The Power of Trigger Mailings

Author: Melissa Fransen, Marketing Manager

This summer, I placed an order on a website for a family member’s birthday present. Shortly after placing the order, I received a postcard with an offer of 20% off another order. I was looking for another gift for a different family member, so I placed another order, using my 20% off coupon. A few weeks later, I received another postcard with an offer and guess what? I placed another order. I also followed the company’s social media channels.

This is an example of a tried and true trigger mailing loyalty marketing campaign working its magic. And, yes, it works! I went from a first-time shopper to becoming a repeat customer, keeping this brand top of mind along the way. The product quality was great and I received excellent service throughout the process. I was also reminded of my mailed coupon offers through email marketing and through these trigger mailings, I have become a loyal customer to this brand.

How do Trigger Mailings Work?

Have you heard the term Variable Data Printing (VDP)? If not, variable data printing allows your printed piece to be completely customized to an individual based on data and triggers. It is basically the opportunity for 1:1 marketing using print. Check out our blog that is all about VDP and its advantages.

Think about the trigger mailing example I mentioned above. I was sent trigger mailings based on being a first-time customer. They lured me in after my first purchase with an offer. Then, they lured me in with another offer. I became a repeat customer right off the bat. I also plan to do some of my holiday shopping through this brand due to a great experience with all three purchases.

Getting Started with a Trigger Mailing Program Concept

There are many ways that trigger mailings can be used. Think through your customer’s journey with your brand and how you could use triggered mailings to drive business. Here are some examples of questions to ask yourself:

  1. How can I take a first-time customer and turn them into a loyal customer?
  2. How can I take a customer back to the buying journey with their abandoned cart items?
  3. How can I reach out to lapsed customers and bring them back as a customer?

After you’ve thought through these scenarios, then think about all of the marketing channels that you are using to reach that customer and what makes sense from a timing perspective to keep your brand in front of them through all of these channels. Think about where mail makes sense in this equation.

Working with a Printer on a Trigger Mailing Program

Once you have the strategy ready, the next part is executing it. We have a whole team of data experts at Nahan who can help with API integrations, CRM integrations, and custom programming. Once things are set up systematically, the rest is easy. The trigger mailings you have developed automatically take place based on the concept/behaviors you have identified on your plan. Our team at Nahan holds multiple industry certifications to ensure the protection of your data from beginning to end. We help our customers utilize triggered mailings to drive business, and we can help you too.

Ready to Get Started?

At Nahan, we pride ourselves as being a tech-forward printer who drives results. We invite the opportunity to talk with you about the power of trigger mailings and how you can get started. Why work with Nahan for your trigger mailing program? Check out our 30-second video on what sets us apart. 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.

Halloween Special: Getting Started with Printing Isn’t as “Scary” As You May Think

Authors: Melissa Fransen and Jim Hesch

Getting started with Printing

Halloween is right around the corner! Our business is “boo”ming this time of the year and our presses are running nonstop.

Our team is working the “skeleton” and “graveyard” shifts to get products produced for the upcoming Holiday season. So, we thought we’d have some fun with a special interview with Customer Service Leader Jim Hesch. You’re in for a real “treat” and maybe a few “tricks” as well, knowing Jim.

Getting Started with Printing

Jim, first tell me why so many of our customers are starting to add print campaigns again into their marketing strategies, even if they have taken a break from print or have never printed before.

Many customers come to us because they have been under the “spell” of the same old marketing tactics and they are looking for something new to break it. Some customers are looking for strategies like loyalty mailings to bring their “zombie” customers back to life. Others are looking to leave their competition in the “shadows” with awesome new campaign strategies. No matter the circumstance, we always say don’t let print “scare” you. We’re here to help and have a “ghoulishly” good time at Nahan. We love new “tricks” on our equipment and love to “treat” our customers to amazing quality print. We also offer a whole “web” of services to our customers so they are well taken care of.

Printing Ink
Red Printing Ink

Once someone decides to add a print campaign to their strategy, what sort of things should they think about?

First of all, you’ll want to think about your goals and what you want to achieve. What do you want your print project to do for you – drive sales, acquire new customers, bring customers into your store, etc.? You will no doubt want to take advantage of our Mail expertise, as Direct Mail marketing has significant response rates and we want the project to be as successful as you do.

Once you have the details for the project, our team will create a quote for you and we’ll put together a project schedule.

Ah… but the machines, the scope, the details, it can be “intimidating” for someone new to print.

Yes, but the good thing about working with Nahan, is that we are here for our customers every step of the way. We help you avoid “stepping on the cracks.” There are also a lot of terms in our industry, for example, RGB, Perfect Binding, Digest, Oblong, etc. but again, it’s not as “daunting” as it may seem and we are here to help.

How about paper selection?

I don’t want to “gloss” over the details, but your Sales Representative will help you determine which paper will work best for your particular project.

What are some common questions we might here from designers when creating artwork?

Here are some fun ones…

Q: My catalog has MANY pages, does it need “creep?”

A: Depending on how many pages, your book may need “creep” because when taking a “face trim” off, we wouldn’t want to lose any “digits.” Our skilled experts will take care of that for you.

Q: My project has “bleed?”

A: Yes, if your image extends to the edge of the page, you will want 1/8” extra image so that your image can “bleed” off the page.

Q: Will my project be prone to “ghosting?” 

Getting started with printing

When we talk about the term “ghosting back,” we are referring to an image being lightened up to use as a background or other light accent. However; there are many undesirable “traps” that can happen when printing large solids. If your solid image has reversed type or white knockouts a few different types of “ghosting” can appear.

Mechanical “ghost” is a “phantom” image on the printed side of the sheet caused by ink “starvation.” It can be quite “menacing.” You will need a well-maintained machine with highly skilled operators to help eliminate it.

Chemical “ghosts” appear ominously when the ink is drying, caused by a differentiated dry speed and gaseous emissions, leaving a “ghosted” image on the other side of the sheet (in the solids). Experienced operators with a lot of training, R&D, and quality products help eliminate this as well. This type of ghost generally only happens on coated papers.

So, if you’re concerned about “ghosting,” who you gonna call? “Ghostbusters!” Just kidding, you can call us and we will help!

Getting Started with Printing

We get asked questions about security at Nahan and we deal with a lot of data. Tell me more.

When you work with Nahan, you’re not “alone in the wilderness” on your project. We take great pride in being secure.

Any last words of advice Jim?

Don’t let print “scare” you! We are here to help!

Jim, this was fun to put together with you! Thanks for the humor and fun! We hope all of you enjoyed this blog as much as Jim and I did putting it together. Have a wonderful Halloween and stay safe and stay well our friends!

Bios:

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.

Jim Hesch is a Department Leader at Nahan Printing and has been in the printing industry since 1973. He has held the positions of Press Operator, Operations Manager and Customer Service Leader.  Jim loves visiting his grandchildren and teaching them to play guitar.

Cover Photo: Image by Image by Public Domain Pictures from Pixabay

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.

Print Marketing to Millennials & Gen Z

Author: Melissa Fransen

Did you know that Millennials spend more time reading their mail than any other generation?  And that 92% of college students prefer reading printed materials to digital material?  Yes, you read that right!  Even in a generation that grew up in a digital world, if your target market includes these generations, you may be missing a big opportunity if you are not utilizing the power of print within your omni-channel marketing strategies. There are a lot of misconceptions about the power of print marketing and today we’re going to explore ideas for reaching these generations with your print marketing strategies.

Millennials (Born 1981 – 1996)

Millennials are the largest generation in the US, representing a population of over 72 million. This generation is tech savvy, social savvy, educated, and spends $600 billion in the United States each year.

The following are some characteristics of this generation: [1]

  • Appreciate experiences
  • Care about values
  • Value purpose
    Print Marketing Millennials
    Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels
  • Budget-friendly
  • Want to stay connected
  • Choices are important to them
  • Value sustainability
  • Seek recognition
  • Instant gratification
  • Value speed and convenience     
  • Trust Influencers                                    

Stats: Here are some interesting Millennial stats:     

  • 77% of millennials participate in loyalty reward programs [2]
  • 90% are social media users [3]
  • 88% take the time to look through their mail to make sure they are not discarding useful information [4]
  • 75% say that receiving personal mail makes them feel special [5]
  • 62% have visited a store in the past month based on receiving information in the mail [5]
  • 65% like coupons for retail businesses and 69% like coupons for restaurants [5]
  • 82% cite print as a part of their purchasing journey [6]
  • 89% check their mailbox at their first opportunity [6]
  • 77% pay attention to direct mail [6]

Print Ideas for this generation:

  • Incorporate an omnichannel experience
  • Build trust and loyalty through incentives
  • Be authentic in your communications
  • Variable data printing – make it personal to them
  • Give them choices – “this offer” or “that offer”
  • Let them know what your brand is doing to make an impact to build a connection with them
  • Give them an offer that is quick to redeem and convenient
  • Include content about what are others saying about your brand to establish trust

Generation Z (Born 1997-2012)

This generation represents 20% of the U.S. population and has become one of our most technologically savvy generations, as they grew up with electronic technology and the internet.

The following are some characteristics of this generation: [7]

  • Focus on career/financial stability
  • Strong family influence
    Print Marketing Millennials
    Photo by cottonbro from Pexels
  • Thrifty
  • Value brick-and-mortar experiences
  • Appreciation for physical media
  • Value physical experiences
  • Prefer personal communications
  • High expectations
  • Values cross-functional communications
  • Instant gratification
  • Tactile experiences matter
  • Personalization matters

Stats: Here are some interesting Gen Z stats.

  • 98% of this generation owns a smartphone [8]
  • 2X more likely to shop on mobile devices than millennials are [9]
  • 65% of this generation sees value in coupons, discounts, and rewards programs [10]
  • 72% of Gen Z says price is the key factor in purchasing decisions [11]
  • 88% prefers omni-channel brand experiences [12]
  • 68% of Gen Z expects brands to contribute positively to society [13]
  • Spend about 1 hour each week reading magazines [14]
  • 92% of 18-23-year-olds find it easier to read printed content than digital and the response rate to direct marketing is 37% higher than for email [15]
  • Average attention span of 8 seconds (vs. 12 seconds for Millennials) [16]

Print Ideas for this generation:

  • Coupons to drive them into your store or online
  • Variable data printing – make it personal to them [17]
  • Give them several call-to-actions to different types of media sources
  • Make your offers easy to redeem
  • Consider a unique tactile experience or die-line to gain interest – something that stands out
  • Use multi-media experiences
  • Help them feel connected to your brand
  • Easy, quick visuals to catch their attention
  • Give them an incentive to collaborate with your company – reviews, interactive games, etc.
Print Marketing Millennials
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Reach Millennials and Gen Z with Print

If you are ready to reach these demographics, we are here to help. Whether it’s unique die cuts, tactile experiences, or something completely out of the box, let us turn your ideas into reality and help you tap into this market with your print strategies to drive results. Download our whitepaper on why direct mail prospers in a digital world and request a sample pack today to get your creative juices flowing!

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.

Cover Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Nahan Wins Two Golds at the Annual Gold Ink Awards Competition

SAINT CLOUD, MN – Sept. 15, 2020 – Printing Impressions Magazine, producer of the annual Gold Ink Awards, announced the winners of the 2020 Annual Gold Ink Awards Competition. The Gold Ink Awards are considered one of the industry’s most prestigious print competitions.

Nahan Printing, Inc. is a proud recipient of two Gold awards! The first is a Gold for the Neiman Marcus 2019 Christmas Catalog and the second is a Gold for the Lawrence & Schiller South Dakota Activity Book. The winning pieces are in the “Consumer Catalogs, Web” and “Consumer Catalogs, Sheetfed” categories. In addition to the two Gold award wins, Nahan also received five Pewter awards in the Catalogs division.

This year’s Gold Ink Award winners were chosen from more than 400 entries submitted within 43 different categories. Winning pieces were chosen based on print quality, technical difficulty, and overall visual effect. All winners can be found at https://www.piworld.com/extension/gold-ink-awards/2020/.

 “It is great to be recognized by Printing Impressions for the quality of work we put into every product, each and every day. We are once again, very proud of our team’s commitment and dedication to quality; an asset that continues to set us apart in the industry.” said John Klumb, Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

About Nahan

Nahan Printing is a Minnesota-based, independent, family-owned, 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, ecommerce, financial services, non-profit, hospitality, and more. With a client roster of legendary brands, Nahan prints iconic work that represents the highest level of quality and innovation in the industry. For more information about Nahan, please visit http://www.Nahan.com.

Augmented Reality and Catalogs

Author: Ken Anderson, National Sales Executive

After the year we’ve had, perhaps you feel 2020 has had us trapped inside an Augmented Reality program.  I know I do! 

What is Augmented Reality (AR)?

To keep it simple, it’s the melding of the real world around us and a computer-generated world.  It’s not The Matrix, Mr. Anderson….

Mostly Augmented Reality has found its place in games and with increasing power of mobile devices and fine-tuned software, it’s getting better with each passing day.  Who knew kid’s games could increase the value of your catalog and bring more customers to your door, physically or virtually?  Augmented Reality will help increase interaction with your catalog and loyalty to your brand.  It can be as elaborate or as simple as you want it to be. 

Using AR with Catalogs

In the early days of AR, the designer of the catalog would have to embed QR barcodes; those little square black and white things of “beauty” that went so well with the fine products you’re selling.  Today, AR will work with image recognition which eliminates the need for QR codes. (Don’t worry if you love them, you can still use them).  The advantages of image recognition is that you can make changes to product information up to and beyond the press date.  You can control the information on the back end of the Mobile App and change it to meet your ever-changing needs.  This ability may even increase the shelf life of your catalog and allow you to move inventory that may be moving slower or alter an offer that has moved a product faster than you thought it would.  That’s a problem most companies need a little of these days.

As AR continues to advance, customers utilize AR to try on clothes, shoes, hats, glasses, and more to see how great they look in your products.  AR will allow them to see how that couch will fit in their family room or how patio furniture will make their back yard perfect for the staycation they’re planning.  Do you sell products that need to be assembled?  Use image recognition and AR to launch an assembly video.  As a dad, I would no longer have to pretend I know how to assemble the new purchase, because secretly the instructions are confusing to me, I can watch the video.  Who wouldn’t love that?

Print brings results, far more than any other channel.  Digital enriches the experience.  Why not combine the two for increased brand loyalty, increased interaction, increased shelf life, and increased sales?  That’s a lot of increases everyone will love.

Bio: Ken Anderson is a National Sales Executive on our Sales Team. Ken has decades of print experience and has ink stains to prove it. He is a father of four and is an avid outdoorsman.  

The Fine Art of Finishing Print

Author: Jim Hesch, Customer Service Leader

Focusing on quality and unique capabilities sets us apart. It’s all in the Presentation.

For the person who, in the end will open your envelope, mailer or book, it is all in the presentation.

Beautiful color, gloss or dull techniques, metallics and foil, or attention grabbing raised gloss UV can certainly grab one’s attention. Using an emboss sculpture die to make a message stand out and look 3D or a tactile coating can enhance a piece, too. A cool fold, pop up, or even an iron cross are tried and true attention grabbers for the end user.

Nahan’s Focus on Finishing

At Nahan, we pride ourselves on the Finishing of our pieces; the presentation, with good quality binding and complicated inserting. Our team is dedicated to make sure the quality of the piece compliments the goal of your recipient, which is ultimately to successfully reach them and get them to open the piece.

“I love working in Finishing, no two days are the same and no two books are the same. It’s the collaboration that makes it fun. I am always learning. Yeah, we are obsessed with going the extra mile.”

– Jim Dombrovski, Finishing Shift Leader

“For those of us who are passionate about Finishing, we get to take a nicely printed sheet and turn it into something cool, and we get to touch it and see it before the customer ever gets to see it.”

– Doug Karls, Trainer

Developing Creative Solutions

We have an incredibly creative team to help you find that eye-catching piece; something unusual or unique and are able to complete affordably. Our capabilities are unique, customizable, and with our creative staff, can be game changers.

In the end, we really like Finishing (first).

Resources

Sappi has a wonderful series of publications that can help you in your creative presentation endeavor.

Check out Bindery Techniques issue #6: https://www.sappi.com/standard-volume-6

Or Issue 4, scoring and folding: https://www.sappi.com/standard-volume-4%E2%80%94scoring-folding

The Neuroscience of Touch: https://www.sappi.com/the-neuroscience-of-touch.

Another fun series in finishing techniques is the Fold Factory, Fold of the Week. Check out their YouTube Videos for inspiration and ideas.

Have Fun, Stay Warm and Tip On…

Our Blogger is Jim Hesch, a manager here at Nahan Printing. Jim has been in the printing trade since 1973 and has a passion for finishing and customer service.