How to Sell Your Clients on Pressure Seal in the Digital World
Art Waganheim, vice president of operations for Paitec USA, Davie, Florida, says that people tell him every year demand for pressure seal documents is going to wane because of, well, digital everything.
Guess what? It hasn’t. And not only has it not disappeared, it’s increased.
“Our business has grown every year since we started it in 2009, and this year is off to another good start,” Waganheim said.
It’s not that pressure seal documents are impervious to technological and societal changes. They’re not. Ask any printer and they’ll tell you that it’s a constant battle. But, if you’re smart and know where the demand is, you can not only survive, but thrive.
For Waganheim and Paitec specifically, it’s been demand for medium- and lower-volume machines that has grown. He said that demand for high-volume print has leveled off.
Here are other things to know about selling pressure seal in the digital world.
Sell Them On It
One of the reasons for pressure seal’s survival is that customers who use these documents see the value they provide. As Jessica Wenz, product marketing manager for Wilmer, Dayton, Ohio, pointed out, once a customer sees the time and money that pressure seal documents save, they probably won’t go back to separate piece mailers.
Selling someone who doesn’t already use them, especially in the age of electronic transactions, is a little harder. But it’s not impossible.
“The best point to make is the time and money saved,” Wenz said. “Show them a printed piece on pressure seal and how it works. Show them the pricing of the paper and envelope versus the one pressure seal piece needed to create the same piece.”
Pressure seal documents also leave room for creativity and personality. “Some of our pressure seal pieces can create more interest, like using our flip-tab form,” Wenz explained. “The customer can create their own custom form and cut-out, as well.”
Waganheim said that pressure seal can appeal to both commercial and government buyers, so there are plenty of opportunities to make a sale.
It might come as a surprise, but as just about every aspect of our lives becomes digital, people are starting to long for the days of tactile products again. Think about it: We can stream just about any piece of music from history from a little square we fit in our pockets. We can access encyclopedic knowledge at the tap of a finger. And yet, people are buying vinyl records en masse.
The same goes for printers who want to stand out from their peers who might only focus on the digital side of things. What was once the norm, and then archaic, is now idiosyncratic
“The abundance of electronic communication options and social media has actually started to motivate more businesses to return to mailed communications to break through the electronic clutter for advertising purposes,” Waganheim said. “It has also been interesting to see brokerage firms sending pressure seal notices to investors notifying them of the availability of online documents to ensure they are aware of important issues, including shareholder votes.
Find the Right Tool for the Job
Since print is a more specialized art in the computer-driven world, you want to make sure the equipment you have is being used to its full capacity, and that nothing is just sitting idly and costing you overhead.
For each pressure seal job you might land, it’s imperative to know what kind of equipment you’ll need to fulfill the task efficiently.
“The smaller machines run slower and the purchase can be justified with processing as few as 6,500 documents a year,” Wenz said. “Smaller offices, maybe just processing payroll and a few mailings, would ideally be after these machines that can handle 10,000 forms monthly. This tends to be our most sought-after piece of equipment. We have multiple machine offerings, all the way up to our 10k, which comes with a paper hopper and a 36" conveyor, and can process up to 10,000 sheets per hour, or 200,000 forms monthly. When looking at a vendor for the equipment, also note who is going to help you when you’re in a jam (literally) and what will that cost your customer?”
Ride the Waves
It’s not just the growth of electronic purchasing that has impacted traditional printed pressure seal documents. The pandemic, and the lasting ripples that we’ve experienced in recent years, has played a role. Production and supply chain issues have caused some printers, like Wilmer, to deal with hardships on the manufacturing end.
“Just when we thought we might be getting back to some normalcy in 2022, the new year brings twists to the economic woes regarding paper and other materials,” said Wenz. “The heavier stock used for pressure seal is no different. Mills are limiting production on [this] stock, and will be doing so for the foreseeable future. With that said, it’s limited the amount of stock we can get in house and jobs we can run.”
Wenz added that while these issues no doubt put a major strain on business, the key is clear communication with clients to manage expectations and achieve the end-result everyone wants. It also caused Wilmer to think more critically about its own processes and maximize efficiency both in cost and materials management.
Conversely, as aspects of the pandemic ease up, and people return to school and work, opportunities for pressure seal sales could resurface.
“School’s back in session,” Wenz said. “There were a lot of mailings regarding how the reopening of campus will occur, welcoming freshmen and keeping parents up-to-date on safety requirements as school started back with in-person learning.”
As companies recover, too, and continue to hire staff, it creates additional demand for pressure seal products like tax forms and payroll documents. In turn, as these businesses keep growing, they’ll need documents for invoices and statements.
The best response to anyone who says that demand for print documents is dwindling is to tell them to imagine a world without them. How do you stand out when everyone is on social media or email? What will these companies do when onboarding new employees who need to get paid? How do you guarantee that your students receive critical information right to their doorstep? (Because, let’s be real, college students aren’t religiously checking their email. You might be able to put the notice on TikTok, but that’s a whole different animal on its own.)
There will always be roadblocks, but just like any other product category, evolution, savvy business practices and a little creativity will keep you afloat. It might even help you grow.
Brendan Menapace is the senior digital editor for Promo Marketing. While writing and editing stories come naturally to him, writing his own bio does not.