A Xerox publicity photo of the 9700 Cut Sheet Laser Printer
In 1978 Johnson & Quin obtained a Xerox 9700, the first commercial cut sheet laser printer, and became the first “print for profit” laser company in the Midwest. 41 years later the last laser printers have left the building!
Over those 41 years, the personalization department at J&Q has gone through countless changes. Laser printers continued to improve, becoming better quality, faster and offering more capabilities. The last laser printers at J&Q were IBM InfoPrint 4100’s, continuous monochrome (black only) printers that were the mainstay of our personalization department for many years.
It is the beginning of a new era at Johnson & Quin. With 143 years of printing experience, we have announced that all client direct mail programs are now printed and personalized on high-speed color inkjet presses. All monochrome (black only) laser printers have been removed from our facility in Niles IL, just north of Chicago.
J&Q is adding a third color inkjet press, a Screen Truepress Jet520ZZ Advanced High-Speed Color Inkjet Printing System. This complements the two existing Screen color inkjet presses, expanding the volumes that can be produced and mailed.
In our last blog we explained that Informed Delivery is a Postal Service program that sends consumers an email with grayscale images of the mail pieces that will arrive in their mailboxes soon. Black and white images are displayed of letter sized packages that are processed and scanned through USPS automated sorting equipment. The images can be viewed via email, an online dashboard or mobile app. Individuals can sign up for the program at https://informeddelivery.usps.com/box/pages/intro/start.action.
Informed Delivery Interactive Campaigns
Marketers can move beyond static grayscale images to display linked color images. An interactive campaign displays color images with a link to a webpage that directs the recipient to a digital experience. There are two options for an interactive campaign.
Informed Delivery is a Postal Service program that sends consumers an email with grayscale images of the mail pieces they will receive in the next day or two. Images are provided of the exterior, address-side of letter sized pieces that are processed and scanned through USPS automated sorting equipment. Images are not currently captured for flats, and some mail may bypass automation and will not be scanned. The images can be viewed via email, an online dashboard or mobile app. Individuals can sign up for the program at https://informeddelivery.usps.com/box/pages/intro/start.action. The service is available in most areas of the country, but not for every zip code.
The Chicagoland area (where J&Q is located), and the rest of the Midwest are coming out of the polar vortex – thank goodness! After surviving wind chills as low as -45 to -55 degrees on Wednesday, mailers are also experiencing higher postage rates.
Postage prices increased on January 27, 2019, and J&Q direct mail clients are experiencing a $.007 to $.008 increase per package.
For consumers the price of a First-Class Forever stamp increased from 50 cents to 55 cents – a 10% increase! However, the single-piece additional ounce price was reduced from 21 cents to 15 cents. Heavier packages like wedding invitations will cost less to mail – from 71 cents to 70 cents.
After a one year hiatus, the Postal Service® has announced mailing promotions for 2019. For the past few years the Postal Service has offered mailing promotions and price incentives to create awareness for new and innovative uses of mail. Due to the absence of any presidentially-appointed governors, they did not have the authority to establish promotional pricing for 2018.
Now that there are two governors on the board, promotions have been approved for 2019. The promotions “continue to encourage marketers, printers and mailers to utilize new technology and print techniques that enhance the traditional benefits of a physical mail piece.”₁ The hope is that response rates increase, the value of direct and transitional mail will increase, and the volume of mail will rise or remain steady.
On January 27, 2019 postage prices are going up, and for J&Q direct mail clients we estimate a $.007 to $.008 increase per package. In October the U.S. Postal Service filed a postal rate adjustment with the Postal Regulatory commission (PRC). If approved by the PRC, postage would increase an average of 2.5% for both First-Class and Marketing Mail (previously Standard Class). The PRC is expected to approve the adjustment by November 13.
Scott Dempster has recently joined J&Q as National Sales Director. Scott will be responsible for new business development and fostering relationships with accounts in a variety of vertical markets throughout the country. Scott has extensive experience working with market leading clients in a variety of industries to develop and produce their direct mail programs. He provides outstanding service to his clients and is knowledgeable in multiple production platforms and workflow solutions.
With so many security breaches at major companies in the United States and around the world, and the implementation of GDPR in Europe (European Unions’ privacy regulations), security has become a top concern in corporate boardrooms. How do we keep sensitive information safe from hackers who are persistently working to infiltrate computer networks (both corporate and personal networks at home) to steal identities, social media accounts, financial, health and other valuable personal information? It’s not enough to just say you have this data secured; you must be able to prove it.
Security is a big deal at Johnson & Quin. We process and print millions of records each year and most contain PII – Personally Identifiable Information – like names, addresses and other identifying pieces of information. Because security of data is critical to marketing communications, having the expertise to stay up-to-date with necessary processes, certifications and systems is essential. Manish Haria who has been with J&Q for 18 years was recently promoted to Vice President of IT and Security, and he will help us stay at the forefront of security and processing.
Providing J&Q's perspective on the "essential essence" of all things direct marketing - industry updates, as well as our thoughts and opinions on topics from direct mail production and data security to content and social media. Enjoy!
More about J&Q
Want to know more about J&Q and our direct mail production and integrated marketing services? Visit our website at www.j-quin.com.