in direct mail design is using personalization and using it well.

Direct mail personalization has come a long way from just using the recipient’s name and address. Digital print technology and highly targeted data has allowed marketers to personalize direct mail design in creative ways. Personalization is proven to drive better response rates and who doesn’t want that?!  

Ways to get personal…

Imagery

Images can be personalized based on segmentation data, business vertical type, location, and more. Visuals the recipient can relate to can be very powerful.

Offers

Targeting offers to a recipient’s consumer history or specific needs are more likely to get response from your direct mail. Response rates can increase up to 50% or more when targeting consumers on a 1:1 level. (thedma.org)

Geo-Targeting

One of the easiest ways to personalize and get impact is the use of maps and locations within the direct mail design and copy. This is also information that is part of the basic data—it can simply be pulled from the address block.  

Copy

The words you use can be personalized in so many ways. Using the recipient’s name, address, consumer history, business type, etc. in thoughtful ways within the copy can entice the reader and increase response. According to the ANA (formerly DMA) simply adding a person’s name can increase response by 135%!

Forms

If your direct mail format includes a form or response device, prefill out the form with the recipient’s data to make responding easier.

These are just 5 ways to use personalization within direct mail design but digital print technology has opened the door to so much more.

Check out this example of a mailer that was designed to contain 57 variable pieces of data and photos, resulting in increased engagement and a higher ROI per piece vs. previous direct mailers! Contact Us to see how we can help you effectively use personalization in your next mailing.

This is part of our Design Best Practices Blog Series. Look for more best practices in future blog posts.

BIO: Laura Karels is our Lead Designer. She is responsible for all things direct marketing design—from format sketches to final art—and truly enjoys the creative process of helping clients develop winning direct marketing campaigns. In her spare time, Laura enjoys great coffee and cross-country road trips with her family. She’s also getting really good at finding humor in her husband bringing home yet another “project” vehicle.

Employee Spotlight: Sara Stephanie

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

Each department at Nahan is full of team members that make our vision of exceeding customer expectations come to life. One of our amazing employees is Sara Stephanie, a dedicated member of our Direct Mail team who runs the CMC 250 inline. I had the privilege to get to know Sara better, learn about her time at Nahan, and how she enjoys her time outside of work.

Sara Stephanie

15 Years of Dedication to Nahan

Sara started her career working in the retail and consumer industry, eventually leading her to the Direct Mail industry. After a few years at a mailing service company, Sara became a part of the Nahan team in the Direct Mail department and has been an integral part of her team for the last 15 years. When reflecting on her experience, Sara explains that she is proud of her constant growth in her role and the company. The knowledge she has gained over the years has been beneficial to her career and has added to the success of the Direct Mail team. Additionally, Sara credits the people she works with every day on her team as one of her favorite parts of her role.

“The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is that you can achieve whatever you put your mind to.”

Sara Stephanie, when asked the best piece of advice she’d been given.

Life Beyond Nahan

In her daily life, Sara’s family inspires her to be the best person she can be and to try her best in everything she does. When Sara is not working hard on the Direct Mail team, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, taking her dog for walks, camping, fishing, and going to the beach. One of her biggest goals in life that she is always working towards is continuing to improve and become a better person. This is so apparent in her commitment to her Nahan team, and we are very thankful for her dedication.

Careers at Nahan

If you are interested in learning more about a career at Nahan, visit our careers page or contact us to learn more.

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She graduated with her Master’s of Science in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management in 2020. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

Employee Spotlight: Gary Wenner

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

We are so thankful for our team of amazing and dedicated team members. Our mission is only possible with the talent of our employees, including Gary Wenner, our Master Electrician. I had the privilege to get to know Gary better, learn about his time at Nahan, and how he enjoys his time outside of work.

Gary and his family

Over Two Decades On the Nahan Team

Gary started his career by enrolling in the Electrical Construction program at St. Cloud Technical Community College. While working for Cold Spring Granite, he received his Journeyman’s License, which requires four years of experience. While working for Stearns County Facilities Maintenance, Gary worked to earn his Master’s License, which requires at least five years of experience. Shortly after, Gary saw an advertisement for the position of Master Electrician at Nahan, He applied, joined our team and he is a proud Nahan employee of 23 years. Over these two decades, Gary says that installing new equipment is one of the most rewarding challenges. The ability to have the time, tools, and resources to complete a job that meets the electrical code, is professional-looking, and lasts for years is one of the reasons he enjoys working at Nahan. Most of all, he enjoys the people he works with every day. As the Master Electrician, he gets to work with people throughout the company, and that involvement is something he greatly appreciates and enjoys about his role.

“The best piece of advice I’ve been given is to start each new day with an attitude of gratitude.”

Gary Wenner, Master Electrician

Life Beyond Nahan

In his daily life, Gary’s dad serves as a person that inspires him. His father’s legacy of being a hardworking, patient, and a kind person, as well as a good husband and father, encourages him every day. When Gary is not working hard on the Nahan team, he enjoys spending time with his wife, son, and daughter and doing activities such as boating, camping, snowmobiling, motorcycling, and traveling. Of the places he’s traveled, his favorite has been cruising the Caribbean and he looks forward to traveling more to farther destinations for longer periods in the future.

Careers at Nahan

If you are interested in learning more about a career at Nahan, visit our careers page or contact us to learn more.

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She graduated with her Master’s of Science in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management in 2020. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

Expanding Our Portfolio of Services – Introducing Marketing Services

Author: Alan Sherman

For almost 60 years, Nahan has been known for an emphasis on high quality production, distribution, and design. Our clients are a blue-chip group of direct mail and catalog marketers.

In a marketing climate that is increasingly competitive and further challenged by a global pandemic, we are building upon our success and offering clients a true end-to-end omnichannel marketing solution, driven by a team of experts across strategy, data, and creative.

Crafting a Solution Around What Works

In doing so, we are positioning our marketing services around what drives client success. In direct mail, response is driven by 3 top-line components: the data, creative, and the offer. Supporting and “orchestrating” all of this is the strategy, with an overall plan of action that often optimizes all three of these elements for best results.

Targeting Crucial for Success

Research indicates that the right data or list, is the single most important factor in prospect or customer response. An investment in direct mail is wasted against the wrong audience. Proper data selection, whether it is a targeted list selection or through the application of predictive analytics, is essential for success.  We can drive enhanced performance via additional, proven sources often priced at levels that clients cannot obtain on their own.

Creative Designed Specifically to Drive Response

Our skilled and experienced team is highly focused on applying a series of creative best practices that get respondents to take action. High performance creative is much more than small, iterative changes to an existing creative control. It means re-tooled responsive design, copy and often the introduction of new direct mail formats. This is where the big gains in response are realized.  Depending on the client, it may mean development of a rotation of creative controls, especially when targeting an audience more than once.

Hooking Them With a Well-Written and Properly Located Offer

The creative offer is what hooks potential customers. Offers themselves may sometimes be limited by what a client is able to provide, but how they are presented, messaged and supported by benefits is key to response success. A well-constructed offer with supporting benefits is compelling, hooks the reader, establishes credibility, reverses perceived risk, and includes a strong, urgent call to action.

Tying It All Together with Strategy

Well-developed strategy effectively brings these key components together. It may include analyzing past performance, scoping and ranking the right universe, putting an A/B or multivariate test plan together, providing guidance on the campaign, measuring the results and then applying the learning for continued, ongoing performance improvement. This may mean expanding the marketing plan, utilizing various approaches to reach the same people with multiple contacts across additional, integrated marketing channels. We have long known that omnichannel programs perform best.

An End-to-End Solution Makes for Cost Efficiencies and Higher ROI

Pairing some or all of your direct marketing efforts with high-quality production and smart postal strategies produces cost and time efficiencies, which leads to greater Return on Investment. We are already hard at work helping clients achieve better results for 2021 and are eager to help you be successful as well! Please reach out to me at alan.sherman@nahan.com if you would like to learn more about our marketing services.

Bio: Alan Sherman is our Vice President of Marketing Strategy. Alan enhances Nahan’s current value proposition with strategy solutions that support new/existing client relationships. For clients, he leverages market, customer, and competitive intelligence to build achievable strategies for omnichannel marketing success. His marketing plan strategies include targeted data, predictive analytics, testing and creative that drive ongoing client performance improvement. In his spare time, Alan enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, going to concerts, watching sports (he’s a fan of the NY Giants, Boston Red Sox and Celtics) and walking the dog, even though it was just out.

Success Story: Creating an Award-Winning Catalog for the U.S. Market

Author: Melissa Fransen

Creating an award-winning catalog is one thing. Having the first catalog you produce for the U.S. market as an international brand win a Gold Ink Award, one of the industry’s most prestigious awards… that is in a class of its own!

At Nahan, we feel honored and privileged to have been a part of this success with our customer TriSyle Group and their Madeleine catalog. I had the privilege to chat with Niels Degen and Rob McMahon of TriSyle Group to learn more about their catalog creation and their success story with launching the Madeleine brand in the U.S.

Madeleine’s Award-Winning Catalog

Background

The Madeleine brand is a very strong fashion brand internationally. As a part of their strategic growth initiatives, TriStyle Group decided to launch this brand into the U.S. with a catalog pilot test program.   

The pilot program consisted of two distributions of 100,000 catalogs each. Everything was planned very carefully for the entire pilot program and then something happened in the world that shook all of us – the pandemic started the same week as their first catalog dropped! Scary? Yes! But, I’m happy to report that all went well. In fact, the catalog performed 10% better than planned; moreover, was 6% more profitable!

“At TriStyle, we are very happy with our first steps into the US market and are looking forward to our future journey.”

Niels Degen, TriStyle

And even better news… the second campaign came in with even better results than the first one!

Creating an Award-Winning Catalog in the U.S.

When creating a catalog for the U.S. market, there are many things to consider from SKU assortments that appeal to the U.S. fashion market to U.S. paper selection to the size of the catalog itself to ensure it is spec’d to co-mail efficient sizes.

Rob walked me through the process of creating the catalog pilot program and how Kelly Marthaler, our Nahan Sales Representative, flew to London to review the details and to strategize on a successful catalog brand launch in the U.S. Every aspect of the project was planned carefully and strategically. One of the ideas that came from the meeting was a “mini catalog” within the catalog itself that featured a range of their hottest selling products featured at special pricing. The mini catalog featured a thicker paper stock than the rest of the catalog to help it stand out. The catalog also featured a few variable special offers, specific to each customer from “free shipping & returns” to “$25 off and a free gift scarf.”

All of these details and more contributed to this successful Gold Ink Award win. Winning pieces for Gold Ink Awards are chosen based on print quality, technical difficulty, and overall visual effect.

Follow Up to the Test Pilot

Due to the success of the pilot program, TriStyle Group has expanded their print marketing efforts to include follow-up catalog strategies and self-mailers.  

“I’d like to personally congratulate TriStyle Group’s team on putting together an award-winning catalog! Well done! And thanks for choosing Nahan as your partner for this project. We are very happy for you and your success!”

Melissa Fransen, Marketing Manager

Interested in Learning More About Launching a U.S. Catalog Program for your International Brand?

If you are in interested in learning more about our marketing services, let us know! Feel free to contact us today! Plus, check out the Madeleine website at the following link: https://www.madeleine.com/

Bio: Melissa Fransen is our Marketing Manager. She started with Nahan in May of 2017. Melissa is responsible for Nahan’s marketing initiatives, which includes everything from conference planning to social media initiatives. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and enjoying time in the outdoors with family and friends.

Top Five Nahan Blogs of 2020

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

We so enjoyed writing our collection of Nahan blogs published in 2020! Keeping our customers up to date on industry trends and company culture is one way of our favorite ways to differentiate ourselves and be customer-focused. Thank you to everyone for reading our blogs in 2020, we look forward to sharing more content this year!

Check out our top five performing blogs below!

  1. Employee Spotlight: Dawn Volante Brown
  2. Nahan Named As a Printing Industry Best Workplace in the Americas
  3. Mixing PMS Colors
  4. Is Nahan a Printing or Technology Company?
  5. Employee Spotlight: Pat Nahan

We are excited to publish more great and informative articles in 2021! Be sure to check out our website this year for all the latest Nahan blogs. To be the first to know about new blogs, make sure to follow us on our LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. If you have content that you’d like to see from our team in the future, feel free to contact us anytime and let us know.

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She graduated with her Master’s of Science in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management in 2020. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

Employee Spotlight: Aaron Weekes

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

At Nahan, we’re thankful for our amazing team that makes our mission possible. One of those dedicated team members is Aaron Weekes, our Director of Business Support Services. I had the privilege to get to know Aaron more, learn about his time at Nahan, and how he enjoys his time outside of work.

Aaron Weekes, Director of Business Support Services

Two Decades of Experience in Information Technology

Aaron has been a Nahan employee for the past four years. When he began his role at Nahan, he brought sixteen years of experience in Informational Technology from his previous role in a growth-oriented manufacturing organization. Starting as a helpdesk intern at his prior organization that led him to become their Director of IT, he is now the Director of Business Support Services at Nahan. He is grateful for the opportunities he has had to grow professionally and work with great teams. As the Director of Business Services, Aaron serves as the leader of all our business support service teams. This includes a variety of amazing people focused on internal and external customer service in the areas of technology, pricing, project planning, graphic arts, and data service.

“At my core, I just love helping people, and I get to do that every day. It brings me great joy. The people I get to work with day in and day out are great. It’s an amazing, diverse, dedicated, and fun group of people.”

Aaron Weekes, when asked to share what he enjoys most about his role at Nahan.
Aaron and his family.

Life Beyond Nahan

One of the accomplishments Aaron is proud of is his ability to maintain a work and life balance. His time with his family means the world to him. In his spare time, he enjoys playing basketball and claims he could fish for days without ever getting bored. He also tries to find time to volunteer with youth and travel to new places with his family. Glacier National Park is his favorite place he has had the opportunity to travel to, and he is excited to hike more trails in state and national parks with his family in the future.

Careers at Nahan

If you are interested in learning more about a career at Nahan, visit our careers page or contact us to learn more.

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

Nahan Receives Recertification of G7® Master Qualification

SAINT CLOUD, MN – December 4, 2020 – Nahan Printing, an award-winning provider of commercial print, direct mail, and digital solutions, is proud to announce it has received its annual G7® Master Qualification Recertification.

G7® is an industry-leading set of specifications from Idealliance® for achieving visual similarity across all print processes. It is a global standard widely used to measure the color accuracy on any output device. “The G7® Master Qualification tells Nahan’s customers that they can expect exceptional color consistency” said Tim Castellano, Nahan’s Color Technician. It allows Nahan to manage process control better, reduce make-ready, and improve overall efficiency in all aspects of our workflow. For our customers, this consistency also ensures uncompromising color according to their brand standards.

“The final product was beautiful. Print quality was exceptional.”

Print Buyer, Marketing and Fundraising Agency

“The G7® Master Qualification certifies that our color reproduction process is in control and can predictively produce the highest 4/C printing quality including match to the proof and consistent length of run color consistency” said John Klumb, Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “G7® certification is one of the cornerstones of Nahan’s Award Winning quality along with skilled craftsman and best in class inks and process materials.”

About Nahan

Nahan Printing is a Minnesota-based, independent, privately-held, world-class printer committed to providing end-to-end solutions that add value to our clients. Since its inception in 1962, Nahan has specialized in catalog and direct mail printing for industries such as retail, financial services, non-profit and hospitality. With a client roster of legendary brands, Nahan prints iconic work that represents the highest level of quality and innovation in the industry.

Unique Format to Set Yourself Apart in the Mailbox – Consider an Iron Cross Mailer!

We are putting together a series of “quick to market” direct mailer format ideas. From acquisition mailings to market recovery plan mailings, an iron cross mailer is a great option. A lot of our customers are finding to be a very effective format as a part of their marketing strategy. Check it out!

Advantages include:

  • Unique, eye-catching design
  • Format featured – 4.25″ x 6″
  • Unique personalized panels
  • Can affix card in the center panel (personalized)
  • Glue tabbed shut
  • These can be produced on premium papers up to 80# cover weight stocks

Interested in learning more? Contact us today to get a quote or visit our marketing services page!

Do You Want to Get to Market Quickly? Consider a 5 Panel Rollfold Mailer!

We are putting together a series of “quick to market” direct mailer format ideas. From acquisition mailings to market recovery plan mailings, a 5 panel rollfold mailer is a great option. A lot of our customers are finding this to be a very effective format as a part of their marketing strategy. Size is shown as 5″ x 7.” Check it out!

Advantages include:

  • Rollfold is option is great for telling a story
  • 5″ x 7″ and 6″ x 9″ folding sizes. 5″ x 7″ offers excellent paper cost efficiency
  • Can attach a static or personalized card
  • Inline 1:1 personalized 600 X 1200 (high resolution) inkjetting for address and other panels
  • Produced in one-pass – printing, folding, gluing, inkjetting in one single pass through our press
  • Glues closed – no wafer seals or tabs needed
  • These can be produced on premium papers up to 80# cover weight stocks
  • Options: tipped cards added to panels, perfing, and adding an outer envelope

Interested in learning more? Contact us today to get a quote or visit our marketing services page!

Nahan Website Wins Gold at W3 Awards: An Interview with the Website Launch Team

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

We are thrilled to announce that the Nahan website is the recipient of a W3 Gold Award in the category of General Website – Professional Services. The W3 Awards recognize digital excellence in the categories of websites, apps, social content, videos, podcasts, and marketing. Our team is incredibly excited to be awarded this honor that recognizes the hard work of our website launch team and the talents of the team at Lawrence & Schiller. This accomplishment would truly not have been possible without the collaboration of Lawrence & Schiller – a huge thank you to their dedicated team! The award win comes just one year after our website launch in October of 2019. To celebrate both our W3 Awards win and our new website’s one-year anniversary, I spoke with the members of the website launch team to gather insight on the goals and accomplishments of the website launch.

Our website launch team included the following Nahan team members

  • Melissa Fransen (Marketing Manager)
  • Aaron Weekes (Director of Business Support Services)
  • Curt Tillotson (Chief Operating Officer)
  • Jim Hesch (Client Service Team Leader)
  • Adam Rohde (Department Leader – IT)
  • John Klumb (Vice President of Sales and Marketing)
  • Brenda Blonigen (Senior Account Manager)
  • Joseph Jachimiec (Security Administrator)

Our Nahan website launch team (from left to right): Melissa Fransen, Aaron Weekes, Curt Tillotson, Jim Hesch, Adam Rohde, John Klumb, Brenda Blonigen, and Joseph Jachimiec

What were some of your goals with the new website?

Melissa: We wanted our website to represent Nahan and our brand, be SEO (Search Engine Optimization)-focused, and be optimized for lead generation. We also wanted it to focus on our people, thought-leadership, and our culture.

John: One of my goals was to have a robust group of blogs available that would be added to on a regular basis. My hope was that this would drive repeat visitors and make us known as a leader in providing valuable content. Thanks to the efforts of many, this is a reality.

What did you enjoy most about the process of relaunching the website?

Aaron: I really enjoyed identifying and creating the profiles of people using the website. The process really helped us understand the content that different consumers would want to know and the best way to tell our story to them. It was a great exercise that Lawrence & Schiller helped us through.

Lawrence & Schiller: It was a unique and rewarding experience to work with our long-time print partner and help them to create a website that is as innovative as they are. For a business who is always dedicated to producing the best work, it was great to turn the tables and put the focus on Nahan.

Brenda: I thoroughly enjoyed learning how much it takes to create a website and the intricate parts of it. It was a great learning experience for me. The Nahan and Lawrence & Schiller team members were so knowledgeable and I learned so much from all of them. They were fun, creative, great thinkers, and such a joy to work with. Wow! Such amazing people.

Does anything in particular stand out to you as something cool or noteworthy you learned during the process?       

Jim: I thought it was pretty cool how easy it was to add content. We were able to add some awesome pictures to our website. I’m happy that it’s able to show some friendly team faces.

Melissa: It was a fun process as to how our team built the site tailored to all of the different personas of people who come to the site – from job seekers to community members to customers to print professionals that have been in the industry their entire career to print newbies. There is something for everyone and we continue to build blogs tailored to all of the different people that come to our website.

Adam: I loved the cross-department collaboration that went into the build. The chance to highlight individuals and show who we are was probably my favorite part of the process.

Lawrence & Schiller: Nahan assembled the perfect team to tackle this project. When I say perfect, I really mean that. It was a diverse group of folks from multiple departments and parts of the business, but the special part was how focused their team was when it came to decision-making. As L&S led discussions on vision, audience, content, design and functionality – the Nahan team (time and time again) would collaborate and reach a final, definitive direction on where they wanted to go. This was also a nod to Melissa who had a passion for innovation but a commitment to team.

From your perspective, what was the most difficult challenge you faced during the launch?

Aaron: We took the approach to start from scratch instead of just improving the current site.  This was challenging because it took time and caused us to rethink everything, but it was worth the investment.

Joseph: The Nahan team was so fun to work with, and Melissa was a great team lead, so I honestly don’t remember any particularly difficult challenges. Lawrence & Schiller was top-notch, very friendly, talented, and professional. I’m just glad I was able to play a part in the launch from a security perspective, as well as helping with the design, photography, and content. It’s a great website!

Brenda: My greatest challenge was just to understand the whys behind the creative portion of what we were trying to accomplish. How exactly information pulls into a website was a mystery to me, but so very interesting learning this.

Curt: The most difficult part of the process was deciding which words we wanted to make sure that we mentioned on the site so that we show up on Google searches. It was a daunting task, but Melissa and our team at Lawrence & Schiller showed us how to work through it.

What made you the most proud during the process of launching the website?

John: I am proud of the fact the new website does such a great job of conveying who we are and what Nahan is and that we’re not just a printer.                                                                                                                                                                   

Jim: I’m proud of our collaboration and brainstorming sessions. And then we would all get together with each addition and review . . . oh my, I love smart people.

Lawrence & Schiller: Adding the photo/video shoot to this project really made the website go from “great” to “award winning”. Nahan’s decision to invest in capturing the company culture, people and processes through photography and videography allowed L&S to design a website that was modern, forward-thinking and simply different from your typical print shop. The website truly delivers on its promise of being world-class.

Curt: Our Nahan team that brainstormed our website was amazing. They brought energy, creativity, and competency to the project well beyond what I ever could have imagined. They worked as a team and got it done. 

Feel free to explore our website and let us know what you think!

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

Do You Want to Get to Market Quickly? Consider a Double Gate Mailer!

We are putting together a series of “quick to market” direct mailer format ideas. From acquisition mailings to Holiday mailings, a double gate mailer is a great option. A lot of our customers are finding this to be a very effective format as a part of their marketing strategy. Size as shown is 6″ x 9.” Check it out!

Advantages include:

  • Expanded selling space
  • Large, visual impact
  • Can be expanded to 6″ x 10.5″
  • Can attach a static or personalized card
  • Inline 1:1 personalized 600 X 1200 (high resolution) inkjetting for address and other panels
  • Produced in one-pass – printing, folding, gluing, inkjetting in one single pass through our press
  • Glues closed – no wafer seals or tabs needed
  • These can be produced on premium papers up to 80# cover weight stocks
  • Options: tipped cards added to panels, perfing, and adding an outer envelope

Interested in learning more? Contact us today to get a quote or visit our marketing services page!

Employee Spotlight: Jenny Chirhart

At Nahan, we pride ourselves on our amazing team that makes our mission possible. One of those amazing team members is Jenny Chirhart, our Fulfillment Department Leader.

Jenny Chirhart, Fulfillment Department Leader

“The part that I enjoy the most about being on the Nahan team is how everyone works together to get the job done.”

Jenny Chirhart, Fulfillment Department Leader

Nearly Two and a Half Decades of Commitment to Nahan

Jenny has been a Nahan employee for the past twenty-four years. She began her Nahan career following her high school graduation as a Direct Mail Helper. During the years following, she worked as a Quality Checker, Laser Operator, and Inserter Operator. Jenny worked in the Customer Service Department for nine years and then in Prep and Outside Purchasing for another three years. In the spring of 2018, she became a Lead in our Fulfillment Department, and then was promoted to a Shift Leader in the summer of 2019. When I asked Jenny what made her the proudest of her time at Nahan, she responded with the fact that she has worked hard over the years and it earned her a leadership role. She also credits the people she gets to work with every day, as a reason she enjoys working at Nahan.

Jenny and her children

“The people who inspire me the most in my life are my children.”

Jenny Chirhart, Fulfillment Department Leader

Life Beyond Nahan

When she is not leading the Fulfillment Department, Jenny enjoys spending time with her family. She added that the best advice she’s ever received is to enjoy time with her children and family because time goes by too fast. Other than spending time with family and friends, Jenny’s hobbies include four-wheeling, going on walks, and playing games. She also enjoys traveling, citing Hawaii as her favorite trip, and she hopes to do more traveling in the future.

Careers at Nahan

If you are interested in learning more about a career at Nahan, visit our careers page or contact us to learn more.

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

Do You Want to Get to Market Quickly? Consider a Trifold Mailer!

We are putting together a series of “quick to market” direct mailer format ideas. From acquisition mailings to special event mailings, a trifold mailer is a great option to drive online or retail activity. Typically the postage cost is 25% lower than a typical 8’ X 10.5” catalog. A lot of our customers are finding this to be a very effective format as a part of their marketing strategy. Size is shown as 6″ x 10.5.” Check it out!

Advantages include:

  • Cost-effective design
  • 3x the real estate (square inches) of an oversized postcard and mails for the same price
  • Can attach a static or personalized card
  • Inline 1:1 personalized 600 X 1200 (high resolution) inkjetting for address and other panels
  • Produced in one-pass – printing, folding, gluing, inkjetting in one single pass through our press
  • Glues closed – no wafer seals or tabs needed
  • These can be produced on premium papers up to 80# cover weight stocks
  • Options: tipped cards added to panels, perfing, and adding an outer envelope

Interested in learning more? Contact us today to get a quote or visit our marketing services page!

Printing Industry: Myth Busters

Author: Melissa Fransen

I’ve been really looking forward to putting together this blog. Our team met recently and brainstormed common printing industry myths that we’ve heard. Without further ado, let’s explore the list!

Myth #1: Print is Dead

Let’s start with this one right off the bat. Yes, we live in a digital world. Yes, there are more marketing channels than ever to attract and retain loyal customers. Yes, in some segments, marketing mail volumes have decreased but from our perspective at Nahan, print is alive, well, and continues to grow.

We have more customers than ever using print to complement their marketing strategies and we continue to add new customers on a weekly basis. We work with Fortune 500 companies across the globe in industries from eCommerce to Food to Financial to Tourism to Retail and much more. Print is a viable marketing channel that is driving great results for our customers and definitely has its place with omni-channel marketing strategies.

Nahan is more than just a print shop – we are evolving to be more of a technology company who is really great at print, as said best by my colleague Pat Nahan. Check out more from his blog on this topic here.

Myth #2: Print is Ineffective

In a recent study from MTS, 84% of Marketers stated that direct mail improved their multichannel campaign performance! Also, they stated that respondents reported a 41% increase in “good” or “very good” ROI when direct mail was part of the multichannel mix. That alone speaks volumes as to how effective print can be when added to an omni-channel marketing strategy.

When planning print strategies with our customers, we work with them to ensure their printed strategies are built to drive results based on their specific goals. If your printed pieces have not been successful, it’s important to dig into why. What was your goal? Was it branding alone? To acquire new customers? Drive online sales? Retain a lapsed customer? Did you provide an incentive or a great call to action to drive a response? If your project had an envelope, was there something to entice the end consumer to open it? Printed products will only be as successful as the strategies behind them to drive results. Two of our Nahan Differentiators are that we are problem solvers and we are results-driven. So, if your print campaign has not been effective, we welcome the opportunity to brainstorm with you to create an effective piece that drives results.

Myth #3: Print Can’t Be Personalized/Customized

If you haven’t heard of the term VDP, which stands for Variable Data Printing, you are in for a treat! This is actually one of my favorite capabilities that we offer at Nahan. Where there is data, there is an opportunity to customize printed products. Instead of printing 100,000 pieces of one design, with VDP you can print 100,000 unique variations of a printed piece that go to 100,000 people on your mailing list. These variations can include different images, different offers, maps to the nearest store location, and so much more! How do we do this? We can set up API integrations, CRM integrations, and build other programs to help customize pieces using your data. We are also very versed in daily, weekly, monthly trigger mailings and much more! Check out our blog on Variable Data Printing for a closer look at its capabilities.

Myth #4: Print Isn’t Environmentally Friendly

Even though print is utilizing paper, many printers are very dedicated to being environmentally friendly. Nahan, for example, is considerate of our environment in every decision we make across the company. A fun fact – last year we recycled over 15 million pounds of paper! Yes, you read that right – 15 million pounds! From innovative product designs, to soy based inks, to sustainable paper options, we offer a wide variety of environmentally sustainable options.  

Myth #5: Mail is Not Secure

When selecting a print and direct mail provider, security should be a topic of discussion. The security of mail is one of our highest priorities of Nahan. We are HIPAA compliant, PCI DSS QSA validated, SOC2 compliant, and continue to work to obtain additional industry-recognized security certifications. We treat every piece of mail that goes through our doors with the highest level of integrity. Once the mail leaves our doors, the USPS is also committed to keeping mail safe. When you work with a secure printer who is backed by security credentials, you can be confident with your mail’s security.

Questions?

If you have questions on any of the above topics or would like information about Nahan and our marketing services, contact us at any time!

Bio: Melissa Fransen is our Marketing Manager. She started with Nahan in May of 2017. Melissa is responsible for Nahan’s marketing initiatives, which includes everything from conference planning to social media initiatives. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and enjoying time in the outdoors with family and friends.

Employee Spotlight: John Depa

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

Nahan’s vision of making eye-catching marketing materials come to life in print is only possible because of our amazing team. One of those amazing team members is John Depa, our Press Shift Leader (2nd shift). I had the privilege to get to know John, learn about his time at Nahan, and how he enjoys his time outside of work.

John Depa
John Depa and his wife, Laurie.

“Gary Primus once told me that if you’re never making any wrong decisions, you are not making enough of them.”

John, when asked to share the greatest advice he’s been told

Over Two Decades of Commitment to Nahan

Immediately after high school, John dove into the printing industry, working for a small family-run printer by the name of May Printing, alongside one of his friends. Later on, his friend applied to work at Nahan and encouraged John to do the same. John joined the Nahan in 1990, starting by working in the warehouse of the old Nahan location, spending 7 years on the team. After some time away, John rejoined the Nahan team again in the late 1990s and has been with us ever since. Over his years at Nahan, John credits his greatest accomplishment to having been a part of a team to install three presses and the knowledge he gained from those experiences.

“I really enjoy working with all the people at Nahan and the customers that come in for press checks. It’s amazing to see the products we produce – the quality is second to none.”

Life Beyond Nahan

When he is not leading his hard-working team, John enjoys spending time with his family. John lists his wife, Laurie, as his greatest inspiration, describing her as always keeping a positive attitude no matter the situation. He also spends as much time with his children and grandchildren as possible. In his spare time, John enjoys spending time outdoors playing a round of golf or adventuring by camping and boating.

Careers at Nahan

If you are interested in learning more about a career at Nahan, visit our careers page or contact us to learn more.

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

Employee Spotlight: Dan Peterka

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

For thirty-two years, Dan Peterka has been an employee of Nahan. After over three decades of spending his time in both the Customer Service and Sales departments, Dan will be retiring as of early August. Dan has been such a pleasure for the entire team to work with and we are excited to share more about his time at Nahan and what his future plans hold.

Dan accepting his Newbie Award in 2013 for having the most new accounts in a month.

Looking Back on His Nahan Career

Dan began his career at Nahan in the Customer Service department where he spent approximately twenty-two years. He credits this time for helping him grow in the field and eventually helped him move into Sales, where he has spent the past nine years.

What Did Dan Enjoy the Most?

When asked this question, he responded that working with and getting to know clients on a variety of projects. One of the benefits of working in the print industry is the ability to meet so many interesting people and help bring their vision to life through print. Dan says that relationships have been key to his success and joy at Nahan, not only with clients but with his Nahan team. Having the opportunity to work with a group of dedicated people is something he will always be thankful for and will cherish as he moves into retirement. One of Dan’s fondest Nahan memories is “Quality Days” where everyone in the company would come together in an auditorium to do department report-outs. He enjoyed how everyone was together and how great of a time it was.

“To any of our new employees or those considering starting a career at Nahan, Nahan is a great organization – and if you want to grow and develop, you will get the chance here.”

Dan Peterka
Dan (left) and other Nahan team members accepting an award at our 2018 Sales Recognition Event.

Plans for the Future

On his first day of retirement, Dan plans on creating a master list of everything he wants to do before Thanksgiving. He also plans on cooking a special dinner for his family with the help of his granddaughter. Overall, Dan is looking forward to being able to have more time to be present in the moment and available for family and friends. He is excited to start checking off things on his list to get done,  and also to be able to volunteer and give back to the community in new ways.

I had the opportunity to work with many outstanding customers, and to them I want to say ‘thank you for the opportunity.’”

Dan Peterka

Careers at Nahan

If you are interested in learning more about a career at Nahan, visit our careers page or contact us to learn more.

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

Printing 101 Series – Common Printing Terms: Postal Glossary

Author: Melissa Fransen

In the print industry, like any industry, there are a lot of acronyms and terms that are used and that is why we are here to help! In this blog, we’ll explore common printing postal terms.

Common Printing Postal Terms

Aspect Ratio (Letters only) – The length of the mailer divided by the height. For letter-rate mail this is required or an upcharge in postage will be incurred.

Bulk Mail – This term is generally used to describe commercial, business, or advertising mail. First-Class Mail presort requires a minimum of 500 pieces for each mailing. USPS Marketing Mail (previously Standard Mail) requires 200 pieces or 50 pounds for each mailing to qualify for presort discounts.

Business Mail Entry Unit (BMEU) – The area of or individual postal facility where mailers present commercial and permit mail for acceptance.

Carrier Route Mail – The routes where individual USPS carriers deliver mail. They are much smaller than ZIP Codes, with roughly fifteen Carrier Routes per postal ZIP Code. They are useful in helping to reduce direct mail marketing costs while increasing response rates.

CoMailing (Flats only) – Is the process of merging individual mail pieces from multiple mailing streams into a single mailing stream. This process improves the USPS delivery sortation characteristics of the total mailing which reduces postage and the number of times mail pieces are handled within the USPS.

Commingling (Letters only) – Is a process by which mailings from more than one company are combined to meet USPS discount minimums for quantity for mailings to NDC/SCF locations. Sorting the mail by zip code in much larger volumes reduces postage.

Flat – This term is used to describe large envelopes, newsletters, or catalogs. Flats must have one dimension that is greater than 6 1/8” high or 11 ½” long or ¼ inch thick. Aspect Ratio does not apply.

Indicia/Mailing Permit – Imprinted designation on mail piece that denotes postage payment (e.g., permit imprint). Minimum size of ½ x ½”. A printed indicia, instead of an adhesive postage stamp or meter stamp that shows postage prepayment by an authorized mailer.

Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) –  Is used to sort and track letters and flats. It allows mailers to use a single barcode to participate in multiple Postal Service programs simultaneously and assists in the tracking of individual mail pieces.

Letter-Rate – This is the rate charged to what the USPS determines to be letter sized pieces.  Here is a link to a USPS rate chart for easy reference to letter rate criteria and more.

NCOA National Change of Address –  Is a USPS service that makes available current change of address information that can help reduce your undeliverable mail.

Network Distribution Center (NDC) – The NDC network consists of strategically located automated facilities that serve as centralized mail processing and transfer points for designated geographic areas, including Area Distribution Centers (ADCs), Sectional Center Facilities (SCFs), and auxiliary service facilities (ASFs).

Non-Machinable Mail – First-Class Mail letters, that are nonmachinable, USPS Marketing Mail letters that are square, rigid or have one or more nonmachinable characteristics are subject to the nonmachinable surcharge.

Examples of a nonmachinable letter include:

  • It has an aspect ratio (length divided by height) of less than 1.3 or more than 2.5 (a square envelope has an aspect ratio of 1, making it nonmachinable).
  • It is more than 4-1/4 inches high or more than 6 inches long and is less than 0.009 inch thick.
  • It has clasps, strings, buttons, or similar closure devices.
  • It is too rigid.
  • It has a delivery address parallel to the shorter side of the mailpiece.
  • It contains items such as pens, pencils, or keys that create an uneven thickness.

Letters with non-paper surfaces, other than envelope windows or attachments that are allowed under eligibility standards by class of mail.

Presorted Mail – A form of mail preparation, required to bypass certain postal operations, in which the mailer groups pieces in a mailing by ZIP Code or by carrier route or carrier walk, qualifying for automation rates. Presorted First-Class Mail is a nonautomation category for a mailing that consists of at least 500 addressed mail pieces.

Sectional Center Facility (SCF) – This is where mail is combined with other mail geographically by zip code prefixes so it can travel to a larger regional facility called a NDC (Network Distribution Center). (Travels from a NDC to the SCF then to the local facility for delivery).

Sortation – To separate mail by a scheme or ZIP Code range; to separate and place mail into a carrier case; to distribute mail by piece, package, bundle, sack, or pouch, for distribution to its final delivery point.

USPS Tracking –  An extra service (for example, TrackMyMail) purchased by mailers to have their mail piece scanned to record the final scan from the SCF to the local facility for delivery. Extra services fees are in addition to postage.

Walk Sequence – This is where the mail is provided in the exact order (in the line of travel that the carrier delivers in his/her route) in which it is to be delivered so the carrier does not need to sort the mail, resulting in time and cost savings for the USPS.

Nahan is Here to Help!

Questions? Our friendly Sales Team is always here to help with unfamiliar terms and to guide you along the way! Contact us any time.

Bio: Melissa Fransen is our Marketing Manager. She started with Nahan in May of 2017. Melissa is responsible for Nahan’s marketing initiatives, which includes everything from conference planning to social media initiatives. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and enjoying time in the outdoors with family and friends.

Mixing PMS Colors

I remember the days in a small Minnesota print shop, when I guessed at color by number of parts (Note, a part is actually a percentage of total weight) and mixed them up on a slab of granite. I used a razor blade to draw down the color and compare to the book.  Soon the “by guess” and “by golly” method changed to include a scale and a “quick peek,” which was a small rubber roller that would apply a measured amount of ink to the paper for a closer color match. Not very scientific but it worked.

How to Mix Colors

For point of reference, an easy color to mix is PMS 185 – the build of 185 is 75% Rubine and 25% Yellow.

Direct Mail

How to mix??

  • First, you will need an ink knife, sort of a longer putty knife, and a hard surface like glass or stainless steel.
  • Then, determine how much ink you need (that is a different story for another blog).  Let’s say two pounds.
  • Multiply  2 by .75 = 1.5 lbs. of Rubine Red (75% Rubine)
  • Weigh out 1.5 lbs. or Rubine red and put this on the mixing surface
  • Multiply 2 by .25 = .5 Yellow (25% Yellow)
  • Weigh out .25 lbs. mixing yellow and put on the mixing surface

Just as in the old days you can put your ink on glass or granite or other smooth surface and mix them together. On a larger scale these colors would be mixed on a machine.

Do watch out for the comedian mixing up warm red!! See explanation below…

  • Once thoroughly mixed take a sample and draw it down on your paper and compare it to the PMS guide. Note: colors change as they dry, use a hair dryer or hot air gun to speed up the process, if you are mixing up UV ink you will need a light source.
  • Also, you must use the right matching guides to match your mixture. Formula Guides are based on the paper you are using coated or uncoated. Important note: Paper makes a big difference when matching color. Make sure you are drawing down the ink on the same paper you are going to be printing on..

Color Matching

If you are comfortable matching with your eyes, and the color looks good, you are good to go. The light in the area where you are reviewing color does make a difference. Are you viewing in 5k light? 5000 Kelvin light is the industry standard for viewing color.

Even though color has become more of a science with processes and standards, one can still weigh out small batches and mix them on a table and get relatively close.

Your ink company has become the expert with all the tools and standards for consistent larger batches of PMS spot colors. They will provide you will a drawdown of the color on the paper you are going to print on and provide spectral analysis if requested. (Some clients insist on the LAB having a Delta E of  +/- .02), and for good reason. Corporate branding is expensive to achieve and maintain for immediate brand recognition.

If you need more high-tech color matching, request a drawdown from your printer and ask for LAB print out to accompany it. (What is LAB? Check out X-rite blog)

If you know the spectral specifications for your color and you have a spectrophotometer, you can check your LAB, or you can compare the LAB number to the book (or your swatch) and then get an LAB +/-, which is also known as Delta E. Here is a great link about LAB and Delta E.

Commercial Printing

About Pantone

Around 1963, The Pantone (PMS) concept came along to help printers mix a color that would match if it were mixed in New York or California or any other state.

Originally, Pantone colors were mixed using a set of 11 base colors to achieve 500 colors and used a numeric system to identify them.  

Now, 14 basic colors are used as the building blocks that grew in to 1,114 available colors in the formula guide.

Base colors include Yellow, Warm Red, Rubine Red, Rhodamine Red, Purple, Violet, Process Blue, Reflex Blue, Green, Black and Transparent White (clear), Yellow 012, Orange 021, Blue 072 and Red 032.

Speaking of high-tech, Pantone now provides RGB, HEX and CMYK equivalent values for each color. You can look up PMS colors like 185 on their Pantone Web Site.

In 2007 Pantone and Xrite teamed up to become one company.

The new color guide with additional colors has 1,755 solid color choices.

There are other colors that can be used such as florescent or metallic inks; however, the standard color matching guides or PMS colors are the starting point and base of the main color matching system.

Pantone recommends changing your formula guide annually as paper can yellow and color can fade.

Nahan’s In-House Ink Company, INX

Nahan Printing has an in-house ink company called INX. They are industry-leading experts in color consistency and creativity. This allows Nahan to build custom mixed colors on site, provide quick turn drawdowns to customers, and create an ink mix that matches across all of our presses. This helps to maintain color consistency across components and help maintain brand standards.

Hot ink trick

The HOT INK TRICK is an old spoof. As the press comedian is mixing ink on the slab, an office person (You) walks up and asks what you are doing? (S)He will respond: Mixing warm red, it gets real hot when I mix it. Want to feel? So you put your hand near the ink and the press comedian slaps your hand in to the ink…The old hot ink trick is not very funny 🙂

(Stay tuned for more printing inside jokes….perhaps next time I can fill you in on the paper stretcher or the dot gain. We usually keep them in the basement).

Author: Jim Hesch is Customer service leader at Nahan, with ink in his blood…

Employee Spotlight: Chad Coss

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

Nahan is proud to welcome our newest addition to Human Resources – Chad Coss. In only a short time, Chad has proven to be a hardworking and dedicated team member. We are excited to see how his talents will continue to make Nahan a welcoming place for our employees. I had the privilege to get to know Chad and learn how he has been enjoying his time at Nahan and what led him here.

From Milking Cows to Human Resources

Chad’s work history goes back to a younger age than most. At just 13 years old, he held his first job in rural Wisconsin working on a dairy farm feeding calves. Eventually, he was promoted to milking the cows at 4:00 AM on weekend mornings during the school year. He credits this hard work at a young age for being a major factor in teaching him responsibility. Later on, Chad traded milking cows for attending the University of Wisconsin – River Falls for a Bachelor of Science in Business Communications and then a Master of Science in Human Resources Development from Villanova University.

Human Resources Around the World

Chad has been working in Human Resources for over 18 years as either a Human Resources Manager or another Human Resources Leadership role. Before coming to us, he had spent 5+ years in the Technology/Software/SaaS industry. Earlier in his career, he worked as a Human Resources Manager for a family-owned organization that specialized in Disaster Recovery and Emergency Response. In 2010, he traveled to Haiti after the earthquake and helped create a new international business entity in response to the natural disaster. He has also spent several years in other manufacturing and medical device industries as a Human Resources Leader supporting global production operations. Chad credits the variety of industries and locations he’s devoted his time and talent to for what he has learned about different Human Resources practices.

“I have worked all over the U.S. and the globe and I am honored to now call Nahan my home.”

Chad Coss with his three sons and puppy.

Exciting Projects in the Works

The Human Resources Team is excited for the opportunity Chad brings to the team for growth and evolution as a business and  for workforce. Chad believes that Nahan is home to terrific people in every department and he is excited to see how the team will work together to grow. He believes that digging into the talent that is available in our team and making continuous learning and professional growth opportunities available will strengthen the entire company.

Chad Coss and his family at Disney World.

“The best advice I’ve ever been given is to “always do your best.” My parents gave that to me when I was growing up, and I still give this same advice to my own kids because it’s relevant and true regardless of time period, generational category, or time in your life.”

Life Beyond Nahan

When he’s not leading the Human Resources Department, Chad enjoys camping, hiking, golfing, and many other outdoor activities. He enjoys spending time with his family. He is proud of how his young boys are growing into caring and responsible people. Once the pandemic is over, Chad says he would like to visit Glacier National park again with his family.

Careers at Nahan

If you are interested in learning more about a career at Nahan, visit our careers page or contact us to learn more.

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

Printing 101 Series – Coatings

Author: Melissa Fransen

For the first-timers to print or those just starting to consider what a printed campaign can do to drive your digital marketing efforts, this blog is for you! In this blog, we will discuss coatings.

Why do I want to use a coating on my piece?

A coating adds protection to your piece to get through the mail in good shape and is strongly recommended, especially if your piece has heavy ink coverage. Coatings can also be used as a design element.  Applying a coating can change the final appearance and tactile experience.  Multiple coatings can also be used to create special effects or draw attention to a specific image.

What is the difference between coatings?

There are three main types of coatings: UV, Varnish and Aqueous.

  • UV coating is a VOC-free (when cured) liquid coating that can give incredible gloss, textures, or gloss dull effects. It cures by exposure to UV light.
  • Varnish is an ink; it can be Gloss, Satin or Dull. 
  • Aqueous is a water-based coating; it can be Gloss, Satin, Dull, or Soft Touch.

There are a lot of variables that impact which coating will be best for your printed piece.

Variables can include things such as paper type, ink coverage, desired outcome of the final product, and more. Our experienced Sales Team will guide you through the entire process of choosing the best coating for your printed piece for optimal results.

Request a Sample Pack

Let us show you some samples of different coatings to give you ideas for your next marketing piece. Request your sample kit today.

We are Here to Help

Our Sales Team is here to help guide you. Contact us to learn more.

Bio: Melissa Fransen is our Marketing Manager. She started with Nahan in May of 2017. Melissa is responsible for Nahan’s marketing initiatives, which includes everything from conference planning to social media initiatives. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and enjoying time in the outdoors with family and friends.

Printing 101 Series – Binding

Author: Melissa Fransen

For first-timers to print or those just starting to consider what a printed campaign can do for your marketing efforts, this blog series is for you!  We’ll call it our Printing 101 Series and we’re just getting started! We’ll be adding Printing 101 topics each month and if there is something we can help you learn about, let us know. We want to tailor our Printing 101 series to you!

Without further ado, let’s get started on the first topic – Binding! At Nahan, we primarily bind booklets or catalogs two ways: 1) Perfect binding and 2) Saddle Stitching.

Perfect Binding

Perfect Binding binds the book together by gluing folded pages (signatures) to form a spine. The below photo shows an example of a perfect-bound catalog. Perfect binding creates a nice, polished look for your catalog and is a great option for high-impact branded marketing pieces and larger page counts. For a perfect bound project to be successful, we typically suggest a minimum of approximately 48 pages.

Design Tip: How do I setup the cover? Your Account Manager can calculate the spine thickness for you. The cover files should be set up as a 2-page spread including the spine amount. A hinge score is almost always necessary and applied 1/4” away from the spine on both covers and is included in the final size of your front and back covers. A knockout is required for the entire spine plus 1/8” into the hinge score (either side of the spine) for the inside front cover and inside back cover. (A knockout is the removal of part of an image or colors so glue, ink jetting, etc. can adhere to the paper).

Saddle Stitching

Saddle Stitching binds pages that are folded, nested, and then stapled together with wire staples. Saddle-stitched jobs are generally a cheaper option than perfect binding. They typically focus on a lower page count and this option is often selected for longer-run projects.

Design Tip: Total page count must be in increments of 4.  You will need to be aware of your page placement as crossovers (see below) must be designed to retain the lineup of the images across the pages.        

Request a Nahan Sample Pack and Learn More

Let us show you some samples of both perfect bound and saddle-stitched catalogs! Request your sample kit today.

Also, check out our blog on The Fine Art of Finishing Print to learn more about Nahan’s focus on finishing. As an added bonus, we also have a number links included in that blog with some great resources from Sappi.

Bio: Melissa Fransen is our Marketing Manager. She started with Nahan in May of 2017. Melissa is responsible for Nahan’s marketing initiatives, which includes everything from conference planning to social media initiatives. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and enjoying time in the outdoors with family and friends.

Employee Spotlight: Pat Nahan

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

Part of what makes Nahan unique is its devotion to being a privately-owned business ever since it was founded by Jim and Helen Nahan in 1962. Pat Nahan, the grandson of the founders, is the Vice President of National Accounts and is celebrating his 25th anniversary this month.

Working as a Family

As a teenager, Pat remembers getting his start at Nahan by mowing the lawn, washing windows, and painting. Over the past 25 years, he has invested his time and energy into the family business working in several different roles throughout the company. With his father as Nahan’s CEO, Pat has had to earn respect at the company like every other employee. He is thankful that his father expects the same results from him as everybody else at the company and credits that to helping him grow as a professional. Pat believes that his father expecting results from him has also taught him to treat others how he would like to be treated and to stand on his own merits.

 “The best advice I’ve been given by family has been to never give up. It doesn’t matter if it is on a job we are trying to win or a challenging startup of a new piece of equipment. The attitude of never giving up is what sets us apart.” 

Pat Nahan
Pat Nahan

The Nahan Difference

As a member of our Sales team, Pat explains what he enjoys most about his position is in the ability to help solve problems for people. He likes being able to work together with a customer to find a solution when they are faced with an issue. When asked what made him the proudest, he commented on the company’s ability to reshape and reinvent itself over the years. He believes a significant part of Nahan’s success can be attributed to the team’s dedication and flexibility to adapt to changing market conditions. Over his 25 years, Pat has seen Nahan work through challenges and come out stronger on the other side.

 “The best part about being on the Nahan team is the culture. Everyone here wants to win and have fun while doing it. The culture here is great; it’s one thing to talk about it, but it is another thing to actually have it. I am fortunate to be surrounded by some of the best minds in the industry.”

Pat Nahan
Pat Nahan

Outside of the Office

When Pat isn’t working at Nahan, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons.. He can often be found fishing, boating, or working on his golf game (which he describes as seeing how far he can get the ball into the woods or water). While Pat doesn’t consider himself a machinist, he finds it fun to weld and make new ideas come to life with metal.  He also enjoys spending time with his father racing cars that they work on together.

Pat and his father Mike Nahan celebrating a race car win.

Interested in joining the Nahan privately-owned team? Learn more about our career opportunities. 

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

The 5 F’s of Color – The Challenges and How Nahan Achieves Color Matching

Author: Jim Hesch, Customer Service

Nobody wants purple apples or green faces on their beautifully printed products. Nahan is proud to be a G7 Master Certified Facility and we also have two G7 Experts on our team. Color matching is just one of the ways that Nahan ensures a quality piece on every single product that goes through our doors. Let’s explore color matching and how Nahan deals with challenges regarding color.

Note: G7 is an international standard for ensuring color matching across multiple platforms.

What is the most challenging part about color matching on press?

Well, let’s just say there are many. Some images are a challenge without having to share the spotlight with other images. For example, a fresh cut steak could look inedible if not done right. Often times, the most challenging are the ones you want to look the best.

Which ones are most challenging?

Here are what we like to call as the 5 F’s: Flesh tones, Fashion, Furniture, Fur and Food. These are challenging because if a little off-color, furniture can look cheap and food can look unattractive.  Of course, these images may be your focal point and not getting them right can tarnish your brand.

Color matching

While on their own they may not be challenging, some images can collectively pose serious problems for a printer. Once a color is set on the first press form, all subsequent press forms are then driven by that first form. If there are crossovers, there could end up being some significant compromises.

Note: A crossover is one image running across multiple pages and possibly multiple press forms.

Color matching

How do you deal with them?

First: Prioritize your images and press forms

  • Go to your printer and do a “Press Check,” approving color on press.
  • Consult with your salesperson, look at all the forms and decide which one to start with – probably one with a couple of crossovers.

It is easy to be tempted to start with a form that has a bright color, corporate color or someone’s favorite photo and push the ink to make it pop. However, it is important to be careful with this. The next form may be a neutral and crossover to that first form and you may end up with a spoiled image.

Second: Make sure you are running to strict standards and specifications such as Gracol/G7

The use of real estate on the press sheet can be a challenge since different ranges of colors need to run in-line with each other. Perhaps it is fruit running in-line with flesh tones, or furniture running in-line with jewelry, which makes one image more difficult to hit your desired color.

  • Often there are limited choices as to what you can do about these.
    • You could stop the press and have a color technician mask off and color correct a disagreeable color area, however, this can be very expensive.
  • You could anticipate certain colors being a challenge and run a spot PMS color.
  • Running to a standard helps ensure matching to proof.
    • Make sure if you are supplying a color proof that it has color bars and has been produced to a standard like GRACOL / G7 or FOGRA.

Third: Paper quality is really important

  • Paper grain gives the sheet stability.
    • This can affect registration, which can in-turn, affect color. As sheets distort under the pressure of the printing press, the registration can move. This can cause color to shift and images to slur.
    • A good quality stable sheet will help with critical color matches.
  • If you are using uncoated or matte papers, the right calibration curve for those papers is very important.
    • Your experienced color technician should control this.

Fourth: Presses need to be in good mechanical condition, with repeatable results

  • This may be out of your control, but you can tell if you have chosen a printer wisely by how clean the machine is, or by how much your team cares about their work environment. When choosing, ask about their press maintenance schedule. Often times, their response can tell you a lot.

Nahan as a Trusted Color Expert

Nahan has two G7 Experts and Color Technicians who are here for consultation and will be at press as needed to help ensure premium color. We regularly calibrate our machines to ensure our high standards are met. Our presses are maintained by experienced press crews at regular intervals and we have a full maintenance department to help ensure all the G7 calibrating time is achievable and print results are repeatable.

In the event of a difficult color, our G7 experts can often achieve desired results without color correction, but rest assured, they are here for you if it is needed.

Nahan is a G7 Master Printer which means we have calibrated certain equipment to G7 gray balance & neutral tone curves for proofs, Offset & digital presses.

Interested in learning more about Nahan? Contact us to learn more about our printing services.

Bio: Jim Hesch is the head of Customer Service at Nahan and a certified printing geek. (Always make sure you print with someone who is certified)…

The Quality of our Employees – One of our Nahan Differentiators

Author: Melissa Fransen

Quality. We pride ourselves on the quality of our print. We pride ourselves on the quality of our customer service. We pride ourselves on the quality of delivering results. Ultimately, all of the quality we pride ourselves on comes down to one thing and that is the quality of our people. Expecting excellence from our employees requires a strong dedication and vision from our training team. Excellent employees are built with the support, encouragement, and knowledge of talented team leaders. When you become an employee of Nahan, you become a part of something bigger – an entire community of people who are invested in producing great results and in living our Nahan Values. No matter your position, whether you are a Production Assistant or a Leader in the company, everyone on our team plays an integral role at Nahan and every position matters.

“A fun fact about Nahan is that our average tenure is 12.2 years.”

Our Hiring Process

Finding quality employees starts with our hiring process. Great employees refer great employee so we offer an employee referral bonus program. Other than word of mouth for new recruits, we post open positions on our website, our social media pages (LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter), on the radio, and through a variety of other advertising means. Our hiring process includes a series of interviews and if selected for a role, the new employee will be required to a complete a background check and a physical prior to starting with our team.

Starting a Job at Nahan – Orientation

Beginning a new role at Nahan starts with a day of orientation, which includes everything from basic safety to hearing protection to learning Nahan’s emergency action plans. We also invite a number of employees from across the company to a luncheon to welcome our new employees and to make them feel comfortable (Note: with COVID-19, this is temporarily suspended at the moment). At Nahan, safety is at the cornerstone of what we do, so we put a lot of emphasis on our safety programs right from day one. On the second day of employment at Nahan, we start training on manuals, processes, and procedures. For manufacturing positions, we also start to give new employees “a feel” of their new position with some very basic training on the production floor.

Setting our Employees Up for Success

After orientation, the employee starts to learn more about their new role each day. We get them comfortable with equipment, maintenance, trouble-shooting, basic procedures, and standard operating procedures (SOP’s). Our leaders also pair our new employees with a “buddy” so they will have a resource to learn from and a “go to person” with questions. Our leaders stay in close contact with new employees and they also move them to different equipment so they get cross-functional training on a variety of equipment. This provides an opportunity for our employees to gain experience and to find what they enjoy doing each day.

Mod Training

In addition to the above ways of setting our employees up for success, we also start doing “mod” training. There are four mods for each position. These mods provide “on-the-job training” for employees. Each mod takes up to twelve weeks. These mods give employees time to “practice” their new role. We track the progress of each new employee in their mods and each mod has a test at the end that will need to be completed and passed. If we see an opportunity that the employee should have further training, we will continue hands-on training with the employee to ensure they are successful in their role.

Certification Patches

Once an employee passes all four mods, they become “certified.” With the certification process, they receive a patch that they can put on the sleeve of their uniform to showcase their certification level.

Promoting Within

At Nahan, there is a lot of room for growth and for advancement opportunity. We prefer to promote within our walls for positions and post our available positions internally.

Jobs at Nahan

If you are interested in learning more about a career at Nahan, visit our careers page or contact us to learn more.

Bio: Melissa Fransen is our Marketing Manager. She started with Nahan in May of 2017. Melissa is responsible for Nahan’s marketing initiatives, which includes everything from conference planning to social media initiatives. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and enjoying time in the outdoors with family and friends.

Valuing Safety at Nahan: An Interview with Doug Roob

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

Safety at Nahan is our top priority. Operating our business in this way allows us to attract and maintain our amazing employees and serve our customers in the best way possible. Our devotion to safety is made possible by our Safety and Environmental Compliance Coordinator, Doug Roob, as well as Nahan’s Safety Team, comprised of a team of dedicated employees. To learn more about how Nahan ensures a safe environment, I interviewed Doug to get his perspective on safety in the printing industry and how Nahan rises to the occasion.

Doug Roob – Safety and Environmental Compliance Coordinator

Can you tell me a little about your work experience prior to your current position?

Doug: While I was finishing my degree studying Physical Education and Health with a minor in Business Management, I began working part-time at Nahan. The strong “family feel” made me enjoy working here so much, that I decided to stay. While it was a smaller company at the time, it had such a great potential to grow that I went full-time in the fall of 1989. From 1989 to 1992, I handled the production scheduling. At this time safety was controlled by the department managers.

What led you to become the Safety and Environmental Compliance Coordinator?

Doug: As the company was rapidly growing, I was asked in 1992 if I would be interested in taking over safety matters. Since my background is in education, I saw the opportunity to be able to help educate employees on safety and to teach the necessary skills to work safely. I have seen how an injury from unsafe conditions can not only affect the individual but how it affects an entire family. My father was injured on the job while working in construction. He was out for almost two months and continued to suffer from nerve damage. He went through physical therapy to strengthen his right leg after not being to use it fully until he was healed up. His frustration with not being able to work and the effects it had on our family is a memory that sticks with me, and one that I don’t want others to have to deal with.  Helping employees recognize hazards and how to minimize their exposure or eliminate the hazards on the job is what I love to do. At the end of the day, if everyone goes home the same way they came to work I am very happy.  If they don’t, I wonder what could I have done differently. I still love it today.

What are the benefits of a Safety Team at Nahan?

Doug: At Nahan the benefits are many. The team is a link between the employees and Management. Employees bring their safety ideas, suggestions, and input to the Safety Team members who in turn bring those items up during the Safety Team meetings. They then review and discuss those items to find solutions and make recommendations to management to make Nahan more safe. The team is our on-the-job safety advocate. During these trying times with the COVID-19 pandemic, they are amongst their peers promoting social distancing, washing of hands frequently, covering your cough, staying home if not feeling well, and general safety all the time. They help promote the safety culture that is needed for us to be our safest and healthiest.

Are there any stand-out moments that made you proud of the accomplishments of the Safety Team or a particular way they improved safety at Nahan?

Doug: The Safety Team has a few new members and I am happy with the passion each one has for safety. The willingness of the team to listen to the employees about their safety concerns and the willingness to help in any way they can to help improve safety is so great to see. They are willing to take action if need be and to work with the leaders and employees if asked. We have started a new program that the team is very excited about. The program consists of Safety Team members making Safety Observations weekly of their peers. When the observation is over, the Safety Team member meets with the individual they observed and discuss the great things the employee is doing safely and things they can do differently to stay safe. I see great things coming out of this program going forward with this group.

How can safety benefit Nahan’s customers?

Doug: The benefits of safety and a safe work environment carry over to the improved quality of service and a satisfied customer. When you have a safety culture that stresses safe work practices and having a clean/safe work environment, it carries over to a work behavior of paying attention to detail and to the quality of products being produced while completing jobs to the satisfaction of the customer without worrying about being injured. The employees can truly focus on the customer’s needs and expectations.

Here are our amazing and dedicated Safety Team members!

Thank you, Doug, for telling us about how the Nahan Safety Team works for the good of our employees and clients. We appreciate all that you and your team do.

If you are interested in working with great people like Doug, view our career page for current openings.

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

Nahan Employee Spotlight: Kristine Ferguson

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

Nahan is proud to have a driven and talented team working towards our common goal of being the best in the printing industry. I had the privilege to get to know Kristine Ferguson, a dedicated employee of thirteen years, and the leader of the Accounting Department at Nahan. She shared with me what she enjoys about being a part of the Nahan team, as well as a peek into her life outside the office.

From Saint Cloud State University to Nahan

Kristine credits her interest in accounting to the classes she took her senior year of high school. At the time she was planning on studying to be a veterinarian, but after talking with one of her teachers became more open to the idea of changing her major. The summer after her senior year she changed her mind and decided to pursue a study of accounting. In 2002, Kristine graduated from Saint Cloud State University with a Bachelors Degree in Accounting. After graduation, Kristine began working in the Accounting Department of a company in Avon, Minnesota. After a few years in that position, she joined the Accounting team at Nahan – where she is now the leader of the Accounting Department and has been a part of the team for an incredible thirteen years. Last year, Kristine also celebrated earning her CPA license. Kristine says her favorite part about working at Nahan is the people. She added that throughout her career, the lessons she has learned that stand out is the importance to never stop learning and to keep an open mind.

“My favorite part is the people. We work together as a team and are always striving to do better.”


Kristine Ferguson, when asked her favorite part about being on the Nahan team.

The Importance of the Accounting Department

To keep a smooth operating business, a detailed account of where and why money comes and goes is vitally important. Managing the cash flow is an essential part of a company to keep a close eye on its financial health. Keen attention to detail and knowledge of financial laws is key to leading the Accounting Department, and Kristine does an incredible job!

Beyond Nahan

When she’s not at work, Kristine enjoys spending time with family and friends. She especially enjoys watching her kids play sports and spending time on the lake during the summer. Her most favorite place she’s traveled to are the Outer Banks in North Carolina, which she has visited twice. In the future, she hopes to visit Ireland for its natural beauty.

“One person that has inspired me and that has been on my mind lately is my grandpa. He had an ability to truly connect with people. He always had a smile on his face and a story to tell. He and my grandma opened their hearts and home to others, including doing foster care for children in need.  I am grateful to have had such a caring and wonderful man as my grandpa.”


Kristine Ferguson, when asked to share about someone who inspires her.

Thank you, Kristine, for being a dedicated Nahan employee. We admire your work ethic, passion for achieving goals, the way you support your team, your drive to make change, and how compassionately you treat others in our company. You are part of what makes Nahan unique.

Interested in joining the Nahan Team? Learn more about our career opportunities.   

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

An Inside Look at Nahan’s Maintenance Team: Interview with Joe Walter

Author: Curt Tillotson, COO

“No Rework.”

These are words that Joe Walter lives by at Nahan.  No rework.  He strives to get the job done right the first time in everything that he does.  Joe joined Nahan in 2018 as our Maintenance Department Leader.  Joe brings over 25 years of print experience with him from 4 different printing companies.  He has held positions all the way from Helper to Operator to Department Leader.  Joe recently sat down with me to tell me about his experiences. 

Joe Walter (pictured on the left)

Q: What are the keys to being an effective Maintenance Department Leader for a 300,000 square foot printing facility?

A:  The most important key is to be honest and to treat everyone with integrity.  It all starts there.  More specifically, I have learned that I really need to have a working knowledge of the products we manufacture, the production equipment and the building systems.  Also, I come from a production background, so having a good understanding of the impact on our employees and customers if any of this equipment or building systems fail.  The stakes are high, so we want to make sure we keep the plant running.

Q:  What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced since joining Nahan?

A:  One of the biggest challenges was learning the building systems which are very complex to say the least. It is a daily task to make sure they are functioning properly and that falls directly on my department. From the chillers to the Air condition units to the trim system. They are all critical. 

Q:  What big projects do you have coming up? 

A:  The biggest projects on the horizon are the upgrades on one of our major presses and replacing the 2 largest trim fans in the baler room. There is a lot of planning for these projects, working with vendors to provide all needed information (especially now during this crazy time we are in with everyone impacted by COVID-19), assigning tasks to team members and staying on time and on budget with the plan.

Q:  How is COVID-19 affecting your work?

A:  It is very hard for the team to work closely with machine operators with the social distancing rule. They are getting it done though. Communication is somewhat impacted, it is nice to sit down and have a meeting with individuals and team members. I have canceled our Morning Start up/Shift Crossover meetings for the time being and have implemented room occupancy rules. I have had to ask team members to spread out to different locations to limit exposure to each other.  We are constantly monitoring that we are following the precautions that have been issued.  It is a real challenge for the type of work that we do.

Q:  How do you maintain a safe work environment for your employees?

A:  The Maintenance Department at Nahan is historically one of the safest. The team is aware of their surroundings at all times. Most of the team has some dealings with electricity in some form or another. There are reminders to each other. If someone sees something, they say something.

Q:  How do you keep all of your tools straight? A:  This is not easy.  Each team member is issued their own tool box and is responsible for them. We also have shared power tools that are available to use when needed. These are in a locked room. Everyone is responsible for these.

Q:  Anything you are especially proud of?

A:  I am very proud of the work that the Maintenance Department does on a daily basis. From minor work orders to the R&D that goes into large scale projects.  We completed 6,888 work orders in 2019.  It is a team effort and I’m proud of this team.

Q:  What is your favorite part of being on the Nahan team?

A:  That’s an easy one.  The best part of being at Nahan is the people I work with every day. Nahan is a great company to work for. The team I work with is second to none, and we all know that the work we do has merit.

Thank you, Joe, for taking the time to talk with us.  We appreciate all that you and your team do.

If you are interested in working with great people like Joe, view our career page for current openings.

Author Bio: Curt Tillotson, COO, started with Nahan in 2011 and leads all aspects of our operations. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family. Curt also agrees with Joe on his answer on his favorite part of being on the Nahan Team – and that is our outstanding people. #nahanproud

Five Benefits of Print Marketing

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

To be successful in advertising a product or service, it is not a question of which medium of marketing is best – print or digital – but how to combine their benefits. Both print and digital marketing methods are an essential component of an integrated marketing mix. Ignoring one method means ignoring part of the population and potentially part of your target market. As a printing company with over 50 years of experience, we’ve seen our fair share of print marketing materials and how they have impacted the world. Today, we’re sharing the top five benefits of print marketing and how they improve your integrated marketing mix.

Brand Recall

When consumers open their mailbox and receive a piece of direct mail or a catalog, they are able to physically touch it and open it – tangible attributes that are not available in digital marketing. Research has shown that the effects of tangibility impact brand recall. Consumers are 75% more likely to recall a brand after seeing it in a print ad, as compared to 44% for a digital ad (Adstream, 2018).

Greater Open Rates

A consumer’s email inbox is likely to be cluttered with many promotions, updates, and announcements – with more being added continuously. In all the clutter, many email marketing campaigns will not be opened (Pulcinella, 2017). Receiving a beautifully designed print advertisement in the mail stands out to be opened right away.

Increased Attention

The images on printed marketing materials are more saturated than those viewed on a computer screen. The mix of more attractive colors and the sensation of touch leads to keeping the reader’s attention. Most emails if opened, are quickly skimmed and disregarded. Consumers are more likely to take their time in deeply and thoroughly reading printed material (Nelson, 2019).

Repeated Exposure

As mentioned above, many emails are simply deleted once opened. Printed materials have the ability to last longer. A catalog that is placed on the kitchen table is more likely to be seen multiple times than an email in a consumer’s inbox. On the Internet, so much is fighting for the consumer’s attention. Ads disappear as quickly as they appear, rendering many of them unseen (Twose, 2019). Materials that are printed have higher durability and the potential to be seen more frequently.

Consumers Trust Print

Professionally printed marketing materials come across as more trustworthy than online ads that can appear like a scam. According to a survey completed by Marketing Sherpa, 82% of Americans trust newspaper and magazine ads compared to only 39% who trust Internet banner ads (Burstein, 2017). Using printed materials aids in being viewed as a trustworthy and professional business or organization.

The facts are undeniable – print marketing is a must to have a promotion reach its potential and be viewed by its entire target market population. Interested in learning more about printed materials? Visit our marketing services page or contact us to find out how you can get started.

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

References

Adstream. (2018). 8 things print advertisers need to know in a digital age.

Bursetin, D. (2017). Marketing Chart: which advertising channels consumers trust most and least when making purchases. Marketing Sherpa.

Nelson, R. (2019) 4 reasons print advertising is still important. Outreach Media Group.

Pulcinella, S. (2017). Why direct mail marketing is far from dead. Forbes.

Twose, D. (2019). Marketing Knowledge.

Employee Spotlight: Dawn Volante Brown

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

Nahan is fortunate to have a team of dedicated and passionate employees, one of whom is Dawn Volante Brown. A devoted employee for over twenty-one years, Dawn is currently the leader of the Planning and Estimating Department. I had the privilege to get to know Dawn and find out not only what led her to Nahan, but why she is here.

From the Education Field to the Printing Industry

In the 1990s, Dawn was beginning her study at Saint Cloud State University as an elementary education major. During the summer of 1998, she took a job at Nahan as a part-time front desk receptionist, providing sales secretary support in-between semesters. Six months later, Dawn moved into the Customer Service Department as a Production Coordinator. It was in this position where her exposure to the printing industry truly began. Over the years, she has experienced several roles in Customer Service including Customer Service Representative, Account Manager, Account Executive, Customer Service Shift Leader, and Department Leader. Currently, Dawn leads the Estimating and Planning Department. The opportunity to work in a variety of roles has given her the unique experience of viewing Nahan and the printing industry as a whole from many perspectives.

“The best work advice I received was given to me by mentor Bev Hugo. It wasn’t spoken but observed.Treat others in the manner in which you would like to be treated. We are all here with a similar goal. We will each achieve the best success in working together.” 

Dawn Volante Brown
Dawn with her husband and three children.

The Importance of the Estimating and Planning Department

At Nahan, our customers come first. To keep our customers first, our departments must work seamlessly together to produce each customer’s vision on paper. One of the departments we rely on to make this happen is the Estimating and Planning Department. When clients have talked with their Sales Representatives and Account Executives about their ideas, it goes to this department to start figuring out numbers and how the product can go to the press to be produced. As its leader, Dawn is trusted with the responsibility of running a smooth-operating department from start to finish.

Dawn (left) celebrating the 30th anniversary of Diane working at Nahan.

“My favorite part of working at Nahan has been all of the incredible relationships. Nahan is my extended family. I greatly value the years working with my dad, Donald Krebsbach. He was a Jet Press operator; retired December 2012. It was fun being able to touch base with him when I’d see him (and bring him my leftover lunch).”

Dawn Volante Brown

Beyond Nahan

Outside of being a team member at Nahan, Dawn keeps busy with her hobbies, passions, and family. She enjoys running and plans on participating in a few races this summer. At her church, Dawn is the co-coordinator of the women’s ministry and participates in the worship team. She and her husband have three children who keep them busy by cheering them on at sporting events and their other activities.

Thank you, Dawn, for being a dedicated Nahan employee. We incredibly admire your passion for your employees and our customers. You are part of what makes Nahan great!

Interested in joining the Nahan Team? Learn more about our career opportunities.   

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

Questions to Ask When Selecting a Print Partner – Part 1

Author: Jim Hesch, Customer Service

It can be quite daunting, challenging, frightening and overwhelming to pick a print partner when you have never printed before. It is common to have many questions. That is why we have developed a list of questions to ask to help make this process easier for you.  We have also included links to content within our own blogs that address these questions.

You may not choose Nahan, but we would like to help you choose wisely.

(Also, here is a link to our FAQ’s page, which contains some useful information).

Quality and Service

Culture

Strategy

Nahan Mission Statement

To enhance our ability to exceed the needs and expectations of our customers and employees, Nahan is dedicated to producing a quality product and providing dependable service through continual improvement

Our Values

Nahan Values

Stop back next month for Part 2, where we will explore other questions to ask, including questions about environmental sustainability, technology, and more!

My name is Jim Hesch, head of Customer Service, 40 year veteran of print and never done learning… I learn the hard way, so you don’t have to 🙂

The Partnership of the Printing Industry and the Postal System

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

To explore the relationship of the printing industry and the postal system, I needed to get expert insight from Nahan’s Postal Logistics Team. I had the opportunity to talk with Nahan’s Postal Logistics Manager, Gary LaBarre, to discuss the importance of the two entities working together for a common good. Gary’s career in print and logistics is a major asset to Nahan. After graduating high school, Gary started working at a printing company, unknowing that it would become his life-long career as he worked his way up in the industry, spanning forty-eight years. Gary has worked in the postal logistics division for forty-five of those and has dedicated over ten years to Nahan.

From the Press to the Consumers

A beautiful new catalog just rolled off the press, eager to be placed into a consumer’s hands to be used for its purpose. Before it can end up in a consumer’s mailbox, however, it must go through the postal system. As a result, the printing industry must have a relationship with the postal system to be able to take a finished product to its final destination – the people. Gary’s wealth of knowledge about both the printing industry and the postal system make him an excellent resource for brands that are new to the world of print.

“At Nahan, our goal is to get the best postage price possible and to get it to the consumers at the time they want it – not too early or too late.”

Gary LaBarre , Postal Logistics Manager at Nahan

In the next few questions and answers, we explore the logistics of working with the postal system to minimize cost for our customers.

1. There are various ways that a finished product can be shipped to a consumer. Three of the most common methods include co-mail, commingle, and drop ship. What are the differences between these methods?

  • Co-mail – This method is used for catalogs and flat-sized pieces. Multiple jobs are put together in one shipment, the idea being to enhance the pre-sort, which gives the customer the lowest postage price and deeper delivery to the USPS.
  • Commingle – This method is for letter-sized pieces and follows the same logic as co-mail. The shipments are intermixed with other customers to save money on postage in addition to deeper delivery to the USPS.
  • Drop Ship – This method consolidates pallets with other pallet jobs and then delivers it to postal facilities around the country.

2. Out of the three methods mentioned above, why is each beneficial to the customer?

  • Co-mail and commingle are beneficial because of their lower postage rate and delivery to the post office. If a customer has a smaller quantity, drop shipping would not be cost effective.
  • Drop ship is beneficial due to its low postage for large, geographically concentrated quantities, as well as the ability to hit a tight in-home window.

3. Why is timing so important in shipping a finished product?

Depending on what a brand is printing, there can be time sensitive information. For example, a company might be advertising a sale in a catalog or providing a limited time coupon code in a piece of direct mail. If a shipment gets delivered too late, the sale or coupon code will no longer be valid. Conversely, if a shipment arrives too early, customers are trying to order products that are not available in stores yet or score sales that are not set up in the system.

4. What is Informed Delivery? Why should companies sign up for it?

Informed delivery is a free service offered by the United States Postal Service, in which people can sign up to be notified of mail expected to be arriving soon. The service allows users to see a digital preview of their letter-sized mail and packages en-route to their mailbox. Users can access Informed Delivery on any computer or mobile device. It is beneficial to companies from a marketing standpoint. Companies can choose to participate in the Informed Delivery Interactive Campaign and include a link with the image. Companies then receive a summary report of users who clicked on links. While this marketing method is still growing, it is also relatively risk-free and does not eat up a marketing budget.

5. Overall, what is the essence of why the postal system is so crucial to the printing industry?

The printing industry could not exist without the partnership of the postal system. Without the USPS, your eye-catching and action-driving piece would never arrive to your consumer. To be a successful company, you must work with the postal system to deliver the best quality and service to the customers.

Minimized Postage Costs = More Consumer Reach for Your Money

When selling a product or service, no matter how wonderful it may be, marketing is what gets it out there. Print – whether in the form of catalogs, envelope packages, or self-mailers – is a significant contributor to a brand’s marketing strategy. Printing is all about a service that takes a brand’s vision and puts it on paper and makes it a reality. At Nahan, our job is to minimize their postage and transportation costs to allow them to mail as many pieces as possible for their money.

Curious about the current USPS postage rates? Check out our postage rate chart!

Contact us to learn more.

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.