As Kate Torpey, director of sales at InfoSeal LLC, Roanoke, Va., puts it, a business can’t sustain itself unless it grows.
“Success comes through finding new ways to grow business, adding value to customers, differentiating yourself from the competition,” she said. “As a distributor, your customers have the same goals, and your customers’ customers have the same goals—get new customers, grow existing customer business and add value in the process.”
It’s easy to fall into patterns with selling print, or anything for that matter. In the case of selling print items, like pressure seal, some distributors might think that everything that could be done has been done, and that there’s no uncharted territory to explore.
That’s a dangerous mentality to have. In a time where there are so many naysayers quick to spout tired warnings that print is “dying,” it’s all the more important to flex those creative muscles and find new ways to use items, such as pressure seal documents, in promotional campaigns.
To learn about what you can do to revitalize your sales in the sector, we spoke with Torpey, as well as Sam Dorsten, product marketing specialist for Wilmer, Coldwater, Ohio; and Art Waganheim, vice president of operations for Paitec USA, Davie, Fla.
Torpey mentioned some of the pressure seal applications that distributors might have traditionally leaned on, like tax forms, checks, direct deposit paperwork and jury duty notices. It’s not that those haven’t worked—they have! She just wants distributors to consider getting out of their comfort zones.
“Thinking beyond these traditional applications is an area for growth that is being overlooked by many distributors,” she said. “The distributors who understand the additional uses for pressure seal [are] growing sales and adding value to their customers. Pressure seal is an essential tool in many multichannel marketing campaigns.”
So, what are some of these ideas she’s talking about? This question ties in with the current state of advertising, which
is to say it’s a mix of tactile and digital. In this digital landscape, you need to find a way to grab viewers’ attention immediately and keep it.
“Designing a direct mail format to meet the objectives of a marketing campaign is easily accomplished,” Torpey said. “Pressure seal can be manufactured in rolls or sheets, and simplex or duplex. Value-added features that have immediate results in a direct mail campaign include remoist glue, windows, decals, scratch-off, pull-tab perforation, affixed or integrated cards and return envelopes.”
Dorsten agreed that being original and creative is one combination that can put print distributors above their competition.
“Creating new applications is the most exciting aspect of the pressure seal market,” he said. “Our distributors are so creative, and to be able to help them with their projects is the greatest reward. Our goal is to keep our distributors and their customers happy. We are constantly improving our PS Mailer forms and folder/sealer machines to keep customers happy and coming back.”
Know Its Benefits
The thing with pressure seal forms is that they’re perfectly designed for so many different applications. They’re pretty much flawless. And they save time and money for your company because they take away the need to stuff and seal envelopes.
“Pressure seal products are extremely efficient on the production floor, as well,” Torpey said. “Form design allows for simplex and duplex formats, as well as cut sheet and roll products. When doing an analysis of the cost of a direct mail program, [you must know] it is not only the cost of the material—click charges, production time, labor and postage must be included. As compared to a No. 10 envelope mailing, pressure seal is usually more cost competitive simply because the cost of the envelope is eliminated.”
Because of this, there’s the opportunity to add value in the form of integrated cards for membership programs or gift cards, Torpey said. This also eliminates the possibility of mismatched mailings.
The other upside of pressure seal, aside from its cost-saving ability, is the environmental benefit.
“We have found that many of our form distributor customers just focus on age-old applications, such as checks and tax forms,” Waganheim said. “The future is finding new single-page document applications, and helping a prospective customer to become a greener mailer by using single-page self-mailing pressure seal forms instead of needing wasteful envelopes. For example, insurance agencies spend enormous amounts of money marketing homeowner insurance solicitations. Many agents are finding pressure seal self-mailers have a higher open rate because they look more official than an envelope or postcard.”
While we’re on the topic of the future, there are plenty of techy developments in pressure seal. Like we said earlier—if you thought you knew everything there is to know about printing and pressure seal, you thought wrong. It goes far beyond paper.
“Without disclosing our successful selling strategies we share with our dealer network, I can tell prospective Paitec USA dealers to visualize how many and what types of industries and government agencies send large volumes of single page documents in an envelope,” Waganheim said. “By converting those users to pressure seal technology, you will not only sell profitable pressure seal machines, but you will have an ongoing customer for pressure seal forms. We have learned this advice from our most successful dealers, as they told us about pressure seal form applications we had not imagined.”
Torpey suggested incorporating personal information on pressure seal documents for clients like financial institutions. This relates to what Waganheim said, too, about using pressure seal documents to look more official, thus getting that all-important first impression, rather than landing in the trash can directly from the mailbox.
“In addition to the [Every Door Direct Mail] postage discounts, pressure seal can be designed to meet double postcard format and achieve postage savings, as well,” Torpey said. “Even personal information can be incorporated in a pressure seal, double-postcard format through truncating account numbers. Banks and other financial institutions have reduced postage costs and overall productions cost by converting overdraft notices and other mission-critical mailings through the double postcard format.”
So, think about your next sales pitch when it comes to pressure seal. What would you tell your clients?
Would you tell them that pressure seal documents are a solid, if boring, product that gets the job done? Or will you wow them with new ideas they never thought were possible, such as tossing in membership cards or including personalized important financial notices in a pressure seal format, and, in the process, saving them a bunch of money, creating an appealing mailer that holds their attention and doing some good for the environment, too?
That’s up to you. If you want to stick to your same path, you’ll get the same results, or even diminishing returns. You might not equate pressure seal printing to the wave of technological innovation, and it’s often a sector that directly competes with the print industry, but you’d be wise to adapt your sales approach and product offering to keep up with what you can do.
Print only dies if you let it.
“Finding more uses, creating more styles, transferring from a check or letter with an envelope to an all-in-one form, and lastly finding the right machine to seal up your forms are the main issues facing the pressure seal market,” Dorsten said. “What we do to work around this is [that] we offer a variety of forms, documents and folder/sealer machines that fit the needs of every user. Thankfully, with the right products and creative sales team, we are able to help the end-customers’ needs as well as any.”