It’s that time of the year again – the festive holiday season is over, we are in the midst of winter with its often cold and cloudy days, and another postal rate increase hits marketers’ budgets beginning Sunday, January 26, 2020. Although the increase is less than last year’s, direct mailers will still see an increase of about $.005 per piece for Marketing Mail and $.002 for Nonprofit Mail.
On January 26, 2020 postage prices are going up, and for J&Q direct mail clients we estimate a $.005 increase per package which is less than the 2019 rate increase. In October the U.S. Postal Service filed a postal rate adjustment with the Postal Regulatory commission (PRC). Postage will increase an average of 1.9% for both First-Class and Marketing Mail (previously Standard Class).
As of December 12, the PRC approved the price changes for all products so the price adjustment will definitely be taking place on January 26.
How do companies keep sensitive information safe from hackers who are persistently working to infiltrate computer networks to steal identities, social media accounts, financial, health and other valuable personal information? It’s not enough for organizations to just say that this data is secured; they must be able to prove it.
At Johnson & Quin we support our marketing clients by promoting their products and services through direct mail. That entails handling lots of sensitive personal data – hundreds of millions of records every year! And, we do this by ensuring it is handled by only authorized staff and safe from prying eyes. Our security processes and procedures have also been audited by outside authorities to verify we have the controls in place to manage client data securely.
Johnson & Quin has recently released a new video that provides a great overview of our direct mail production services and facility. View the video here.
J&Q has a long history in the printing industry. Nels Johnson founded “McDonald & Johnson”, a small print shop in Chicago in 1876. When Tom Quin joined Nels in the firm in 1896 it became Johnson & Quin. The company has gone through many changes from its beginnings in the 1800’s producing ledgers, accounting forms and other printing for Chicago businesses. Today we produce millions of direct mail packages using high-speed color inkjet presses for clients nationwide.
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.
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.