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Marketing Tips for Nonprofits

Marketing Tips for Nonprofits

Welcome to the Preferred Direct Blog

Marketing Tips for Nonprofits

Blue image with type reading Design, Print, Mail How to Market Nonprofits with Commercial Printing and a picture of a person’s hands with change and a note saying Make a Change

Marketing Tips for Nonprofits – Using Commercial Printing Services

Print marketing and digital marketing should be a part of your nonprofit’s overall marketing strategy. Used in combination, they reinforce and further your organization’s mission and goals. As a commercial printing services provider, Preferred Direct helps many nonprofits maximize the success of their print and digital marketing efforts. In this article, we’re going to share several marketing tips for nonprofits that can help your organization boost awareness, raise funds, and recruit volunteers.

1. Don’t underestimate the power of print.

We live in a digital era. But that has not rendered print marketing obsolete. Instead, it has intensified the impact that printed materials have when they’re created strategically and executed flawlessly. Printed pieces will help your organization stand out and provide a tangible way to reach your target audience.

What types of print collateral can help your nonprofit in your marketing and fundraising efforts?

  • Fundraising mailers
  • Branded letterhead and envelopes
  • Postcards
  • Posters
  • CDs/DVDs
  • Brochures
  • Calendars
  • Annual Reports

Before working with a printing company, check to make sure they have the latest digital printing and inkjet printing technologies to produce superior results cost-effectively.

2. Get personal and precise with direct mail marketing.

Print collateral that is personalized to the individual recipient helps to build trust in your organization and incite action. Seek to work with a commercial printing company that offers direct mail marketing services that include:

  • Variable data printing (text and images) to customize print pieces to each individual on your mailing list.
  • Mailing list services to make sure your direct mail marketing pieces are targeted at the right people based on demographic, geographic, and other criteria.
  • Postage automation to save you time and money through sorting, shipping, and delivery to the post office and by passing along volume discounts.

3. Stay within budget with on-demand printing.

By working with a commercial printer that offers on-demand printing, your organization can keep costs in check. On-demand means you’re not locked into minimum order commitments. You pay a low price per unit, even if you only need a small number of print materials produced. Best of all, it’s simple and quick when you want more pieces printed because your digital files are saved and ready to go for your next order. Also, consider the eco-friendly attributes of on-demand printing. Because you can better align your print volume with your actual needs, you conserve paper, electricity, and other resources.

4. Get help managing your print inventory.

If you work with a commercial printing company on an ongoing basis, you’ll find that you can save time and money when the printer offers inventory management services. Inventory control is especially critical when using on-demand printing services. It ensures the supplies you need for your direct mail and other print marketing materials will be readily available when you need them.

Marketing Tips for Nonprofits – Using Digital Marketing Solutions

1. Save time and money—and put a consistent brand forward—by using a commercial printing services provider who also has expertise in digital marketing.

If you have a commercial printer that also excels in digital marketing strategies, your organization will gain efficiency and effectiveness in all of its marketing and fundraising campaigns. It will enable you to ensure consistent messaging—delivered at just the right time for maximal impact.

2. Create irresistible email marketing campaigns.

Fortunately, nonprofit organizations have one of the highest average email open rates (25.17 percent) compared to other industries, according to Mailchimp data.

However, people are inundated with email messages every day, so it’s critical to carefully craft your email marketing campaigns to rise above the noise. Work with your digital marketing and commercial printing services provider to create email designs and content that will grab attention and compel people to act.

3. Keep your cause front and center with SMS messaging.

According to an article on the Crazy Egg blog, research has shown SMS open rates to be as high as 98 percent. Yet only approximately 61 percent of marketers use SMS to promote their brands even though 45 percent of people reply to SMS marketing messages. By marketing your nonprofits events and fundraising campaigns via text messages, you seize a viable opportunity to encourage interaction with your organization.

4. Customize your digital marketing communications.

Tailoring your nonprofit’s digital marketing messaging to the individual allows you to build a stronger bond with existing and prospective donors, volunteers, and community partners. Make sure that the commercial printer you choose can handle variable data and personalize messages to individuals on your print and electronic mailing lists. Customized email marketing and SMS marketing messages will help increase recipients’ engagement with your nonprofit.

Bonus Nonprofit Marketing Tip: Be selective about the commercial printing company you choose.

Not all commercial printers have the breadth of capabilities needed to give nonprofits excellent quality and value in both print and digital marketing services. At Preferred Direct, we have years of experience working with charitable organizations to minimize costs and maximize returns. We provide a full spectrum of services related to printing, direct mail marketing, email marketing, and SMS marketing.

We will work with your nonprofit on all aspects of your projects.

  • Designing
  • Developing mailing lists
  • Printing (digital printing and inkjet printing)
  • Reducing postage costs
  • Mailing
  • And more

Contact us to discuss your nonprofit’s marketing needs! We have the technology and expertise to save your nonprofit time and money while improving the results of your direct mail and digital marketing campaigns.

 

Call Preferred Direct toll-free today. 1-844-719-1848

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21 Ways to Add Flair to Your Direct Mailers

21 Ways to Add Flair to Your Direct Mailers

Welcome to the Preferred Direct Blog

21 Ways to Add Flair to Your Direct Mailers

Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “Learn from the mistakes of others… You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself!”
A splah of many colors as they bounce off a surface

How do you attract, inform, and appeal to your customers? How do you Add Flair to Your Direct Mailers? 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? That is what this article is about.  21 Ways to Add Flair to Your Direct Mailers.

Many highly-effective methods exist to promote a business. Direct mailers, 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. Here is a score of suggestions to energize your creative marketing mail campaign or 21 Ways to Add Flair to Your Direct Mailers:

  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 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 direct mailers 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.

In Conclusion – If You Need Help – We Are The 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.

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.

 

Call Preferred Direct toll-free today. 1-844-719-1848

 

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How Commercial Printing Can Elevate Marketing Results

How Commercial Printing Can Elevate Marketing Results

Welcome to the Preferred Direct Blog

How Commercial Printing Can Elevate Marketing Results

A Printer in action showing color prints going through the machine

Tips for Elevating Marketing Results with Commercial Printing

Professional commercial printing can make a difference in how customers perceive your company. Think about it; every marketing and sales piece that you print represents your brand. The more polished and professional your print marketing materials are, the more prospects will view your business as credible and trustworthy.

Benefits of Commercial Printing Services and Print Marketing

Print marketing pieces by a commercial printing company give people a well-prepared, tangible way to learn about your brand and have your contact info close at hand. In this digital age, commercial print services supplement your online marketing messaging—which makes you more memorable as the print pieces reinforce what customers see online.

Moreover, print marketing collateral helps build awareness of your business’s online presence. By sharing your website URL, email address, and social media profiles in your print communications, you can steer people to connect with you online.

How to Use Commercial Printing Services to Boost Your Marketing Results

Here are some tips for how to get optimal results from print marketing products created by a  commercial printer:

  • Partner with a reputable, experienced commercial printing company that understands what it takes to create marketing materials that will have a maximal impact.
  • Use a professional graphic designer if you don’t have that expertise and skillset in-house.
  • Use a professional copywriter if you don’t have that expertise and skillset in-house.
  • Make sure that your brand elements (logo, colors, terminology, etc.) have consistency across your print marketing materials.
  • Make sure all of your contact information is on your print products.
  • Include social media information so that people will know where they can connect with you online.
  • Proofread your print marketing materials.
  • Consider print-on-demand and inventory management services to save your business money and time.

Examples of Print Marketing Materials That Work

Rack cards

Rack cards have many uses and do well where there’s a lot of foot traffic. Some of the locations where you may have seen them include visitors’ centers, restaurants, hotels, and landmarks. Many different types of businesses have success with rack cards. For example, they can help efforts to promote fundraising events, live entertainment acts, charitable causes, tourist destinations and attractions, food festivals, and more. Rack cards are an inexpensive way to attract attention and communicate the most important information about what you want to promote.

 

Brochures

Brochures deliver a means to include more details than rack cards while still in a print format that’s convenient for people to take with them. They are cost-effective and easy to distribute at events or locations where you want them to be accessible to your target audience. Also, brochures allow you to communicate your brand’s value and essential details about your products and services in a tangible form.

 

Catalogs

Catalogs are critical drivers of sales and brand loyalty. Often, print catalogs are the catalyst for getting prospects to visit a retailer’s website or visit a store. Also, many retailers have found that sending catalogs to customers who have made online purchases often results in additional sales from those same customers.

 

Flyers

Flyers offer a simple, short-and-sweet way to grab people’s attention and impel them to learn more about your business. They’re easy to hand out or leave as a take-away at trade shows.

 

Newsletters

Print newsletters allow businesses to provide more in-depth information to readers than do e-newsletters. Moreover, a print newsletter is convenient for readers to pick up and read it at their leisure. People can enjoy them when they have time and aren’t distracted by a barrage of online notifications and emails.

 

Direct mail postcards

Personalized direct mail postcards can be highly targeted, enabling your company to reach ideal prospects easily. Moreover, they’re very affordable to produce and mail. As more and more customers are becoming inundated by email marketing messages, print marketing postcards help make brands stand out.

 

Signs and posters

For local events and fundraisers, signs and posters can help raise awareness and generate word of mouth. When strategically placed within communities, they serve as a powerful grass-roots marketing tactic. Of course, the more attractive they are (professional design and superior print quality), the more attention they’ll attract.

 

Sales packets

Usually consisting of folders with a variety of sales and marketing collateral, sales packets help move potential B2B buyers one step closer to making a purchase. An exceptional sales packet will reinforce the positive impression your sales team made during their sales visits.

And there’s more

These are just a few samples of the types of print marketing materials that your business might benefit from. Meanwhile, your imagination and creativity expand the possibilities. And you can count on our team at Preferred Direct to help you brainstorm ideas to differentiate your company from your competition.

Best Practices in Commercial Printing for Print Marketing

Not all commercial printers have the same technology, equipment, and capabilities. That’s why it’s critical to ask questions and ensure you’ll be getting the best quality, turnaround times, and value.

At Preferred Direct, we use digital printing and inkjet printing to produce stunning, cost-effective marketing materials.

 

Digital Printing

Digital printing allows us to send text and images in digital files directly to a printing press. Unlike traditional offset printing, it doesn’t require the time and cost to create a printing plate. With digital printing, you get high-quality graphics that make a strong first impression.

 

Inkjet Printing

Inkjet printing allows for fast and accurate printing of custom elements, such as addresses, barcodes, indicias, and more. Plus, it’s highly cost-efficient for creating large quantities of personalized marketing pieces.

 

Cost-cutting On-Demand Printing Using Variable Data

To keep costs extremely affordable for our customers, Preferred Direct does all of our printing on two roll-to-roll presses for cost-effective on-demand printing. This approach ensures you won’t have to pay for pieces you don’t need and will never use. Also, on-demand means you avoid the printing order minimums that come with traditional printing.

With on-demand printing at Preferred Direct, we print the number of items that you need now. And, we can use variable data (text and images) to customize marketing materials to your individual recipients. Whether catalogs or brochures or newsletters or other communications, that personalization will help you create marketing pieces that drive interaction and results. With printing on-demand, you pay an inexpensive cost per unit even when you only need a small quantity printed. And, when you want more units printed, there’s no need to start from square one again. We save your digital files and can print additional pieces as you need them.

Besides the cost-saving benefits, on-demand printing also conserves paper, making it a more environmentally friendly option. Many customers seek to do business with eco-conscious companies. By using on-demand printing, you can strengthen your value proposition and set you apart from your competition.

Print Inventory Management for Saving Time and Money

To ensure we can meet your on-demand printing needs quickly, we offer inventory management at our facility. Different marketing projects require different sizes and styles of paper and envelopes, and we can store large quantities of whatever your jobs will need. Our inventory management services ensure that when you need a print piece produced, we’ll have the resources on hand and ready to go. You can also get weekly or monthly stock level reports to keep tabs on your current inventory.

Next Steps for Marketing Success with Professional Print Marketing Materials

To learn more about how a commercial printer can help you achieve your marketing goals, contact us. Share your challenges and aspirations with us! Using our extensive commercial printing expertise and capabilities, we’ll create marketing materials to elevate your brand without deflating your bottom line.

The 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.

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.

Call Preferred Direct toll-free today. 1-844-719-1848

 

 

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Commercial Printing with Variable Data

Commercial Printing with Variable Data

Commercial Printing with Variable Data

Four part image showing an EOB for, a print warehouse with print jobs and machines, the HP PageWide Web Press T240HD machine, and a blue square with type saying How You Can Improve Your Commercial Printing With Variable Data Design, Print, Mail

You can improve your Commercial Printing with Variable Data. The ability to target specific customers based on personal preferences, including location, demographics, buying history, and numerous other factors, 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.

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 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 fields:

  • Healthcare Industry
  • Municipalities
  • Financial Services
  • Non-Profits
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Insurance
  • 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 mail. 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, we can respond to requests for SMS and Email marketing assistance, and help you target specific customers – “Target Marketing” – and prospects through digital resourcing.


 

The 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.

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.

Call Preferred Direct toll-free today. 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

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Outsourcing Utility Billing: 6 Reasons Why

Outsourcing Utility Billing: 6 Reasons Why

Outsourcing Utility Billing: 6 Reasons Why

Image showing a Kern printer in red and forms with type that says Reduce Printing Costs, Salary, Benefits, Equipment

The Perks of Outsourcing Utility Billing to a Utility Bill Printing and Mailing Services Vendor

Outsourcing utility billing has become a preferred way for cities, municipalities, and other utility companies to invoice their customers. That’s not surprising, considering the advantages that can directly impact an organization’s bottom line and level of customer satisfaction.

At Preferred Direct, we understand the challenges that your organization faces, and we have utility bill printing and mailing services—and electronic billing solutions—that will allow you to overcome them.

Let’s talk about some of the reasons why you should consider outsourcing your utility billing rather than handling it all in-house.

6 Benefits of Outsourcing Utility Billing

  1. Reduce operational costs.

Producing utility billing statements requires time, staff, and equipment. All of that can place a significant financial burden on your city or municipality. By outsourcing utility billing, you have an opportunity to reduce human resource expenses and eliminate the costs of maintaining hardware and software required to process and send invoices.

  1. Keep the cash flowing.

By outsourcing your invoicing to an experienced utility billing services provider, your billing statements will be sent accurately and on-time. Timely delivery helps keep cash flow consistent by decreasing days outstanding and reducing late payments. That can make a tremendous difference in your business’s bottom line.

  1. Maintain a consistent brand across all your services.

An experienced vendor will have the technology and skill to create a standardized bill format for all of the services you offer. No matter which services your customers subscribe to, you will have uniform brand recognition across all fronts. Having that brand consistency with your existing customer base can also serve as a foundation for your branding efforts beyond your borders, too.

  1. Improve customer satisfaction.

Outsourcing your utility billing to a vendor that specializes in custom invoices allows you to create bills that are easy to understand. It also allows you to include messages about upcoming changes and relevant news. This can not only increase customer satisfaction, but it can also reduce the workload on your customer service call centers. Clear and well-organized invoices lead to fewer customer questions and complaints.

  1. Generate more revenue per customer.

You also gain opportunities to customize your utility billing statements with marketing messages. Cross-sell your products and services to different segments of your customer base and upsell customers to higher tiers of service or new offerings. When partnering with a print vendor that uses variable data to personalize messages to individual customers, you can deliver the right offers to the right people for maximal impact.

  1. Eliminate barriers to growth.

Scale your organization’s offerings, customer base, and revenue without incurring a massive capital investment. With billing equipment in-house, eventually, you will face the need to upgrade machinery and software to accommodate growth. That’s not the case if you outsource your utility billing. A best-in-class utility bill printing and mailing service company will have solutions that fit your needs and grow as you grow.

Selecting a Utility Bill Printing and Mailing Services Vendor

Security and Versatility

A utility billing services provider should have all of the technology and measures in place to ensure that your customer data stays safe at all times. For optimal value, also consider if a vendor has the versatility to handle your organization’s diverse needs.

Preferred Direct has years of experience and a stellar reputation in managing variable data and sensitive information to generate invoices and other notices accurately and securely.

We guarantee prompt and confidential processing of your information while giving you flexible solutions to accommodate your unique requirements. We can replicate your existing invoice format, give you templates to choose from, or create a custom design to fulfill your vision. You’ll also have several options for submitting your data to us—via our secure FTP site in .xls, .txt, .csv, or .dat formats or send .pgp encrypted files.  

We handle printing, folding, inserting, presorting (for postal discounts), and delivering your utility invoices to the U.S. Post Office.

As you know, the postage costs to send invoices can add up. Fortunately, because of the large volume of mail we handle every day, we get a discount. And we extend that discount to our customers when we manage their mailings. We handle all of the logistics involved in mailing your customer statements and ensure timely delivery. Better still, we cut your postage expenses in the process.

Thanks to our streamlined process, we do it all much more quickly than you can in-house. That means your customers get their bills faster, you get paid faster, and you save money.

Electronic Billing Capabilities

While a majority of consumers prefer to receive print invoices, many also expect the ability to pay their bills online. Electronic billing solutions give customers a convenient and environmentally friendly alternative to printed statements.

Preferred Direct’s e-billing services allow your customers to view and pay their invoices securely online. Moreover, our e-billing services can decrease your billing and payment processing costs significantly. They also help reduce the number of late payments.

Outsourcing Utility Billing: A Wise Choice for More Than Just Utility Bills

For even more cost-effectiveness and convenience, consider outsourcing not only your direct billing but also other customer communications, too.

  • Late payment notifications
  • Disconnect notices
  • Rate change notifications
  • Tariff notifications
  • Letters
  • Newsletters
  • Fliers
  • Direct mail marketing advertisements

At Preferred Direct, we offer a full range of print and digital solutions for public and private utility companies.

  • Cities
  • Boroughs
  • Townships
  • Telephone companies
  • Water companies
  • Natural Gas companies
  • Electricity companies

When you work with us, you get a dedicated project manager who will see to it that every project meets your requirements and expectations.

Contact us to discuss how we can help you reduce your invoice processing and postage costs, improve your cash flow, and enhance your customer relationships.

HP 240T HD Roll to Roll Press

Xerox Roll to Roll Press

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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!

 

  

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