- Graphic industry
Of course, everyone knows reclameland.nl, drukland.nl or flyerzone.nl. But, do you know the company behind it? Welcome to the world of Simian! We spoke to content marketer Francine about Simian and how they are extremely effective with a small marketing team. Wondering how they manage their marketing? Then read on!
Simian - The printing company for the Netherlands and Belgium
How did this company ever get so big? Simian gets this burning question more often. Francine knows how to explain it from A to Z. The company originally started as reclameland.nl. Wouter Haan, owner, studied journalism and one day he thought, "I'm going to voice and offer commercials."
In 1997, he began offering print products online. Demand increased, of course, as the online world grew. In 2002, the company moved to its first production location, in the center of Assen. Some eight years later, in 2010, Wouter was able to expand this, adding an extra floor. More printers were also added. "You have to imagine that such a printer is quite large and does not fit through the door. It was quite a challenge back then and eventually the printers were hoisted in through the window," Francine explained.
The company continued to grow and pretty soon this building was too small. Therefore, Simian moved to Roden in 2012. In 2015, Simian acquired both drukland.nl and flyerzone.nl. They ended up staying in Roden for only four years, because by then that building too was too small. After that Simian started looking for even bigger premises, which Wouter eventually found in Westerbroek, their current location. In 2020, the current premises in Westerbroek even expanded from 10,000 to 35,000 m2. You can expect the company to go all out for marketing. More on that later. First, we were very curious about how exactly such an ordering process works.
The wonderful world of printing
We get an explanation of exactly what daily life is like at Simian. It starts at the beginning: the customer places an order. This arrives at the file department. This department checks whether the printing file is good. "With a print file of inferior quality, you make less beautiful flyers, posters and so on. And we always go for quality, so the quality check is part of it," states Francine. Once approved, the production process begins. In that case, the print file is forwarded to the appropriate printer. "The delivery time then depends on exactly what you ordered. A flyer 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 says enthusiastically.
"All marketing facets are optimized"
"I myself deal with email marketing in Reloadify, with support from ON. Digital. ON. Digital is a very nice sparring partner for me. Before we worked with Reloadify, we worked with Mailchimp. I worked with this myself for a few months, but we were not convinced by the power of Mailchimp. Our marketing strategy at the time was different: we sent out a newsletter three times a month, which caused enough frustration in the team. Mailchimp often did something other than what we wanted in the editor. And that was frustrating. We eventually left them because we found it difficult to get more out of Mailchimp, given that the knowledge base with them was in English and they mostly spoke in technical terms. It was unclearly explained and you sometimes had to dig incredibly deep into the knowledge base before you actually got to your answer. Furthermore, their help pages were based on the old version of Mailchimp, while we were working in the new version of Mailchimp. That made it difficult to get where we wanted to go."
In search of other email marketing software
And so began the search for other software. Simian first listed their requirements in what exactly they wanted in terms of email marketing. Francine: "We believe very much in e-mail marketing automation and that was one of our requirements for the software. What makes it difficult is that we are not a standard webshop. We don't do order checkout and go, with us everything is customized. So we were looking for that in our e-mail marketing software as well." They have so many different types of products, and within those products again, numerous possibilities. "Therefore, an off-the-shelf solution doesn't work for us." An API connection had to be arranged, and then ON. Digital came up with Reloadify.
Reloadify is the perfect solution for us
"Reloadify completely meets our needs: we wanted to send more than just a newsletter and we mainly wanted to focus our email marketing on automations, without missing the personal touch. It helps that you guys are open to everything: an API connection can be made and anything is possible with you."
"In the beginning I had to get used to Reloadify," Francine confessed. "But it makes a huge difference that you have a very clear knowledge base and that you respond so quickly to the chat. Furthermore, it's incredibly nice to use. You could even add your own code to an email, but this hasn't even been interesting for us, since you can already do so much by default in the emails and triggers." What Francine herself likes is that the customer is really listened to. "Some, small, adjustments were made within hours. Should we ask for bigger things, we are honestly told that this is possible, but that it will take some time," Francine states. She really likes that communication. That way you always know where you stand.
Email marketing? Full throttle on retention!
"How our sales are doing in Reloadify? Very good, in that respect very similar to Mailchimp. Yet this is not really comparable. In Mailchimp we sent a newsletter three times a month. Now we mail out much more often anyway and we don't get the most out of our triggers. That's because on our end we need to sort some things out so that the link will work properly. I know there are still plenty of gains to be made with Reloadify," Francine states. "And ultimately I do think the revenue from the triggers that we do have live now is nice. Compared to MailChimp, that is already an addition. Let alone when we soon have them all, well 450 per shop, live!"
"We're really going to focus on retaining existing customers, so really the retention part. That's the great thing about Reloadify: it's easy to apply. With Reloadify, they introduce our customers to a different assortment. Imagine if a customer only ordered business cards, that customer often has no idea that we can do more for them. With cross-sell and up-sell mails we are already making a huge profit. And it is a very personal way of approaching a customer. Only then can I say that we can be satisfied!" says Francine with a smile.