With 450 triggers for every webshop nothing is impossible.
- Grafische industrie/ Drukwerk
A glimpse into the world of Simian
Of course everybody knows reclameland.nl, drukland.nl or flyerzone.nl. But, do you know the company behind these websites? Welcome to the world of Simian! We spoke with content marketer Francine about Simian and how they work extremely effectively with a small marketing team. Curious how they arrange their marketing? Then read on!
Simian - the printer for the Netherlands and Belgium
How did this company become this big? This burning question is something that gets asked quite often. Francine has the knowledge to explain this from A to Z. The company originally started as reclameland.nl. Wouter Haan, owner, studied journalism and thought to himself on a good day: ‘I’m going to provide voice acting for commercials and sell them.’
Wouter Haan - Owner
In 1997 he started to offer online printing services. And demand increased together with the growth of the online world. In 2002 the company moved to their first production office in the center of Assen. Eight years later in 2010, Wouter was able to expand with an extra floor. This included more printers in the space. ‘ You have to keep in mind that a printer is quite big and it didn’t fit through the front door. It was quite a challenge and eventually they were hoisted through a window.’ so we are told by Francine.
The company continued to grow and soon their building was too small. That’s why in 2012 Simian moved to Roden. In 2015 Simian acquired both drukland.nl and flyerzone.nl, They only stayed in Roden for four years, because the building was once again too small. So Simian started searching for an even bigger building, which Wouter eventually found in Westerbroek which is where they are situated today. In 2020 the building even got an expansion from 10.000 to 35.000 m2. You would expect that the company would put everything on marketing. We’ll talk about that later. But first we were interested in how the ordering process works exactly.
The wonderful world of printing
We get an explanation of how daily life at Simian works exactly. It starts at the beginning: the customer places an order. This comes in the files department. This department will check whether the print file is correct. ‘With a print file of lesser quality, you make less attractive flyers, posters and so on. And we always go for quality, so the quality check is part of it’, says Francine. Once approved, the production process begins. In that case, the print file is forwarded to the correct printer. The delivery time then depends on what exactly you have ordered. A flier is less work than a book, for example.”
‘And, because everything is so large-scale with us, that makes the work fun. Everything here in Westerbroek is very impressive to see’, Francine tells us enthusiastically.
What are we allowed to expect from such a big a-typical company?
‘Currently we’re working with a small team of marketers, including our manager Rudo. But we’re being well supported by ON. Digital marketing’, says Francine. ‘ We’ve been working with them since December 2021 and it’s been a very enjoyable partnership.’ How is it possible for such a big company to work with such a compact marketing department? The team has been completely rebuilt since August 2021 with a new marketing manager and a new team. ‘From that point we’ve set very clear goals and everyone in our team has their own speciality. That’s why Reloadify is so wonderful, because we can automate everything.’ Since Rudo took the rudder a lot of things have changed. “In any case, he had the idea that we were still far from getting the most out of marketing,” says Francine. That is why they started looking for a marketing agency that could help them with this. And soon the collaboration with ON. Digital became a fact.
‘All the facets of marketing are used optimally’
‘Admittedly a lot of the things we do on our own.’ Francine admits. For example, they do SEO themselves, but also SEA. Our marketing manager Rudo, together with ON. Digital, is responsible for all SEA campaigns.’ ‘Since a month we have a new colleague in the team who is responsible for Social Media’. ‘Personally I’m responsible for the email marketing in Reloadify, with support from ON. Digital’. ‘ ON. Digital is a very nice sparring partner to work with for me.’ And in this way they’re a very small team that can handle all the facets of marketing. ‘Sometimes we’re still trying to figure out how we can put everything together in the best way, but it’s been noticeable that we’re getting better with this everyday and growing into our roles.’
Francine tells us that: ‘Before we worked with Reloadify, we used MailChimp. Personally I worked with it for a couple of months, but we weren’t convinced about the power of MailChimp. Our marketing strategy was completely different at the time: three times a month we sent out a newsletter, which caused more than enough frustration in the team. MailChimp usually did something different than what we wanted in the editor and that was frustrating. Eventually we stopped using it because it was difficult to get more out of MailChimp, mainly because the wiki was in English and it mainly mentioned technical terms. Things weren’t explained in concrete terms and sometimes you had to dig very deep into the wiki before you found your answer. Also sometimes the wiki was based on an older version of MailChimp, while we worked in a newer version of MailChimp. That made it difficult to get what we wanted.
The search for a different email marketing software.
And so began the search for other software. Simian started by listing their requirements in what exactly they wanted in terms of email marketing. Francine: ‘Rudo strongly believes in email marketing automation and that was one of his requirements in the software. What makes it difficult is that we are not a standard webshop. We do not pay for orders and go, with us everything is tailor-made. So that’s what we were looking for in our email marketing software.’ They have so many different types of products, and within those products many possibilities. ‘A ready-made solution therefore does not work for us.’ An API link had to be arranged, and then ON. Digital came up with Reloadify.
Reloadify is the perfect solution for us
‘It matched our wishes completely: we wanted to do more than just send a newsletter and we mostly wanted our email marketing to be focused on automation, without missing the personal touch. It helps that you’re open to everything: an API connection can be made and almost anything is possible with you.’
‘In the beginning I really had to get used to Reloadify.’, Francine admits. ‘But it helped that there’s a very clear wiki and that you respond so quickly to chats. Furthermore it’s very nice to use. You could even insert your own code to an email, but that hasn’t even been interesting to us, since the available emails and triggers already do so much’. Francine personally really appreciates that we really listen to our customers. ‘Some small adjustments have already been implemented within a few hours. If we ask for bigger things, we are honestly told that this is possible, but that it will take a while,’ says Francine. She really likes that kind of communication. That way you always know where you stand.
Email marketing? Full throttle on retention!
‘How our turnover is doing in Reloadify? Really well! Now we email much more often and we get the most out of our triggers. “I know there is still plenty of profit to be made with Reloadify,’ says Francine. ‘Let alone when all our triggers are live, a total of 450 triggers for every shop.’
‘We are going to focus on retaining existing customers, so really the retention part. That’s the nice thing about Reloadify: it’s easy to apply. With Reloadify, we can introduce our customers to a different assortment’. ’Imagine that a customer only orders business cards, then that customer often has no idea that we can do more for them. With cross-sell and up-sell emails, we are already achieving enormous profits in this area. It’s a very personal way of approaching our customers. Only in that way can I say that we are truly satisfied.’ Francine concludes with a smile.
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