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.
We have been asked dozens of times, “How Print on Demand Benefits Inventory Control.” You will learn in the following article.
Print marketing materials are still one of the best ways to raise awareness of your services. According to a survey from FedEx, four out of five small business owners say that print marketing helps them stand out among the competition.
Our world may be increasingly digital, but there’s something about the feel of print that enhances trust and appeal. What you might not know is that you can get all the benefits of print marketing while keeping costs under control by using print on demand companies. Learn what print on demand is, how print on demand works, and the benefits of print on demand for inventory control.
What is Print on Demand?
Print on demand is a custom printing process. The need determines the print run size. Print orders are planned as they come in, rather than guaranteed before the print run is determined.
Let’s say that you have a customer in another state that you have been supplying print material, in this case, it is informational healthcare books. You normally would order the yearly quantity in this case 50,000 books. Now, with print on demand, you only order what is needed at the time maybe 2,000 books.
In other words, if you normally print 50,000 books per year and these are kept in inventory until a quantity is needed but you end up throwing away 12,000 because you didn’t need them, it will be reflected in your budget. Not with print on demand.
The print on demand model was developed after digital printing. Before then it would not have been economically feasible for a printer to set up for a job to print a small quantity.
With print on demand, files can be printed as needed, when needed, and only in quantity required — even if it’s a small quantity. Since the file is saved, documents can be printed any time without extra work or costs on the part of the print shop or you, the business owner.
Cutting back on print paper comes with financial and environmental incentives.
Another benefit of print on demand is you can get paper marketing materials for that important brochure or updated healthcare material without worrying about the need to meet traditional printing order minimums.
It’s easier to maintain a print inventory with print on demand because you can see your existing print stock at a glance and order precisely what you need saving you money.
Print-on-demand benefits all sorts of printed materials, not just marketing materials. For healthcare and medical fields, print on demand is practical for informational, and customer service oriented print campaigns, such as pamphlets or books that explain the benefits of a given health insurance plan.
Healthcare and insurance companies can also create customized printed documents for their customers, including EOBs. Just be sure that your data is sent through a secure FTP site,
With the traditional printing process, the setup costs represent a large portion of the total job costs. The cost is amortized over the total print run, so it’s a marginal cost per item printed. With digital printing, there’s not as much to set up, so it becomes cost-effective to do smaller jobs that would not be economically feasible with the traditional printing process.
The benefits of a small print run carry over to inventory and management, as well. For example, consider a large print job, where your business must order dozens of boxes of material, which then sit around in storage until your company uses them. If you have enough storage space onsite, then you can store items in your building. If you don’t have enough storage space, your business will need to assume warehousing costs to pay for physical inventory.
Switching to print on demand reduces inventory accounting, storage costs, handling costs, and waste.
How to Print on Demand
Now that you know the benefits of print on demand, you might be wondering how print on demand works.
The process starts well before printing. At Preferred Direct we want to make sure that your graphic design and the finished product looks great. Also, that it will meet your needs, and that the work is cost-effective.
We offer a range of printing services with or without variable data. We offer binding and finishing solutions and we will always talk through the options with you so you know how to get the look you need for each print job.
We are a very hands-on printing provider, so we work one-on-one with all of our clients through the design and fulfillment process. We’ll make sure you understand all of the factors that affect the print job, so you know what variables affect the quality of the product or our approach to keeping your sensitive information secure.
We are HIPPA Compliant and HITRUST (CSF) Certified
When everything is ready, we’ll do the print job for you. Online proofs and tracking are available through our secure FTP site.
How Print on Demand Affects Inventory Control
Inventory management may not be something you give much thought to, but print-on-demand offers significant inventory control benefits over the traditional print process.
As mentioned above, the traditional print model comes with a high setup cost. For high-volume items, where you know the materials will move before they become dated, traditional printing may be the right choice.
There’s another result from the traditional process, which is high amounts of waste. If you over-estimate the number of copies you will need for a brochure or flyer; then you could be left with boxes of material that are soon outdated. Companies often don’t question the drawbacks of the print model — or how the waste impacts their bottom line by tying up capital.
The quality of digital printing has improved, where printed products now rival the quality of offset printed items. As a small business, whether you’re in financial, health, or nonprofit sectors, it’s never been a better time to use print-on-demand services. The costs per-unit comparable to traditional print jobs, but the financial savings and inventory control benefits exceed what regular printing offers.
Inventory control shows you at a glance how many copies of print items you have. You can check how much stock you have and order additional copies either as often as you need or when you hit minimum stock levels.
With inventory control, your business will always have the right number of copies in the right place when needed — say, for an upcoming brochure mailing. By ordering low quantities, you can keep costs affordable while reducing the expense of the item storage and disposal.
When you’re relying on print on demand to keep inventory levels low, you need a supplier who will be able to deliver orders efficiently and effectively. Inventory control will ensure the customer never runs out. Many print shops can complete a job in anywhere from one to three days, once you’ve done the initial setup work of creating and refining the order. At Preferred Direct, we work with businesses in a range of industries, including education, nonprofit, medical, and insurance. To get a quote for printing services, or to learn more about what sets us apart from other printing companies, contact us today. Call Toll-Free: 1.844.719.1848.
Preferred Direct provides commercial printing services to a wide range of industries, locally, nationwide and across the globe. With integrated marketing products, we help businesses communicate with their customers and market to new customers. At the same time, we know how to work with your inventory budget with our print on demand roll-fed printers. Regardless of your industry and type of business, we have the history and experience to provide your company with high-quality commercial printing products built for your business.
Preferred Direct can help you to streamline your marketing and communication while lowering your inventory cost by using our print-on-demand production model. Our equipment allows us to fulfill even the highest volume jobs all with variable data. Whether you need 10,000 pieces or over a million, we have the commercial printing equipment and services you need for your company.
Preferred Direct is a commercial printer and a direct mail house and is highly digital in all things print and mail.
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!