Blog
Category: Direct Marketing

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 in print form. This is especially true when messages are tailored specifically for them. 

A majority of respondents to an online survey conducted by Consumer Action said that they prefer to receive all types of bills by mail—even if they’ve opted to pay the bills online. For medical, utilities, insurance, property tax, mortgage, and credit card notifications, 45 to 74 percent (depending on the account category) said they choose paper over electronic communications.[1]

And even with brands leveraging digital marketing and mobile apps, 73 percent of U.S. consumers still prefer to receive direct print mail. Why? because they can read it whenever they want.[2}

As you can see, direct mail is still relevant, especially when it’s personalized through variable data printing.

What Is Variable Data Printing and Why Is It So Important for Direct Mail?

Variable data printing (VDP) is a digital printing technique used to personalize print communications. VDP allows for various page elements, such as text and graphics, to be different on each piece of a print run. 

Variable data printing can involve something as simple as changing the greeting or name on each copy of a print piece (akin to a mail merge). Or it may be more complex, involving the customization of other text and graphic elements, according to customer information, address, or other data. For example, at Preferred Direct, our variable data detailer allows us to add custom messages, coupons, maps, and other elements to invoices, letters, notices, and more.

The ability to tailor print messaging to individual recipients has become essential for maintaining customer satisfaction and generating revenue. Customers expect brands and organizations to send personalized communications. And personalized communications mean that customers receive relevant content that drives them to action (e.g., pay a bill, purchase a product, or do something else that the sender desires).

Variable data technology has become essential for many different applications—such as statement generationcollection letters, and more—in a wide array of industries. Examples include:

Financial 

● Account statements from banks and credit unions

● Investment portfolios

● Credit card statements

Healthcare

● Medical bills

● Medical EOBs (Explanation of Benefits)

● Patient appointment reminders

● Collections letters

Insurance

● Invoices for premiums

● Policy updates

● Insurance EOB Statements

Municipal and Energy

● Invoices for gas, water, sewer, electric, trash

● Collections letters

● Special Notices

Communications

● Cable TV invoices

● The phone company and wireless provider invoices

● Collection letters

Sales and Marketing

●     Targeted direct mail marketing campaigns

● Sales letters

Nonprofit Organizations

● Fundraising campaign letters

● Event invitations

Colleges and Universities

● Financial aid statements

● Admissions letters

● Invoices

Retail

  • Revolving credit statements
  • Direct mail marketing pieces

The above examples are just a sampling of the many types of direct mail print communications that leverage variable data to make them more effective.

What to Look for in a Direct Mail Printing Provider

When choosing a direct mail printing services provider for your organization’s communications, there’s much to consider. Not all printing resources have the expertise or equipment to handle the demands of variable data printing. Using variable data is one of the reasons Why Direct Mail Is Still Relevant.

Below 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 

● Advanced printing technology to ensure the utmost accuracy and print quality

● Services beyond printing 

Ability to handle a wide array of variable data printing applications

Your needs may evolve over time, so look for a direct mail print partner 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.

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 different industries, including those that must meet strict privacy and security requirements.

● Healthcare providers

● Insurance companies

● Financial services providers

● Colleges and Universities

● Businesses and Retail

● Nonprofit organizations

Compliance with HITRUST and HIPAA

Preferred Direct is HITRUST CSF certified. 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 latest HIPAA 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 commercial printer has the latest equipment and software.

Preferred Direct has cutting-edge digital 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.

Services beyond printing 

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

● 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.

Learn More About How Direct Mail and Variable Data Printing Can Benefit Your Company

Why Direct Mail Is Still Relevant?  In summary, direct mail—particularly, personalized direct mail—remains an essential tool for building customer loyalty and improving bottom-line results. Keep in mind that working with variable data requires making privacy and data security a priority. Therefore, it’s critical to work with a commercial printing company you can trust to uphold the highest standards of quality and protect customer data. Fortunately, you don’t have to look further for a reliable partner for your personalized direct mail solutions. Preferred Direct has all of the experience and capabilities necessary to handle all of your direct mail and variable data printing needs. Contact us to discuss your next project!

 

  

Read More
3 Ways to Improve Your Direct Mail Campaign

3 Ways to Improve Your Direct Mail Campaign

Direct Mail Campaigns can be hit or miss for companies of every variety, and few things are more frustrating than a low ROI for each unit you send out.

You may not expect your direct mail to be kept in a keepsake box until the end of time, but it’s certainly not meant to catch a customer’s used chewing gum before they’ve even looked at it! The good news is that there are some simple strategies that can lead to higher response rates.

1. Capitalize on the Captive in Your Direct Mail Campaign

A direct mail piece isn’t as flashy as the bells and whistles of an internet advertisement, but this isn’t necessarily a disadvantage. Direct mail often comes across as more trustworthy to customers than digital ads, likely because it requires more effort to create and send.

You also have a captive audience in front of your piece, one that won’t be distracted by the next email or pop-up ad. You’re giving your customers a reason to slow down and concentrate, and they will take the opportunity to do this if the mail is presented in the correct way.

Now is the time to breakdown the message you’re sending customers. For example, if you’re sending direct mail that’s more involved, such as an Explanation of Benefits, you have a tremendous opportunity to draw the reader in by using everyday language. When you make your materials reader-friendly, the reader has a better chance of understanding how you can help them.

Email is an exceptionally cost-effective way to reach your customers, but its ease and affordability have all added up to a lot of noise out there. When the average person gets 121 emails a day, you can’t rely on a clever subject line anymore. A regular mailbox was never meant to hold that kind of volume, which is why most people still like checking their mailbox to see what they got.

2. Segment Your Lists


Imagine you’ve been looking to take a college-level course in the film for fun. You don’t want to get a degree in film and pursue a life in Hollywood, but you do think it would be interesting to learn how people make captivating movies. If you received a piece of direct mail from an educational institution about how to take one-off classes to better oneself, you’re likely to sit up and take notice.

This kind of precise marketing or Target Marketing is possible when you segment your lists. While most companies separate customers based on demographics and location, you can take it one step further. The most successful businesses will collect and analyze information from a wide variety of sources. For example, they may have customers take an email survey about what exactly they’re looking for from their healthcare or financial planning. Or companies will set up loyalty programs, track customer behavior, and devise promotions that speak to customers on their level.

When you’re segmenting your lists, you can use variable data to improve the quality of your direct mail campaign. This tactic will change the wording and graphics of your direct mail piece without slowing the printing process down. The right print on demand company can not only handle the volume and specificity, but it can also get it done as quickly as possible.

No matter how segmented your lists get, reputable printers have the technology to handle the details. A segmentation strategy all but eliminates the need to come up with a clever slogan or to overspend on paper.

When it comes down to it, the essential element you’re trying to convey to your audience is that you’re a company that can be trusted. When you can speak directly to a customer on their level, you show you’ve done your homework.

3. In Your Direct Mail Campaign -Think Different

Each marketing channel your company uses needs to vary according to several factors while still maintaining cohesion. For example, you might use email as a way to notify patients of their upcoming appointments and direct mail to promote new services.

It’s the color, formatting, and wording that connect your brand to each medium, so the customer still walks away with the right impression of the company.

To do this in such a way that people listen, you may need to break the rules. The most commonly read type of direct mail is the oversized envelope, perhaps because it calls to the recipient to find out what’s inside. Postcards are also high on the list, likely because people can merely glance at the direct mail to understand the takeaway.

Other companies will create dimensional mail in the form of paper boxes, airplanes, etc. These unique pieces of mail catch the eye and win your customers over in spite of themselves. Even the most conservative companies can still be creative with their communications.

For those who want to send more conventional material, you might consider offering recipients an incentive that they won’t receive anywhere else. For example, inviting them to a private event or providing a special discount over direct mail. This can help generate the buzz you need to entice more people to open your communications.

Preferred Direct is a print on demand company that specializes in marketing and branding our clients to their customers. There are so many ways in which companies can take a wrong turn when it comes to direct mail campaigns. Segmentation can undoubtedly come across as helpful, but it may also come across as invasive.

Creativity is certainly recommended, but you don’t want to spend big for folding paper airplanes unless it’s worth the returns.

We’re here to help you find a strategy that works, regardless of your budget, deadlines, or customer volume.

We use inventory control to reduce waste while still leaving enough flexibility in case your plans change. We take advantage of automated solutions that will save you time and money, yet again, provide personal customer service and tailor-made advice.
When it comes to direct mail, you need a printing company that looks out for your brand. We also know our way around compliance laws and ensure that each piece of mail meets all HIPAA and HITRUST restrictions. If you’re looking for a company that can handle some heavy demands and saves you money on the postage, we’ve got you covered.

Read More

10 Benefits of Direct Marketing

Are you having trouble deciding how to spend your marketing dollars? With so many advertising options available, it’s hard to decide how and where to advertise and get the best return-on-investment.

Ask yourself:

  • What audience are you trying to reach?
  • Do you want your audience to buy your product? Attend your event? Respond to an offer for service? Visit your website?

Direct Marketing

For this blog, I am going to talk about using direct marketing as a marketing tool to grow your business.

 

First we need to define Direct Marketing

Direct marketing is a form of advertising sent directly from your business to a potential or existing customer. You are sending the customers your marketing messages directly. Effective direct marketing campaigns use a strong call-to-action to get customers to act on a message or an offer.

Advantages of Direct Marketing

We’ve compiled a list of ten reasons to add direct marketing into your marketing strategy and budget. How many can you use to grow your company?

  1. Find new customers. Direct marketing helps you build a list of new potential customers. You can compile or purchase a database of customers who are likely to buy your product or service.
  2. Target most likely customers. Are your customers generally females over 30 years old? Perhaps you’re targeting young adults or seniors. Direct marketing companies can help you create lists to reach potential customers who are a good target for your product or service. Click here to learn about Preferred Direct’s targeted mailing lists.
  3. Communicate with existing customers for repeat business or upsell. Some of your most important business comes from repeat customers. Stay in touch with customers with direct marketing to promote a special offer, promotion or event and let them know about other services.
  4. Direct marketing has quick production and turnaround. Commercial printers offer fast turnaround time to get direct mail out to customers. An email can also be created very quickly and sent out to customers.
  5. Advertise specific products, services, special offers and events. With direct marketing, you control the message and offer.
  6. Branding your business can seem like an expensive notion, but by simply creating a cohesive direct marketing campaign, you can create a recognizable company brand. Throw in a special offer, and you’ve combined brand with a call-to-action!
  7. You can personalize for a better response. Variable data printing or VDP, allows you to personalize each direct mail marketing piece. Addressing the recipients by name and even printing messages based on the target audience offers better ways for businesses and organizations to connect with customers. For example, you can simultaneously be advertising an offer for makeup to females and ties for men. Variable data printing has many capabilities. Click here to learn more about variable data.
  8. Direct marketing ROIYou can track and measure results. Direct marketing offers ways to track and measure your results, so you know just how many customers you’ve reached, the response you’ve received, and how much money you spent per customer. You can even test new markets or products to determine what appeals the most to whom. You can measure how effective your direct marketing campaign is by determining your return-on-investment (ROI.)
  9. It’s cost effective. When you break it down by ROI, direct marketing is a cost effective marketing solution. You know exactly how much you are spending to reach each customer.
  10. Direct marketing campaigns are easy. With direct marketing you can choose between postcards, letters, catalogues, transpromo marketing (marketing on billing statements), email marketing and more.

 

Direct Marketing is targeted, personal, fast and cost effective!

 

Direct marketing project managers can help you design and develop your campaign, so you don’t have to do it alone. Preferred Direct’s knowledgeable project managers will help you through each step of your direct marketing campaign.

 

Preferred Direct offers Direct Marketing services including commercial printing, direct mail, transpromo marketing, direct billing and fulfillment services. Click here for a quick online quote or call us toll-free to speak with a project manager at 1-844-719-1848.

 


 

Preferred Direct provides high-quality, high-quantity, fast and personalized direct marketing services including: printing services, fulfillment services, fundraising services, direct mail marketing, direct billing and emergency on demand printing services. From design to finishing and mailing, Preferred Direct takes care to make sure they deliver high-quality products that can help increase your company’s ROI.

Call or click for a quote. (757) 461-2730 or Toll Free 1-844-719-1848

Sources: business.qld.gov.au, switzer.com.au, marketingfaq.net

Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net by renjith Krishnan (direct mail) and mapichaiI (chart)

SaveSave

Read More

Who is Preferred Direct?

Preferred Direct is a commercial printer and a direct mail house and is highly digital in all things print and mail.

Commercial printing and direct mail marketing Since 1987, Preferred Direct has been providing clients with the highest level of services related to Commercial Printing and Direct Mail Marketing. Our business model is to build lasting relationships with our clients, and we also work closely with the U.S. Postal Service to ensure your satisfaction. Each day we drop thousands of pieces of mail at the Post Office that include catalogs, directories, EOBs, and medical billings and flyers.

We offer both offset and digital printing with a variety of finishing options for your convenience. Preferred Direct can easily produce targeted mailing lists for you, or more effectively utilize the lists you already built. Our direct billing such as EOBs and fulfillment services are secure by a secure FTP site; safeguarding your data and profits and investments all the while keeping you updated and well-informed on your shipments.

We also provide emergency on-demand printing for those unexpected deadlines in life. Our advanced printing technology produces mass quantities in a fraction of the time, so give us a call. Let’s work together for all of your Commercial printing and direct mail needs.

Contact one of our professional project managers today for a quote!

(757) 461-2730

Read More