Mary Wade Family

April 30th, 2018

 

Meet Jack Flaherty, Vice President of Sales for Premier. Recently Jack was interviewed by the Mary Wade Home. Jack’s history with the Mary Wade Home goes back longer than the 7 years that he has been working side by side with them on all their printing needs. His history with the Mary Wade Home goes back to his maternal grandparents and to when he himself lived on the same street as Mary Wade on Clinton Avenue with his parents.

Mary Wade’s mission is to provide high-quality medical care, social programs, and supervised residential services to those in need. The Mary Wade Home supports the New Haven Community with live in residents, day programs, and employment opportunities. They employ about 275 people and work with many vendors in the area, and Premier is one of them. Jack reconnected with the Mary Wade Home years ago when he met a rep at a convention in New Haven. The two spoke after the meeting and Jack shared his family’s story which you can hear all about in the above video. He met with David Hunter the President & CEO for a tour of the expanded buildings and facility along with the building and entrances his grandmother would have used when she worked for the Mary Wade Home. Recently Mary Wade reached out to Jack asking him if he would like to be interviewed for their video project on “How Mary Wade Continues to Support Families and Community” which was debuted at their Gala event.

Premier is proud to be with Jack supporting Mary Wade’s efforts and we value our relationship.

Product Review: Sappi – Act Now!

April 18th, 2018

 

 

Yesterday I received a package in the mail from Sappi. It’s not too often that something arrives in the office with an announcement of Attn: Donna Moulton. I quickly opened it and found a brilliantly designed pull tab package on the inside. Here is a little background on Sappi to get you up to speed: Sappi is a leading global producer of dissolving wood pulp, specialties and packaging papers, printing and writing papers and biomaterials. Essentially, they make beautiful paper stocks to fulfill all your printing needs. Upon further investigation of the package, I realized that it is an add-on to support their article on Direct Mail in a Digital Age

The Sappi article forecasted that digital advertising will only account for 46% of all advertising. It also noted that direct mail has the highest rate of success. This is a statement I am sure you have read in more than one of my blog posts on direct mail but it is true! Direct mail leaves more of an impression on the recipient receiving it than that of digital advertising clutter.

Inside the package itself, there is a book titled Act Now! A Better Response To Direct Mail. Inside there are 5 case studies. The one that stood out to me the most was Style & Error, Style Case Studies & Protocol.

  • This case study talked about making sure your format fits your overall message. The study describes various types of printing methods (Digital, Web Offset, Sheet-fed, Off-Line) There are even samples (folded and diecut) in the book.
  • They also provide a chart of print techniques and finishes that shows which techniques work well with each method of printing.

Ex: If you were looking to print a direct mailing piece digitally you would have to keep in mind that you cannot print with metallic inks and the finished piece cannot be UV coated. **This chart is extremely helpful to keep close at hand when designing for print.

  • The package also included a few direct mailing samples from a few companies that were mentioned in each of the case studies along with bound samples in the Act Now! Book.

For presentation, I give this Sappi case study pack a 4 out of 5 stars (I may be a little biased as I do really like the way that Sappi packages and designs their media kits). I would have given the package design a 10 but it was a little roughed up and the pull tab opening was a little confusing at first, I didn’t want to tear apart the very well put together package.

As far as the information provided about direct mail marketing and design I give Sappi 5 stars. There is a wealth of information within the pages of the Act Now! book that every direct mail marketer should keep close by.

For more information on how premier can help you with your next direct mailing campaign and to receive a copy of the same brilliantly put together package please email us at: info@premieruplink.com

Donna Moulton is the Sales & Marketing Associate at Premier Graphics. A designer at heart, she uses her design skills to develop creative content, in-house marketing materials and client design work. In her role, she manages all aspects of marketing and advertising, from website updates, blog content and Premier events.

Premier Expands with New Support Team Members

March 21st, 2018

As part of our expansion and growth, we have added more talent to our support staff.


Phil Macary – Phil joins Premier as a full-time Estimator.

He will be supporting the sales team by providing them with estimates and helping to develop the best production methods and materials for customers projects.

Phil has been in the commercial printing business since 1975 and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to Premier.He has worked in receiving purchasing and estimating in his career in printing.

His favorite project here at Premier has been learning our new Pace estimating system. Phil lives in Prospect, CT with his family. 

 

Michelle Palmer – Michelle joins Premier as a Product Manager.

Michelle will be supporting the sales team, communicating with our production team ensuring that our client’s expectations are met. Michelle brings to Premier more than 15 years of marketing and customer service experience.

She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Bridgeport and lives in Naugatuck, CT with her family.

 

“Our project managers and estimators are key players in our customer’s experience with Premier. We are excited to have Phil and Michelle on our growing team.” – Sean Huban, Chief Revenue Officer

Myth Busters: Paper Edition

March 9th, 2018

Paper: in the world of printing it’s the essential material your message is presented on. It’s touchy-feely and has a huge impact on how your message is received. The paper you use is often as important as the graphics. For some audiences, the paper is the most important aspect of the printed piece.

Paper possibilities are wide and varied: coated gloss, silk, dull, matte, and uncoated smooth, vellum or textured to name just a few. The paper chosen for your printed communication will directly affect how your graphics reproduce.  So let’s dispel some paper myths.

Myth #1:

Uncoated paper is more versatile because it is like a blank slate.

Reality

Coating enhances the surface and makes it more receptive to inks and additional coatings. Ink sits on the surface of coated paper which means it will be less absorbent making a more uniform print. Coated paper can also print higher resolution and finer detail. Your final prints will be truer to your original on-screen design and imagery.

Myth #2:

It’s hard to control color when printing on glossy surfaces.

Reality

Image quality and color reproduction are much better on a coated paper stock.

Coated paper prints sharper images with finer details, while allowing the printing press to produce brilliant, high-fidelity color with dense solids and smooth screen tints.

Common printing issues such as excessive dot gain aren’t as predominant on coated stocks. Coated stocks also use less ink and allow ink to dry quicker.

Myth #3:

Coated paper must be more expensive because it looks and feels so rich.

Reality

While it is true about its luxuriousness, coated paper isn’t as expensive as you may think.

Coated paper can be significantly less expensive than uncoated paper at the same weight. Uncoated stocks require a higher ratio of wood fiber per pound than coated stocks. Coated papers replace some of that wood fiber with clay that creates the coating. Which is also why coated papers, at the same weight as uncoated papers, feel less substantial. Also coated papermaking machines produce a larger amount of paper than uncoated machines.

Myth #4:

Only uncoated papers can provide a tactile experience.

Reality

Coated papers allow for techniques such as soft touch AQ. Soft touch AQ is a velvety-soft feel to print materials. Many people describe it as feeling like short velvet, or smooth suede. A soft-touch finish definitely gets noticed.

To learn more contact us at info@premieruplink.com

Premier Continues Expansion and Announces New Additions To The Sales Team

February 23rd, 2018

Premier Continues Expansion and Announces New Additions To The Sales Team.

Robert Sternau – Rob joined Premier Graphics in July 2017 as Senior V.P. Business Development.

In his new position at Premier, Rob will be responsible for helping grow overall sales by developing sales and marketing initiatives, recruiting additional sales reps, and direct selling.

Rob has successfully managed sales and marketing departments for major metropolitan New York City area printers over the past 25 years.  Most recently, Rob has served as VP Sales for Hennegan – An RR Donnelley Company.  Additionally, he has served in sales and marketing leadership positions with Kay Printing in Clifton, NJ and Allied Printing in Manchester, CT.

He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Cold Spring, New York with his wife and son.

Bob Carr – Bob recently joined Premier as VP of Sales.

In his new position at Premier, Bob will be responsible for helping grow overall sales. Bob has two distinct areas that he works well in.  He loves coming up with creative solutions to difficult projects as well as helping clients get the best value from their print spend. He has been in the print industry for over 38 years and has worked at a ½ dozen printers over 30 plus years in NY/CT/ME and also owned a mid-sized printing company.

Most recently, Bob was a National Account Manager for Allied Printing and held sales roles at JS McCarthy and Thames Printing. Bob lives in Thomaston, CT with his wife Pam.

 

Mark Lee – Mark joined Premier in January 2018 with the goal of bringing new business relationships to Premier

In his new position at Premier, Mark will be responsible for helping grow overall sales and delivering targeted, personalized direct mail solutions to clients.

Mark’s background in print sales goes back 35 years.  He joined a very large printing company’s sales training program after graduating from Indiana University in 1982.  His first sales assignment was working on the JC Penney Catalogs, they were about 1,000 pages, with print runs over 10 million. No internet in 1983!

Most recently, Mark worked at RR Donnelly, and Bedwick and Jones Printing.

Mark is originally from a small-town in Indiana and he and his wife have lived in Fairfield, CT with their three children since 1995.

 Tom Meehan – Tom joined Premier in December 2017 as VP Solutions – Print & Mail Specialist.

In his new position at Premier, Tom will be responsible for helping grow overall sales by developing long-term business relationships.

Tom loves our new HP Inkjet Web Press and is excited about bringing high-speed variable color solutions to Premier’s clients.

Tom has worked in the printing industry since graduating from Northeastern University (winners of the 2018 Beanpot!).  Most recently, Tom worked in sales at Frye Communications and RR Donnelly. He lives in Orange CT with his wife JoAnn.

 

“We are excited about the potential that this group of talent brings to Premier” says Sean Huban, Premier’s Chief Revenue Officer.  “They have already hit the ground running and have recently added more than 25 new accounts”.

Based in Stratford, Premier is a single source provider of transactional and marketing communication solutions.

For more information contact us at info@premieruplink.com

2018 Pitney Bowes Annual Sales Meeting at the Ethan Allan Hotel in Danbury CT

February 7th, 2018
2018 Pitney Bowes Annual Sales Meeting at the Ethan Allan Hotel in Danbury CT 
 Premier
Premier
In January Pitney Bowe’s put together its annual sales meeting and Sean Huban, Chief Revenue Officer of Premier Graphics had the distinct honor and privilege of participating on the customer panel. The panel was moderated by Pitney Bowe’s Vice President of Sales – Sue Gabrielson. The worldwide sales team for the Production Printing and Mail Division attended the event. In total there were 200 plus attendees engaging in the Q& A panel. Topics ranged from changes in the industry, investments in technology, business challenges and the growth of variable inkjet color printing. The annual sales meeting was very well received by the sales team and connected with many international industry leaders. Thank you to Pitney Bowes for their support and partnership with Premier.
Premier
 
Premier
Premier
Premier
For more information on how Premier can help you, please email us at info@premieruplink.com
Premier

2018 USPS Postage Rates

January 29th, 2018

United States Postal Service rolled out the new postage changes January 21st. We will see changes in pricing in a few areas; The most important areas are First-Class Mail and Presorted First-Class Mail.

US Postal Service Postage Highlights:

First-Class Mail®

  • First-Class Mail® Letters up to 1 ounce will increase from $0.49 to $0.50
  • First-Class Mail® Flats up to 1 ounce will increase from $0.98 to $1.00
  • First-Class Metered Mail will increase from $0.46 to $0.47
  • Marketing Mail prices (formerly known as Standard Mail) are increasing 1.9% on average, as well the prices for Bound Printed Matter, Media Mail®, and Library Mail.
  • First-Class Mail® Parcels (Retail): pay one price up to 4 ounces: $3.50, an increase of $0.50.

Presorted MailUSPS Presort can save you money on your annual postage bill. Presort is a discount for customers who have their mail sorted before it is sent over to the USPS. Presorting offers discounts based on service level, mail shape, and weight. If you send over 5,000 pieces of direct mail at a time then switching to presorted mail is definitely worth it.

  • Mixed AADC (MAADC) automation letters and AADC automation letters have been reduced from 2 cents to 1.6 cents.
  • Automated presort flat rates are decreasing 1.6 cents.
  • The USPS is also continuing an incentive that allows First-Class mailers that presort their mail to send letters weighing up to 3.5 ounces for the same price as a 1-ounce letter.
  • Presort Letter/Postcards prices increased by 1.591%, but presorting to the five-digit ZIP code level is still 3 cents cheaper than the AADC level.
  • Full-Service Intelligent Mail® Barcode (FS IMb) on First-Class and Marketing Mail will still provide a $0.003 and $0.001 discount.

Below is a new USPS postage chart:

2018 Commercial First-class letter rates:

Automation Automation Machinable Non Machinable
Weight Not Over
(ounces)
5-Digit AADC Mixed AADC Presorted Presorted
1 0.378 0.408 0.424 0.458 0.668
2 0.378 0.408 0.424 0.458 0.668
3 0.378 0.408 0.424 0.458 0.668
3.5 0.378 0.408 0.424 0.458 0.668
Postcard 0.257 0.268 0.274 0.280
Nonmachinable
Surcharge
0.210

2018 Commercial Marketing Mail rates:

Carrier Route Automation
Entry Point Saturation High-Density Plus High-Density Basic 5-Digit Scheme AADC Mixed AADC
None 0.186 0.196 0.200 0.292 0.251 0.274 0.287
DNDC 0.164 0.174 0.178 0.265 0.227 0.250 0.263
DSCF 0.158 0.168 0.172 0.257 0.220 0.243
DDU

For more postage changes visit the USPS: https://pe.usps.com/pricechange/index

For more information on how Premier can help you, please email us at info@premieruplink.com

 

Print Quoting

January 19th, 2018

Submitting a printing quote request can be a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be. A good rule of thumb to be as specific as possible when submitting your quote request to your print partner so you can expect your quote in a timely manner. Below is a list of some basic but important information to include in your next printing quote request:

  • Your Name
  • Contact Information
  • Project Name
  • Project Description
    ie. Newsletter, Booklet, Flyer, Poster
  • Print ready files provided?
  • Delivery Due Date
  • Quantity
  • Flat Unfolded and Finished/ Folded Size
  • Type of Stock* (If this is something you are unsure of your salesperson will be able to steer you in the right direction and suggest stocks that will best suite your project)
    ie. Text, Cover, Weight
  • Number of Colors
    ie. Black + PMS, 4 Color Process, Aqueous Coating
  • Bleeds
  • Print on 1 or 2 Sides
  • Number of Pages (if booklet)
  • Is a Hard Proof Required?
  • Finishing
    ie. Folds, Perforations, Binding
  • Mailing
    ie. Mailing Lists, Inserts, PO Location

By including this information in your next RFQ it should get you off to a really good start. Now, if you don’t have all of the details for your print project up front, give your print partner a call and they will be more than happy to help.

For more information contact Premier at info@premieruplink.com

Better Data = Better Marketing

December 28th, 2017

Duplicate contacts, misspelled names, missing address fields, and incorrect information are data mishaps that will throw a wrench in the works of your marketing and sales efforts. Your direct mailing campaign is only as effective as the data you collect and use.

Here are five tips to clean up the quality of your data:

  1. Remove Inconsistent Data Entries

There are tools to help you remove duplicate data. If you’ve never done a de-duplication before, you’ll also need to manually scan and edit your contacts.

This step will obviously take some time, but if you implement a company-wide data entry standard system and make a commitment to quality data, you will only have to do this once.

  • Use data validation tools that help you to determine the validity of your data, such as email verification tools. Google has resources to use to do this.
  • Use Excel’s functions to clean your data, Excel’s support pages have a wealth of knowledge to do this. Their guides will walk you through finding and replacing spelling errors, unintentional upper or lower case letters, fixing dates and times, and deduping.
  1. Verify All New Data

It’s important to always verify new data entries with existing databases. This can be done by using a three-point data check system to verify all new and updated data before it enters the central database. For example, these three points can be Name, Phone Number, and Email. You can do this by sorting your data by columns or doing a find search. By verifying data during data entry you not only keep lists current but you reduce adding duplicate contacts as well.

  1. Keep Your Data Fresh

All databases degrade over time. Some estimate that data degrades at an average of 5% or more each year. This is due to factors such as contacts changing email addresses, clients contacts dropping out of the picture or contacts moving on to different opportunities or moving locations.  To keep your data fresh remove all emails that have bounced or opted-out and update contact addresses when receiving your returned to sender direct mailings. Not only is this a good practice for keeping your data fresh, but it also helps keep you out of spam folders and lowers return to sender rates.

  1. Implement Consistent Data Entry

Ensure that all employees are aware of your company-wide data entry standards. By standardizing data entry company-wide, the databases will stay current and clean. When inputting each customer record make sure to have first and last names, mailing addresses, and email addresses in separate columns. That way, when you do the three-point check, contacts will be easy to find in your database.

  1. Organizing Column Fields

When organizing your data make sure that each column has an appropriate header and that addresses are broken up so that suites and floors all have their own column. For example:

123 ABC Road, 4th Floor should not look like this in one column

Address Address
123 ABC Road, 4th Floor (Wrong)
123 ABC Road                 (Wrong)

4th Floor

123 ABC Road                 (Correct) 4th Floor                         (Correct)

When in doubt double check with your printer to see how they would like your data separated for mail and variable processing. The cleaner the data the better. Also avoid adding carriage returns and unnecessary spacing to your lists, both of these can cause errors in mail processing and variable data processing, if there are extra spaces in areas of your data the spaces will show in the finished printed product as well. Remember your list will print exactly as processed. For example:

First Name Last Name
John Q.(space) Sample

 

The finished product will look like this:    John Q.     Sample

The highlighted section represents extra tailing spacing at the end of the first name when a list has extra spaces and is processed those spaces will appear when printed.

I hope that these five tips help you in your data cleansing endeavors and if you would like more information on how Premier can help you, please email us at info@premieruplink.com

Written by Donna Moulton

Premier Ranks Again in Printing Impressions 400

December 20th, 2017

We are pleased to announce that for the 8th year in a row we have made the Printing Impressions 400 list. Premier continues to climb the list thanks to our growth in areas of high-speed inkjet digital printing, direct mail, variable card printing, and fulfillment.

This list is the industry’s most comprehensive listing of the leading printing companies in the United States and Canada ranked by annual sales volume.

The PI 400 provides recognition to the companies that are included in the rankings, along with offering a glimpse at how the industry is changing each year. This year a major trend in 2017 has shown that companies that have targeted specialties like packaging, direct mail, wide-format digital printing and inkjet printing have grown the most organically.

For more information on how Premier can help you, email us at info@premieruplink.com. Better yet, send us some examples of your current work and we will provide ideas for effective enhancements and redesign at no cost!

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