Mailers Adapt to New Technology
Distributors can prosper by pushing the envelope on mailers.
After making a few initial phone calls to inquire about the state of affairs for mailer products within the forms industry today, it was clear that manufacturers have mixed feelings on the issue. Some simply reported such an insignificant sale of mailers—due to too much competition and changing technology—that they preferred to not report on them at all. But, others have found a way to prosper via the mailer.
The prospering is true, despite the drastic decline of installed impact printers over the past several years, which has significantly reduced demand for continuous custom products—namely mailers. In fact, the possibilities for profiting from the sale of this product while developing strong end-user relationships are plentiful. The trick for distributors is recognizing those markets that thrive on mailers, transitioning to the demands of new technology and providing the added value needed to improve service.
According to Deanna Day, senior brand manager for documents, PrintXcel, Montrose, Ala., two of the top markets for mailers are the health-care industry and educational institutions. "Health-care is a big market for us. We provide a lot of billing statements and lab result reports—constantly in-demand products—in the form of mailers," she said. "In education, distributors can sell grade reports, class schedules and fee notices. Really, education is a very strong market for distributors."
Day explained that distributors can sell mailers to secondary schools by going through the district office, whereas the registrar or dean's office may be the point of contact for colleges. "For larger universities, distributors might find that there is a purchasing department to go through," she said. "The great thing about educational institutions is that once they decide to use mailers for one solution, they will begin to use them for many others."