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.


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.

What is Variable Data Printing? A Closer Look.

Author: Jon Legg, Data Processing Department Leader

In today’s data-driven marketing world, utilizing the power of your data can be the difference between a good marketing campaign and a great marketing campaign that produces a fantastic ROI. A question that we often get asked is “What is Variable Data Printing and how does it work?”

What is Variable Data Printing?

Variable Data Printing is using your customer’s data to change text, images, or other content from one piece of mail to the next.  Instead of printing one form 100,000 times you can instead print 100,000 highly individualized pieces.  And when we say highly personalized we are talking about more than just a salutation line that says “Dear John Doe.” 

At Nahan we have done a wide range of projects that utilize variable data printing.  The following four specific examples show what highly personalized could look like to you.

  1. One project had hundreds of mall locations and for each record, we used a field in the data to variably pull the closest mall to the consumer, a logo for that mall, hours of operation, and a mall directory. 
  2. Another project required us to uniquely link over 400,000 photographs so that each record imaged the correct photograph. 
  3. A third project involved providing each recipient with a personalized map that showed their house on a map, the nearest store, and a highlighted route between the two.
  4. Lastly, another project showcased a piece that changed all of its content based on the consumer.  Family of four?  All content showed family-friendly activities and all images changed to photos of families.  Single?  The entire piece changed to show photos of adults with more of a focus on entertainment and nightlife.

Variable data printing can do all of this and more. 

What is Variable Data Printing

As we like to say, “Where there is data, there is opportunity for customization.”

What Files Are Needed For a Variable Data Project?

At Nahan we can accept all types of files and work with you to get more out of your mail list.  Our preferred file format is a CSV file transmitted to our SFTP site.  We are also able to use API integrations to directly link with our customers to provide a more seamless transfer of data; both to Nahan and back to our customers.  This can include return files, reports, and much more.

How is Data Kept Safe?

In today’s digital landscape we can use data for just about anything, which makes that data extremely valuable.  Sadly, the bad guys know that as well and are constantly looking to get their hands on data.  But Nahan takes pride in keeping your data safe.  We are PCI compliant and are equipped to work with HIPAA data. We have lots of hands-on experience with both.  Beyond that our data processing team is literally in a locked room that requires two different forms of authentication just to get in! Given all the efforts that we put into data security, you can rest assured that not only will Nahan keep your data safe, but we will also put it to work for you! 

Working Together on a Strategy

As a company, we are not afraid of pushing the boundaries of what can be done with data.  We are constantly using the newest technology and then working to perfect it.  We also have a data processing team that is equally unafraid of pushing limits and seeing how much we can do with a simple mail list.  Let’s work together and see what we can get your next mailing to do for you! Contact us or visit our marketing services page to learn more.

Author: Jon Legg is a Department Leader at Nahan Printing and started with the company in 2015.  He currently oversees the Data Processing department as well as the PreMedia department.  This means that any files, whether art or data, all come through Jon’s teams.  When he isn’t at work Jon loves spending time with his wife and daughter, traveling (usually to Disney World), and working with our local theater company both on stage and as a Director.