Pressure Seal Is an Efficient Mailroom Process—Here's How to Pitch It to Clients
Using pressure seal forms has become known as a cost- and time-saving method for businesses, but there are still a multitude of companies missing out on the benefits they offer. After this past year—a time when the stability of even strong, long-standing businesses was tested—maybe end-users will be more open to what distributors have to say about a product that can save cash-strapped companies that may have recently laid off multiple workers and are just trying to move their business forward in 2021. The use of pressure sealers can help a company’s mailroom process. And uses run the gamut from health care billing and retail rebate checks to student transcripts and jury summonses.
“Whether you are running 500 or 500,000 forms, these pieces can save you time and money,” Jessica Wenz, product marketing manager for Dayton, Ohio-based Wilmer, said. “Forms can also come with an envelope attached so that you can tear off your invoice and envelope and mail your payment in. This is saving them having a piece of paper and two envelopes, and paying someone to insert them into the envelope to mail.”
Here are four reasons why you’ll want your current and new clients to convert to pressure seal forms.
To Improve Efficiency
You may have tried this tactic before, but things are different now, so learn the client’s struggles over the past year and explain how converting to a pressure seal process can improve the company’s efficiency. And the form is just as important as the equipment for Art Waganheim, vice president of operations for Paitec USA, Davie, Fla.
“Pressure seal machines can only work as well as the forms that are being fed into them,” he said. “Customers should focus on forms manufactured with proper fold perforations—both punched through the form and designed for folding and not for tear-off.”
InfoSeal, a Div. of Ennis Inc., Roanoke, Va., invites distributors to its facility for a tour and live demo of pressure seal equipment and forms in addition to the widely available educational materials and regional personnel that will help end-users see the benefits. In reality, the difference between hearing about and actually seeing the efficiencies—including reductions in materials, labor and postage, as well as a smaller footprint for equipment and increased output—could make the difference.
Waganheim warned to not look at the monthly duty capacity when choosing a pressure sealer, but instead the typical batch size and daily volume since customers may only run the machines a few times a month.
“A customer running only 10,000 forms per month may actually be running those forms only four times per month or 2,500 per day,” he said. “If so, a pressure seal machine with a 100-sheet feed table would be very slow to process while a more expensive machine with a 700-[sheet] feed table would work faster, which will save time and labor costs.”
To Target the Pandemic Recovery Sales
With utility shut-off moratoriums in place during the pandemic and promotional mailings down significantly as both businesses and their potential customers struggled to find their footing in 2020, there was lost business in certain markets, but not overall, which resulted in new areas of business to fill the gap for Wilmer.
“We were hearing more uses of awareness, such as new store hours during the pandemic, how locations were keeping you safe and current updates with the vaccine offering,” Wenz said.
However, any losses seen in direct mail are already rebounding. An Upwork survey found that 41.8% of working Americans were fully remote in December, so marketers are aiming their efforts at contacts’ home addresses. After all, that same study expects 36.2 million Americans to be fully remote by 2025, which is 16.8 million or 87% more people than before the pandemic.
“Marketing [companies] are getting away from the email and social media bombardment and going back to the traditional mailbox pieces,” Yost observed.
And pressure seal sales have been picking up across most markets. During the pandemic, unemployment numbers affected the number of paychecks companies were issuing, remote education eliminated printed report cards and some invoicing, and deferred tax deadlines delayed various tax-related form purchasing. All that delayed purchases for those forms.
“For us at InfoSeal, starting about mid-August 2020, the light switch turned back on, and we were challenged to keep up with customers’ demands right through [the] fourth quarter and tax season,” Yost said. “Everyone was out of every kind of document—stock and custom—and they needed it with a quick turnaround.”
Also, when it comes to equipment, there have been new sales leads as companies have expanded to new offices and business opportunities.
“The COVID pandemic was bad for the world and for the business community in so many ways, but Paitec actually saw an increase in sales as many customers bought additional equipment for their work-at-home staff,” Waganheim shared. “Now we are finding some small customers have sold out to larger customers who now need additional equipment to handle their growing volumes.”
To Create Secure Mailers
As opposed to adhesive, cohesive consists of patterned edges that only adhere to each other with force within the pressure seal equipment. While running cohesive through a printer doesn’t affect the cohesive, storing the forms in a temperature- and humidity-controlled environment is necessary to maintain its integrity for at least six to 12 months.
“Any end-user that will [be] buying pressure seal stock that would be sitting for a few months should have it sitting in a climate-controlled environment that isn’t too hot/cold or too dry/wet,” Wenz said. “Any of this could change the cohesive so that it would not seal properly. Mainly, we hear of warehouses that are too hot and dry. They can reach out to us with any problems, as we have a few tricks up our sleeves.”
And once they’re sealed up, the fact that they’re tamper-evident is one more benefit for enclosed sensitive or confidential information.
“Have you ever tried to unseal one of these? Maybe that’s just me looking to see if it’s our form being used,” Wenz said. “It is very difficult and you definitely can’t put it back together without someone noticing that it’s already been opened. Some of the security tints in envelopes can be pretty weak. With the folding and sealing of these forms, there are times that two panels are overlapping that information so that it cannot be seen through.”
That said, an inline pressure seal is an additional security measure that can be taken to ensure information is kept private even during printing and assembly of pressure seal forms.
“Inline pressure seal solutions are a solution that makes sense for customers who want to minimize paper handling either to save time or to protect the confidential information being printed,” Waganheim said.
To Get Ahead of the Trend
This product category has a strong outlook, with Wilmer, in particular, foreseeing large growth this year and some new mailer options in the research phase that Wenz wasn’t quite ready to reveal yet.
“We are forecasting more direct mail pieces going out as the economy gets back to pre-pandemic hours and offers,” she said. “We are continuously looking at new pieces to add to our line based on discussions with distributors and their customers’ wants/needs.”
Once a client has the equipment, there are ways to grow within the segment. InfoSeal released new 18x28" forms, as well as its line of pressure seal jumbo rolls, so clients have a lot of options, and those already using inkjet jumbo roll equipment can benefit too from the value-add of pressure seals. Yost, therefore, expects the inkjet equipment to be the most significant area of growth for the pressure seal product category in the near future. The rolls offer a lot of features, including an 11" die-cut opening FlipTab, a faux C-fold window for 14" forms, DigiSeal coated paper and a Double Down card—an upgrade to laminate cards.
“InfoSeal’s new innovative faux C-fold in rolls creates the ability to inkjet inline at top speeds outputting documents 500% faster than the cut-sheet counterparts due to the cohesive’s unique, custom pattern,” Yost said.
Getting an account to switch to pressure seal is the hard part, but sometimes it takes that added service to land a long-term client. In this case, explaining the benefits of pressure seal and converting the client to the updated system could be all it takes. Wenz pointed out that it’s really the same as the transition from continuous to laser checks.
“Now the shift is gravitating towards pressure seal,” she said. “Some clients have made the move to pressure seal and wouldn’t go back. It’s a bit of [a] change to get up and running with the investment of the machine itself, but, overall, it will save them money. Typically, it’s only a few months to recoup the cost of the machine.”