Blog
Category: News

Paying it forward: Local family-owned printer’s $20,000 donation will provide over 50,000 meals

Preferred Direct President Bill Nee, Jr. (second from left) and Director of Operations Kristen Hollar display the outcome of the company’s donation to the SEVA Foodbank: 50,000 meals to local families in need.

December 11, 2020 – Norfolk, VA – Aiming to bring some relief to families experiencing hard times due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other issues, Norfolk-based Preferred Direct, a family-owned commercial printer, has donated $20,000 to the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore (SEVA). The funds will help provide 50,000 meals to people in crisis in the SEVA community.

”It has been a very difficult year for so many people,” says Bill Nee Jr., president of Preferred Direct. “We feel fortunate to be in a position to hopefully make a difference and show our commitment to our community.”

He added: “We knew that the SEVA Foodbank is helping meet the immediate needs of numerous households affected this year. We are honored to be a part of the meaningful work they do.”

Preferred’s donation comes at a crucial time. According to SEVA President Ruth Jones Nichols, “This year, food donations are down by 1 million pounds.” Meanwhile, the economic effects of the pandemic mean more Americans are experiencing food insecurity for the first time in their lives. “Feeding America has projected about 59% of people facing food insecurity, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, won’t be eligible for federal nutrition programs,” Nichols explained. This means SEVA’s mission is more critical than ever.

SEVA uses cash donations like Preferred’s to make bulk purchases, which it then assembles and distributes. This includes fresh, frozen, canned, boxed, and prepared foods. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the SEVA Foodbank has supplied nearly 6.5 million meals to those in need.

Nee said that despite the detrimental effects COVID-19 has had on many businesses, Preferred Direct — which has been providing essential printing, direct mail and digital communications services to businesses locally and nationally since 1987 — was able to maintain healthy operations. He hopes that the company’s donation will spur more giving.

“This pandemic is a reminder that life is unpredictable. Your situation can change in the blink of an eye. We wanted to give when we could, because we never know when we’ll be the ones in need of help  We hope others will be inspired to give as well.” Nee said.

To learn more about the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, visit: https://foodbankonline.org/

######

Preferred Direct is an industry-leading commercial print, direct mail and digital communications provider founded by Bill Nee, Sr. in Norfolk, Va. in 1987. Now in its second generation of family ownership, Preferred Direct is a HITRUST-certified, HIPAA-compliant partner to the healthcare, insurance, finance and other industries nationwide. Learn more at www.preferreddirect.com.

Read More
Commercial Printing

Commercial Printing

Roll-fed Print on demand press

 

How to Use Creative Solutions to Improve Your Commercial Printing. The value of commercial printing is dependent on both its content and presentation. Anyone can send a brochure or an explanation of benefits, but not every company can make the recipient wake up and take notice.

 

Creative solutions for commercial printing are a way to overcome the saturation that your customers feel on an everyday basis. (This way, your audience doesn’t have to feel as overwhelmed as you do when you’re considering how to create a more effective marketing strategy.)

 

Some marketers may believe that the physical media they send will only end up tossed in the trash, but contrary to popular opinion, print can still be the best way to talk to your audience. But that doesn’t mean that companies can send direct mail, print posters, or design swag without thinking about the implications of their graphics, words, and choice of media. Preferred Direct has witnessed marketing campaigns succeed and fail based on the creativity of their commercial printing.

 

If you’re interested in how to extract the most value from your print, we’ll give you both the information and advice you need to get it right.

 

Why You Need Commercial Printing

 

Commercial Printing Puzzle PieceCommercial printing is the cornerstone for successful marketing today because it has the ability to cut through the virtual noise out there.

 

There’s no doubt that having a web presence is vital to your business, but with so much content out there, your message can easily lose information in a sea of text and graphics.

 

Your customers are used to ignoring ads online, but it’s not quite as easy to close out of something that’s in your hands or directly in front of your eyes. If you have a particular message you want to get out, it may even work better in print. Instead of having to search for the right keywords or navigate through several sections of the website to find the information, you can say exactly what you want to say in black and white (either proverbially or literally).

 

Companies can use commercial printing in an infinite number of ways today. From new digital technology to improved die-cutting techniques, it would be easier to list the things you can’t do! Once you understand the options available, you can determine how to apply them to nearly any campaign you run. Preferred Direct can show you how to do this without crushing your budget in pieces.

 

Conservation of both time and money starts with identifying the goals of each campaign. No matter how much you save on printing service, the money you spend won’t be worth it if no one remembers what you have to say.

 

Creative Solutions for All Your Commercial Printing

Creative Solutions

Businessman working for Creative Solutions

There are so many ways to change up your marketing without changing your brand or voice. If you’re struggling with how to present your ideas, the right printer can be the answer.

 

Preferred Direct has the staff and the experience to help you strike the perfect balance. One of our main specialties is finding ways to bring a little imagination to more traditional businesses, such as insurance and healthcare.

 

So we know just how important it is to avoid violating HIPAA regulations without letting it slow us down. We print, insert, and mail your explanation of benefits, so customers get what they need.

 

Our direct mail connects with people on a different level because we take the time to understand both your company and clientele before getting to work.

 

Whether you’re sending EOBs to your clients or doing an entire overhaul of your visual identity, creativity can play a role in every commercial printing job you tackle. As with virtual media, your company doesn’t have a lot of time to catch a customer’s eye before they either turn away or throw it away. (And no one is more familiar with the nature of this time-sensitive opportunity than Preferred Direct.)

 

We give you the means to capture people’s limited attention span, so you don’t waste a single cent of your marketing budget. Here are just a few ways to achieve the right hook:

 

Perforation

 

Instead of including a separate form, perforate your direct mail and let your customers interact with it a little more. Or score the letter so after they’re finished reading it, they can turn it into an origami swan or paper airplane. To stand up to the US Postal Service, you’ll need a printer that can design mail that can withstand the pressure without complicating the design and functionality of your letter.

 

Graphic Design

 

Graphic design. How much does direct mail costThe graphics of your commercial printings can include anything from your logo to a sketch of a famous artist. When a picture can tell a thousand words, you typically want the visual components to reveal an easily discernible story.

 

Another tactic is to include an image that’s intriguing enough to spark the reader’s curiosity about the larger message. A 90-year old graduating from college may be unusual enough for people to stop and pay attention. If you happen to be advertising night classes for adults, this can be just what you need to get them invested.

 

Bindery

 

This general service can refer to either the stapling or binding of your materials. If you need commercial printing for a presentation at a major conference, you can use a spiral or loose-leaf binding to give attendees a different way to interact with your company. Considering many professionals are visual learners, the right commercial printing can reinforce and drive home the key points of the presentation.

 

You can also use wire-bending for booklets and catalogs. If you want an even more lasting medium, a visually stunning calendar can be inspiring enough for customers to hang up at home or work.

 

Finishing

 

Finishing includes die-cuts, collation, creasing, laminating, and gluing. Die-cuts are used to give your direct mail a unique shape. For example, inviting the form of a birthday cake to celebrate your company’s anniversary. Or maybe you want to print out coasters as a way to underscore a person’s transition into retirement. Preferred Direct can help you decide which finishing technique will strike the right chords with your audience.

 

Inserts

 

Seeing a little tab peeking out from between an envelope can win customers over in spite of themselves. They may know it’s a marketing ploy, but that little tab presents an itch that nearly demands to be scratched. These kinds of creative inserts can be exact without a lot of time and hassle with the right printer.

 

Preferred Direct uses machinery that can handle both big and small jobs alike. Duplication CDs, DVDs: customers still want to receive packages in the mail. Marketers can send a DVD that includes live testimonials or demonstrations of a product, or they can send mystery gifts for customers who completed an online survey. They could even create a CD that gives the recipient special instructions to enter a contest or take advantage of a special promotion. If you need a company to print the DVDs, mail them out, and meticulously recreate your logo or artwork, Preferred Direct can help.

 

The Versatility of Digital Printing

 

Savvy marketers know that their audience is looking for messages that are inherently speaking to them. In an age of data, people want their information used in a way that will benefit them, not the companies that collect and hoard everything from their nickname to their social security number.

 

Digital printing makes use of digital files rather than a printing plate, and it allows marketers to collate their data so they can change the message of their commercial printing based on the person who receives it. If you’re using variable data, digital printing is usually your best choice.

 

Preferred Direct can give you ways to integrate segmentation into commercial printing, so you’re not wasting time or money. Even if you’re using variable data for commercial printing, digital is both fast and cost-effective. It does have a downside, though, in that it can’t always provide the same degree of resolution as other forms of printing. The colors, bleeds, text, margins, and finishing for digital print will be different from traditional options, so marketers may need to focus more on the idea they’re trying to convey. Beyond merely filling in each person’s name, you can do so much more to individualize your more significant point.

 

Preferred Direct can provide the advice and guidance you need to maximize digital printing. So if you’re attempting to advertise a drop in interest rates, you may want to divide your lists based on the most likely reasons your customers would want to take out a loan. For example, new college graduates may be looking for a starter home while families may be looking for ways to finance their children’s education. Digital printing gives you the chance to alter each image to pique the recipient’s curiosity.

 

Print On Demand

 

Digital printing makes use of print on demand services, making it simple to change information without slowing down the printing process easier. Let’s say it’s time to order directories in bulk to promote a new service at your school. Your larger institution has five locations and slightly different services and pricing for each one. While you could print off a general flyer that lists the information for all five sites, you can also print flyers that are specific to each branch.


This way, people can glance at the flyer to get the information they need rather than having to hunt through the text to find their specific school. Or maybe you want to send out an FAQ regarding a new type of insurance plan, but you want to include a customized quote for each person you send to. You can use your collated data to generate different quotes for each new piece of direct mail. Whether your list is 5,000, or 50,000, Preferred Direct has the expertise and technology to perform print on demand services without bumping up your budget.

 

Combining Physical and Virtual Media

 

Your marketing is an open book for you to fill. However, you’d like it. Following the rules of marketing can certainly get you far, but breaking the rules may get you even farther.

 

Commercial printing is a tried-and-true way to open a customer’s eyes to a new opportunity, but there are ways to integrate commercial printing campaigns in the with the rest of your marketing efforts. So if you’re already investing plenty in your digital strategy, there’s no reason you can’t use commercial printing to strengthen virtual campaigns for an even more impactful message. Preferred Direct is not only familiar with these techniques, but we also understand how and when to incorporate the best. Here are just two ways we’ve seen marketers get results:

 

QR codes

 

Much like commercial printing focuses your marketing on one message, QR codes can do the same.

 

Once the customer scans the image, they’re taken directly to the information they need to know. But QR codes can do even more for a company by giving marketers real-time information about how the customer is using your commercial printing.

 

Once a QR code is scanned, it’s stamped with both the time of the scan and the user’s general location. This is a great way to understand the true reaction of your customers. If everyone is scanning the code immediately, it’s a sign that your campaign is creating a strong impression. If they’re waiting to scan it, it may signify that customers feel they need more time to peruse the data. It’s a sign that you’re marketing to people who are invested in what you have to offer. And of course, if no one is scanning the code, it’s an indicator that you may need to rethink your marketing segmentation.

 

A Marriage of Data Between print and virtual mediums, you’re collecting an awful lot of information about your customer. And yet, somehow, data slipes through the cracks of companies all the time.

 

To avoid asking the same question to your customers, you really need a way to combine all the details you receive — regardless of where it comes from. Print can be a great way to engage your customers first before deploying a pop-up ad that practically demands their email address.

 

Once you have the information in hand, you can start filling in the details of your customers that ultimately drive their decisions. They may be more likely to fill out a more involved form online once they’ve answered a simple question on the paper. Who’s Opening What Before determining your specific creative strategy, it helps to know the general statistics on the pieces of direct mail that are resonating the best with your audience.

 

The problem is that it’s not always easy to know who exactly is reading what, and it’s not always easy to quantify the ROI of your commercial printing. Just because a campaign didn’t spark a lot of direct interest, doesn’t mean that it didn’t spread general awareness that was worth its weight in gold.

 

Conversely, campaigns can have a strong response without necessarily converting to actual sales. Without going into people’s homes to observe their behavior directly, it’s been found that oversized envelopes tend to trigger larger response rates. At the other end of the spectrum, postcards are also popular because they’re easy to read and absorb without expending a lot of brainpower.

 

A quick update that people are due for their annual checkup can inspire an immediate call to get it out of the way. Message and Medium The type of commercial printing you use depends on your message: Simple: From special events to new products, you can print postcards or flyers as a way to get the key points across. In-depth topics: We recommend brochures, booklets, or pamphlets as a means to teach customers about a detailed subject.  Cost efficiency: Shelling out serious funds on a quality poster can give you widespread appeal without needing to mass-print countless pieces of direct mail. Uniqueness: Direct mail can make a person feel singled out, especially if they’re being invited to a members-only event. Of course, these are merely suggestions. To find out how to best speak directly to your customer, you may want to try A/B testing with your commercial printing.

 

People may be willing to read your pamphlet, so they can better understand your message rather than try to understand a postcard that merely hints at a new initiative your company is taking on. With A/B testing, you can send a letter to one group of customers and a pamphlet to another. The best way to test your market is for both segments to have similar characteristics (e.g., age, income levels, etc.).

 

You can then measure the responses from each group to see which one made a bigger impact. If the pamphlet had more interest, you could focus on how to improve the content, so it generates an even higher response rate. Saving Money on Creative Solutions It’s not always easy to justify spending money on commercial printing, especially not when an email is essentially free to send. To make the risk feeling a little less precarious, Preferred Direct can ensure a virtually wasteless campaign.

 

Our technology includes the Xerox Impika and HP T-240 HD, both of which produce remarkable results. It’s full-color, high-speed, and true roll-to-roll perfection, eliminating the inconsistencies that can make your commercial printing look unprofessional. In other words, we’ve invested in the machinery, so you don’t have to. If you’re considering a piece of direct mail with complex folds, the technology makes it possible to design the folds without direct intervention from staff. This helps us keep our costs down (and yours by extension) while giving us the means for better inventory control.

 

The Ideal Partner

 

Commercial Printing ConclusionPreferred Direct has been in business since 1990. We may not know everything, but we do know quality printing.

 

Over the years, it was only inevitable that we’d become expert marketing strategists too. We make it possible for you to find smarter ways to use the leverage you’ve already built. Your clientele, mission, initiatives, staff: these are all assets that can make your bottom line go through the roof. If you’re interested in vertical integration, we understand and anticipate your needs long before you even realize you have them.

 

Creative solutions can jazz up even the most basic of marketing, but sometimes it takes an outside eye to notice new ways to lure customers in. No matter the budget or deadline, we find ways to color within the lines you set for us while still providing new ideas and strategy choices. From the initial contract to the last leg of the project, we let you set your level of involvement. And if you happen to change your mind at the last second (maybe you’ve decided that you need A/B/C testing instead of just A/B), we’ve got you covered there too.

 

Commercial printing may not be quite as flexible as a digital strategy, but there are ways to make changes without drastically going over-budget. Instead of choosing a bargain-basement web-to-print fulfillment company, choose someone who will always be there for you whenever you call. Contact us today to receive reliable printing services and creative solutions to your toughest marketing questions.

 

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