Blog Tagged: Nonprofit marketing
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.
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).
● Account statements from banks and credit unions
● Investment portfolios
● Credit card statements
● Medical bills
● Medical EOBs (Explanation of Benefits)
● Patient appointment reminders
● Collections letters
● Invoices for premiums
● Policy updates
● Insurance EOB Statements
Municipal and Energy
● Invoices for gas, water, sewer, electric, trash
● Collections letters
● Special Notices
● Cable TV invoices
● The phone company and wireless provider invoices
● Collection letters
Sales and Marketing
● Sales letters
● Fundraising campaign letters
● Event invitations
Colleges and Universities
● Financial aid statements
● Admissions letters
- 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
● 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!
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 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
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:
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.
The 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.
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 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.
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:
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
Preferred 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
Direct mail fundraising is one of the best ways to increase giving and grow your donor database. Nonprofits depend on money and support from donors to keep an organization functioning. Out of all of the types of nonprofit marketing, fundraising by mail should be on your list of fundraising strategies. Here’s why:
- Direct mail marketing helps you find potential donors. Targeted mailing lists can help your nonprofit to find new donors that fit your organization’s ideal demographics. Mailing lists can target by location, gender, income, etc.
- Direct mail marketing keeps you in contact with your current donors. When you send out direct mail, you are reminding them of your organization and keeping it in the forefront of their mind. This also helps you to keep up-to-date database information on your donors, so you are aware if they have a change of address.
- You can let your donors know what your organization’s current needs are. Is there something specific your organization needs to purchase? Is there something that needs immediate financial attention? Let your donors know your needs in a visually and emotionally appealing way.
Tips on creating direct mail marketing pieces for fundraising:
- Suggest donation amounts on your mail piece (i.e. $100 _______ $50 ________ $25 _______ Other: _________). You can list benefits of each to make it more effective. (i.e. $100 will allow an underprivileged child to attend summer camp. $50 will provide an underprivileged child a tutor for a month.)
- Thank your donor for their last gift and tell them why their next gift will help your organization.
- Create multiple options for giving. Can they give online? Over the phone? Include this information on your mailing.
- Include the reminder that their donation is tax deductible.
- Drive an emotional connection by personal stories of how their donations benefit real people.
- Make sure to include the option of updating their mailing address, adding an email address, etc.
- Be sure your mailing is appealing to the eye, and don’t forget to always include your organization’s logo and information.
Do you need help creating an effective direct mail fundraising piece? At Preferred Direct, our team of expert graphic designers can help. Click here for more information on our graphic design services.
Preferred Direct can help you through the entire fundraising by mail process, from creating mailing lists, designing artwork, printing products, handling postage, packaging and shipping, Preferred Direct can do it all.
At Preferred Direct, we make sure to keep your cost down. You will have a project manager who keeps your print jobs on track. Our project managers stay on top of your print jobs and can answer any questions you have along the way. We even provide emergency print services for those fast approaching deadlines. We also provide tracking so you can be assured that your shipment is arriving in a timely manner. One of our printers is the Xerox Impika®, a top-of-the-line machine that prints quality materials fast, ultimately saving you time and money. When choosing a commercial printing company, you can count on Preferred Direct to be cost effective, speedy, and customer-friendly.
Call us toll-free today at 1-844-719-1848 or click here for an online quote.
Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net by winnond (donate) and stockimages (charity).
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.
Commercial Printing Services
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 for Commercial Printing Services 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