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.

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.

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

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

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HP Digital Printer at Preferred Direct

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 generation, collection letters, and more—in a wide array of industries. Examples include:


  • Account statements from banks and credit unions
  • Investment portfolios 
  • Credit card statements

Man in blue scrubs with a stethoscope holding out a prescription RX sheetHealthcare 

  • 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 

  • Targeted direct mail marketing campaigns 
  • Sales letters

Nonprofit Organizations 

  • Fundraising campaign letters 
  • Event invitations 

Colleges and Universities 

  • Financial aid statements 
  • Admissions letters 
  • Invoices 


  • 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 

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Some Preferred Direct Team Members in front of our HP Digital Printer for VDP

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 

Blue images with the words Database Security HIPAA Compliant HITRUST CSF Certified with a graphic imagePreferred 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.  

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.


Direct Mail is Here to Stay

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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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