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JULY - AUGUST 2018

MailingSystemsTechnology.com

OUR ANNUAL

HOT

COMPANIES ISSUE PROFILES START ON PAGE 16 WILL WE SEE USPS PROMOTIONS YET IN 2018?

PAGE 8

A HANDY PRIMER TO ARCHIVING

YOUR POSTAL DATA. PAGE 14

IS GOVERNMENT NEGLECT KILLING

THE POSTAL SERVICE? PAGE 54


TABLE OF CONTENTS

JULY - AUGUST 2018 | VOLUME 31 ISSUE 4

DEPARTMENTS

48

05 Editor's Note Collaboration Is Key to Success

By Amanda Armendariz

06 Real-Life Management

Carpe Diem: Seize the Day! By Wes Friesen

08 Connecting Point

16

Will We See USPS Promotions in 2018? By Anita Pursley

10 The Trenches You’re the Expert – Don’t Keep it a Secret! By Mike Porter

12 Inkjet Info

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Color Plus Personalization: Promoting the Value of Inkjet By Lisa Cross

14 Software Byte

Archiving Postal Data

FEATURES 44 Top 10 Items to Consider when Selecting a Mailing System

Purchasing a new mailing system is a necessary, but sometimes daunting, endeavor. Here are the top 10 questions to ask to streamline the process By Adam Lewenberg

48 How to Profit from Your Nonprofit Mailings

Just because your mail pieces are nonprofit doesn’t mean they can’t give a significant boost to your operation. By Trista Niswander and Steve Smith

By Jeff Peoples

50 Marketing Mail Is All About Integration Mail is still an incredibly effective means of communication, but it’s time to take it to the next level by integrating other methods.

JULY-AUGUST 2018 | MailingSystemsTechnology.com

Bridging the Divide: Reach the Recipient Digitally Using Only a Mailing Address By Brad Kugler

57 To Sum Up

By John Leininger

52 The Mail Center of the Future: Advancing Agility in Inbound Mail Distribution By Steve Cousins

54 Is Government Neglect Killing the Postal Service? An Expert’s Opinion The USPS is tasked with running itself like a profitable business, yet government oversight often makes this almost impossible. By Bob Schimek

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15 Direct Mail Evolution

SPONSORED CONTENT 16 Our Special HOT COMPANIES Section

Make sure you know more about the companies that are behind the industry’s products and services! Here’s our annual look at some of the movers and shakers that can help you develop, produce, and deliver better mail.


EDITOR’S NOTE VOLUME 31, ISSUE 4 MAGAZINE STAFF President Chad Griepentrog Publisher Ken Waddell Editor Amanda Armendariz amanda.c@rbpub.com Editorial Director Allison Lloyd allison.l@rbpub.com Editorial interns Kaylyn Geiger Contributing Writers Lisa Cross, Mark M. Fallon, Gordon Glazer, Ed Horowitz, Brad Kugler, Chris Lien, Jeff Peoples, Bob Schimek, Gary A. Seitz, Kathleen J. Siviter Audience Development Manager Rachel Chapman rachel@rbpub.com Advertising Ken Waddell 608.235.2212 ken.w@rbpub.com

COLLABORATION IS KEY TO SUCCESS BY AMANDA ARMENDARIZ

Design Kelli Cooke RB Publishing Inc. PO Box 259098 Madison WI 53725-9098 Tel: 608.241.8777 Fax: 608.241.8666 Email: rbpub@rbpub.com SUBSCIRBE Subscribe online at MailingSystemsTechnology.com. Subscriptions are free to qualified recipients: $20 per year to all others in the United States. Subscription rate for Canada or Mexico is $40 per year, and for elsewhere outside of the United States is $45. Back issue rate is $5. SEND SUBSCRIPTIONS TO: Mailing Systems Technology, PO Box 259098, Madison WI 53725-9098 Call 608.241.8777 Fax 608.241.8666 E-mail rachel@rbpub.com Online at MailingSystemsTechnology.com. REPRINT SALES ReprintPro 949.702.5390 www.ReprintPros.com All material in this magazine is copyrighted ©2018 by RB Publishing Inc. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Any correspondence sent to Mailing Systems Technology, RB Publishing Inc. or its staff becomes property of RB Publishing Inc. The articles in this magazine represent the views of the authors and not those of RB Publishing Inc. or Mailing Systems Technology. RB Publishing Inc. and/or Mailing Systems Technology expressly disclaim any liability for the products or services sold or otherwise endorsed by advertisers or authors included in this magazine. MAILING SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY (ISSN 1088-2677) [Volume 31 Issue 4] is published six times per year (January/February, Annual Industry Buyer’s Guide, March/April, May/June, September/October, November/December) by RB Publishing Inc.,PO Box 259098 Madison WI 53725-9098, 608-241-8777. Periodical postage paid at Madison WI and additional offices. POSTMASTER Send address changes to: Mailing Systems Technology PO Box 259098 Madison WI 53725-9098

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n our May/June issue, we published an in-depth look at the history of the USPS workshare program. Since that issue was our National Postal Forum issue, we thought that focusing on workshare was fitting, since, after all, partnership and collaboration is a focal point not only of the annual event but also characterizes the mailing industry as a whole. It’s this partnership that has enabled the industry to succeed even in the face of drastic changes, and we continue that theme of collaboration here in our annual HOT COMPANIES issue. The mailing industry can be challenging to navigate, so it is beneficial to have a knowledgeable partner by our sides. But sometimes finding the right partner can be daunting, which is why we’re proud to showcase some of the top names in our industry in the HOT COMPANIES section of our issue. This portion of our book allows you to get to know some of the leading players in the mail industry before embarking on a partnership with them. Check out the profiles starting on page 16, and if you reach out to one of them, be sure to tell them you saw their profile in Mailing Systems Technology. Speaking of working together, it would behoove us all if our government could get its act together when it comes to con-

firming the nominees for the USPS Board of Governors. The fact that we’ve been without a single governor for a year and a half now is affecting the mail industry in many ways. Perhaps the most obvious is the fact that there are no USPS promotions scheduled for 2018 since there is no board to approve them. Ever since the USPS started offering these promotions a few years ago, participation has steadily grown, and mailers have embraced the chance to save money on postage (and increase customer engagement — a win/ win). The fact that there are no promotions in the works this year due to the lack of governors is frustrating, to say the least. Well, we may not be able to control what goes on in Washington, but we can control what we do at a local level to keep mail relevant. Developing relationships with partners and educating our communities as a whole on the value of mail are great places to start. And we’re here to help you every step of the way. As always, thanks for reading Mailing Systems Technology.

MailingSystemsTechnology.com | JULY-AUGUST 2018

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REAL-LIFE MANAGEMENT

CARPE DIEM: SEIZE THE DAY! BY WES FRIESEN

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he motto “carpe diem” (seize the day) was first uttered by the Roman poet Horace more than 2,000 years ago. The motto still resonates in popular culture today as evidenced by the band Metallica’s “Carpe Diem Baby,” movies such as Dead Poets Society… and actress Judi Dench having the motto tattooed on her wrist for her 81st birthday! In a nutshell, the phrase encourages making the most of today and attacking it with vigor and purpose. Understanding and applying the concept of carpe diem can help us be more successful and benefit our teams as we model and pass on the importance to them both individually and collectively. Following are 10 ideas to help us better understand and benefit from embracing carpe diem. 1. Live with purpose and remember what’s important. What are the most important goals, priorities, and values in your life? Once we have defined 6

JULY-AUGUST 2018 | MailingSystemsTechnology.com

these for ourselves, then we can live our lives accordingly. For example, one of my key purposes is to provide useful information to help people be even more successful in business and life. Based on that, I make it a priority to write, speak, and teach since these activities give me purpose. Living with purpose and remembering what’s important applies to the teams we lead and influence, too. For example, recently a staff member had planned to do something that would have been easier for her — but would have been detrimental to customers. The supervisor had to remind her that we are here to serve our customers, not just serve ourselves. 2. Never stop dreaming — but live your dreams now. What dreams do you have? It is good for us to have dreams of future accomplishment, but we also need to take concrete actions now to make our dreams come true.

As a long-time university instructor, I have been inspired by many students over the years who have not only dreamed about completing a degree, but have acted on it. For example, I had a student named Bob who had retired from his government job at age 62. Bob had always dreamed about earning an MBA and then becoming a consultant. So at age 62 Bob started his MBA and completed it at age 64! Inspiring … and shows it’s never too late to pursue our dreams! 3. Stop waiting. Start living. Braveheart said, “Every man dies. Not every man really lives.” Why wait getting ready to live our best lives instead of living them now? Perhaps our biggest obstacle is procrastination. Procrastination is really the fear to start now, to start living. What have you been waiting for — getting a degree? Joining the board of your local Postal Customer Council (PCC) or Mail Systems Management Association (MSMA) chapter? Earning a professional certification? Writing a book? The time to start living is now. 4. Make the time. Charles Buxton observed, “You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it.” We all have the same 86,400 seconds every day. Truth is, we can make the time to do what is most important if we live intentionally by our purposes and priorities. I really appreciate and try to take to heart Stephen Covey’s four time quadrants. We need to maximize our time doing Quadrant Two activities (“not urgent, but important”) like learning, relationship building, physical, mental and spiritual exercise, and the like. To find more time for Quadrant Two activities, we need to scale back on Quadrant Three (“urgent, not important”) and Quadrant Four (“not urgent, not important”) activities. Quadrant Three and Four activities


include thing like watching TV, social media, some emails, online games, etc. 5. Just do it! Nike popularized the motto “Just do it!” and it’s one we can take to heart. There is a tendency many of us have to overthink things. Bruce Lee observed, “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” It is wise to do some due diligence before making important decisions, but there comes a point when we need to either move on or move forward.

sue what we know in our hearts would be good for us and those we are trying to serve and influence. 8. Be engaged — and do your best. Corenta Kent advised, “Life is a succession of moments. To live each one is to succeed.” Swami Sivananda adds, “Put your heart, mind, and soul into even the smallest acts. This is the secret of success.” Being engaged and doing our best at our current task is gratifying and rewarding to us; at the

“If you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within five seconds or your brain will kill the idea.” 6. Practice the “5 Second” rule. Popular motivational speaker and writer Mel Robbins promotes what she calls the “5 second rule.” She explains, “If you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within five seconds or your brain will kill the idea.” Here is a simple example: I recently had a thought that I should send an appreciation email to a key staff member — like many, I often have these good intentions but don’t follow through. In this case, I got up and went to my computer and sent the email within seconds of having the thought. 7. Stop making excuses. It is human nature for us to make excuses why we can’t do something. Some of the most commonly heard ones are: I don’t have time. I can’t afford it. I’m not good enough. The list goes on and on. I suggest that instead of making excuses, we need to take responsibility and pur-

same time, other people will benefit from the fruit of our labors. 9. Develop and use your support team. No person is really successful on their own. Helen Keller was right when she said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Developing a personal support team is important for our long-term success. Who should be on our support team? Mentors, coaches, colleagues, teachers, and friends are all good candidates. I have benefited richly throughout my life from people who have supported and helped me achieve my goals, as I know you have too. I like the perspective shared by Billy Graham when he said, “God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with.” 10.Reward yourself. Sometimes we need incentives to help motivate us, and some of those incentives can be

self-generated. Sometimes all we need are small incentives, such as enjoying a special food treat (I like dark chocolate!) after we complete the report or other task we need to do but don’t really feel like doing. For bigger goals, we may need bigger rewards. For example, I am now teaching the last class of a group of adult students about ready to graduate with their degrees. It’s exciting to hear of post-graduation rewards they are planning, such as special trips to fun places like Florida or Hawaii. Personal Application Now that you have a deeper understanding of carpe diem, what are you going to do about it? Is it time to start a degree program? Pursue a professional certification? Attend a conference like National Postal Forum or MAILCOM? Join your local PCC or MSMA chapter? Start volunteering at a local non-profit? Start a reading program? Lead your team to pursue a new initiative to better serve your customers or save money? Let me close with an inspiring quote from leadership expert John Addison. “Live every day like it’s your last. One of those days you’re going to be right!” Carpe Diem: Seize the Day! ¾ Wes Friesen is a proven leader and developer of high-performing teams. He is also an accomplished university instructor and speaker, and he is the President of Solomon Training and Development — which provides leadership, management, and team building training. His book, Your Team Can Soar! Powerful Lessons to Help You Lead and Develop High Performing Teams, has 42 valuable lessons that will inspire you, and give you practical pointers to help you — and your team — soar to new heights of performance. Your Team Can Soar! can be ordered from Xulonpress.com/bookstore or wesfriesen.com (under Book) or an online retailer like Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Wes can be contacted at wesmfriesen@gmail. com or at 971.806.0812. MailingSystemsTechnology.com | JULY-AUGUST 2018

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CONNECTING POINT

from consideration. However, his name will likely be resubmitted if President Trump also nominates a Democrat. Not more than five of the nine governors may belong to the same political party. To date, there is no word on if, or when, the nominees will be voted on by the full Senate.

Is There Still Enough Time?

WILL WE SEE USPS PROMOTIONS IN 2018? BY ANITA PURSLEY

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he Postal Service has been offering mailing promotions and incentives dating back to 2012, and with each passing year, more and more mailers have successfully taken advantage of innovative ways to add value to their mail while gaining postal discounts. Promotions for 2018, however, are very much up in the air due to the absence of any presidentially appointed governors. Without a single seated governor, the Postal Service does not have the authority to establish promotional pricing incentives. In fact, the Postal Service has no authority to change any Market Dominant or Competitive product prices without an appointed governor.

How Did We Get Here? At full complement, the USPS Board of Governors (BOG) includes nine presidentially appointed governors, along with the Postmaster General (PMG) and the Deputy Postmaster General (DPMG). The board has not had a quorum since 2014 and has been without a single governor 8

JULY-AUGUST 2018 | MailingSystemsTechnology.com

since December 2016, which was when 2017 promotions were approved. In the interim, the Postal Service has been functioning under a Temporary Emergency Committee that includes only the PMG and the DPMG. Governors that are appointed by the president must be confirmed by the Senate and, in the prior administration, nominees were appointed but not brought forth for confirmation.

As of this writing, Congress had returned from their Memorial Day recess, but the August recess is just around the corner. The clock is ticking down. On June 5, however, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he would cancel most of the August recess, allowing the Senate to catch up on confirming President Trump’s nominees and funding the government. Hopefully, this means good news for the mailing industry. If Williams and Duncan are confirmed, there are still a few steps that need to be considered. Prior to execution, the Postal Service must have final approval from the USPS Executive Leadership Team, and the Board of Governors can then submit their proposal to the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). The PRC has 45 days to review, although historically, they have ruled much sooner. So, in a hypothetical scenario, for the Postal Service to offer promotions for a three-month period this year (October through December), the proposals should be in the hands of the PRC by mid-August at the latest. As more time passes without Senate confirmation, the possible promotion period shortens.

Be Ready! Where Do Things Stand Now? On April 18, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) held a confirmation hearing for three nominees to the USPS Board of Governors. The three nominees include former USPS Inspector General David Williams, Philadelphia entrepreneur Calvin R. Tucker, and Kentucky businessman Robert M. Duncan. On May 7, HSGAC voted favorably, meaning unanimously by voice vote, to send the nominations of David Williams and Robert Duncan to the full Senate. The third nominee, Calvin R. Tucker, withdrew

The USPS promotions department has done everything possible to prepare in advance for the possibility of a fully functioning Board of Governors. Five promotions have been vetted and planned, and draft requirements have been prepared and shared with members of the Mailers’ Technical Advisory Committee’s User Group #8, USPS Promotions. The planned promotions are laid out on the next page. Considering the tight timeframe, another possibility is that the Postal Service may limit its promotion offerings to the two that typically run in the fall of


each year — Mobile Shopping and Personalized Color Transpromo. These are also the two promotions with the highest participation levels. In the meantime, mailers can continue to leverage the benefits of mailing innovations gained through prior promotions and be prepared in the event that governors are confirmed. In general, the draft requirements are not appreciably

different than last year’s promotions, so it behooves mailers to be prepared at a short notice. It would also be wise to contact your senators to relay the urgency at hand and to ask that they encourage the majority leader to bring these nominations to the floor for a full vote. Let’s stay tuned and do all that we can to make 2018 promotions a reality! 

As Senior Manager of Industry Affairs at BCC Software, Anita Pursley is entrenched in major industry events and associations, representing BCC Software and advocating on behalf of its customers. She has a breadth of industry experience and expertise, including serving for two years as the Industry Co-Chair of the Postmaster General’s Mailers’ Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) and similar roles at some of the industry’s largest and most influential companies.

MailingSystemsTechnology.com | JULY-AUGUST 2018

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THE TRENCHES Your presentation should not be focused on sales, and that should be clear from the beginning. You can include salespeople as part of the presenting group, but they should be accompanied by one of your executives or someone else in your organization that has no financial interest in making a sale.

YOU’RE THE EXPERT – DON’T KEEP IT A SECRET! BY MIKE PORTER

Information, Image, and Awareness The idea is to let clients know about new developments in the customer communications business and what your organization has done (or is doing) to address these changes. By bringing this information to your client’s attention, you elevate client perception of your organization. They see you as a knowledgeable entity — someone to rely on for current, accurate information and news.

POSSIBLE OUTREACH EDUCATION TOPICS } Multi-channel communications } Mail tracking

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lients of print/mail service providers aren’t usually customer communication experts. They view their vendors as the last step in a process. Data goes in, and mail comes out. When it comes to ideas about improving on those communications, it’s a classic case of the clients not knowing what they don’t know. It’s up to the service providers to educate them. I have long been an advocate for outreach education in our industry. Whether your organization is a print/mail service provider or an in-plant operation, customers will benefit from your knowledge of what is going on in the communications business — but you have to make the effort. Your clients probably don’t know half the story related to the transitions in our industry over the last several years, and a good part of what they do know could be wrong or incomplete. Passiveness Is Costly If your organization is not making an effort to reach out and inform your customers, one of your competitors might be filling that void. That could lead to revenue loss before you even know an 10

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account is in jeopardy. Why would you risk that? I suggest putting together a program relevant to your business and of interest to your clients and push for meetings where you can present the material. You will probably have to speak with clients in person or on the phone to pitch the benefits of this meeting. An email or letter asking for an appointment is too easy to ignore. You may find offering a small gift or other incentive will help get you on the calendars of busy customers, but they should be interested in meeting with you. They have committed some portion of their budgets to paying your organization for the services you perform. Helping them learn how to maximize their investments is in their best interest. For distant customers where travel is not an option, set up an online session. You might even invite analysts or other outside entities to participate in online meetings. These people provide perspectives clearly separate from your own agenda and lend credibility to your messages. I recommend tailoring each meeting to individual clients. A broadcast webinar will not be as effective.

} Triggered communications } Informed Delivery } Workshare postage discounts } Mail and millennials } Data accuracy and enhancement } Move update } Variable data } Digital printing } USPS developments and issues } Augmented reality } Latest figures on direct mail effectiveness If you are stuck for ideas about what to include in your presentations, see the sidebar above. I’ve listed a few of the items you could cover. Choose topics that make sense for your markets and your clients. Remember your clients are not exposed to this “inside” information every day. What seems like old news to you will be new and thought-provoking for them.


Your clients aren’t reading publications like Mailing Systems Technology, where clear and unbiased industry information is published. They likely watch the evening news and hear about the supposed demise of mail as a viable communications channel, or they believe the US Postal Service is going bankrupt because of questionable deals made with large mailers and shippers. If you are in the mailing business, you don’t want your clients thinking that mail isn’t worth their investment. Set them straight by talking about positive moves the USPS is making to increase efficiency, track mail, and interact with other communication channels. Assure your clients you are doing everything possible to keep their postage expenses as low as they can be and demonstrate how you are delivering on that promise. Let customers know you have the tools and knowledge to help them get the most benefit from their investments in physical mail.

Outreach Education Works I have seen an outreach education program produce positive results. While working in an in-plant environment, I got myself invited to departmental meetings to talk about the services we could provide them in the print and mail center. After each of these outings, we invariably started seeing jobs that had previously been outsourced — simply because the employees didn’t know we could do it for them at substantially lower costs! As a bonus, the channels of communication we opened from our efforts encouraged users of our services to ask for advice and guidance as they designed their communications. Giving the departments some guidelines and information improved the work we received from them, making us even more cost-effective and able to deliver superior results. The same thing can happen for your organization. Though you shouldn’t be selling at these educational sessions, I’d be surprised if they didn’t reveal some

unmet needs, expansion opportunities, or entirely new revenue sources. Once your clients start hearing about what mail can do today, not to mention how it enhances other communication channels, they will begin thinking about ways to take advantage of your knowledge, experience, and investments in modern customer communications. Lots of exciting things are happening in the mailing business, and your clients are probably unaware of most. Use your position as mailing experts to help them get the most benefit from their mailed communications.  Mike Porter at Print/Mail Consultants uses his industry experience to help his clients educate their customers and raise awareness of their products and services. He creates custom content like presentations, webinars, blog posts, case studies, eBooks, and more for document industry service providers and vendors. Follow @PMCmike on Twitter or contact Mike directly at mporter@printmailconsultants.com.

MailingSystemsTechnology.com | JULY-AUGUST 2018

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INKJET INFO

COLOR PLUS PERSONALIZATION: PROMOTING THE VALUE OF INKJET BY LISA CROSS

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apturing the attention of customers and prospects and making a good first impression is everything to organizations. The challenge, however, is that in a communication-cluttered world, people will now only glance at a website, mail piece, email, or video before deciding whether it’s worth their time. As a result, marketers are seeking strategies to create better marketing pieces with strong visual appeal that prompt the consumer to read further or take an action. For many marketers, this means using color and personalization in communications with customers. Consumers like color. According to Keypoint Intelligence -- InfoTrends’ study, Direct Marketing Production Printing & Value-Added Services: A Strategy for Growth, the intelligent use of color in direct mail often generates improvements in response rates. Fullcolor images can capture a consumer’s attention with realistic depictions of advertised products. Color can also be used to personalize messages by matching pictures or text to items that the customer has purchased in the past.

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Furthermore, nearly 49% of consumers reported that seeing color on an envelope had a moderate or major effect on their likelihood of opening it (Figure 1).

next several years. According to another InfoTrends’ research study (In Search of Business Opportunities: Finding the Right Prospects), marketers that personalize their printed materials report a direct correlation between personalization and response rates (Figure 2). The timeliness of the communication, the relevance of the information, and other engagement factors (e.g., the use of color) work together to improve response rates. As marketers seek better ways to capture attention and drive action (e.g., make a purchase, donate, or sign up) from audiences, delivering the right content to the right audience, at the right time and in their preferred channel will continue to be a primary focus for transactional and promotional communications. Color and Personalization Are More Affordable! The use of color in customer communications is not a new. Historically, direct mailers and transactional communication service bureaus have digitally printed in black-andwhite and relied on offset-printed shells to provide color design elements such as logos, highlighted text, and tints. Today, however, the technology for generating

Marketers that personalize their printed materials report a direct correlation between personalization and response rates. Personalization Delivers Results The ability to personalize printed communications to individual recipients or create versions for specific audience segments has finally hit its stride. Digital printing and innovations in inkjet printing are enabling marketers to produce highly customized direct mail and transactional documents fast enough to capture market opportunity and comply with regulatory guidelines. As a result, personalized printing is projected to generate high levels of growth over the

affordable high-quality color with inkjet in a single pass continues to evolve. The technological advancements associated with inkjet (e.g., improved inkjet heads, better inks, and more substrates like inkjetoptimized coated papers) have changed the dynamics associated with producing full-color promotional and transactional documents while eliminating the need for preprinted shells. Digital technology is now a viable contender for producing a broad array of marketing applications. Today’s digital technologies can deliver near-offset


Figure 1: Direct Mail Envelopes with Color Get Opened How does the use of color on a direct mail envelope affect your likelihood of opening it?

Figure 2: Personalization Delivers Results! What is the primary driver behind personalizing customer communications?

quality and high speeds, all while meeting today’s marketing requirements for 100% variable content and envelope messaging. For marketers, the inkjet value proposition transcends beyond cost per print. It offers the ability to deliver color that gets noticed with a new approach to communications. The investment in inkjet is about delivering new levels of value to your customer base. Today’s

print engines, finishing technologies, and workflow solutions have the flexibility to deliver on the age-old promise of oneto-one personalized messaging in full color. Marketing executives are seeking techniques to improve customer loyalty and grow their businesses with more engaging and dynamic communications. The technology is in place to have the right conversations with your customers

to help get their direct mail and customer communications noticed!  Lisa Cross, Associate Director of InfoTrends’ Business Development Strategies Consulting Service, is responsible for conducting market research, managing consulting projects, and assisting companies in developing multi-channel communication, marketing, and content strategies. MailingSystemsTechnology.com | JULY-AUGUST 2018

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SOFTWARE BYTE

ARCHIVING POSTAL DATA BY JEFF PEOPLES

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ailers are often perplexed regarding the issue of maintaining data for the mailings that they process. What type of data should you be keeping? How long should you keep it? Why do you need to keep this data? What is the best method for maintaining the data? How do you access this data in the future? USPS Requirements The United States Postal Service (USPS) does have some requirements regarding retention of documentation. These requirements are typically outlined in the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM). However, there may be additional data retention requirements included in agreements with the USPS, such as Optional Procedure Agreements, Negotiated Service Agreements, and Customer Supplier Agreements. The length of time designated for data retention in the DMM and these agreements can vary. It is also important to note that USPS Revenue Protection investigations are permitted to go back 13 months from the date of mailing to request payment of revenue deficiencies. For this reason, the general recommendation for data retention policies for USPS purposes is at least 13 months from the date of mailing. Accounting Requirements Since mailings involve financial transactions, there are also accounting requirements to consider when determining data retention policies. Time periods vary based on the type of accounting records, but there are 14

JULY-AUGUST 2018 | MailingSystemsTechnology.com

Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (GAAP) guidelines available to detail this information. Typically, each mailing company will have its own data retention policies for accounting records. Legal Requirements Likewise, some mailings may fall under legal agreements, or there may be contracts with clients or vendors that specify data retention requirements. Again, each mailing company may have its own legal data retention policies that cover mailing data. What Data to Keep? The issue of what specific data to maintain may also vary, depending on USPS agreements and company-specific accounting or legal policies. Typically, documents that provide proof of mailing, details of the preparation of the mailing, and the finalized postage amounts are the primary documents that need to be maintained. Specifically, this usually includes (but may not be limited to): } Postage statements (e.g. 3600, 3602, 3541, etc.) } The traditional format postage statements (as published by the USPS on the usps.com website) } or the PostalOne! dashboard format postage statements } Mailing transaction receipts (3607 form) } USPS qualification reports } Sample mail pieces There is some argument for retaining the Mail.dat files as part of this process,

but these files may not be of much value beyond about 30 days after the mailing date. While the Mail.dat files do indeed contain all the details regarding a mailing, the issue in using this data is that it cannot be used at some point in the future to re-create the actual mailing. USPS mail preparation requirements frequently change, as does the labeling list data. As such, attempting to re-create documentation of the actual mailing months or years after the mailing date using Mail.dat files is virtually impossible. Too many variables change in the interim period, so that any documents created using Mail.dat files after the actual mailing date most likely will not match the actual mailing. For this reason, it is best to retain the actual finalized documents from the mailing rather than counting on the ability to re-create these documents later. How and Where to Keep the Data PostalOne! retains mailing data for a period of 13 months after the mailing date, and mailers may access this data through the Business Customer Gateway. However, PostalOne! may not be accessible when these documents are needed, and there is no guarantee that the USPS will continue to retain this data. For this reason, we recommend that mailers download the finalized documents to their network systems on a regular basis, so that the data is locally resident behind your own firewalls and is included in your normal back-up and archiving processes. We also recommend that you implement robust back-up and archiving processes for this data, along with disaster recovery plans to ensure that the data is readily available when needed. At first blush this may all seem like overkill, but making the effort to put these policies and processes in place up front can save you time and money in the future. If there is a USPS revenue deficiency issued, a postal or accounting audit, or a legal dispute, you will be thankful that you took the time to ensure that the appropriate mailing data has been securely retained and easily accessed. ž Jeff Peoples is President, Founder, and CEO of Window Book. With over 20+ years of innovative solutions that make using the Postal Service easier and more profitable for mailers and shippers, he has done presentations at industry events, GraphExpo, MAILCOM, the National Postal Forum, Postal Customer Council meetings, Harvard Business Expert Forum, and other industry and direct marketing events.


DIRECT MAIL EVOLUTION

BRIDGING THE DIVIDE: REACH THE RECIPIENT DIGITALLY USING ONLY A MAILING ADDRESS BY BRAD KUGLER

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very day, I am surprised by the number of people who still don’t know that you can reach direct mail targets online using only a mailing address! We are all aware that printing and postage is definitely one of the more expensive ways to prospect and market, but at the same time, we also know how effective it is. For literally pennies more per name, you can reach that same targeted audience you are mailing to on Google as well as Facebook and Instagram. Both companies live or die based on their ability to reach their users, and they sell that reach to advertisers. They have become quite adept at improving their targeting methods, and (in my opinion), matching physical names and addresses to their user profiles is nothing short of miraculous! Marketing is all about targeting the intended recipient and getting that message to them over and over again with as little waste as possible. Typically, a piece of mail is seen only one time as

it comes out of the mailbox. With the latest marketing technologies and strategies, that same message can be repeated online with nothing more than the mailing

to match their address to their profile through third-party data agreements. By creating a custom audience, they will match those addresses to user profiles. You can even take it up a few notches from there if you are lucky enough to have phone numbers or email addresses for those individuals. When that is the case, the matched percentage to user profiles goes up dramatically — close to 75-90% with either one of those two pieces of information! No, they won’t tell you which ones (or who, or, for that matter, even how many names were matched), but they will tell you how many impressions or unique profiles have viewed those ads matched to your mailing list. That is where the magic lies. Many of those individuals will see those digital ads two, three, or maybe even a dozen times, cementing that message sent to their mailbox. The Future of Marketing Anyone doing direct mail should be offering these services to their clients. As you would expect, we are seeing quite a dramatic lift in engagement and conversion with this increase in exposure. The added cost is about five to 10%, but the added lift in terms of ROI or engagement is closer to 30%. In fact, a recent report by marketing agency Merkle reported a 118% lift in ROI when using one or more digital channels as opposed to using direct mail alone. In terms of expenditure, it’s almost one of those things you have to do to ensure your clients will come back for repeat mailings. I believe these stats will only continue to improve for a couple reasons. First, far from being a saturated ad market, not everyone is doing it, and secondly, the ad platforms will improve their ability to match their user profiles to physical addresses, thus reaching a higher percentage of your mailing list. ¾

Marketing is all about targeting the intended recipient and getting that message to them over and over again with as little waste as possible. list you used to process the mail. We have found that anywhere between 30-60% of Google and Facebook users have given an address or have allowed the platform

Brad Kugler is the CEO of DirectMail2.0, a fully integrated marketing solution for the clients of printers/ mailers that combines the proven success of direct mail with in-demand features like online advertising and automated campaign tracking. Visit www.dm20.com or call 800.956.4129 for more information. MailingSystemsTechnology.com | JULY-AUGUST 2018

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CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: AccuZIP, Inc.

PHONE:

800.233.0555

WEBSITE:

www.accuzip.com

EMAIL:

sales@accuzip.com

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Our Technology. Your Success. AccuZIP, Inc., a national software company, provides feature rich solutions to manage Contact Data Quality, Address Hygiene, USPS Postal Presorting and Compliance, and Mail Tracking and Reporting. Since 1992, AccuZIP Inc. has created award-winning, powerful and robust data quality and direct mail software. The United States Postal Service certifies AccuZIP Inc.’s many products and services at the highest levels and we are SOC2 and HIPAA-HITECH compliant. } } } } } } } } } } }

AccuZIP’s many products and services include: Mailing Software Mail Tracking and Analysis CASS™ and Direct Mail RESTful API Solutions Real-Time Unlimited NCOALink® and Address Validation Data Enhancement Services Variable Maps Resident and Business Mailings Lists Vacancy Address Finder Professional Services Informed Delivery Campaign Setup

AccuZIP recently launched AccuEngage as part of its Professional Services Group offerings. AccuZIP was crowned the 2018 Grand Champion of the prestigious USPS® Next Generation Campaign Award for its entered Informed Delivery Campaign. The AccuZIP Professional Services team motto is ‘Where We Adapt to You’ - with a focus on innovation and using technologies to enhance the workflow and entire mailing process. For over 25 years, AccuZIP, Inc. has built an outstanding reputation for value, service and innovation. Providing excellent, efficient and courteous technical support and customer service for all our products and services is a top priority. One of the biggest demonstrations of customer support is AccuZIP’s long-standing pricelock guarantee. Customer partners pay their original price for AccuZIP products and services, regardless of subsequent price changes. Today, AccuZIP continues to charge long-time customers the same rates they paid in 1992. AccuZIP CEO Steve Belmonte recently stated, "People like consistency and dependability. They want to trust the brand. That's why the price-lock guarantee is hugely important—our customer partners can depend on consistent postal software budgets every year." AccuZIP has built our name on this type of care, and our vision. Trust and consistency matter.


CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: B&R Moll

PHONE:

267.288.0282

WEBSITE:

www.mollbrothers.com

EMAIL: B&R Moll, Inc. is the industry’s leading supplier of folder/gluers and specialized bindery finishing equipment for printing and packaging facilities. Their products include the Premier, Regal, Vantage 720 In-Line, Marathon and Compact folder/gluer systems, and a complete line of accessory equipment for feeding, stacking, die-cutting, perforation and taping functions. All B&R Moll machines are manufactured in the US. New products include: } The digi-mollPAK System– a compact in-line folder/gluer designed to provide digital and commercial printers with fast, flexible performance for complex packaging projects, including cartons, pillow packs, room key sleeves and presentation folders. The digi-mollPAK System incorporates many proven folding and feeding mechanisms developed by B&R Moll, including an open format system that facilitates quick change-over between jobs and a dual-stream capacity to enable multiple feeds. } The MollTi Taper System, designed with an independent continuous feeder capable of handling both regular and irregularly shaped objects, and can also be operated in-line with a existing feeder. The MollTi Taper System can run up to four tape heads, and features built-in registration, controller and LMS (linear motion sensor). The new taping system features a heavy-duty reinforced frame with a compact footprint. } The Moll Flexcut System – a compact in-line, sheet-fed, die cutter, folder/gluer system specifically designed to provide digital and commercial printers with reliable, high-speed, and versatile performance for packaging projects, including finishing boxes, cartons, labels, pocket folders, and more. The Moll Flexcut System features many of B&R Moll’s unique, proven folding and feeding mechanisms, including an open format layout that enables operators to quickly change over between jobs to meet tight production schedules, as well as a dual-stream feeding capacity so that two operations can be performed simultaneously to increase production. The machine can be configured to produce a wide range of finished pieces in a number of shapes and sizes.

sales@mollbrothers.com

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BCC Software offers data-driven solutions to enhance direct communications anywhere along the workflow spectrum, from mail preparation and tracking to data enhancement and targeting. For 40 years, BCC Software has not only been the leader in the mailing and postal technology industry, but has continuously shaped it. Our suite of address quality, mailing preparation and data quality services has been recognized across the industry for their robust capabilities.

CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: BCC Software

PHONE:

800.337.0442

WEBSITE:

https://bccsoftware.com

EMAIL:

marketing@bccsoftware.com

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BCC Mail Manager™, our USPS® certified address quality and mailing preparation software, is relied on by thousands of companies, including some of the country’s biggest mailers. As a result, our solutions improve deliverability and reduce postage on a quarter of the US mailstream every year. BCC Mail Manager gives businesses the benefit of numerous features, allowing users to create a package that best suits their needs. Plus, you’ll find peace of mind with unbeatable customer service and support from our team of USPS Certified Mail Piece Design professionals. BCC Software solutions are integration ready and include API toolkits for customization along with prebuilt connectors to many other software packages that already exist in your workflow. Launched in 2016, Integratec® is the first and only available PAVE™ certified API, using the secure messaging layer, ZeroMQ™, with the CurveZMQ protocol, enabling Integratec to pass even the most stringent security requirements. We complete the direct communications lifecycle with our comprehensive suite of data marketing services. BCC Software offers full service data management and campaign execution solutions, backed by data licensed from the USPS and a handful of carefully selected strategic partners. We also offer mail piece tracking and reporting that leverage the USPS Informed Visibility® technology to improve visibility into the mailstream and enable strategically timed omnichannel communications. BCC Software’s leadership in the postal technology industry gives its customer an edge. Company president Chris Lien, a former Mailer’s Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) Industry Chair, provides first-hand insights on mail-related products and services, making our customers experts among their peers and invaluable resources to their clients. To learn more about how BCC Software can make a real difference for your company, visit www.bccsoftware.com or call 800.337.0442

EXECUTIVE STATEMENT

Chris Lien has been leading BCC Software as president for nearly 10 years, and has been active in the mailing industry for over 25. During that time, he authored several software solutions utilizing Mail.dat for electronic auditing, distribution and logistics planning, palletization, and electronic postal payment. He has been heavily involved in industry associations such as the Association for Postal Commerce, Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, Idealliance, and has previously served as Industry Chair of the Postmaster General’s Mailers Technology Advisory Committee (MTAC). Chris has spoken at numerous conferences and events, such as the National Postal Forum, Graph Expo, and many Postal Customer Councils.


CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: BlueCrest Inc.

PHONE:

877.406.7704

WEBSITE:

www.bluecrestinc.com

BlueCrest where message meets momentum. BlueCrest, formerly the Document Messaging Technologies division of Pitney Bowes, is now a new, independent company with a long tradition of global leadership in enterprise print, mail, and customer communications solutions. We’re breaking out to become more nimble and responsive, to bring you not only the expertise and services you’ve known us for, but also new capabilities and customized solutions fueled by collaboration, a commitment to security, and a passion for efficiency. For mid-to-high volume production mailers, BlueCrest offers industry-leading inserting and sorting solutions along with innovative digital inkjet printing and finishing systems that deliver high value client communications. Add to that the power of BlueCrest software and digital solutions and businesses now have access to valuable data that helps optimize productivity, operational efficiency and compliance. For shippers, couriers, and postal operations of all sizes, Automated Parcel Sorting Solutions from BlueCrest are customized and ultra-flexible systems ideal for coping with the rising tide of ecommerce parcels. BlueCrest offers an extensive range of integrated diversion systems that will fit your space, application and budget. Our sortation solutions flexible design enables clients to modify and expand the solutions to meet changing business needs. Continued investment in our technologies has led to an increased portfolio of sortation solutions that bring the best in innovation. These parcel solutions include: } Vantage™ Sorting Solution is a multi-application system for both outbound/inbound mail. } VariSort™ Mixed Mail Sorting Solution automates difficult-to-sort flats. } EZ-Flats™ and EZ-Flats™ Pro sorting systems leverage USPS discounts for low cost of entry. } Relia-Vote™ is an automated process for vote-by-mail ballot operations. BlueCrest delivers innovative, secure and agile solutions that effectively and efficiently deliver high value client communications and parcels to help our clients grow.

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CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: Buskro, Ltd.

PHONE:

905.839.6018

WEBSITE:

www.buskro.com

EMAIL:

sales@buskro.com

Founded in 1976, Buskro has evolved into an industry leader in the design and manufacture of high quality inkjet printing, tabbing/labeling and card processing equipment to meet a broad range of customer needs.

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Innovation is key in everything we produce. Our approach of using the latest technology, along with an open architecture, allows our products to meet your current needs and adapt with your future business requirements. From our earliest days as a manufacturer of mailing equipment, Buskro has been the innovator. We pioneered a Windows-based controller for DOD inkjet in 1990, and we haven’t stopped there. Compose IQ software is the result of years of continuous refinement and its ability to manage data and synchronize print across multiple print heads and zones is unsurpassed in the industry. Buskro equipment features heavy duty construction from top to bottom, plus design details that promote years of trouble free operation. Buskro engineers pay careful attention to the interaction between system elements in order to assure consistent and outstanding print results. Our commitment to innovation has produced solutions that have not only set the standard, but raised the bar for over 40 years. Working with Buskro’s global network of distribution partners, we take pride in providing quality service and support for all of our products, including our legacy technologies. When you consider your needs- the ones you face today and unknown challenges of tomorrow, and then compare Buskro’s total value proposition of price, flexibility, quality and durability… Buskro truly is hard to beat. Because Buskro’s products are based on a modular and flexible design, they can be upgraded as your requirements change, protecting your investment. That’s why we say Buskro equipment is… Built for Today, Designed for Tomorrow.


CONTACT INFO: COMPANY:

CapStone Technologies

PHONE:

402.465.5400

WEBSITE:

www.captechno.com

Providing Business Engineering and automated solutions exclusively to the Print-to-Mail In-dustry since 1999, AutoViri™ now allows CapStone Technologies to be your expert partner for both USPS Mailer Scorecard compliance and operational excellence to suit your print/mail operations. CapStone’s innovative, patented AutoViri™ suite of robotic and software solutions is the missing link connecting your Physical and Digital workflows. AutoViri provides production visibility by capturing far better information in real-time directly from anywhere on your production floor...and AutoViri prevents and/or detects seventeen (17) USPS Mailer Scorecard errors in real-time, before mail ships. Compliance doesn’t have to be complex and costly. By scanning physical trays and pallets on the production floor, AutoViri™ generates Mail.dat/.XML messaging to ensure you update eDoc files to precisely match the actual physical mail being shipped. Concurrently, AutoViri™ is a production/QC visibility tool that facilitates better production decisions to reduce costs and generates a proven audit trail. Whether your facility is totally automated, completely manual or somewhere in-between, CapStone has the right-sized solution for mailers of all sizes and mail volume.

EMAIL:

info@captechno.com

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CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: Clear Image Technologies, LLC

PHONE:

314.853.5867

WEBSITE:

www.clearimagetechnologies.com

EMAIL:

larry@clearimagetechnologies.com

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Clear Image Technologies is a company focused on affordable, reliable solutions for the direct mail industry. With over 35 years of experience in direct mail, we understand that each mailers needs are different and that one large, complex system is more than many companies need. Our goal to provide user-friendly, scalable, inserting alternatives. All of our products are modular. In 2007, we developed the Picture Perfect Match System for companies doing match mailings by hand or hand checking the mailing off the end of their inserter. This visual match system, retrofitted to a customers existing inserter, displays images of the mail components on a monitor to allow the operator to visually inspect to ensure match integrity. This provided a low cost, semi automated system to companies with medium volume match mailings. In 2009, after many customer requests to stop the inserter in the event of a mismatch, we incorporated the ability to upgrade to optical character recognition and barcode recognition. Using the same cameras from the basic system, we could now decode the images to look for names and sequence numbers to match on and data recording of each piece processed. In 2014 we teamed with Pitcairn Engineering and rewrote that software to employ the .net framework, Tesseract OCR engine and Sauvola binarization to increase speed up to 300%. In 2015 we added Read and Print. Using our reading technology, inc.jet’s printing software and HP print technology, we can insert, match and print in one pass. Now we offer the Picture Perfect Match System for some Flowmasters. By partnering with equipment dealers like Tri-State Mailing Equipment in New York, Peak Business Equipment in St. Louis, Mailers Engineering in Los Angeles, Timpac in San Francisco, Mailing Equipment Company in Ft. Worth, Cowart-Gagnon in Seattle, DeBourke in Boston, and MSI Equipment in Toronto, we’ve been able to provide sales, service and support to the U.S. and Canada. We are constantly in the field, listening to our customers, the sales people, technicians and operators that use our products. Have a need not mentioned here? Call us!


CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: Click2Mail

PHONE:

855.294.5601

WEBSITE:

https://click2mail.com/ productivity-tools

Meet Click2Mail. We’re engineers who build systems that automate postal mail. Back in 2003, we saw the Internet changing the way business works and introduced a platform enabling small businesses to send postal mail without an inhouse printer, meter or DMM. Over the years, we’ve built enterprise-scale tools that use cloud-based technology and APIs to automate any kind of mail from marketing postcards to business documents like invoices. Our users around the world can send mail whenever, wherever and however they need it, with no minimum volume – one or ten thousand, printed and mailed the next day. Find these free tools on Click2Mail.com: } Use our free plugins to send documents directly from Microsoft Word or Google Docs. First-Class Mail in just three clicks. } MailJack+ and Directory Monitor apps use smart detection to automate sending PDFs via postal mail. Set it up once and mail a batch with one click. } Use our Zapier integrations to set events that automatically trigger mail to be sent. } Email-to-Mail is a tool that does just that! Send an email and Click2Mail prints and mails the attachment(s) the next day. } Our APIs enable the integration and/or automation of programmatic mailsending processes into your system or application. Most importantly, we know postal inside out and our on-demand outsourcing services always produce professional-quality mail. You can send First-Class Mail™, Certified Mail™, Standard/Marketing Mail, Priority Mail™ and more, and rest assured that every address will be CASS standardized and that every mailpiece will have a traceable IMb. Traditionally, producing high quality mail on demand is not simple, but Click2Mail’s goal is to make sending a critical business document via mail as simple as sending an email. We believe digital is enhancing postal. See for yourself—for your next batch of mailers, try Click2Mail and learn how to use our technology to save your team the hours and dollars it could use elsewhere to grow your business. Automate your mail tasks starting today. Call (855) 294-5601 to learn more and be sure to visit Click2Mail.com to read over 1500 reviews from our happy customers.

EMAIL:

khumphrey@click2mail.com

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CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: ConfirmDelivery

PHONE:

888.960.6245

WEBSITE:

www.confirmdelivery.com

EMAIL:

sales@confirmdelivery.com

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When your business needs critical information delivered with speed and accountability, ConfirmDelivery simplifies the Certified Mail process with a fast and cost effective solution. With our web based program, you can process mail pieces one at a time or in a batch of thousands. Eliminate the 7-10 day wait for the green card and save on postage! Clients simply create an address sheet, insert into our provided envelopes, and drop in the mail. Our software is easy to implement and highly flexible. Connect your database to the USPS tracking and address verification system for easy access to address sheets and labels. ConfirmDelivery prides itself on keeping things simple. Once your account is set up, you can create and track mail pieces while reporting critical mail pieces, all online. Multiple users can complete mailings on the system at the same time and our reporting features display the activities of each user and department, allowing customers to create an accurate budget for expenditures. Additionally, there are no monthly fees or contracts. ConfirmDelivery sets itself apart by providing patented technology for tracking each mail piece. Track directly online via ConfirmDelivery software or from your personal database. We also work closely with the post office in helping our clients find lost mail pieces and obtain the delivery information, which is crucial with Certified Mailings. Sort tracking data by recipient, company, location, customer reference number or USPS tracking number. Manage recipient signatures via query or have them automatically emailed for easy print out or electronic storage. For over 15 years ConfirmDelivery has been helping city and county governments, law firms, banks, and hospitals with their accountable mail. We’ve grown from working with a few Midwestern counties to a vast nationwide customer base from our Indiana office. ConfirmDelivery has an experienced, talented in-house team to support you. Contact them today to schedule a personal webinar and find out just how simple it is!


CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: DirectMail2.0

You can sell more direct mail and get amazing results! Combining traditional direct mail with cutting edge digital marketing is getting results never before seen with direct mail alone. With overflowing email boxes and empty physical mail boxes, millennials have a renewed interest in the tactile, which is making direct mail more effective than ever. What was once old is new again! DirectMail2.0 has developed a platform to seamlessly integrate cutting edge digital campaigns to traditional direct mail. We stack on over 5 different digital technologies to enhance and track direct mail effectiveness in one easy to use and deploy platform. The platform delivers near instantaneous reporting directly to your clients, eliminating the need for you to download reports and making you stand out from the rest. The software has resulted in }70% increase in reorders from clients who added this service to their campaigns }$3 million dollars in additional revenue for just one partner using this software last year. How do we do this? We add Mail Tracking, Call Tracking, Online Re-targeting, Informed Delivery, Social Media Retargeting and SocialMatch (a pre-mailing warm-up that targets the mailing list names directly). The mailing recipients get dozens of additional impressions of your client’s message whereas with direct mail alone it would be only a single touch.

EXECUTIVE STATEMENT

Brad Kugler, CEO of DirectMail 2.0 has been living, breathing and growing businesses on cutting edge marketing technologies for 25 years. He cut his teeth on digital marketing back in the late 1990s setting up one of the first online stores selling VHS and CDs before transitioning into DVD and digital. Taking an older technology and combining with what is new is a passion for him and has helped him build 8-figure businesses during his career with multiple appearances on the Inc. 500/5000 lists. He is also very active in the community serving on various non-profit, education related boards, entrepreneurial, startup and advocacy groups in the Tampa Bay area.

PHONE:

800.956.4129

WEBSITE: dm20.com

EMAIL:

sales@dm20.com

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CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: Direct Logistics, Inc.

PHONE:

800.201.0026

WEBSITE:

www.DirectLogistics.com

EMAIL:

questions@directlogistics.com

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Direct Logistics (DLI) is a 24-year old 3rd-party logistics company specializing in service and technology solutions for destination entry NDC / SCF drop shipping within the direct mail industry. DLI also provides discounted shipping logistics solutions for non-mail, paper based products including printed material and raw print stock – all backed by 99.6% on-time delivery performance, and a customer service team with over 100 years combined experience in NDC / SCF drop shipping! Based in the heart of the Dallas / Fort Worth metroplex, DLI coordinates postal drop shipments from any mailing or production facility in the continental United States to all USPS National Distribution Centers (NDC) and Sectional Center Facilities (SCF) nationwide. Transportation services include Less-Than-Truckload (LTL), Consolidated Truckload (TL), Dedicated Truckload, and Expedited (air freight) logistics. For printer / mailers, marketing agencies, consulting firms, mail owners, and political mailers, Direct Logistics is unmatched in terms of technology solutions, industry expertise, and experienced staff. Have questions? Call us – we have the answers! Announcing the all new v2.TruckDirectMail.com. The leading website for NDC / SCF drop-shipping has leveled up – and has full API capabilities! Truck Direct Mail (TDM) is a comprehensive web-based resource for less than truckload (LTL) freight shipments, and DLI’s leading SaaS (software as a service) solution. The new TDM v2.0 website has been reengineered from the ground up, making it even easier to estimate, tender, and track palletized mail being shipped to USPS destination entry facilities nationwide – including job creation directly from mail.dat uploads. Powering the website, is a full complement of API services which provide unmatched integration options for software providers and internal development teams wishing to embed TDM’s industry-leading functionality within existing mailing / logistics technologies. For additional information about integration opportunities, and the industry’s premier LTL service to NDC’s / SCF’s nationwide, contact Direct Logistics today. To experience the new TDM v2.0 website, register now at v2.truckdirectmail.com The site is free to use for estimating shipping costs and transit times. You only pay for shipments tendered through the website.


CONTACT INFO: EAM-Mosca Corporation is an industry-leading strapping systems manufacturer and distributor that has built an impressive product and market base since its beginning in the mailing and graphic arts markets in 1982. The company’s product range spans solutions from operator-cycled, walk-up banders to fully automatic in-line systems that strap bundles, trays and totes at high speeds with minimal operator intervention. Performance and Productivity Oriented EAM-Mosca has placed over 25,000 machines in the Americas. EAM’s German parent company Mosca GmbH has been providing strapping solutions since 1966. The company’s objective is to build reliable, innovative strapping systems that perform reliably for millions of cycles over many years. EAM-Mosca also supplies strapping materials manufactured to maximize machine performance; and technical support programs to help customers meet performance and productivity goals. Significant Cost Savings Possible The high reliability of Mosca strapping systems - and secure strap seals whether the traditional thermostatically controlled heat-seal or the innovative Sonixs ultrasonic seal means reduced downtime and more secure mail. And less time on maintenance and rework that cuts into profits and customer service. Flats, Tray & Tub Processing Low volume operation? Try the Fusion walk-up model for securing bundles, flats, trays and tubs at up to 50/cycles/minute. The Fusion features many of the same components and features of Mosca’s high end systems at an entry-level price point. The heavier duty ROMP-6 Evolution operator cycled, walk-up strapper for larger mailers; and its inline, automated belt or roller-conveyor top models for high-speed automated operations. The Evolution design includes a compact cabinet, side or front coil loading for convenient changeover, push-button strap threading, and a fully enclosed strap feed track for exceptionally reliable feeding. The USP-2 Traymaster is an ideal solution for multi-line tray processing applications. Designed specifically for strapping all standard corrugated and plastic full and half-trays destined for the USPS, the USP-2 automatically straps sleeved mail trays lengthwise, in conveyor direction with 5mm strap, eliminating any need for tray turning. TR-6 models with sophisticated control options feature the innovative Standard-6 precision Strap Path and direct drive sealer with sealed bearing construction. The control program can be tailored to meet individual needs and accessories are available to make it the best solution for high-volume, performance intensive applications. Consistent with Industry 4.0 technology, the TR-6 Series are capable of receiving instructions, being monitored and even serviced remotely via network.

COMPANY:

EAM-Mosca Corporation

PHONE:

800.456.3420

WEBSITE:

www.eammosca.com

EMAIL:

info@eammosca.com

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CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: Firstlogic Solutions, LLC

PHONE:

888.725.7800

WEBSITE:

www.firstlogic.com

Firstlogic’s DQ10 software combines file preparation, address quality, data enhancement, and matching/consolidation in a single, comprehensive data quality suite. Since 1984, data-driven companies have turned to Firstlogic’s products to care for some of their most valuable assets — the data that fuels their businesses. Driven by the industry’s most reliable parsing engine, this powerful system breaks down and cleans even the dirtiest data in both real-time and batch modes. Continuous product enhancement and top-level support from Firstlogic gives marketing departments, data analytics, and operations the ability to deliver personalized messages and superior customer service. Firstlogic offers data-driven solutions to enable today’s business strategies.

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Data-Driven Marketing Turbocharge your marketing campaigns with more precise customer targeting leveraging cleansed and enhanced data. Customer Experience Personalize your customer’s experience across multiple channels to drive customer loyalty and increased sales. Direct Mail Use the latest in address quality techniques to better target new customers while avoiding non-targeted groups through suppression lists. Data Governance Profile, analyze, standardize and cleanse your data to prepare for a companywide data governance program. Regulatory Compliance Reduce risk by ensuring your company enforces data quality processes to comply with federal and state regulations. BI Analytics Once you’ve cleansed your data, it’s time to deliver trustworthy reporting and analytics needed for better business decisions. To see how Firstlogic’s software can help your organization, take advantage of our nofee data quality assessment. We will process your actual datasets to find anomalies and improvement opportunities. Visit https://firstlogic.com/contact-us/ to sign up for this complimentary service.


CONTACT INFO: COMPANY:

Fluence Automation

PHONE:

888.832.4902

WEBSITE:

www.fluenceautomation.com

Fluence Automation is a new company with a long history of providing innovative technologies to the mail distribution, logistics and parcel automation markets.

EMAIL:

info@fluencemail.com

Before emerging as an independent company, we were formerly the Sorting and Parcels division of Bell and Howell, a 100-year-old company, well known in the industry for high performance, reliable mail and parcel automation systems with software, vision, and imaging components. Over the last 30+ years, we have earned a strong position in the commercial sorting segment, and delivered numerous solutions for various entities, including the USPS, the US government, other national posts, mailing service providers (MSPs) and many Fortune 500 companies in various segments. We pioneered the use of multi-line optical character recognition (MLOCR) technology in high-speed mail sorting, and the product platform has evolved over the years to include applications as diverse as outgoing sorting, incoming sorting, mail ballot envelope automation (Vote by Mail), and various custom projects that include specialized device development. Our Criterion Apex and Elevate mail sorters, coupled with our SABRE imaging system and NetSort software are well known for handling some of the most complex processing challenges in the industry, while supporting a broad range of mail and package classes. Over the last several years, we have grown our footprint outside of mail processing, leveraging our technologies to address challenges in parcels automation. Our parcels systems (ParcelMgr systems and Raptor labeler) offer capabilities for high-performance imaging with optical character recognition (OCR), labelling, conveying and sorting, backed by one of the best service teams in the industry. At Fluence, we look forward to being a key part of the mail and parcels automation community in the years to come, by serving our long term customers in the best manner possible, and growing with new customers.

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CONTACT INFO: COMPANY:

GrayHair Software

PHONE:

866-507-9999

WEBSITE:

www.GrayHairSoftware.com

GrayHair is the trusted partner and provider of mail tracking and address hygiene services to the largest mailers in the country. Our postal solutions let you delve deeper into, and gain a better understanding of, your postal data. GrayHair offers a comprehensive address database that aggregates data from the USPS and our own proprietary data which is compiled from these mailers. With GrayHair, you get the guidance and confidence of 200+ years of collective postal experience. You also gain an ally with an understanding of the industry’s nuances and who works with your vendors to ensure unified best practices. GrayHair is the advantage for agencies, mail service providers, and mailers in the finance, insurance, retail, non-profit, and utilities industries.

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GrayHair’s solutions deliver insights and decision-ready business intelligence that define your mailing practices, increase customer engagement, and enhance your outreach programs with increased response rate and decreased cost-per-acquisition. Our solutions can also help you save millions on your postal budget. GrayHair gives you access to a customizable set of mission-critical services: } IMb™ Assignment and Management that lets you generate Intelligent Mail® barcodes and keep them unique beyond the standard. } Mail Tracking that gives you the power to track every mailpiece to its final destination and provides you valuable information about your outbound and inbound mail. } Data Visualization that lets you access fast and powerful business intelligence through interactive dashboards. } Enterprise Address Hygiene that empowers you to cut your mailing costs. Our standard and propriety solutions improve the quality of your addresses, stop bad addresses from going to print, and keep you compliant with the USPS®. } Proprietary Address Hygiene that enables you to update addresses, identify known bad addresses, and universally apply business rules to ensure compliance with industry regulations and best practices. } Address Validation that ensures your communications with customers are accurate and compliant for future use. } Move Update compliance that protects you from USPS assessments. In addition, you get leading security, regulatory, and compliance protection including SOC 2, HITRUST, PCI DSS, and HIPAA. GrayHair gives you all this plus the support of a dedicated, knowledgeable client services team that delivers incomparable customer assistance that is always there when you need it.


PSL Page Builder Pro – Software for Variable Data Publishing Frustrated or limited by your current variable data printing solution? PSL Page Builder can fix that. Why do PSL Page Builder users think it’s “the best” variable data publishing software solution on planet earth? } Fast merge speed, commonly 180,000 records per minute, aided by highly versatile workflow automation. } Flexible performance, flexible workflows and flexible acquisition. } Functional. There really are no limits. Today personalization has truly become ubiquitous. In the age of “big data” and highspeed ink jet systems the production of personalized communication is more complicated than ever. PSL Page Builder VDP mitigates complexity. Just a few examples of how this can be accomplished include, } The ability to manage content globally. A change in a regulatory message, for example, is made once and updated wherever that message is used. } Managing varying amounts of content as well as the content itself that is included in customer communications easily and automatically. } Automation of both document composition and production workflow with PSL Page Builder makes personalized communications that are more effective, relevant, and timely. Automation also reduces errors and makes doing the complicated projects easier. } Extensibility. It is not possible to predict all customer requirements, but it is possible to provide the facilities that allow both Jet Letter and its customers to easily extend PSL as required. Extensibility is at the core of PSL Page Builder. By providing automation for both production and composition PSL Page Builder can work with other best of breed solutions to deliver a VDP solution that is as seamless as possible. From a single personalized document to millions, PSL Page Builder delivers results. Affordable and capable! PSL Page Builder delivers as either a stand alone VDP solution or as the best of breed core of a customer communications management solution. “Without PSL Page Builder we simply could not do what we do on a daily basis.” Jack Flick, Primenet.

“Merge speed has always been our strength. Adding the ability to exploit the power of multi-core processors gave us more speed. With our recent release of PSL Page Builder V7 our merge speeds have nearly doubled. Financial projects, such as statements, commonly merge at 16,000 customer records per minute producing nearly half a million line items per minute.”

EXECUTIVE STATEMENT Tom Crooks, President of Jet Letter Corporation.

“With the addition of composition automation such as “automatic white space management” and our latest speed boost there is simply no project that is too complex or too large for PSL Page Builder VDP.” “Often times it is the little things that count. We strongly believe that our attention to detail helps our customers win more business.”

CONTACT INFO: COMPANY:

Jet Letter Corporation

PHONE:

949.721.8786

WEBSITE:

www.jetletter.net

EMAIL:

Tom@JetLetter.net

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CONTACT INFO: COMPANY:

Kern International

PHONE:

614.317.2600

WEBSITE:

www.kerninc.com

EMAIL:

info@kerninc.com

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Through the years, the mailing fulfillment world has expanded its grasps to take on the everchanging landscape of the market. Despite what adaptations are called for, Kern has grown and prospered with each ebb and flow of the industry, adding on new product lines and expanding on existing ones. Still in 2018, Kern’s flagship line of business is the inserting machines. From the top end, high-speed K3600 machine, with speeds of up to 27,000 envelopes per hour, to the K1600’s multi-format quick changeover design, the same Swiss quality build is used to keep these systems humming at top performance for many years. With more options available, and even a new inserting product in the works, Kern has the inserting solution to help any mailroom reach its full potential. Along with the inserting business, Kern’s fastest growing line of business is the card solutions offered. Most recently, the K90HS has been a hot new item as a high speed intelligent card affixing system that combines multiple processes into one secure process: match, affix and insert. This machine works effectively with the Card Sorter used on the pre-loading side to sort cards to their proper location robotically. The option for packaging with the K90 GFT allows for Kern to be the solution provider for any card needs presented to them. The expansion in Kern’s software has grown significantly with the Kern Mail Factory line, specifically the FloorMonitor. Now, it is easier for customers to view the productivity of the machines and the teams running each machine, as well as throughput reports and more. Kern software doesn’t stop there, Kern EDGE’s document workflow management platforms have helped multiple industries needing department level applications, to full enterprise workflows. Most recently, Kern has expanded into the cardboard packaging solutions creating custom shipping packages from corrugated cardboard in an automatic, dispatch-ready packaging solution with the Kern Pack on Time. Kern also is a solution provider to the rapidly expanding parcel locker market. The Kern Smart Terminals are automated parcel lockers for simple, flexible delivery and pickup of packages with three variants (refrigerated, freezer, and dry lockers).


CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: Kirk-Rudy, Inc.

PHONE:

770.427.4203

WEBSITE:

www.kirkrudy.com

EMAIL: Since 1967 Kirk-Rudy has manufactured innovative solutions for the mailing, printing, and packaging industries. From their state of the art 100,000 sq. ft. factory just north of Atlanta, GA, a complete product line of feeders, transport bases, conveyors, inkjet printers, inserters, labelers, tabbers, sorting, stacking, tip-on, pick-n-place, folders, bump turns, drying and matching/vision systems are engineered and produced with the highest standards of quality and value. Harry Kirk’s principle of “Build a better machine, and it will sell itself” has been KirkRudy’s mission since day one. A highly experienced and dedicated team work together every day designing and manufacturing the highest quality mailing and printing equipment used by the world’s top companies. The new UltraJet v21 inkjet is designed for maximum uptime and performance. It’s 2.1” print head delivers consistent high resolution images at super-fast speeds. Kirk-Rudy’s Phoenix is one of the most versatile, high speed inkjet printing systems on the market today. The 4.25” print head utilizes the latest UV curable inks and makes printing on virtually any surface an easy reality. The KolorJet is an amazing four color high speed inkjet printing system capable of printing 500 color envelopes in one minute, making for a profitable digital inkjet solution for direct mail and transactional pieces. Kirk-Rudy is well known as an innovator of tabbing systems. The KR545T is the only tabber on the market that will apply multiple tabs to three sides of a mail piece in a single pass. They have a complete line of tabbers to meet every size operation as well as labelers and stamp applicators. All of Kirk-Rudy’s equipment is sold through a world-wide network of authorized dealers who have been factory trained on sales and service and fully supported by the factory. With Kirk-Rudy’s Customer Satisfaction Guarantee all the guess work is removed from choosing the right equipment. Ask anyone who owns their equipment and they will tell you, “Nothing is built like a Kirk-Rudy”.

info@kirkrudy.com

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CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: Melissa Direct

PHONE:

1800.800.MAIL

WEBSITE:

www.melissadirect.com

EMAIL:

info@melissa.com

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$20 billion dollars a year is wasted on returned mail, according to the USPS® – a number that will only increase as postage rates and penalties for returned mail continue to rise. Staying on top of address changes with address hygiene solutions is the only way to avoid costly fees associated with undeliverable mail caused by Change-of Address (COA) errors. Melissa Direct, a division of Melissa, can help mailers solve that problem and stay up-to-date with international and domestic address changes in a number of ways. For 30 plus years, Melissa has helped more than 10,000 companies worldwide to stay in touch with customers and prospects, improve deliverability, cut costs and improve ROI with address and other contact data quality solutions. NCOALink® National Change of Address Processing Melissa, a full service license provider of NCOALink®, will match your list against the full USPS® NCOALink dataset of 160 million moves filed over the last 48 months. The company also offers 24-month processing. Plus, with NCOALink, you’ll meet the USPS Move Update requirement to qualify for First-Class Mail® and Standard Mail® discounts. Beyond NCOALink® Melissa helps you identify the 40% of movers that do not file a change-of-address notice with the USPS by leveraging mCOA (60 months of 121 million records, multi-sourced) and pCOA (30 years of proprietary information) databases. These databases contain address changes from catalogs, magazines, credit card companies, banks and more. Canada Post® NCOA Service As one of only a hand full of Canada Post® licensees, Melissa will update your file based on a 72-month database of 10 million move records. In addition, Melissa can help you qualify for Canada Post’s Incentive LettermailTM, Addressed AdmailTM and Publication MailTM rates by simultaneously performing Canadian Address Hygiene. Go International International COA extends the same benefits of deliverability, cost savings and ROI around the world with NCOA services for many countries including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Poland, the UK, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Solutions for Everyone Melissa’s address hygiene solutions are available in Web API, Automated FTP (fast, convenient and secure processing 24/7/365) and MAILERS Online (an end-to-end mailing solution in the Cloud that prepares and presorts USPS compliant direct mail for maximum postage discounts). Let Melissa help you with all your mailing needs!


CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: Rena

PHONE:

888.444.7362

WEBSITE:

www.renausa.com

EMAIL: For years, Rena has been known for their addressing printers, but we have evolved into so much more. We want customers and prospects to think “outside the envelope”. Today Rena offers the industry’s most comprehensive family of high-tech digital color and monochrome inkjet and toner-based printers, as well as tabbers, for every size business in any industry. Rena’s newly launched MACH 6 printer is the next evolution in short-run digital color printers. Using revolutionary technology from Memjet and the all-new design, the MACH 6 is capable of printing full color graphics and variable data on a variety of material, including substrates up to 3/8” thick, such as stuffed envelopes, chipboard, corrugated cardboard, folding cartons and much more. It is capable of printing long runs, but also perfect for those on-demand short runs. Rena also offers its first toner-based system, the OKI C900 Series. Consisting of two printers, the C931 and the C942, these workhorse machines allow you to extend your in-house printing and presentation capabilities to a whole new level. At an affordable price and a low total cost of ownership, you are able to produce stunning documents on a wide variety of stocks. What’s more, the C942 model is able to print with white toner! That is a definite game-changer in the industry. We also carry world-class high-speed addressing and tabbing systems for the everyday mailer. These durable machines will save you time and money so you can focus on other projects. Complementing the address printers, Rena provides software by Quadient that includes a complete line of mailpiece design, address quality management, postal presort, and ZIP+4 encoding. For the digital printers, we offer mColor, a professional grade color management and job workflow tool which uses a Harlequin RIP to process graphics. Rena is a brand of Neopost, a company that delivers mailing, business communications management and shipping hardware and software solutions to organizations around the world. All of Rena’s products are designed, engineered and manufactured in the USA with the primary focus on providing the highest quality products on the market. We invite you to learn more at www.renausa.com.

sales@renausa.com

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CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: NPI

PHONE:

888.821.7678

WEBSITE:

www.npisorters.com

EMAIL:

michelle@nationalpresort.com

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NPI Sorting systems are designed to optimize your sorting operations with advanced design and intelligent software. Built around patented antijam technology, the sorters run more economically as time-wasting jams are virtually eliminated. Multiple motors precisely located throughout the sorter, instead of a single motor power transmission system, drastically reduce maintenance costs and power consumption. Modular ergonomic design promotes seamless upgrades and modifi cations to support your expanding operations and improve production efficiency. NPI Sorting Systems provide solutions for products ranging from postcards, letters, flats, and even small to large parcels. The NPI Catalog of Sorting Systems represents some of the most innovative, advanced and fastest Sorting Systems on the market, but Sorting Systems are only half of the equation. NPI Software Suites are as versatile and innovative as sorters. Through the advent of Intelligent Mail and the universal Mail.dat format, effi cient data management is now the key to sort optimization, enhanced qualifi cation and postage savings. NPI’s OptESuite of software products allows our customers to predetermine sort plans, identify what levels of qualification is best for their operation and understand what it takes to maximize postage savings before a mail piece even hits the sorter. This allows customers in the Printing Industry and Large Standard mailers to realize real savings through commingling and co-palletization. The same technology also allows Service Bureaus to analyze different mail streams to determine the most profitable mail streams to commingle. In today’s mailing world, you can’t afford to be second. If you want your operation to be as efficient, profitable and successful as it can be, you need to contact NPI. We will analyze your operation and offer real solutions to help you be first.


CONTACT INFO: COMPANY:

OPEX Corporation

OPEX® Corporation started in the mailroom, so why look any further when it comes to implementing a digital mailroom solution for your business? HOW CAN I BENEFIT FROM A DIGITAL MAILROOM? Digital mailrooms make the most sense where: } A high volume of mail needs to be distributed to multiple locations efficiently and cost-effectively } Time-sensitive, customer-facing business processes are involved } Mail is affected by regulatory demands Correctly implemented, a digital mailroom reduces costs associated with opening and sorting mail, negates misplaced mail, and boosts compliance. Digital capture and indexing allow businesses to access the most current information complete with a digital audit trail. THE FORGOTTEN COST OF DOCUMENT CAPTURE The information in your mail is critical to your business. In most mail centers, incoming mail must be sorted manually and contents removed from sealed envelopes. The contents of each envelope must be prepped before the scanning can start. With Falcon® or FalconRED™ scanning workstations, a single operator can provide your organization instant access to the most critical information arriving in the mail by scanning its content at the earliest point of entry into the organization. Additional benefits include: increased speed, accuracy of delivery, improved customer service, increased compliance/security, and decreased labor costs. MAKE YOUR MAIL CENTER MORE EFFICIENT Minimizing multiple sorts, prep, paper handling, and other manual tasks not only improves efficiency but also results in superior integrity, accountability, image quality, and overall productivity. Mail Matrix® redefines the capabilities, functionality, and performance of the mail center. With optional printer/labeler, Mail Matrix & OPEX Tracker™ turns any envelope into an accountable and trackable mail piece. FALCON® STS™ IS LEADING THE DIGITAL MAIL REVOLUTION. STS allows mail centers to scan mail, apply barcode tracking to each envelope, and deliver those images to end users. The end user decides what should be done with each item –for example, Scan and deliver electronically, Hold for pick up, Forward, or Destroy. Those mail pieces are then sorted on STS per specific instructions from the end user. Mail that is approved by the end user to be opened and scanned can quickly and easily be processed on the Falcon STS with Rapid Extraction Desk and delivered electronically. It’s the mail they need. The way they want it. Delivered wherever they

PHONE:

856.727.1100

WEBSITE: www.opex.com

EMAIL:

info@opex.com

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CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: SmartSoft

PHONE:

888.227.7221

WEBSITE:

Presswise.com & SmartSoftDQ.com

EMAIL:

contact@smartsoftusa.com

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SmartSoft Inc. is a leading provider of workflow management software, offering address correction, postal discounts, and print workflow automation software for the United States and Canada. With an ongoing program of development & innovation and an unswerving commitment to great customer service, everything SmartSoft designs will save you time and money, so that you can get on with growing your business. SmartAddresser 5 – All-in-one Postal Software If you want to switch to a more user-friendly and feature-rich mailing software solution, then now is a great time to try an industry leader. SmartAddresser 5 is CASS and PAVE Certified by the USPS and easy to install and learn, so you’ll be up and running in no time at all. Offering full support for the Intelligent Mail barcode, it is compatible with all the hottest printers in the industry, whether you output to inkjet or the latest digital printing systems. MailSpotter - Real-time Mail Tracking You print and mail direct campaigns for your customers - why not track them too? MailSpotter tracks mail as it passes through the postal system, using the IM barcode. With easy-to-read tables, charts, and graphs, all accessed through your own unique reporting portal, you can see when and where mail has been delivered. Plus, MailSpotter lets you generate/track unique QR Codes for each mailpiece, with real-time alerts to an email address or cellphone every time someone scans one of the codes. PressWise – Print MIS and Workflow Automation Why spend $50,000 or more trying to piece together products from different providers, only to face additional costs and frustration trying to maintain them? PressWise lets you run your shop with a single, affordable, print management solution with unlimited customer web-to-print storefronts, end-to-end digital workflow automation and fully integrated MIS. Available cloud or self-hosted with NO long-term contracts, and browser-based for instant access—anytime, anywhere. PressWise also integrates with most existing web-to-print systems storefronts and lets you handle more orders with fewer touch points, improving productivity and maximizing your ROI. Solutions that are easy to use and designed to save you money.


CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: US Monitor

PHONE:

800.767.7967

WEBSITE:

www.usmonitor.com

Your partner in successful direct marketing campaigns. Established in 1973, US Monitor is the first, largest and most reliable worldwide mail monitor service. Our mission is to consistently provide the best mail monitoring and list protection services to our customers. We process millions of pieces of direct mail each year and protect mailing lists from unauthorized use for some of the nation’s largest direct mail users. We service over 1,000 companies worldwide (from the largest to the smallest). Competitive Pricing and Unmatched Service. Our pricing is very competitive and is always provided up-front. There will never be any hidden fees or extra costs. This philosophy has enabled us to become a leader in servicing the direct marketing industry. The most experienced team in the business. We track your mailings and list usage with our sophisticated system of seeds and professional monitors. Our dedicated and experienced network of agents diligently monitors your mail and list usage, recording the date and time received, and returning the mail promptly to you unopened. Qualified, professional representatives are assigned to your account, providing you with the most thorough, accurate, dependable and timely information. State-of-the-art technology meets old fashioned attention to detail. We were the first mail monitoring company on the internet with Monitor Online®, a state-of-the-art operation system with an interactive reporting dashboard, that places real-time data at your fingertips. Our user-friendly reports make it easy to see exactly what’s going on with your mailings and your list…24 hours a day. Our Mainstream Intelligence® system combines the last Intelligent Mail Barcode scan at the destination post office with the actual in-home delivery of a seeded piece on a same-day online report. And, we are always innovating—new reports and monitoring features that show the progress of all your mailings all over the world—so that you can make the best decisions based on the most- timely information. Integrity and Reliability. Why more direct mailers trust US Monitor.

EMAIL:

info@usmonitor.com

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CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: Western States Envelope & Label

PHONE:

800.558.0514

WEBSITE: www.wsel.com

EMAIL:

customer.service@wsel.com

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In our fast-paced industry, anyone can provide products. It’s the companies that serve, educate and provide experiences that move you forward. That’s the direction Western States Envelope & Label has been leading professionals like you since 1908. Our humble beginnings started with one man and one dream. Founder George Moss was an ambitious entrepreneur and visionary who wanted to create an enterprise for producing unique, reliable envelopes. In fact, Western States was a pioneer in developing a system for printing envelopes flat before folding. Growth at Western States Envelope & Label has been consistently successful ever since. We’ve become one of the world’s largest envelope providers with a production floor that’s often the “Industry Mecca” for the latest envelope and label printing and manufacturing equipment. As a wholesale provider, we serve 32,000+ customers in industries such as printing, distribution, mailing and graphic arts. Since we’re wholesale, we never go direct to the printer’s customer. Instead, we help our customer’s customers in unfamiliar or more technical areas of packaging and labels, such as machining and inserting. We also have expert customer service staff trained as Postal Partners who can offer answers to any questions related to mail. WSEL provides products and ideas that propel you forward. How? With systems in place, such as: } 24/7 online ordering from an inventory of 1,400+ stock products, ready to ship immediately. } Print capabilities for our printers that do not have printing equipment for envelopes and labels. } Unmatched digital capabilities. We were one of the first to create the Digi-Clear® product line that runs seamlessly in high-temperature equipment environments. Beyond our humble start and the progressive offerings we currently provide, our future is even more poised to move you forward. The essence of our work hinges on being a company where your message is our mission. It means we’ll continue to provide direct marketing solutions that help you and your customers improve response rates and build business.


TOP 10 ITEMS TO CONSIDER WHEN SELECTING A MAILING SYSTEM Purchasing a new mailing system is a necessary, but sometimes daunting, endeavor. Here are the top 10 questions to ask to streamline the process. By Adam Lewenberg

Everyone has one claim to fame in life. Mine is that I am the (self-proclaimed) expert on mailing systems in the United States. I have not been able to tell anyone about this until now because there was never the right time or place. You try to bring this up to someone at a party, and they suddenly need to “use the restroom.” Luckily for me, if you are reading this article, it is because you are actually interested in mailing equipment or are looking to replace a system that is no longer serving your needs. But what to look for when embarking on this venture? The questions to ask when attempting to select the right mailing system for your organization can seem overwhelming. Here are the 10 core questions that should be answered before you purchase your (hopefully) optimal system. 44

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1. RECOMMENDED MAIL VOLUMES What type of system do you need based on your current and projected mail volumes? Mailing equipment is designed for specific usage levels. This is important for three reasons: } Service - The performance of the unit could decrease if the machine is used far above these recommended volumes. } Over-buying - If your volumes are much lower than those recommended, you could be paying more for a machine than you need. } Productivity – All units are designed to process a specific mail volume efficiently. If volumes are too high, it may not be productive to tie up labor with a slower system. If volumes are too low,

the unit may be too complex for the needs of the application. See the chart on the following page for a breakdown of the different offerings. 2. MACHINE SPEED How fast do you need the system to process the mail to make it efficient? This is the manufacturer’s rated speed of the unit and shows how many envelopes can be processed in one minute. No one runs a machine at the manufacturer’s rated speed except professional operators who are constantly feeding the same size material without needing to start and stop. You should expect speeds of 25-50% less. This is the biggest differentiator between systems and creates the largest cost increases.


*It is important to note that the recommended mail volumes and descriptions on this table are defined by Postal Advocate Inc. and not by the manufacturers.

3. ENVELOPE FEEDING AND STACKING How do you need the mail fed into and out of the system? The way the machine feeds mail into the unit is one of the most important aspects because it determines the level of equipment and its ease of use. } Hand Feed: Push in and pull out – Most basic low-volume units have a speed range of 15-25 per minute. } Hand Feed – Push from the left and the machine feeds it through the unit These low- to mid-volume units have a speed range of 25-65 per minute. } Automatic Feed – This means that you can put a pile of mail onto the stacker and the machine will pull them into the unit. These units are much easier and faster that hand feed units and are designed to process higher volumes. The differentiator of automatic feed systems is how they work. Lower volume units will require the operator to use side guides to set the mail, whereas high-volume units will have automatic alignment. Automatic alignment

is especially helpful when you have an internal scale system because it lets you run different size and weight letters and flats together. Most mid- and high-volume automatic feed systems have this option. } Drop Stacker – This is the most common exit option for low- to mid-volume applications. } Power Stacker – This is an exit option for high-volume applications. These stackers typically have a conveyor and a pressure wheel (to improve sealing) and can hold up to 500 finished mail pieces before needing to be emptied. 4. ENVELOPE SEALING Do I need the system to seal envelopes, and how are they to be prepared prior to processing? It is very time-consuming to seal envelopes manually, not to mention your tongue can get sore. I have heard (but cannot verify) that each envelope can provide up to 17 calories as well. All mailing systems in the mid- and high-volume category will have sealing come standard, and it is an option on many in the low-volume category. The main question with sealing systems is how the mail needs to be prepared prior to being sealed. This is especially important with automatic feed systems that process large quantities. } Flaps Closed Sealing – The flaps are down just like they came in the box of envelopes. The system will open the piece slightly and run it under its brush/ sponge to wet the piece. Because it is

trying to seal every piece, it is important to check that you do not have envelopes that are already sealed because they could rip or get jammed. Pieces sealed prior to processing should be run together with the sealer turned off. } Flaps Open Sealing – Flaps open means that the envelope flaps are stacked on top of each other. This option is only available with high-volume automatic feed machines and is becoming much less popular. The benefit of this type of sealing system is you can run sealed and unsealed mail together. } Flaps Open and Closed Sealing – Some high-volume automatic feed mailing systems can seal envelopes with the flaps open or closed. This offers great flexibility for companies with different types of mail coming down from multiple departments. 5. METER TAPES Are there many pieces that are too big to fit into the system and will require meter tapes? There are frequently times when you will need to run mail or packages that are too thick to fit into the machine. All vendors provide meter tapes that can be run through the unit. As a rule of thumb, the bigger the unit, the less expensive the tapes become because they are bought in higher quantities. } Strip Tape Sheets – Low-volume mailing systems will use tape sheets that are run through the machine like an envelope. These tape sheets have two to four places to print postage. These tapes are MailingSystemsTechnology.com | JULY-AUGUST 2018

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self-adhesive and easy to apply. Cost per tape (per imprint): $.05-.13 } Strip Tape Dispenser – Most mid-volume (and some high-volume) units will have a separate tape dispenser where the tape can be created at the touch of a button. These tapes come two to a strip that is perforated in the middle and can be rerun again on the other side. Strip tapes are self-adhesive and easy to apply. Cost per tape (per imprint): $.06-.08 } Roll Tape – Many mid/high-volume automatic feed mailing systems will have a roll tape dispenser that will cut the tapes to the proper size. This is easier than needing to load tape strips into a dispenser and rerun the back sides to maximize their use. Self-adhesive cost per tape (per imprint): $.02-.04. Some high-volume units will have an option for gummed back tape that comes out wet, and the cost per tape is about $.01. The newest trend in mailing systems is to have software connected to the unit that can process 4x6 inch shipping labels (instead of meter tapes) that include the destination and return address as well as the postage and a tracking barcode. This can save anywhere from two percent to a whopping 56% on postage and can provide an easier way to track your mail. This tool can be in many forms, including being directly on the main control panel or software that sits next to the unit. 6. WEIGHING How are you going to weigh and rate different sized pieces? Most mailing systems have a scale that is connected in some way. They make it easy to calculate the right amount of postage and will have most USPS rates. } 2-10 LB External Scale – These are the most common scale sizes. Many are built right onto the mailing system for space savings and simplicity. } 15-149 LB External Scale – These are for entities that have some package weighing requirements. These scale sizes can add considerable expense, and we recommend that you see if the extra capacity justifies the cost. Most items over 10 pounds are typically going through private carriers, and third-party external scales can be purchased for much lower costs. } Optional Internal Scale – This is a great option for entities that do a lot of 46

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mixed weight mail. The different size and weight pieces can be placed on the feeder and the unit will pull them in, assess their size (to determine if they are a letter or flat), weigh, rate, seal, and meter the piece in one operation. This is much faster and more accurate than weighing and rating each piece. This option is available on many automatic feed mailing systems. 7. POSTAL ACCOUNTING Do you need to track mail by department or cost center? Many entities need to track their postage expense so it can be charged back to departments or cost centers. This means they need to know how much each group is spending so they can bill them back later. Here are specific accounting questions: } How many accounts do you need to track? } Are you only looking for a month-end summary, or do you need the details of every transaction? } How do you need to access the data? Some options include: } From the screen of the mailing system or printed on a meter tape } With a connected printer } Having the machine connected to a PC or laptop } From a USB drive that can be taken from the unit and placed into your computer } Accessed from the vendor’s website 8. ADDITIONAL PRINTING CAPABILITY What else would I like the system to print? Mailing systems have been able to do basic advertisement plates and inscriptions as long as I have been in the industry. The difference now is that with modern inkjet printing and new color capabilities, there is a lot more that can be printed at a much higher quality to help promote your message. It used to be that to customize any print, you needed to order plates or download from the vendor. Now higher end systems will allow you to create content and download it to your unit without the vendor charges and delays. Here are the typical items that can be printed: } Meter advertisement } Postal inscription } Return address } QR code or custom graphic

9. SPACE REQUIREMENTS Can the system fit in my space? When deciding on a mailing system, it is imperative to check your space requirements prior to ordering. 10. INVESTMENT/PRICE What is the total amount you will pay? I left this one for last because there are several items you need to look at regarding the price of the unit. } Buy, lease, or rent? Most entities will lease their mailing equipment because all of the services are included in one payment. I typically recommend this for low- and mid-volume units, but high-volume should consider both options. For low-volume units, renting (which is similar to the lease structure) is also an option, but it is for shorter term commitments. } What is included? Make sure to know the pricing on the following and if these options are included on the lease: } Equipment } Meter rental } Meter resets } Postage advances } Maintenance } Scale rate changes } What is the cost of supplies? This is typically meter ink and tape but could also include printhead replacement. } What are the added fees and terms? You should look at the cost for late charges, finance fees, loyalty plans, and vendor replacement insurance because these costs can add up if you are not paying attention to them. } What happens at the end of the agreement? Many leases have automatic evergreen clauses that extend the agreement for an additional 12 months if you do not provide notice by a specific period. See if these can be changed or set up a reminder on your calendar for the future. There could also be pickup fees or lease termination fees you want to understand.  Adam Lewenberg, CMDSS, MDC, President of Postal Advocate Inc., runs the largest mail audit and recovery firm in the United States and Canada. Since 2013, they have helped their clients save an average of 60% and over $38 million on equipment, avoidable fees, and lost postage. He can be reached at 617.372.6853 or adam. lewenberg@postaladvocate.com


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HOW TO PROFIT FROM YOUR NONPROFIT MAILINGS Just because your mail pieces are nonprofit doesn’t mean they can’t give a significant boost to your operation. By Trista Niswander and Steve Smith

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onprofits mail about 15 billion pieces of First-Class Mail, Marketing Mail, and Periodicals each year, or one-tenth of all USPS mail volume. It is imperative nonprofits have a voice in the future of the mailing industry. Our best practice requirements for direct, high-response mail creation uses the same mail makeup structure as much larger commercial mailers. Marginalization of nonprofit mail owners could bring changes to mailing requirement thresholds and even our preferred pricing. We can best prepare for any changes with the following improvements to increase profitability. IMPORTANT STEPS IN THE MAIL PREPARATION PROCESS Once the nonprofit entity chooses all the components of the mailing campaign, whether it includes a letter, brochure, info48

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graphic, card, or other combination of creative pieces to market the goal of the campaign and solicit contributions from the membership, it is on to the pre-mailing process. We recommend all nonprofits know the nonprofit authorization (NPA) number assigned to their organization from the USPS Pricing and Classification Service Center. Along with the NPA, mailer ID (MID) and customer registration ID (CRID) are equally important since all By/For relationships in the Mailer Scorecard must be identified in a nonprofit mailing. Keep records of the relationship and provide these numbers to your mailing agent(s). This will avoid multiple IDs assigned to your organization and the associated delays in the mail preparation process. Addresses are an important detail of the mailing campaign. Not only is it expensive to mail an invalid address, the opportunity to reach the membership for contributions is lost. Address quality census measurement and assessments are here. Any pieces

exceeding the one to two percent tolerance level as measured on the Mailer Scorecard will be assessed $.08 per piece. Typically, a vendor will provide Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) and National Change of Address (NCOA) results just before the campaign is produced. At this point, it is too late to clean up address records identified as an issue. Work with the mail service provider to have an opportunity to review and correct addresses on your database before production begins. The campaign reach will be improved, postage costs controlled, and the amount of return pieces reduced. Win-win! And thinking about those pesky returns, what endorsement will you choose for the mail piece and Service Type ID (STID) embedded in the barcode? If unsure, the mail service provider can assist in this selection, or you can view more information is available at https://postalpro.usps. com/mailing/service-type-identifiers. In the Marketing Mail category, many clients


default to Return Service Requested as the preferred endorsement under the assumption this is the least expensive option. It is correct the per piece charge for each undeliverable-as-addressed piece is less, but there is a likelihood of receiving a higher volume of returns. This is due to a key difference between Return Service Requested and Address Service Requested. Return Service Requested instructs the USPS to return all change-of-address and undeliverable pieces. Address Service Requested will forward (if possible) the pieces with a change-of-address and only return undeliverable-as-addressed. Although not explored in this article, No Endorsement and Change Service Requested are other options for processing returns. Again, as nonprofits, the campaign is meant to reach members and receive contributions. It is important to choose an endorsement that will provide notice of address failures and allow the nonprofit to take action to correct the membership census database before the next mailing. One more tip to simplify the life of a nonprofit: set up an advanced deposit account at the local post office. There is no fee to set up this account. How does it work? Simply deposit a pre-determined amount, the cost of returned mail will be deducted, and returns are delivered with a statement of the remaining account balance. Once the balance gets depleted, simply deposit more funds. Quick and simple! At the time of mail preparation, will the campaign be entered to the USPS network at origin preparation or dropped directly to the processing facility? What is the difference, you may wonder? Cost and time. For Marketing mail entered in Indianapolis, Indiana destined for Boise, Idaho, the USPS service standard is seven to eight days. While this standard seems somewhat reasonable, there is less control of the in-home date than entering the pallet directly to the Boise processing plant. If entering directly to a Sectional Center Facility (SCF), a service standard of one to three days applies. This provides much better control to target a specific in-home date, staff call centers, and plan omni-channel follow-up marketing messages. IMPORTANT STEP FOR THE POST-MAILING PROCESS Once the mailing is in the USPS network, are you tracking the processing of pallets, trays or sacks, bundles, and pieces? Did you know you can also track the pieces mailed to you from the membership? USPS Informed

Visibility (IV) makes this possible. IV offers an abundance of flexibility with regards to the file formats, delivery methods, and frequency of data feeds. More information on this service is available at https:// postalpro.usps.com/visibility-and-tracking/ informed-visibility-iv. This program provides one more way for the nonprofit to maximize fulfillment, staffing, inventory, and be ready to accept the contributions. More streamlined processes allow for less overhead and a greater share of the submissions to support the nonprofit cause. Not enough resources to track the mail? No worries. There are many reputable mail tracking companies ready to help you. OTHER TIPS AND CONSIDERATIONS Who are the top contributors? Identify these top high-value candidates and use a first-class stamp to deliver the campaign. This is an effective way to personalize the piece and demonstrate a sense of urgency. Also, the early delivery and response from these known recipients can be the pace-setters of the campaign. This baseline can help determine the kind of omni-channel follow-up needed to increase response and contributions. Furthermore, some American households are familiar with permit indicia and often assume the piece is a non-personalized, non-important message or “junk mail” (we know, we know, we do not like the “j” word either). Why not use a pre-canceled stamp on the campaign? While the mail piece is still prepared at nonprofit presorted rates, the finished mail piece delivers a more personalized look, increasing the engagement of the recipient. Another possibility is to include multi-denominational stamps on a single piece. This can really grab the attention of the recipient at the mailbox. Why not try it and confirm this tactic to increase your response rate? Are you currently providing a Business Reply envelope for response? Some nonprofits use the Courtesy Reply version instead, where the sender applies a FirstClass stamp, and they see little to no change in response. The postage cost for a basic one-ounce letter Business Reply piece totals $1.31 each on top of the $225 annual permit fee. This additional cost adds up fast and reduces the final donation results of the campaign. Test this method on the next campaign. Select a small sample from the mailing list and include a Courtesy Reply envelope instead. If the response variance is tolerable, try it on larger segments up to the total mailing volume. Testing is the only way to be sure of the impact.

The final tip for nonprofits is to try an Informed Delivery campaign along with the traditional mailing. This is a great way to include multiple touchpoints to the recipient using a single mail piece. The Informed Delivery campaign can provide a colored replacement for the grey-scale image of the mail piece or a ride-along image to direct the recipient to a specific website link, or both. The key to this strategy is to include a clear call to action such as “Click Here to Contribute Now.” As presented at the February 2018 Mailers’ Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) meeting, the top performing click-to-open campaign in January 2018 was a nonprofit. This campaign achieved a nine percent click-to-open rate. This is a promising figure to entice nonprofits to explore this free feature. For more information on how to get started, refer to the interactive campaign guide at https:// www.usps.com/business/pdf/informed-delivery-interactive-campaign-guide.pdf. We hope to receive your interactive campaign in our Informed Delivery emails! YOUR VOICE WITH THE NONPROFIT MAILING COMMUNITY You can leverage our voice in the industry. There is a nonprofit association, the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, working on our behalf. Their mission is to “…work to preserve affordable, reliable U.S. Mail so that our nation’s nonprofit sector can continue to fulfill vital missions. We inform and educate policy-makers, regulators, legislators, and nonprofits on anything that affects nonprofit’s use of the U.S. Postal Service.” For more information on how to get involved, go to www.nonprofitmailers. org or contact Executive Director, Stephen Kearney, at steve@nonprofitmailers.org. TRANSFORM THE AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT The direct goal of nonprofit mail is to uplift, educate, and provide for like-minded community values. Pressure against nonprofit mail is not new or more aggressive than compared to the past. What seems to have changed is the growing indifference of the audience and the competition of other multimedia lanes. Design and preparation efficiency of the mail piece is the best practice to reach and engage the audience. ¾ Trista Niswander is the Postal Manager for Our Sunday Visitor. Steve Smith is President, Base 60. He has more than 25 years industry experience in logistics, regulatory compliance and nonprofit association management. MailingSystemsTechnology.com | JULY-AUGUST 2018

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MARKETING MAIL IS ALL ABOUT INTEGRATION Mail is still an incredibly effective means of communication, but it’s time to take it to the next level by integrating other methods. By John Leininger

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ail can be the doorway for an interactive conversation with the customer, but it can be a bit overwhelming to get started. If you are going to embark on this communications journey with your customer, you need to think like a marketing company and not like a printer or mailer offering a single service to your customer. You need to understand the tools available and how this interaction can help your customer’s bottom line (and therefore help your bottom line). So, where does one start? You may hear several terms that suggest some marketing strategies for you to follow, and some sound very similar. Terms like multi-touch, multi-channel, cross-media, integrated media, and the new buzzword in the marketing industry — omni-channel marketing. While it is not really critical you fully understand which one is which, it is

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crucial to understand the opportunities you have to help your client connect with their customers. It takes some time to become competent with some of these strategies, so you might consider trying it out by marketing to your own customers. Before we go any further, let’s briefly define some of these terms. Multi-touch: Contacting the recipient multiple times, typically with the same media, although some people will mix the media and then it becomes… Multi-channel: Using multiple media to complete a campaign Cross-media: Using multiple media to complete a campaign Integrated media: Creating a campaign where the various elements build or work together to direct the recipient to the intended goal of the campaign (this is typically when social media enters the process).

Omni-channel: This process takes integrated marketing and expands the market to both typical retail markets as well as online services. So, what are some basic elements you need to learn to work with when you are creating an integrated campaign? The first is to recognize that people are constantly being bombarded with marketing messages throughout their day, but mail is in a unique position to deliver the introduction and create a connection to the company. This would typically be done via a link on the mail piece that takes the customer to the company’s website or to a page where they can sign up for more information or receive a special coupon or discount. It is important that the link is set up to be accessed from either a smartphone or a computer, which means you now need to be in the business of creating web pages — or at least QR codes that can take your


client’s customer to your client’s web page. A QR code is simply a trigger for connecting to the internet. At this point in time, a QR code is the most common connection tool, but there are a host of other tools being created to work with Near Field Communications (NFC) to read an RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification), as most of the new smartphones are being manufactured with this as a standard element. So, thinking like a marketing person, how do you know what is right for your customer? Most companies want to create a dialogue with their customer, and the idea of an integrated or omni-channel campaign is to create a targeted connection that can gather more information from the customer and offer them relevant information that is specifically appropriate for them. To do this, you need to become more of a business partner with the client, understanding their needs and the goals of

their marketing campaign. This becomes a value-added service you can offer the customer, and if you are successful in learning how to improve their response and/or their conversion rates, you can charge more for the service you offer. Let’s Look at an Example To give you an idea of what you might need to learn to become successful with an integrated campaign, let me outline a project and the learning experiences for a group of students that were working on a live marketing class assignment at Clemson University in the Department of Graphic Communications. We were trying to replicate a case study presented by DirectMail. io, where they created a marketing campaign that started with a postcard that had a “buy one, get one free” coupon offer. In addition to the coupon, the postcard gave the recipient a chance to win a free meal

from the restaurant once a week for a year if they left their contact information on a mobile website. If they shared the offer on social media, they would receive a second chance at the free meal offer. They also could post a link for their friends to download a mobile coupon for the buy one, get one meal that the original coupon offered. What did we need to learn how to do to make all this work? The design and printing of the postcard were no problem; after all, it’s something we do all the time. However, we needed to tool up to create the mobile web pages to collect the address information, offer a link for sharing the offer on social media, and create another page for recipients to offer the original mail coupon through their smartphones to their friends. Tracking the social media posts proved to be a stumbling block on our first attempt at this campaign. While the students were comfortable using social media, they had no experience tracking social media. We learned after our first attempt that we needed to collect their Facebook name and Twitter handle to be able to track them on Hootsuite for the free meal offer. Learning how to track their posts and tweets was a totally separate task. Our first effort produced reasonable results, but our second try (when we were able to track the social media posts and collect all of the contact information for the customer) was much more successful. We were offering the customer a more complete package to solve their marketing problem. Hootsuite is only one option to consider; there are a wide variety of tracking options available. There are a lot of case studies available that you can read to help develop a strategy to create an integrated marketing campaign. What is critical is to learn about the customer’s needs and create a plan using all your company’s resources to offer them something that brings value to their company in a way that your competition cannot. Remember, it is not like you can just purchase a software program that instantly makes an integrated campaign that will work — you need to add the special sauce, which is your company’s expertise. Bring the unique and creative brain power of your staff to the table to serve the customer and you cannot go wrong. Just remember it takes time to develop this ability. There’s no better time to get started — don’t put it off. ¾ Dr. John Leininger is Professor, Department of Graphic Communications at Clemson University. He can be contacted at ljohn@clemson.edu. MailingSystemsTechnology.com | JULY-AUGUST 2018

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THE MAIL CENTER OF THE FUTURE: ADVANCING AGILITY IN INBOUND MAIL DISTRIBUTION By Steve Cousins

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n an age when work takes many employees out of the office for days, weeks, or even months at a time, business communications (which are often time-sensitive) cannot wait until the recipient returns. Unanswered mail can strain customer relationships and slow crucial business processes. That’s why the agile mail center of the future reinvents these processes, allowing users to view, respond to, and direct delivery of their mail on the go. It can even make other day-to-day tasks faster and easier by integrating inbound mail directly into relevant workflows, such as routing invoices to an accounts payable intake workflow. Similarly, highly regulated or security-conscious organizations can allow appropriate teams to review all incoming mail for issues, without slowing down delivery. With the advent of new technologies, the role of the mail center has room to grow into a centralized communications hub. This approach can help get time-sensitive information where it needs to go quickly, no matter where employees’ work takes them, and it’s an approach your mail operations should consider as you set bud-

get and strategy. And the sooner you start, the better, because the mail center of the future’s real-time analytics can help make continuous improvement a possibility. WHAT DOES THE MAIL CENTER OF THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE? In an overarching sense, the future will transform the mail center into a speedy, transparent, efficient communications hub. That means empowering digital workplaces to deliver information to recipients where, when, and how it works best for them, no matter where their work takes them. Incoming mail is digitized, proactively alerting recipients and providing delivery options ranging from opening and digitizing a letter to uploading to the recipient’s cloud storage platform of choice, to delivering mail or packages to a secure locker for later pickup at the recipient’s convenience. These pickups can be arranged via intelligent lockers, which help protect a mail piece’s chain of custody, remove the need to track down recipients and can even track analytics around delivery and pickup. A user need simply walk up to the locker where their items are wait-


ing, enter their personal security code, and retrieve the items. A “cube” system, which would involve delivering all mail and packages addressed to the business to a secure room, can provide similar benefits while potentially eliminating mail runs. In fact, even mail runs are seeing a futuristic overhaul, as some organizations embrace delivery robots to roam campuses and buildings delivering the mail and packages. The mail center of the future builds on the success of current platforms, allowing employees to choose not just how they receive their mail but also how they receive their alerts. Recipients can be alerted via any of a variety of channels, ranging from email to text message and chat clients. Allowing users to manage their alert channels ensures time-critical decisions are delivered to channel they’re more likely to check. In fact, many visions of the mail center include artificial intelligence-powered chat bots that use natural language commands to let a recipient know when a communication arrives for them, automatically asking how and where the recipient would like it delivered and executing on the response.

HOW CAN I BRING MY MAIL CENTER INTO THE FUTURE? The mail center of the future is less a feature set than it is a goal for streamlined, effective communication that meets and overcomes the challenges of today’s workplaces. However, there are some concrete steps your mail operations can take toward becoming an efficient, all-purpose communications hub: 1. Centralize inbound mail operations. This is the foundation of the whole approach. In order to serve as a communication hub, your operation has to be at the center of all communications, including digital! This allows an organization to make strategic technology investments in a shared services model, rather than making disparate, department-level purchases that only serve a single purpose. 2. Digitize and classify physical communications. Digitization provides recipients basic information as they make their decision regarding how they’d like a communication delivered, and it makes electronic delivery possible for those who choose it. Digitization and classification makes for more precise content tracking, in addition to making it possible for incoming mail to move seamlessly to and through relevant workflows. Further, an organization or its legal team can review incoming communications comprehensively without slowing delivery, potentially aiding regulatory compliance, litigation requirements, or other oversight needs. 3. Classify digital communications. This also ties back into the transformation into a communication hub. Classification carries the same benefits here as it does for physical mail, but it significantly broadens the mail operation’s scope. This further centralizes management of business communications, allowing for more overarching, strategic decisions and helping to drive efficiencies. Often, the technologies needed to digitize and classify paper-based documents can ingest and classify digital communications as well, thus further utilizing prior investments. 4. Proactively notify addressed recipients. Automatic alerts via the recipient’s preferred channel make all the difference. A time-sensitive legal request that might otherwise have sat unopened on a desk for weeks can now be seen and responded to in seconds, from across the room or across an ocean. Additionally, sending a communication via a recipient’s preferred channel

makes them more likely to view it and even respond. If someone knows they get 300 emails per day and would like to receive certain communications via another channel, honoring that preference can make all the difference. 5. Ingest communications directly into relevant workflows. Instead of delivering an email to a customer service-focused account, take the agile route: leverage software to automatically identify the type of inquiry and route it to the appropriate workflow, whether that’s opening a support ticket or pointing the sender to relevant materials. Intelligent, automatic routing works equally well with physical mail, and robotic process automation (RPA) can make this agile process even more efficient by identifying preference patterns — such as always choosing electronic delivery of postcards from mass mailings — and automatically applying them, creating further efficiencies. 6. Collect analytics. One of the biggest benefits of all of this digitization and classification is how much easier it becomes to quantify how your organization handles communications. That’s incredibly valuable insight that can be used to identify inefficiencies that may otherwise have gone unnoticed or realize productivity gains in innovative ways. For example, if you find your business receiving a large volume of paper invoices that you’re automatically scanning and then disposing of, you could look to switch to electronic invoicing to eliminate unnecessary steps. This way forward would revolutionize how the enterprise thinks about the mail center, making it integral to efficient backend processes and providing added value every step of the way. The efficiencies and insights don’t end with inbound mail, either. Tomorrow’s mail centers — starting with today’s technologies — can also help provide insight not just into how your business receives mail, but also how it sends mail: householding ad hoc mailings for postal discounts, uncovering quantitative trends in mail’s role in maintaining customer relationships, and much more. The future is coming. Will your mail center be ready? ¾ Steve Cousins is Advanced Services Strategy Sr. Mgr (ADSM) at Ricoh USA. He has 20 years of experience managing manufacturing and technology departments within progressive and established direct mail and transactional print service providers. MailingSystemsTechnology.com | JULY-AUGUST 2018

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IS GOVERNMENT NEGLECT KILLING THE POSTAL SERVICE? AN EXPERT’S OPINION By Bob Schimek This title question could be answered with a simple “yes.” However, in true political fashion, let’s use this question as a jumping-off point for a long-winded answer. But unlike most answers from politicians, this answer will actually be relevant to the question being asked. There are many in the mailing industry who try to make a point of keeping up with what is going on in their sphere. Like me, they probably have friends and family that ask about what is going on with the Postal Service. Recently, I have found myself trying to have one of those conversations, thanks to the recent actions coming from President 54

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Trump regarding the topic of the USPS. I found myself thinking: Where do I even begin to try and explain all the craziness that is taking place? So it seems like a good idea to take some time and attempt to describe the situation with facts as we know them… and hope it won’t be labeled as Fake News. THE BASICS Let’s start at the top. One basic and important fact that many don’t realize is that the Postal Service does not use tax dollars. All postal operations are funded from the sale of postage.

The government says it wants the Postal Service (while a government monopoly) to “run like a business.” Any well-run business has a board that holds the company leadership accountable, oversees the operations of the business, and makes important strategic decisions regarding the future of the company. The Postal Service has a Board of Governors to fulfill these functions. By definition, the board consists of 11 members, which include the Postmaster General, the Deputy Postmaster General (both non-voting), and nine presidentially appointed board members. The nine board members serve a seven-year term with the ability to serve


an additional year, referred to as a hold-over year. All terms are staggered across successive years, so, at most, only two expire on any given year. Seems reasonable, except for the fact that as of December 2016 (which is now over a year and a half ago), we have had zero, yes, zero, governors on the board. Why would that be? To become a governor on the board, the president must nominate a candidate who the Senate must then confirm. President Obama nominated five members, but Bernie Sanders used a Senate tactic to put a hold on the nominees so they could not hold the necessary hearing to be confirmed by the Senate. Some believe Sanders put the hold on because some of the nominees were considered anti-union. This means that the last governor that was successfully appointed came from the Bush administration. When Congress recessed at the end of 2016, the nominations from

President Obama expired. It then became the job of President Trump to nominate new candidates. Given all the other priorities, it took the president nine months (October 26, 2017) to submit nominations for three of the nine open governors’ seats. Next, it becomes the job of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee to approve the nominees. The necessary hearing was not held until April 18, 2018 (essentially six months after nominations). One nominee withdrew and the other two were approved by the subcommittee on May 8, 2018. The final step to make them official governors is a vote by the full senate. As usual, politics has stepped in, and there are rumblings that some senators are threatening to use the same hold that Bernie Sanders used on the Obama nominees. One senator is concerned about the nominee David Williams and his position on Alaska Bypass mail. There was an Office of

Inspector General (OIG) report that noted concern around the cost to the Postal Service (and mailers) back when Williams was serving as head of the Postal Service OIG. Other senators have expressed concerns about the lack of a Democratic nominee and potentially using that to put a hold on nominees. Given the current hesitations, it seems unlikely that we will have a new governor on the board any time too soon. WHAT THIS MEANS FOR MAILERS Only the nine voting governors have the authority to approve a Postal Service price change. Some may be thinking, wait, the Postal Service has raised prices since December 2016; the last price increase occurred in January of 2018. This is true, but what you may not know is that price increase was approved by the last serving governor (James Bilbray) just before his term expired back in December of 2016, MailingSystemsTechnology.com | JULY-AUGUST 2018

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and the price change was approved over a year before it went into effect. The board also needs to approve any Postal Service promotions. The Postal Service did not get a last-minute approval from James Bilbray on any promotions for 2018, which is why there are currently no promotions taking place. Without a confirmed governor on the board, the Postal Service does not have the ability to raise prices. Typically, the Postal Service would raise prices in January 2019, but much work and preparation have to occur before implementation. Generally, the Postal Service would get the board’s approval for the price change and submit it to the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) in October. The PRC serves as the postal regulator. They review, confirm that the proposed prices comply with the law, and approve the prices before the Postal Service can officially implement them. When the math is done right, this can be a fairly smooth and quick process, taking as little as 30 to 45 days. So, looking at where things currently stand, a governor really needs to be approved in the summer session of Congress or it will impact the Postal Service’s ability to raise prices in January 2019, which will only continue to worsen the Postal Service’s financial position. We keep hearing that the Postal Service is losing billions of dollars. Yes, but there is a bit of a story here as well, and it goes back to 2006, the Bush administration, and the postal reform bill (the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, or PAEA) that was passed. The Postal Service agreed to fully fund 50 years of postal retiree benefits over a 10-year period. How many companies do you know that fully fund retirement benefits for employees that they have not yet even hired? Another fun little fact is that postal employees pay into Medicare their entire careers, just like we do, but when they retire, they don’t use Medicare as a benefit. From here, the line between fact and fiction gets a little blurry, but if Congress would pass legislation to require postal retirees to use Medicare (which they paid into), the pre-funding that the Postal Service partially accomplished would nearly completely fund their retirement obligations. The only problem is this would be a big hit to Medicare and score negatively on the budget, which is a 56

JULY-AUGUST 2018 | MailingSystemsTechnology.com

problem Congress has been unwilling to deal with (lacking the necessary crisis, of course). And now we come full circle back to the Postal Service running like a business. When the mailing industry looks to work with a regulated monopoly as a business partner, they are looking for a couple of key items. Predictable/stable prices, reliable service, and confidence that they are a viable business partner into the future. Right now, much of that is in question. PREDICTABLE PRICES ARE UP IN THE AIR Back in 2006 when PAEA was passed, mail volume was still growing, and the CPI cap helped to provide the mailing industry confidence in price stability. Unfortunately, the 2008 recession and the resulting temporary exigent surcharge has undermined that confidence in price stability over the past 10 years. While the exigent surcharge has officially expired, half of it is still lingering to be re-instated with the postal reform bills that are currently under consideration. The regulator (PRC) is also not helping with mailing industry price stability concerns. When PAEA was passed, it included the requirement for the PRC to review the rate making system after it had been in effect for 10 years. If the PRC determined that the current rate making system was not working, they were authorized to make whatever changes were necessary to get the system to work. This 10-year review kicked off in December 2016 and is still under way. Extensive comments were provided to the PRC from the mailing industry, the Postal Service, and the postal unions. The PRC has determined that the current system is not working and needs to be changed. They proposed a set of changes that stunned the mailing industry. The PRC’s proposed solution was pretty much a “jack up the rates” approach. Products that were identified as not covering their cost would see postage rates increase as much as 40% over the next five years. The mailing industry has attempted to communicate the mail volume death spiral that would result from such a decision. It is yet to be determined if the PRC is listening, as no communication has occurred since the comment period closed. No decision is expected from the PRC until after the presidential task force on the Postal Service issues their report. Ah yes, the pres-

idential task force. To add additional chaos to the lack of action and confusion already taking place, on April 12, 2018, President Trump issued an executive order establishing a “Task Force on the United States Postal System.” The task force has broad authority to investigate issues impacting the Postal Service and the broader postal ecosystem. The task force will “consider the views of the USPS workforce; commercial, non-profit, and residential users of the USPS services; and competitors in the marketplace.” A report is due within 120 days of the issuance of the executive order, so this should occur around mid-August. In case that wasn’t enough to stir the pot and create additional uncertainty around the future of the Postal Service, on June 21, 2018, the Executive Office of the President of the United States released a report titled: “Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century: Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations.” Within this report, it discusses the privatization of the Postal Service. The summary states: “This proposal would restructure the United States Postal System to return it to a sustainable business model or prepare it for future conversion from a Government agency into a privately-held corporation.” It also notes that the president’s task force on the United States Postal System will make recommendations on reforms towards this goal in August 2018. SO, IS THE GOVERNMENT KILLING THE POSTAL SERVICE? The government is currently refusing to let the Postal Service be run as it is currently designed to be run. The financial condition of the Postal Service has been a concern for going on 10 years now, yet the government has failed to act on any type of postal reform that would resolve key concerns directly related to their financial viability. If you were a business that was dependent on the Postal Service as a viable partner, what would you do? If you are still wondering why mail volume continues to decline, then maybe you should strongly consider running for Congress.  Bob Schimek is Senior Director of Postal Affairs at Quadient.


SAY WHAT?

THINK ABOUT IT

So, in a hypothetical scenario, for the Postal Service to offer promotions for a three-month period this year (October through December), the proposals should be in the hands of the PRC by mid-August at the latest. As more time passes without Senate confirmation, the possible promotion period shortens. — ANITA PURSLEY

And now we come full circle back to the Postal Service running like a business. When the mailing industry looks to work with a regulated monopoly as a business partner, they are looking for a couple of key items. Predictable/stable prices, reliable service, and confidence that they are a viable business partner into the future. Right now, much of that is in question. — BOB SCHIMEK

With the advent of new technologies, the role of the mail center has

room to grow into a centralized

communications hub. This approach

THE ABILITY TO PERSONALIZE PRINTED COMMUNICATIONS TO INDIVIDUAL RECIPIENTS OR CREATE VERSIONS FOR SPECIFIC AUDIENCE SEGMENTS HAS FINALLY HIT ITS STRIDE. DIGITAL PRINTING AND INNOVATIONS IN INKJET PRINTING ARE ENABLING MARKETERS TO PRODUCE HIGHLY CUSTOMIZED DIRECT MAIL AND TRANSACTIONAL DOCUMENTS FAST ENOUGH TO CAPTURE MARKET OPPORTUNITY AND COMPLY WITH REGULATORY GUIDELINES.

So, what are some basic elements you need to learn to work with when you are creating an integrated campaign? The first is to recognize that people are constantly being bombarded with marketing messages throughout their day, but mail is in a unique position to deliver the introduction and create a connection to the company.

— LISA CROSS

— JOHN LEININGER

can help get time-sensitive information where it needs to go quickly, no

your budget and strategy.

Once the mailing is in the USPS network, are you tracking the processing of pallets, trays or sacks, bundles, and pieces? Did you know you can also track the pieces mailed to you from the membership? USPS Informed Visibility (IV) makes this possible. IV offers an abundance of flexibility with regards to the file formats, delivery methods, and frequency of data feeds.

— STEVE COUSINS

— TRISTA NISWANDER & STEVE SMITH

matter where employees’ work takes

them, and it’s an approach your mail

operations should consider as you set

MailingSystemsTechnology.com | JULY-AUGUST 2018

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Mailing Systems Technology July/Aug 2018  

Mailing Systems Technology July/Aug 2018

Mailing Systems Technology July/Aug 2018  

Mailing Systems Technology July/Aug 2018