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, 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.

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!

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!

Get to Know Nahan’s Marketing Manager: A Q/A Session with Melissa Fransen

Author: Tracy Tougas, Account Executive

Keeping Nahan’s name and quality reputation popping up on Social Media, planning events, creating eye-catching and poignant external marketing materials, and helping to retain Nahan employees is just part of the short list of what Melissa Fransen does here at Nahan. She is a burst of positivity and is always working two steps ahead. I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Melissa and thought you would all enjoy getting to know her a bit too!

Marketing Extraordinaire

Melissa, why did you choose the marketing field?

I love to think differently. I love to create. I love to push boundaries and drive results. That is what I love about marketing and why I chose the career.

What is your favorite part about working at Nahan?

I can’t pick just one. First, and foremost, I love the people. The people at Nahan are truly outstanding and I’m thankful to be surrounded by great co-workers.

Secondly, since I love marketing, there is just something about seeing something come to life. Seeing a brand’s artwork go from a design to a beautifully crafted tangible marketing piece is something truly awesome. Day in and out I get to see what goes through the doors at Nahan, and it’s really something! I’m blown away with what we do. (Interested in seeing some of our work? Request a sample pack).

Tell us about one of your favorite Nahan capabilities?

I’m truly amazed at the capabilities of Variable Data Printing. I’ve been in the marketing field my entire career and before starting at Nahan a little over three years ago, to be honest, I didn’t know that technology like VDP even existed in print technology. It’s amazing how the power of data can be utilized to create a truly customized marketing piece. Instead of doing a campaign of 50,000 of the same exact artwork to 50,000 customers, you can do 50,000 customized unique pieces to 50,000 people and each one will be customized to that specific individual. I love data and the technology component of VDP. API integrations, CRM systems, and custom marketing programs get me excited since there is so much potential with it! 

Melissa Fransen with her husband.

What is the favorite project that you’d worked with in the last year?

I’d say it was our website launch.  We launched our new website in Sept. of last year and as anyone in the marketing field knows, it’s A LOT of fun and it is A LOT of work. I’m really proud of what the team accomplished and we worked with a fantastic partner to bring our vision to life! It was also really fun to discover some really amazing talent we have on our team from awesome photographers to fantastic writers and editors that are contributing to our blog. Check out our website!

On which social media platforms does Nahan appear?

We are on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Follow us to stay in touch!

What do you like to do outside of work?

I love spending time in the outdoors! I like to fish with my husband Mark and we spend a lot of time with family and friends. We have large extended families and live an active life and I’m very thankful for that! There is always something or someone to celebrate. I enjoy traveling. I also like to play the piano and have played since I was six years old. I’ve really been enjoying teaching a few students of my own. With more time at home with the pandemic, I’ve been enjoying reading (which I haven’t done in a while), gardening, and planting flowers.

Melissa Fransen
Melissa Fransen with one of her great catches.

How has COVID-19 changed your role and the marketing Nahan is doing?

Over the past several years, we’ve had a big presence with conferences. Most of our largest conferences have been canceled and we’ll be participating in our first virtual conference this Fall. So, that has changed for us. Our social media presence has been growing, along with our followership, so we’ve been staying very active on our social media pages. We’ve ramped up our direct mail efforts since we are in the industry and we know it drives results. We’ve also kicked off an eNewsletter so we can stay in close contact with customers, job seekers, and more. Since we aren’t having client visits, doing in-person job fairs, and more, this helps us stay connected. (Interested in signing up for the eNewsletter? Sign up below in the footer of our web page).

Tell me something recent that you are proud of…

In 2019, I became a certified Social Media Strategist (SMS) with the NISM. I’m working on my CEU credits currently to keep up with my certification. With the marketing industry constantly changing, I think it’s important to continuously learn so I can stay at the top of my game. In the last 5 years, I’ve obtained this SMS certification and five HubSpot certifications.

I also enjoy volunteering and making others smile. I’ve participated in several volunteer activities over the last couple of years, including United Way volunteer events. Some of my favorites have included writing thank you letters to Veterans, an activity day at a local Nursing Home, and making tie-blankets for babies in the NICU.

Author: Tracy Tougas

Tracy works at Nahan as an Accounting Executive partnering with our National Sales Reps to build customer relationships and meet customer needs. She has been at Nahan 12+ years and another 2 back in the 90’s. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, gardening, hiking, cooking and spending time with friends and family.

Build a Dynamic Plan for Direct Mail

Are you familiar with the 40/40/20 rule of direct marketing? It states 40% of your campaign’s success is the result of list selection, 40% is because of your offer and 20% is based on creative. But what does that mean, exactly? Let’s break it down with some quick tips you’ll want to keep in mind for your next campaign.

 

Know Who You’re Talking To

Owning the right list is vital whether you’re trying to grow your audience, communicate with current customers or reach prospects you already know. Knowing your market allows you to nail down the tactics. You don’t talk to car salesman the same say you speak to the neighbor kid at her lemonade stand, so why waste words with a blanket message? Secure engagement and responses by tailoring your advert to interests, location and purchase history.

 

Seal the Deal

Now that you know your audience, it’s time to reel them in with a killer call to action. The second 40% is all about getting the reader to do something. Which sounds obvious, but you’d be shocked by how many mailers don’t inspire clear action. Do you want them to complete a survey? How about redeem a coupon? Lead the reader towards your goal with action verbs and explicit, easy-to-follow instructions. Don’t waste time and money on bland, generic messaging.

 

Get Creative

Creative may only be 20% of the rule, but it’s the cherry on top of your ROI-driving sundae. Think outside the box to boost your open rates and catch scanning eyes. One tip: make your mail lumpy. Including any item thicker than the envelope it comes in piques the reader’s interest and turns your ad into a prize. After all, who doesn’t love getting a gift?

See some examples of the 40/40/20 rule in action on our work samples page. Can you pick out the audience? Is the call to action clear? Are you attracted to the creative? Put these rules into practice and you’ll be a direct mail master in no time.