The envelope manufacturing industry gathered in sunny Florida at the end of April for the 2017 EMA Spring Meeting held in conjunction with the Global Envelope Association’s Conference. IWCO Direct is a long-time supporter of EMA not only for the technology and management resources it provides for our envelope team and industry partners, but also because it is a strong voice that advocates for the value of paper-based communications. This year’s Spring Meeting explored ways members can take responsibility for shaping our own futures while moving communications forward.
Manufacturing Technology Drives Direct Mail Engagement
Winkler + Dünnebier (W+D), a premier provider of envelope printing and converting technology, shared a number of options for using envelopes to make marketing mail more engaging and impactful for recipients. As many IWCO Direct clients who have participated in the U.S. Postal Service’s Tactile, Sensory, and Interactive Promotion over the past two years have discovered, using the physical mailpiece to engage multiple senses is a great way to enhance engagement with—and response to—marketing messages. Among the techniques highlighted by W+D were options to incorporate shapes into envelope designs, more efficient methods of embossing envelopes to create tactile interest, and even a way to use envelope converting equipment to create interactive and engaging postcards.
Opportunities and Challenges in Postal Policy
We were also fortunate to hear from Mike Plunkett, President of the Association for Postal Commerce (PostCom) on the current postal landscape in Washington, D.C. Mike looked at both the opportunities and challenges facing the mailing industry, sharing the latest on the prospects for postal reform legislation and the impact of the Postal Regulatory Commission’s rate and regulatory review on future mail volumes. Mike was cautiously optimistic about the prospects for reform legislation given its quick start in the House, but he was also concerned about the impact of the primary sponsor of the bill, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, deciding to retire at the end of his current term.
Like EMA, PostCom is a strong advocate for maintaining the CPI-based cap on postage rate increases, which has provided consistent, predictable pricing for the mailing industry for more than a decade. Both associations see the continuation of stable pricing as key to maintaining and growing mail volume in the years ahead.
Why Envelopes and Mail Matter in a Digital World
IWCO Direct’s CEO, Jim Andersen, was scheduled to deliver the closing keynote address at the 2017 EMA Spring Meeting. Due to a last-minute conflict, my colleague, Debora Haskel, IWCO Direct VP Marketing and Corporate Communications, stepped in to address the group on “Why Envelopes and Mail Matter in a Digital World.”
Debora highlighted recent studies showing the effectiveness of marketing mail in appealing to all generations, from baby boomers to millennials. She noted that direct mail is especially effective when it is personalized for and relevant to the recipients and observed the importance of direct mail in driving response to integrated multi-channel marketing campaigns. She also illustrated how many digitally-based businesses, in fields such as on-demand services, smart home services, and cyber insurance, were turning to direct mail to create and retain new customers.
Debora also encouraged attendees to follow IWCO Direct’s path from just being a manufacturer to being a service provider focused on value and return on marketing investment (ROMI). She called on her audience to become industry and technical resources for customers while listening closely to client needs to guide appropriate capital investment. She closed with three things envelope manufacturers could do differently to be successful in 2017:
- Laser focus on efficiency;
- Demonstrate return on investment;
- Discuss value-added, not cost per piece.
Envelope Team Recognized for Superior Safety Performance at the EMA Spring Meeting
I can’t end this post without bragging about IWCO Direct’s Chanhassen envelope team. It was again recognized for outstanding safety performance, receiving a Safety Leader Award. This is the seventh time in the past ten years that this team has been honored by EMA for its outstanding safety performance. Congratulations team!
Subscribe to SpeakingDIRECT to have new articles delivered to your inbox as they post. We promise to keep it fresh and interesting.