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Category: Direct Mail Marketing

10 Benefits of Direct Marketing for your Business in 2021

10 Benefits of Direct Marketing for your Business in 2021

Here are 10 Astounding Benefits of Direct Marketing for your Business in 2021

2021 has been labeled to be the year of direct  marketing. Add to that the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 threat of 2020 and you’ll find this type of marketing to remain a top channel that continues to enable both B2C and B2B corporations to make millions in profits.

If in the past companies used mainly offline marketing techniques, such as print ads, TV commercials, billboard marketing, or newspaper ads, today most marketing happens online. However, this doesn’t mean that some direct techniques such as direct mail are dead. In fact, direct mail is stronger than ever before. Over 73% of US customers prefer direct mail over other marketing channels.

If you want to gain an edge over your competitors and make the most out of your marketing dollars, you should definitely become aware of the huge benefits of this marketing tactic. However, before getting into that, it is important to look at what actually direct marketing is.

What is Direct Marketing?

To better understand what direct marketing is, you need to understand what indirect marketing is. Indirect marketing includes all the tactics that promote your brand on a general level. These could be billboards, commercials, newsletters, blog posts, radio ads, google ads, brand awareness campaigns, or newspaper ads. These ads are not personalized to the individual but aim to capture a target audience that share similar interests.

Conversely, direct marketing is focused on the end customer, with a clear goal of converting them or bringing them deeper into the funnel. Direct marketing can include a wide range of tactics, both online and offline. Online  tactics are email marketing, targeted ads, remarketing, or SMS marketing. Offline techniques are telemarketing, events, points of sale, or postal mail.

Traits of a Successful Campaign

direct marketingEffective direct marketing campaigns have some particular traits. There are:

  • Personalized content
  • Using clear images that draw the eye, coupled with authentic testimonials
  • Leveraging the power of strong, persuasive calls-to-action
  • Keeping data fresh
  • Integrated with other marketing campaigns

Benefits of Direct Marketing for your Business in 2021 

#1. Offer the ideal purchase experience: direct marketing allows you to craft a bespoke experience for each potential customer, thus maximizing conversion rates. Your customers will feel valued and more willing to be guided from the initial discovery stages all the way through the conversion stage of the buyer journey. 

#2. Build strong, long-lasting relationships with your customers: all direct campaigns, such as email marketing or remarketing, enable you to build stronger relationships with your clients. Since you’ll be sending your targeted messages to very specific audiences, plus you’ll have the option to build your messages on the previous ones, you’ll be able to nurture your relations with prospects. 

#3. Discover new customers and find more customers interested in buying from you. When you discover one type of engaged buyer, you can research other buyers with similar interests. You can thus expand your reach and gain access to a new market willing to buy from you. 

#4 Perfect targeting: with direct mail marketing services, you can target people based on their unique interests and needs. Direct marketing enables you to narrow down your audience and gain access to only those people who are willing to purchase from you.

HP Digital Printer at Preferred Direct

#5 Quick turnaround: whether you choose an email marketing campaign or a direct mail campaign, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to experience an extremely quick turnaround time. Creating email campaigns online is super fast and easy. At the same time, commercial printers offer a very good turnaround time thanks to the advancements in print-on-demand technology. You’ll be able to set up winning campaigns within days and boost your conversion rates like never before. 

#6. Advertise specific products, services or offers: another benefit this type of marketing has to offer relates to control. With this technique, you are in control of which information you’re sending to which prospects. You control the offer and the message depending on the individual, so you can perform multiple A/B tests to determine what your audience really wants from you. 

#7 Easy personalization: online, you can use various programs that can personalize the name of a person based on certain criteria. Offline, you can also leverage variable data printing to easily personalize each direct mail you send to prospects. By addressing your recipients by name and by adding certain unique traits they posses will help you connect with them at a deeper level. Variable data printing is an excellent way for easy personalization. 

#8. Quite cost-effective: when you factor in the return-on-investment, you soon notice that direct marketing is much cheaper than any other marketing technique. Thanks to analytics, you can know exactly how much you are spending on each conversion. 

#9. It’s fairly easy to track and measure your results: Easily track your progress and test out results to see exactly who is benefiting most from your campaigns. Whether you’re going with online or offline campaigns, you can easily track results. Of course, the analytics is better for online campaigns, because it’s all listed there. 

#10. Improve customer loyalty: lastly, direct campaigns are focused and will enable your customers to remember you with ease. Strong campaigns can keep brands and products in the minds of customers. On the other hand, indirect campaigns that are just out there trying to capture the attention of potential customers will never have the impact of a direct campaign in which the customer is directly impacted. 

 

Use the Best Services for your Brand

direct mail servicesMost people check their mailing box several times a day, especially when they are expecting EOBs, collection letters, utility bills or medical bills. You can make them a pleasant surprise by leveraging the benefits offered by one of the best direct marketing techniques, direct mail. 

To fully capitalize on the power of direct marketing for your business, you should only work with professionals. At Preferred Direct, we offer a vast range of personalized marketing services, including direct mail, emergency printing, fundraising services, and printing services. We are focused on increasing your ROI and enabling you to make the most out of your budget. 

 

Contact us today at 1-844-719-1848 and let us help you outsmart your competitors in 2021 and beyond by taking full advantage of Preferred Direct's Print & Mail services.

21 Ways to Add Flair to Your Direct Mail Campaign

21 Ways to Add Flair to Your Direct Mail Campaign

21 Ways to Add Flair to your Direct Mail Campaign Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “Learn from the mistakes of others... You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself!” How do you attract,...

Why Direct Mail Is Still Relevant

Why Direct Mail Is Still Relevant

Why Direct Mail Is Still Relevant Why Direct Mail Is Still Relevant, even in the digital age in which we live, is because many people still prefer to get communications from companies by direct mail...

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What to Look for in a Direct Mail Printer

What to Look for in a Direct Mail Printer

What to Look for in a Direct Mail Printer

When choosing a direct mail printer for your organization’s communication projects, there’s much to consider. Not all printing providers have the expertise or equipment to handle the demands of full-color, secure, variable data printing. 

direct mail printerBelow are some key characteristics to look for:

  • Ability to handle a wide array of variable data printing applications
  • Flexibility in how they can receive your data
  • Experience with variable data printing applications in your industry
  • Compliance with HITRUST and HIPAA data security standards
  • Advanced printing technology to ensure the utmost accuracy and print quality
  • Supporting solutions

Ability to handle a wide array of variable data printing applications

Your needs may evolve over time, so look for a direct mail printer that has the knowledge, experience, and equipment to handle all types of variable data printing applications. No matter what your organization requires, at Preferred Direct, we are equipped with the expertise and technology in-house to create all varieties of personalized print pieces.

Flexibility in how they can receive your data 

Find out if the commercial printer you’re considering will allow you to send your information your way. When you work with us, we will accept your information via a secure FTP (file transfer protocol). We aim to make the process convenient for you and secure for your business. 

Experience with variable data printing applications in your industry 

Every industry has unique concerns and nuances to address. Therefore, industry experience matters when selecting a print partner for your variable data, direct mail projects. Preferred Direct has vast experience and a proven success record in many industries that rely on direct mail, including those that must meet strict privacy and security requirements.

  • Healthcare providers
  • Insurance companies
  • Financial services providers
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Franchises & Dealerships
  • Businesses and Retail
  • Energy & Utilities
  • Nonprofit organizations

Compliance with HITRUST and HIPAA

Preferred Direct is a HITRUST CSF certified direct mail printer. We approach every project with the HITRUST Common Security Framework (CSF), the most widely adopted security framework in the U.S. healthcare industry, in mind. Following HITRUST CSF standards means we handle our customers’ data in a way that meets regulatory compliance requirements and reduces risk. [DM1] We also adhere to the latesHIPAA regulations for protecting sensitive patient data. We apply the necessary security measures so that organizations have compliance with peace of mind.  

Advanced printing technology to ensure the utmost accuracy and print quality

Technology changes at a rapid pace. To ensure you get the best quality outcomes and efficient pricing from direct mail production runs, make sure your direct mail printer has the latest equipment and software. Preferred Direct has cutting-edge digital and inkjet printing technology. Our HP T240 HD and Xerox® Impika®, presses deliver optimal production speed and cost-effectiveness for continuous feed inkjet printing. We specialize in accurate, high-speed lasering and ink-jetting, with the flexibility to communicate custom, personalized messages, thanks to our state-of-the-art equipment, software applications, and skilled team.  This is Why Direct Mail Is Still Effective.

Supporting Solutions beyond printing 

In addition to mailing database management, customization, and printing of your direct mail, we also offer:

  • Match mail
  • Fold
  • Perforate
  • Insert
  • Postal discounts
  • Deliver mailings to the post office
  • Manage inventory

We also offer expert design services to give your direct mail the visual appeal needed to attract your recipients’ attention and engage their interest.

 

Choose the Preferred Direct Mail Printer

With over 30 years of experience in commercial printing and mailing fulfillment, Preferred Direct is the preferred direct mail printer for many companies nationwide. We have the technology, capacity and drive to assist you in your communications efforts. From design to delivery, we handle your data with care, delivering your direct mail on time and on budget. Contact us today to request a project estimate and let’s get started!

What to Look for in a Direct Mail Printer

What to Look for in a Direct Mail Printer

What to Look for in a Direct Mail Printer When choosing a direct mail printer for your organization’s communication projects, there’s much to consider. Not all printing providers have the expertise...

21 Ways to Add Flair to Your Direct Mail Campaign

21 Ways to Add Flair to Your Direct Mail Campaign

21 Ways to Add Flair to your Direct Mail Campaign Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “Learn from the mistakes of others... You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself!” How do you attract,...

The Ultimate Guide to a Direct Mail Campaign

The Ultimate Guide to a Direct Mail Campaign

The Ultimate Guide to a Direct Mail Campaign What Is Direct Mail? Direct mail campaign refers to the act of sending a physical medium to potential prospects, current clients, or existing members of...

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21 Ways to Add Flair to Your Direct Mail Campaign

21 Ways to Add Flair to Your Direct Mail Campaign

21 Ways to Add Flair to your Direct Mail Campaign

Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “Learn from the mistakes of others… You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself!”

direct mail advertisingHow do you attract, inform, and appeal to your customers? How do you differentiate your direct mail campaign? Do you use the telephone? Are billboards, radio ads, and glossy brochures more your style? Or do you wait for customers to walk through your door?

Many highly-effective methods exist to promote a business. Direct mail campaigns, however, consistently offer more bang for the buck than many other forms of promotion. If you’re new to the world of direct-mail advertising and promotion, you might be surprised at how easy, effective, and economical it can be. If you’re an ” old hand,” we have some new ideas and a score of suggestions you might not have considered.

Preferred Direct is a commercial printing and direct mail marketing specialist. Founded in 1987, our Norfolk-based company has built its reputation on creative communication and customer service. With more than three decades of collaborative success, helping businesses “tell their stories,” we have become leaders in the field. We continue to craft personalized solutions in the print, direct mail, and digital communications field

Direct Mail Campaign Tips

Here is a score of suggestions to energize your creative marketing mail campaign or 21 ways to add flair to your direct mail campaign:

 1. Keep the Message Bright. Convey your message graphically and with few words. Keep it simple and colorful. Rely on a single dramatic image to introduce a product, announce a clearance sale, remind customers of a deadline, or offer a discount.

 2. Upscale the Envelopes. Your choice depends on the message you want to convey. Be creative in placing your sales message on the front of your envelope. A good place to start is with your #10 envelopes.

 3. Include a Token Gift. A coupon for a freebie. A special discount for return customers. A refrigerator magnet, flexible jar grip or mini notepad are all easy envelope stuffers that have value for homeowners.

 4. Make Your Mailer Count. Use a direct mail piece as a calendar countdown to a special event. Choose an eye-catching large type font, and keep the message short and to the point to create urgency. Use color to distinguish your piece from other mail, and follow up with periodic reminders if that’s appropriate.

 5. Never Underestimate Postcards. At one time when people communicated regularly with picture postcards. The appeal still exists. Postcards are fun — and if they’re unique, they’re also sometimes collectible. Use a great photo or a humorous message. A postcard direct mail campaign can jumpstart a new promotion, or serve as a continuing reminder of your services.

 6. Sponsor a Charity. If your business supports a local organization during the holidays or throughout the year, include a pitch for support in your invoice mailings. Send special requests for support as needed. Customers like to be part of charitable efforts: Make it easy for them to participate and to lend a hand! Then send thank you notes for the support.

 7. Employ Special Shapes and Sizes. Let’s be honest. Standard envelopes can be easily tossed in the trash. But the impact of a brightly colored, oversized envelope can’t be ignored. Attract attention any way you can, but be sure your mailer conforms to postal regulations. (We can help you with that requirement. 

8. Fold It Up! Flipbooks require customer interaction and promote engagement. Special folds encourage revisiting pages and allow prospective clients to reread your message in different ways. 

9. Die Cuts Tell a Story. It’s simplistic, but shapes add interest. There’s a reason: Our brains are wired to remember the unusual. Let us help you design a unique mailer that tells your story differently. There are endless possibilities. 

10. Add Sensory Surprise. All too often, a written message is forgettable. But there are other ways to elicit a response. Experiment with texture, scent, or even sound. While not for every business, scratch and sniff cards, a “touchy-feely” insert or a card that plays music will grab its share of attention. Maximize the element of surprise. 

11. Go for 3-D Appeal. The flat is not the only way to send your message. Small boxes and tubes don’t have to cost an arm and a leg, but they are likely to garner lots of extra attention. 

 12. Personalize Your Marketing Materials. Fight the “junk mail” label by personalizing your message. Don’t address mailings to “Resident.” Send birthday greetings and holiday cards. Offer a discount on an anniversary-year purchase, or make a customer feel special by providing incentives using Commercial Printing with Variable Data for continued business support. 

13. Keep In Touch through Newsletters. Let your customers know what you’re doing. It’s only natural to respond to stories of achievement and growth. So, if your business has a good story to tell, don’t hesitate to share it through a monthly or quarterly newsletter, circulated either digitally or in print. Yes, Preferred Direct offers digital services as well as printed and mailing services. 

14. Shine a Spotlight on Your People. Recognize achievement, publicize promotions, and introduce new service technicians. Include photos. Use your direct mail campaign to personalize your business. Add some flair to your marketing. 

15. Celebrate Your City. Partner with other local businesses to promote civic awareness and community celebrations. Show you care about your locale and your customers are likely to respond in kind. 

16. Get Behind Good Causes. While you’ll want to be selective about what you support, don’t feel that every mailer has to be only about business. Many worthwhile efforts can benefit from more public awareness. Always include your name and logo! 

17. Provide Usable Information. If you sell products or offer services, informative mailers about important topics are often welcome and appreciated. Be discerning, but don’t hesitate to share your expertise or communicate your concerns. 

18. Determine the Most Effective Delivery Option. Postage and delivery options affect price, and effectiveness varies. Know your options, or ask your direct mail printing partner for advice.

 19. Know Your Niche. Always consider the unique requirements of your business or industry, governing rules and regulations, and projected changes that will affect your message. Preferred Direct is HITRUST-certified with extensive experience with EOBs, and we assure that health care mailings are always HIPAA-compliant.

 20. Consider New Technologies. We agree that technology is changing the face of the direct marketing industry. We take pride in our ability to embrace new possibilities and pass new technological advances on to our customers.

 

 21. Track Your Success. No advertising and marketing program will be worth your time, energy, and money unless you know how well it’s working for you. Preferred Direct will work with you every step of the way to help you get it right. 

 

 

Our “can do” attitude has served us well over the past three decades. What can we do to help you? We believe we can help you attract and inform clients, advertise products, explain your services, create goodwill, and establish strong bonds with your customers. We don’t perform magic, but we consistently achieve results by working with you to create magical direct mail pieces. We do it all within your budget constraints and following your timeline. We respond quickly, and we meet deadlines. Why not schedule a call to discuss options? We’ll be waiting to hear from you. At the risk of tooting our own horn just a bit, we have comments and testimonials from satisfied clients all over the country to support our claims. Let us know how we can best help you with your specialty direct mail needs. 

The Preferred Marketplace of Ideas 

Our collective experience over the past 30-plus years has reinforced the values that were exemplified at our founding: Service, Value, and Creative Response to Client Concerns.  

We practice those principles every day in every way, embrace new technology and modern materials, and continue to focus on creative problem-solving. We value your collaboration, comments, and service evaluations, and rely on your feedback as we move in new directions. We value the ongoing relationships we have established with our customers. We will boost your marketing with variable data direct mail and commercial printing. 

direct mail services

Some Preferred Direct Team Members in front of our HP Digital Printer for VDP

For each project, Preferred Direct will provide a project manager to work with you to guarantee fast, efficient, accurate and confidential processing of information for your commercial printing or direct billing project. Our Commercial Printing and Direct Mail Platform provides for medical billing services, municipal utility bills, statement generation, e-billing, and transpromo marketing, a company’s direct billing is completed in a timely and professional manner.

What to Look for in a Direct Mail Printer

What to Look for in a Direct Mail Printer

What to Look for in a Direct Mail Printer When choosing a direct mail printer for your organization’s communication projects, there’s much to consider. Not all printing providers have the expertise...

21 Ways to Add Flair to Your Direct Mail Campaign

21 Ways to Add Flair to Your Direct Mail Campaign

21 Ways to Add Flair to your Direct Mail Campaign Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “Learn from the mistakes of others... You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself!” How do you attract,...

The Ultimate Guide to a Direct Mail Campaign

The Ultimate Guide to a Direct Mail Campaign

The Ultimate Guide to a Direct Mail Campaign What Is Direct Mail? Direct mail campaign refers to the act of sending a physical medium to potential prospects, current clients, or existing members of...

Read More
How It Works: Commercial Printing with Variable Data Technology

How It Works: Commercial Printing with Variable Data Technology


How It Works: Commercial Printing with Variable Data Technology

Variable data technology allows companies  to target specific customers based on personal preferences, including location, demographics, buying history, and numerous other factors and is one of the keys to planning highly-effective direct mail marketing. It requires attention to detail, the ability to identify and target distinct populations of recipients, specialized equipment, and the coordinated efforts of marketing personnel and printing/mailing specialists dedicated to keeping costs as low as possible. Not all commercial printers have that ability.

Also, specialized expertise is necessary to make targeted direct mail efforts possible. Personalization with Variable data is the key to a direct mail project.

Variable data printing (VDP) represents another step along the marketing continuum. With the ability to personalize the message without making time-consuming adjustments during actual printing, VDP allows text, images, graphics, and colors to be individualized with no slowdown in the process. The extent of personalization can be varied as needed, from recurring name changes to differences dictated by specific interests, buying habits, location, or other variables. The appropriate data is stored in a database file, retrieved as needed, and printed in one seamless operation. Personalization with Variable data is the key to a successful project.

 

VDP Automation and Its Advantages

VDP has revolutionized direct mail, allowing customers to insert different names, addresses, and messages as desired, and to match each mail piece with a similarly-personalized envelope. VDP has altered the landscape of marketing; any direct mail piece, from a postcard to a multi-page invoice or Explanation of Benefits statement, can be personalized in a variety of ways. Marketing with Commercial Printing with Variable Data is the obvious best plan.

The advantages are multi-faceted. Variable data personalization isn’t limited to names and addresses, geographic regions, or specific wording changes. Graphics, colors, pricing, dates, and additional specifics can be changed and applied to target individual customers or appeal to previously-determined demographics. Personalized mail invariably increases the potential for engagement, helps companies “capture” potential customers, and boosts ROI.

VDP is versatile and almost infinitely customizable, allowing mailings to be more relevant. There is nothing like receiving an envelope in the mail and all text and images are all relative to me and things that are pertinent to me. Although costs may be incrementally higher, the measurable return is also higher. The effectiveness of commercial printing and mailing efforts depends, at least in part, on the sophistication of the printing equipment. At Preferred Direct, we employ the latest technology and state-of-the-art printers that produce high-speed and high-quality variable color or black & white printing ability, along with myriad finishing options.  This can all be accomplished with Print-on-Demand equipment reducing the need for inventory.

An Integrated Approach to Variable Data and Direct Mail

In addition to design and data, delivery is a prime requirement for an effective direct mail effort. Both time and cost are vital considerations. Postage either Presorted Standard or First Class Presort typically represents the most costly item in any direct mail program. At Preferred Direct the best possible postage rate is used for any planned mailing. 

With this kind of attention to detail and an equal emphasis on cost and inventory control, our clients have come to depend on Preferred to provide unmatched service across the whole spectrum of direct mail printing and postage. As an industry leader, we know how to craft the most desirable and practical solutions using variable data. Our client-centric approach helps us “turn on a dime” when asked to respond to changing needs and demands. We can easily alter the specifications of any planned printing using variable data techniques and responsive printing technology. 

Advanced equipment allows us to complete printing projects in record time, whether they employ VDP and matched mail services or not. Our ability and our nationwide reach enable clients to request last-minute adjustments whenever necessary, to reduce inventory, and to respond quickly to new and changing situations. Best solutions are creative, cost-effective, scalable, and repeatable. Also, we work with our clients to determine the best solutions to all printing and mailing needs.

We stay abreast of the news in the field, and we help our clients determine and take advantage of the latest innovations in the realm of direct mail.

How to Craft Targeted Solutions

With expertise honed over three decades in business, we specialize in working with clients in the following industries:

  • Healthcare Industry
  • Municipalities
  • Financial Services
  • Non-Profits
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Insurance
  • Franchises & Agencies
  • Business and Services

We have no desire to design direct mail pieces that add clutter to a mailbox. Instead, our ongoing effort is to work with existing clients and to demonstrate to new clients our ability to produce effective, pertinent, targeted, informative, and eye-catching variable data printed pieces. We believe this approach adds value to commerce, actually gets opened and read, and elicits a favorable response. We are convinced that’s why our clients choose us and continue to use our services. 

Whether you require us to print individualized EOBs, announce an annual fund-raising effort, promote a holiday sale, or provide information for a new class of students, we “have your back” and will work enthusiastically to design a strategy that caters to your specialized needs, acknowledges your goals, respects your stated budgetary constraints and adheres to your deadlines.

Based on our experience, we will, if possible, suggest solutions that can save you time, money, and effort. And we will work with you to refine your lists and individualize your messages or images.

In addition to direct mail, Preferred direct can respond to requests for SMS and Email marketing assistance, and help you target specific customers – “Target Marketing” – and prospects through digital resourcing. Request an estimate today and talk to our team to get started on your next commercial print project with variable data technology.

What to Look for in a Direct Mail Printer

What to Look for in a Direct Mail Printer

What to Look for in a Direct Mail Printer When choosing a direct mail printer for your organization’s communication projects, there’s much to consider. Not all printing providers have the expertise...

HP 240T HD Roll to Roll Press

Xerox Roll to Roll Press

High Speed Inserter

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The Ultimate Guide to a Direct Mail Campaign

The Ultimate Guide to a Direct Mail Campaign

The Ultimate Guide to a Direct Mail Campaign

What Is Direct Mail?

direct mail campaignDirect mail campaign refers to the act of sending a physical medium to potential prospects, current clients, or existing members of your organization. It could be a letter, pamphlet, package, postcard — anything that sends a message about your business or organization. There is some thought that direct mail is for B2C, but it can be an equally effective strategy for B2B as well. Preferred Direct is both a print and direct mail operation, making us a powerhouse for businesses Direct Mail Campaigns over the nation.

The Power of a Direct Mail Campaign

Direct mail campaigns creates a tangible experience in a person’s hands, one that can reach the practical senses to connect with the emotional side. It may explain why the Direct Marketing Association found that house lists generated an average response rate of 9%, and prospect lists generated an average rate of 4.9% in 2018. The response rate had roughly doubled from the year before, making 2018 the most productive year since 2013. Studies have shown that people view direct mail as more trustworthy, perhaps because it requires more effort to send than your standard email blast.

What Kinds of Direct Mail Campaigns Are Most Effective?

The 2016 data revealed the following ranking (in terms of response rate):

  1. Oversized envelopes
  2. Postcards
  3. Dimensional mail
  4. Catalogs

Oversized envelopes create a sense of anticipation, an itch that needs to be scratched. Postcards give people all the information they need with nothing more than a single glance. Catalogs are both enticing and easy to flip through to see if anything catches the eye. And, well, you might be wondering what precisely dimensional mail even is. In short, it’s anything that isn’t flat. In other words, if you make your flyer into the shape of a paper airplane, there’s a much higher chance that someone will open it. You can also try making your mail more than 3/4″ thick. That also seems to hold a lot of appeal to recipients if you’re measuring based on the response rates.

How Does B2C Direct Mail Work?

A B2C Direct Mail Campaign doesn’t have a lot of rules, which is one of the reasons why it can be a fun project for marketers. Some people will send instant coffee to customers to show them just how easy it is to use the company’s services (as simple as adding hot water). This type of direct mail works especially well for startup businesses. Others will work the personalization factor, addressing a person as directly as possible. So instead of just including the person’s name, they might also incorporate the school they go to, the type of financial account they have, or their specific insurance policy. Non-profit organizations often include coins in their direct mail pieces to prompt the recipient to respond. Addressing a specific person means using variable data in commercial printing. You’ll need a company that can quickly alter a piece, so it’s as accurate and useful as possible. So if you’re trying to send information to your patients about their insurance policy, you can vary your direct mail based on the patient’s plan and coverage levels. Preferred Direct has worked with countless Direct Mail Campaigns across a wide variety of industries, and we’ve seen what works along the way and the solutions they provide.

How Does B2B Direct Mail Work?

Consumer direct mail will inherently be different from B2B, especially if you’re marketing or targeting a highly select group of people. We recommend personalizing every piece of mail that goes out (similar to B2C efforts). Some businesses have even gone so far as to create personalized portraits or cartoons for each prospect. (Trust us when we say there are enough freelance artists out there to make this little gamble worth your while.) Others will send leftover swag to companies for everyone to enjoy, or create a fake press release or news article that details how their business can help recipients solve a problem they already have. Whatever it is you do with your B2B direct mail, you need to consider the end product of each campaign. If the colors of your brand are a little dull or the artwork is a bit smudged, it can create a negative association with your company long before the reader ever really bothers to learn what you had to say.

What Is Digital Mail?

email marketing services

Digital mail is a way for you to personalize your correspondence using computerized tools and therefore more targeted. Digital Mail allows you to manage your mail through your Smart Phone if you like. Mostly, it’s a way of piquing your audience’s interest without dramatically increasing the time or cost of the project. One of the biggest reasons why email campaigns and virtual advertising fails is because it rarely addresses the reality of the consumer’s life. A financial account holder who’s never invested before is unlikely to care about an opportunity with a minimum buy-in of $20,000. Parents of a toddler aren’t going to rip into a brochure that details the myths and facts of student loan debt. For some, using variable data may have been difficult to do in the past, but this has largely been changed by the technology of the day. Rather than plates having to be swapped out every time you wanted to change artwork or wording, database-driven printing equipment can be programmed to go from one piece to the next seamlessly.

How Can I Best Personalize a Direct Mail Campaign?

One word: segmentation! If you’re not segmenting your lists, you’ll end up sending meaningless junk to people. You’ll end up wasting your direct mail budget! A marketer’s job is to comb through their audience to better understand what’s driving people’s habits and to make the mailing more targeted. Variable data can be incorporated into direct mail, but you first need to know how to best work with that data. Ideally, you’d want to send a different message to every customer and prospect. Customers and prospects want to feel valued, especially given the level of competition in the business world today. And while this is a tall order, you can get closer to this goal if you can start paring your list by everything from age to income to lifestyle.

As you begin to make your lists more specific, you can use A/B testing to quantify your response rates. So let’s say you create a small list of people. They’re all roughly the same age, they all live in a similar neighborhood, and they all share vital traits in terms of their profession. As an example, you send one half of the list a letter detailing how you can help them save some cash with your services. You send another half a letter discussing exactly how your business helps customers save time. From there, you can measure the response rates to see if people care more about their money or their time. There are many ways to A/B test your mailing piece. You can test colors, call to action, fonts, etc  The key is to test and test to be sure that you are getting the best response or the response you want.

Why Wouldn’t I Send an Email?

Consumers are consistently facing a deluge of email. When this strategy was first debuting, marketers found success in carefully constructed email campaigns. However, the influx has made it such that even the most dramatic of subject lines are not getting the desired results. People receive 121 emails a day on average, meaning it’s become much more of a chore than anything else. In contrast, people still enjoy checking their mailbox, especially when they get something interesting or fun from time to time.

How Much Does Direct Mail Cost?

bill printing services

Here’s the rub if you’re comparing the two most common forms of communication: email is virtually free, but direct mail will cost you a little more. The largest expense for a Direct Mail project is the postage. Direct mail can cost anywhere from a few cents a project, the graphics collating of the data to the bindery of the medium. If you’re looking to save a little cash on your project without compromising the quality, you’re in luck. The machinery used for direct mail has improved in the past few years, making it possible to handle high volumes and complicated design requests (whether in terms of graphics or folding). If you’re looking for commercial printing, it helps to pick a company that knows the value of a good investment. Preferred Direct has the Xerox Impika and the HP T-240 HD printer, both of which have managed to blow us away with their efficiency and results. Print on Demand projects is high-speed full-color printing at its finest. What that means for your direct mail campaign is that no drop of ink is wasted, and no detail is overlooked. You can use the paper stock that fits your brand, so you can rest assured your direct mail is making the right impression.

How Does the Post Office Work with My Direct Mail?

The post office looks at everything from the size of your mail to the thickness to the shape.  Their visual inspection of the trays or sacks and the accompanying paperwork, whether First Class Pre-sort or Standard will be necessary for the mail’s approval. If everything isn’t labeled correctly, carriers may treat your direct mail without the kid’s gloves it requires. You don’t need your carefully crafted folding job to end up flattened at the bottom of a postal bag. Preferred Direct knows the U.S. Post Office requirements inside and out, and we make sure your mail is delivered precisely how you intended it. Why go through all that effort if customers or prospects end up with a half version of what you meant to send?

How Can I Use Direct Mail with Inbound Marketing?

Inbound is all about attracting leads through informative content, and direct mail is all about creating them. The more interest you can generate through your outbound efforts, the more you can grow your inbound efforts. Use direct mail to educate people about what it is you’re trying to do and watch how your efforts encourage them to take the next step. As with any inbound strategy, you need to find customers where they are. It should come as no surprise to you that some people won’t even look at their mailboxes because they’re too busy looking at smartphones. But for marketers in industries like insurance, finance, and education, you’re likely dealing with homeowners who are still interested in the mail. You can also work with opt-in lists to create more inbound success. The people on your opt-in list have already asked for you to send them direct mail. Those who inherently have an interest in your company may be more likely to follow up on your specials or promotions, which can lead you to more profitable relationships. Sending just the right number of publications can encourage customers to upgrade without annoying them. Or you can try following up a virtual sign-up with a physical one. So if someone subscribes to your email list, you can send a thank you with direct mail. Or you can send an interesting case study that showcases how you help people just like them. Doing something a little different can help your company stand out.

Can I Cross Commercial Printing and Digital Marketing?

Yes, and the results can be surprisingly effective. Some people will direct customers or prospects to the website instead of asking them to call to make an appointment. Some will offer incentives to sign up for their app, but only make those digital marketing incentives available to those who receive their direct mail. You can also print a scannable QR code on your direct mail piece. The data will show you how people are interacting with your mail piece.

How Can Direct Mail Directly Affect My Profits?

A Direct Mail Campaign is a great way to strengthen your branding efforts. The more times you can connect with your customers on different levels, the more likely they are actually to remember you. So while your direct response rate may not be 100%, that doesn’t mean you haven’t made another impression on your customers. Your virtual communication, physical media, and broadcast efforts may all differ based on the audience and the communication method. Still, the essence of the brand and the messaging stay the same. If you want to learn more about how direct mail can help you, Preferred Direct is here to give you a few tips. We have the equipment, know-how, and professional experience to provide you with more than just standard advice. And while we can’t get into the specifics of your campaign right now, we can undoubtedly dive right in when you give us a call.

What Should I Look for in a Direct Mail Company?

When choosing a direct mail printer for your organization’s communication projects, there’s much to consider. Not all printing providers have the expertise or equipment to handle the demands of full-color, secure, variable data printing.

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A direct mail company needs to be able to keep up with you. Despite the many (many) printing companies who advertise cut-throat rates online, the moral of the story is that your level of service matters. If you need to make last-minute changes to your direct mail, you need a staff that can make it happen. With Preferred Direct, you get a project manager who is looking after all the details on the project. They’re the ones coordinating different employees, so no request is falling through the cracks. These pros are also here to help guide you through the process of direct mail. So if you have questions about segmentation, branding, or A/B testing, we show you how to make the most of your hard-won lists.

With over 30 years of experience in commercial printing and mailing fulfillment, Preferred Direct is the preferred direct mail printer for many companies nationwide. We have the technology, capacity and drive to assist you in your communications efforts. From design to delivery, we handle your data with care, delivering your direct mail on time and on budget. Contact us today to request a project estimate and let’s get started!

What to Look for in a Direct Mail Printer

What to Look for in a Direct Mail Printer

What to Look for in a Direct Mail Printer When choosing a direct mail printer for your organization’s communication projects, there’s much to consider. Not all printing providers have the expertise...

21 Ways to Add Flair to Your Direct Mail Campaign

21 Ways to Add Flair to Your Direct Mail Campaign

21 Ways to Add Flair to your Direct Mail Campaign Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “Learn from the mistakes of others... You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself!” How do you attract,...

The Ultimate Guide to a Direct Mail Campaign

The Ultimate Guide to a Direct Mail Campaign

The Ultimate Guide to a Direct Mail Campaign What Is Direct Mail? Direct mail campaign refers to the act of sending a physical medium to potential prospects, current clients, or existing members of...

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Tips to Build a Strong Direct Mail Database

Tips to Build a Strong Direct Mail Database

Tips to Build a Strong Direct Mail Database

Direct mail has been hailed as a great marketing tool to reach new customers, but those customers don’t just come from anywhere. You have to build a direct mail database before your marketing messages can be sent. Some companies make the mistake of putting all their efforts into their marketing materials, when in fact, who you target is just as important, if not more! Here are tips to build a strong direct mail database.

Know Your Target Demographics

Before you build your direct mail database, you’ll need to learn your target demographics and psychographics.

Demographics can be age, gender, ethnicity, location, marital status, education level, income, and occupation.

Psychographics can be interests, hobbies, lifestyle, attitudes, etc.

How do you figure out your target market?

1. Look at your current customers. Try to find threads of commonality in demographics and interests.

2. Look at your competition. Find out who they’re advertising to and determine niches within that market they may have overlooked.

3. Make a list of the benefits of your product or service. See if you can narrow down who your product or service will most appeal to.

4. Determine your geographic scope. How far in your area do you want to reach out? You can advertise on any scale from local to county to state to national depending on your company and budget.

5. Use trade journals specific to your industry for insights on industry consumers. Likely, your industry has already done their research on target customers and their behaviors, so why not use these very valuable insights?

Through research and surveys, you can determine your target audience’s demographics and psychographics. You can hire outside companies to conduct surveys or you can conduct them yourself. 

Once you’ve identified your target market, you’re ready to build your mailing list.

Building Your Direct Mail Database

There are two ways to build a direct mail database: encourage customers to sign up and/or buy a mailing list.

1. Use promotions, newsletters, and incentives to encourage people to sign up for your mailing list. By offering a free product, service, or a sizable discount, you can gather information for your direct mail campaigns. The quality of your list matters. Gather information including, name, gender, and mailing address at minimum. If you can collect demographic information, that’s even better but be aware that the longer the form to fill out, the less likely a person is to complete it.

2. Purchase mailing lists. There are two types of mailing lists: compiled and direct response. A compiled list is usually pulled by geographic area and can be segmented by demographics, income, etc. A direct response list is a list made up of people who’ve responded to direct marketing in the past (whether direct mail, infomercials, etc.)

You can purchase mailing lists from direct mail companies like Preferred Direct.

Analyze your Database to Create a Better Campaign

graphic design servicesOnce you’ve created your direct mail database, how can you use your database effectively? Analyze it! Here are a few tips to utilize your database to identify better with your prospective or current customers and get a better return on your investment:

1. Analyze Demographics. Are the people in your database wealthier or more modest? What age range? Do they have children? What’s their ethnicity? When you create your direct mail fliers/postcards/mailers, choose images that appeal to their particular lifestyle. For example, if your list is mostly females with children, make sure any photos or images you use include this.

2. Analyze Geographic Data. Where do the people in your database live? Do they live in urban, suburban, or rural areas? Is there anything major in their local or state environments that you can mention that will help them connect with you? Use photos that reflect geographic region and lifestyle.

You can find ways to connect to the people in your database by appealing to them through database analysis. This makes your database work harder and better for you. When you are creating your direct mail piece, keep in mind opportunities for variable data. Variable data means you can print different offers, incentives, or information for different demographics or psychographics. 

Finding a Partner for Direct Mail Database

Preferred Direct is a commercial printer and direct mail company that can help you put together your mailing lists, and completes the direct mail process from start to finish. Click here to learn about Preferred Direct’s direct mail services.

direct mail servicesAt Preferred Direct, we make sure to keep your cost down. You will have a project manager who keeps your print jobs on track. Our project managers stay on top of your print jobs and can answer any questions you have along the way. We even provide emergency print services for those fast approaching deadlines. We also provide tracking so you can be assured that your shipment is arriving in a timely manner. One of our printers is the Xerox Impika®, a top-of-the-line machine that prints quality materials fast, ultimately saving you time and money. When choosing a commercial printing company, you can count on Preferred Direct to be cost-effective, speedy, and customer-friendly.

Call us toll-free today at 1-844-719-1848 or click here for an online quote.

Sources: crmtrends.com, wikihow.com, sageagestrategies.com, inc.com, smallbusiness.chron.com

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