Book Printing Services & Bindery

Custom Book Bindery For All Your Finishing Needs

Preferred Direct is your one-stop shop for book printing services and finishing solutions. Our bindery and finishing services include saddle stitch, perfect bound, spiral bound, collating, scoring, die cutting, folding, and more! With our advanced printing technology and skilled staff, get a professional bound print piece that’s ready to distribute.

Saddle stitching is a method of binding one or more printed sections together, with or without a cover, by means of wire staples (stitches) through the spine and centerfold.

Perfect binding is a method for binding printed sheets to a thick, flexible spine, suitable for bindery that is too thick to saddle stitch.

Spiral binding attaches loose sheets by means of a plastic or metal coil being passed through punched holes.

Book Printing Options

  • Sizes: 4×6, 5×7, 6×9, 8×8, 8.5×11, 9×6 9×12 – contact us for custom sizes
  • Small to Large Page Counts
  • Black & White or Full Color Printing
  • Variety of Paper Types available

Finishing Services

  • Collating
  • Cutting
  • Drilling
  • Folding
  • Tabbing
  • Scoring
  • Perforating
direct mail printing bills

Book Printing Services We Offer:

  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Catalogs
  • Manuals
  • Calendars
  • Directories
  • Brochures
  • Booklets
  • Guides
  • & more!

Don’t know where to start? Here are some tips for self-publishing a book with proper binding from unrulyguides.com. To discuss your bindery options or request a book service, speak with a Preferred Project Manager today!

Design & Fulfillment

Book printing services and custom book bindery are just one part of the process. We also offer various complimentary services from designing and organizing your materials, to packing and delivering them to the post office. And if you’re not ready to ship right away, we can store them for future needs. If you’re unsure how much to print from the start, we also offer print-on-demand services to help you keep pace with demand.

book printing services

Maximize your Next Book Project with Quality Book Printing Services

Our expert Print Project Managers are ready to assist and support you with our full suite of book printing services and finishing needs. Get high-quality, professional books, magazines, or catalogs in no time when you reach out today!

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5 Key Considerations When Choosing a Third-Party Medical Marketing Partner

5 Key Considerations When Choosing a Third-Party Medical Marketing Partner

Marketing a medical practice comes with unique challenges not seen in most other industries. Making sure patient data is secure, communications are HIPAA-compliant and that important healthcare messages are reaching the correct audience are all challenges that differ from that of the average marketing campaign. 

If you are looking for a solution to market your practice, consider outsourcing your medical marketing print campaigns. Choosing a reputable partner is not only good for business, but it can also help avoid financial penalties and data breaches. Not sure how to vet a company for your medical marketing needs? Here are some key considerations: 

Am I Using Sensitive Information? 

Information that discloses conditions, treatments, and care for a specific patient is protected by law. Even accidental infractions have steep financial penalties. It is important that parties on both sides of the healthcare marketing vendor relationship understand what information requires extra care. 

The content of your marketing messages will dictate which medical marketing partner is best for your needs. If sending out appointment reminders are part of your patient retention strategy, many printers can assist with this broad, universal content. If your print marketing is more specific about conditions, it may inadvertently disclose a patient’s diagnosis or treatment and put your practice at legal and/or financial risk.  

Awareness of HIPAA and medical privacy regulations protects your patients, your practice, and your reputation. For print marketing based on a patient diagnosis such as medicine recommendations, peer support groups, outpatient care options, and more, it’s important to work with a Commercial Printer that is familiar with healthcare privacy regulations to ensure you’re always in compliance. Preferred Direct is a HIPAA-compliant commercial printer with extensive experience handling not only medical marketing print services but third-party billing as well, for a variety of healthcare organizations.  

Does This Printer Have Any Relevant Certifications? 

There are industry certifications a printing partner can earn to display their medical marketing expertise. How will you know if a potential printer has them? In most cases, these certifications will be visible on the company’s website and other marketing materials.  

Look for mentions of HIPAA compliance, HITRUST certifications, and ways they keep data secure. Without these, you run the risk of incidental violation, compromised data, and workflow challenges. 

A strong reputation also goes a long way. Does the printing company have a working relationship with others in the healthcare industry? Preferred Direct, for example, works with one of the largest health insurance providers in the US, assuring HIPAA compliance every step of the way. We are also a HITRUST-certified printer, strictly following the HITRUST Common Security Framework (CSF) to ensure the utmost security of your patient data. In 2022, Preferred Direct was also named one of the top commercial print services in Virginia Beach. From reputation to certification, Preferred Direct has taken the steps to be the medical marketing partner of choice. 

What Healthcare Industry Experience Do They Have? 

At the end of the day, your best choice for a printing partner is the provider that excels at the services your practice or office needs. Most printing companies can execute direct mail campaigns or design high-quality brochures for a broad array of business types. Not all can do so for the healthcare industry. And even fewer can be a one-stop-shop for all medical printing needs.  

Say you want to expand into outsourcing your printed billing statements. The risk of small, yet costly mistakes is high when working with an inexperienced printer. 

Did you know that something as simple as using the wrong envelope can be a HIPAA violation? In this case, the window in the envelope disclosed personal information about patients, including a condition they underwent treatment for. Through this envelope, anyone who handled the piece of mail was able to see personal medical information, which ultimately culminated in a lawsuit.

At Preferred Direct, we pay careful attention to these areas of risk and ensure there is no exposures or violations before all mailing projects. We are incredibly proud to have never had a client HIPAA violation in our 35 years of business! 

When shopping around for a medical marketing partner, ask directly about their healthcare industry experience. While printers may not be able to disclose specific client or project details, a brief conversation can reveal a lot about an organization’s capabilities. Request samples of materials similar to those you are planning to use in an upcoming campaign. Use these to guide the conversation to medical marketing standards. A little bit of research and discussion can help prevent unnecessary stress and errors down the line. 

printing security

What Technology Does the Company Utilize? 

The technology used by a third-party medical marketing partner can be a deciding factor on whether they can securely handle your campaigns. Combined with industry expertise, the right technology can keep your communications professional, secure and credible. Here are three technologies to ask about: 

Variable Data Printing (VDP) 

Variable Data Printing is a process in which sections of information- such as Personal Medical Information, can be switched out from piece to piece, without slowing down the printing process. This capability shows they have the equipment necessary to handle the accurate, fast, and secure printing of potentially sensitive information. 

Internal Security Processes 

While you cannot be there to personally supervise the print job, there is no harm in inquiring about the internal processes that help keep sensitive data secure. Data encryption should be standard practice, as well as other visible forms of trust, such as certifications and a trusted staff. Ask about any data breaches the company may have experienced and their resolution. 

System Testing 

A good printing partner will allow for scheduled system tests. During these tests, mailing lists are pulled and prepared for sending. This is an opportunity to discover gaps in process, identify missing or duplicated recipients, and verify print quality long before your that first piece of mail delivers.

What About Finishing? 

Imagine your surprise when you receive a box of 5,000 unfolded brochures because the partner you chose only performs the printing portion of the job. Avoid the time-consuming stress and ask early about finishing options offered by your potential print marketing partner. 

brochure printing servicesMedical marketing collateral commands a higher level of professionalism to win the trust of patients. Exploring other finishing options, like binding or adding perforated sections can elevate the perceived quality of your printed marketing materials. Preferred Direct offers not only printing services but also bindery, collating, cutting, tabbing, scoring, perforations, drilling, folding, and other finishing services.  

Preferred Direct has years of experience and a stellar reputation in managing variable data and sensitive healthcare information. We guarantee prompt and confidential processing of your information while giving you flexible solutions to accommodate your medical marketing requirements. From designing to printing, to finishing to postage, we have the experience, technology, security, and personnel to be an invaluable asset to your healthcare communications. 

 When you partner with Preferred Direct, you partner with a data-secure, technology-focused medical marketing printing partner dedicated to your goals. Contact us today for an estimate! 

Why Now is the Perfect Time for Print Newsletter Marketing

Why Now is the Perfect Time for Print Newsletter Marketing

When was the last time you received a newsletter…that was not sent to your email? Keeping your clients, customers or patients consistently informed is a big key for brand engagement. And it simply makes sense to reach them where they are… online, right? Not exactly. Due to changing standards in online privacy, a large influx of email marketing, and increased competition in the digital marketing space, a printed newsletter may be the best medium to attract and engage your true audience base.

As a provider of commercial printing and mailing solutions for over 35 years, the team at Preferred Direct knows a thing or two about the consumer landscape. Although direct mail has been around for centuries, there are many reasons why now is the best time is to invest in printed newsletter marketing campaigns for your business.

Get Out the Cluttered Email Inbox

We’d like to think that customers eagerly await our emails for the latest promotions and news. Realistically, their email inbox looks just like ours— cluttered, with hundreds of unopened e-newsletters dying a slow death in the automated “Promotions” folder. With email providers implementing changes effecting deliverability rates and SPAM categorization, it’s likely that your audience isn’t receiving your emails in the first place, wasting the time and effort of your marketing team.

What makes print different? Printed newsletters offer a tangible experience using a marketing medium that has statistically become much less cluttered than the average email inbox. As many companies shift their marketing to online channels, the opportunity to be noticed in the mailbox has grown tremendously. However, there’s still a possibility of your newsletter going directly into the trashcan. That is where brand recognition, quality print materials and professional design come into play. Treating print newsletters like a tangible extension of your company’s product or service quality will differentiate your print marketing in a way that cannot be captured in a short email headline.

To cut through the email clutter even further, reference your most recent digital campaign in your print newsletter (or reference your newsletter in an email!) with a special incentive. You do not need to abandon one method for another, but rather, have them work together for best results. For customers and prospects that you simply are struggling to reach via email, printed newsletters through Preferred Direct may be the way to go!

Reach Clients in a New Way

With most of our daily communication taking place digitally, there is something refreshingly different about receiving mail that speaks directly to our wants and needs. A printed newsletter can be a unique space that elaborates and highlights your company story like no other. Whether through special print promotions or coupons, exclusive insider stories, or unique event incentives, there are plenty of opportunities to surprise and delight your newsletter subscribers in a way they are not accustomed to.

Are your competitors using a printed newsletter to reach their customers? If not, then this is a perfect time to reach your shared audiences in a way that your competitors do not. Your loyal customers will be pleased to see your direct communication and your competitor’s audience may be intrigued by this new touchpoint and the effort you put into the campaign. Though we may not think of the mailbox as “new”, we should. Print marketing is in a modern-day renaissance and this old medium could be the new way to communicate to your audience, effectively.

Forgo Online Privacy Barriers

Online privacy protection laws are actively being passed on national and local levels, highlighting the growing scrutiny on how personal information is found and used. Companies, such as Apple, Google and Microsoft, have responded by introducing various privacy features, that ultimately limit many marketers’ ability to effectively target audience segments. With these changing privacy laws, it may become harder for businesses to collect accurate email information. This has also impacted the number of bogus emails created for the sole purpose of downloading digital content through lead forms, without giving true, personal information.

On the other hand, It is much less common for your audience to set up P.O. boxes for junk mail. Therefore, when you deliver to a given address, you’re most likely reaching a real person and not a junk email bot. Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) campaigns can also help you target an audience by location. At Preferred Direct, we work with our local USPS office to designate the best geographic location for your campaign and pull accurate mailing lists on your behalf.

Here’s a common EDDM newsletter example:

Local veterinarian contacts Preferred Direct to send a print marketing newsletter to its 200+ existing customers and to every residential home within a 5 mile radius of their office using EDDM.

Customer – Jane opens her mailbox and sees the familiar logo of her local veterinarian’s office. The front page features a photo of two dogs posed in front of a holiday display, inviting readers to come in for a special pet photo event. Jane places the newsletter in her “keep” file and quickly texts her friend about the pet photo event. Later that evening, Jane reads the newsletter, adds “Make Fluffy a Vet appointment” to her to-do list, and clips a coupon for dog food.

Email alternative – Jane opened your email, forwarded to her friend’s email (where it hit the junk box) and forgot to follow up for a vet appointment since the email wasn’t consistently visible in the real world.

Prospect ­– Bob is new in town and has been researching veterinarians for his 8-year old Lab mix. Though he had his eye on another practice, he received a quality newsletter in the mail from this local veterinarian. This prompted him to check their online reviews and prices. After reading through their website and newsletter, which features more customer testimonials, health tips and a local dog park guide, he decides to call and set an appointment using his “FREE consultation” coupon clipped from the mail.

Email alternative – Your email went directly to junk mail because Bob does not have you on his email contact list.

In our example, the local veterinarian was able to engage different types of audiences, more than once from one newsletter. They may not have had the same return on investment if they sent out an email newsletter only. In our 35 years of experience with direct mail campaigns, it is not unheard of that a recipient might share a physically printed mail piece with a friend or family member – extending a campaign’s ROI.

Though you may be hesitant, we can confidently say NOW is the time to invest in print marketing and overcome the privacy barriers found in the digital marketplace. With a name and address, you can send professional, informative newsletters with 100% deliverability rates. No cookies, trackers, bots or privacy policies in sight!

Benefits of Newsletter Marketing

Not every printed marketing newsletter will yield the same results as our hypothetical veterinarian’s office example. But for those who work with a professional Print & Mail shop, the odds are in your favor. Here are a few advantages print marketing has over other forms of digital marketing:

  • More Qualified Leads – Client addresses are updated regularly to send invoices and charge payments, so you know your print newsletters are sending to the right address. Through our partnership with USPS, you can verify mailing addresses and even target an audience you do not currently have access to, using EDDM.
  • Longer Engagement Rates – The average ad is viewed for mere seconds. The simple act of holding a newsletter outlasts these digital methods exponentially. On average, a print piece will have a more lasting engagement than a digital marketing ad. Customers interested in your content may save it to read later, use as a bookmark, clip it on a fridge magnet etc. to keep it top of mind. You can increase the likelihood of this by choosing specialty bindings, paper sizes, and finishing options.
  • Reaches a Broader Audience – Not all customers are online, and for those that are, the digital landscape is constantly changing (and so are their email addresses). Through printed newsletter marketing, you can reach a larger audience than just those with working emails. You can also target new audiences by locations relevant to your business, casting a wider net for future clientele.
  • Direct Ways to Measure Impact – Whether it’s through a coupon, event/sale, or connecting print and digital efforts through a campaign-specific landing page, there are multiple ways to measure the success of your printed newsletter without relying on third-party metrics. Work with your print & mail provider to discuss the best way to track campaign ROI.

There has never been a more perfect time to add print newsletter marketing to your company’s mix. With all the clutter and privacy concerns occurring in the digital marketing realm, the mailbox is a very attractive marketing channel that has already been proven to engage, communicate, and inform your audience. Start NOW and solidify your spot in the mailbox before your competitors begin flocking to the post office. Keep in mind, every business has unique marketing goals and abilities. Therefore, it is important to partner with a knowledgeable print provider to discover the right newsletter marketing option to meet your goals.

As a HIPAA-compliant and HITRUST-certified printer, Preferred Direct has invested in top print and fulfillment technology and follows the strictest data security standards to ensure the safety of your data. Partner with Preferred Direct today to get started on your company’s next marketing newsletter campaign today!

22 Direct Marketing Trends in 2022

22 Direct Marketing Trends in 2022 

Direct marketing is the discipline of communicating directly with your audience through one-to-one mediums such as email, direct mail, social media, and text. Contrary to mass media, direct marketing can be personalized on an individual level, and is much easier to track a return on investment. At Preferred Direct, we assist customers around the nation with direct mail and direct digital communications to achieve their goals. Whether your direct marketing is for transactional, informational, educational, or promotional purposes, Preferred Direct is the preferred provider of secure, successful direct mail and print communications.  

 

22 Direct Mail Trends from Preferred Direct 

As we close out the first quarter of 2022, our team has noticed some direct marketing trends among our client’s projects and within the national market. In honor of it being the 22nd year of the millennium, here are 22 direct marketing trends to pay attention to this year:  

#1. Personalization: This has been a consistent trend since the beginning of 2020. With variable data printing technology, commercial printers can now customize names, images, colors, and more on each print piece.  

#2. Strong Brands: Consumers want to feel a personal connection to your brand. We’ve seen companies increase the success of their direct mail campaigns when they include information about who they are and the impact their brand wants to make in the world.  

#3. Omnichannel Marketing: Direct marketing is very successful when reinforced among multiple communication channels. Clients who follow up direct mail campaigns with direct emails or texts, and vice versa, can further their brand message and improve customer recall.sustainable direct mail advertising

#4. Sustainability: Sustainability has been a trend among consumers for years and it’s important to show that you value the future of this earth too. Include sustainability statements or links to your social responsibility pages in your direct marketing promotions and show you care!  

#5. Reusable Print: When clients and customers receive high-quality print pieces, many will re-use the print for other purposes – keeping your brand top of mind. Preferred Direct can help with generating ideas like using perforations to make bookmarks or mini table games from postcards to keep your brand front and center.   

#6. The Digital-Print Shift: As digital marketing becomes harder to track and customers request more privacy online, many customers are open to receiving more promotional communications in the mail. With email as the new “junk mail”, the ol’ mailbox has much less competition and a higher impact.  

#7. User Intent: Conducting research to understand how your audience approaches and consumes your content can effectively improve the impact of your marketing campaigns. Understanding if your recipients intend to buy, research, share, or save your content, helps you create an engaging campaign designed around what your customer REALLY wants. Knowing what prospects expect from a company like yours, and the intention behind their actions will help build focused content for your direct mail campaigns that achieves your goals and theirs.  

#8. FOMO: The “Fear Of Missing Out” is a natural curiosity that can be a successful tool to engage your audience. Include just enough information in your direct mail to peak your reader’s curiosity and they just must learn more to satisfy the knowledge gap you’ve created.   

#9. Two-Factor Authentication: For transactional direct marketing campaigns, it’s important to safeguard your customer’s information. Sending a letter with changes made in a customer’s digital account can help reduce fraud and identity theft for customers that may have had their digital passwords hacked. Creating “two-factor authentication” through digital and print mediums protects your company and your customers, but only if processed through a secure printer like Preferred Direct.  

#10. Large Postcards: As consumers become more open to promotional mail, some clients are seeing success with oversized postcards. Sizes such as 11 x 6, 8 x 17, etc. stick out from other mail pieces and won’t get lost in the stack.   

#11. Catalogs: To cut through the digital clutter, DTC and eCommerce brands are going back to the future of sending full catalogs in the mail. They recognize print is not dead and online shopping doesn’t necessarily have to start online. Others have even gone a step further adding print coupons to their catalogs to increase online sales.  

#12. Emotional Connection: Using less corporate verbiage and more natural conversation text, Companies can make a more personal, emotional connection with consumers. Customers deal with “fake news” and “fake profiles” all day long. They want real, honest companies and your print text can communicate that.  

#13. Designer Envelopes: Who said professional print needs to be plain? Using a full-color envelope design, insurance carriers, finance institutions, billing companies, and many high-volume direct billing companies are seeing greater engagement on their transactional and promotional direct mail campaigns. Work with a Preferred Direct designer to create the perfect full-color envelope for your customer mailings today!  

#14. Privacy/User Consent: To appease to growing concerns around data privacy and user consent, try sending a direct mail campaign to consumers requesting opt-ins for your digital direct marketing. Skip the firewalls and SPAM folders and connect with visitors directly in a non-invasive medium.  direct marketing QR code

#15. QR Codes: QR Codes have made one heck of a comeback due to COVID-19. Now that many people know how they work, marketers are seeing success in converting print interest into digital conversions using scannable QR Codes. To be scannable, QR codes must be at least .8” x .8”.  

#16. Tip-On Giveaways: Whether a gift card, a mock bank card, or other card giveaways, adding a rigid piece of cardstock to your direct mail campaigns can increase its premium feel and entice the receiver to open.  

#17. Specialty Fold Options: Create a big reveal with your direct mail campaigns through designs with specialty folds. Asymmetrical folds, accordion folds, and gate folds are just a few direct mail folding options that allow more space for your content to delight with every unfold.  

#18. Retargeting Print: You may have heard about retargeting digital ads, but have you considered retargeting ads using print? Creating a process to automate print campaigns for abandoned carts or product upselling can help nudge customers, that have digitally “checked out” of your company, to reconsider a purchase. 

#19. Print Security: Customers want to know their data is safe with your company. That’s why more and more businesses are partnering with print providers who are HITRUST-certified, HIPAA-compliant, and have shown they follow strict data security standards. If a company says they are secure, they must ensure their vendors are too. Business magazine printing services

#20. Company Magazines: As more companies are creating content for digital, marketing-savvy businesses are maximizing this content and distributing it offline in a company magazine. Once your company has 5-10+ educational blogs, you can create a company magazine to distribute to your customers, periodically. This trend can increase your customer retention and referral rates.  

#21. Concise Copy: Keep it simple! Customers are already overloaded with marketing messages all day long. A concise, well-thought-out slogan and supporting text are more memorable than a full paragraph. Direct marketing campaigns with a clear, simple message can be all you need to tip the scales in your direction.  

#22. Contact Preferred Direct! We would like to think it’s a trend that more and more companies are choosing Preferred Direct for their print and mail needs. Popular reasons businesses have moved to Preferred are: their printer is struggling to meet deadlines, their printer isn’t investing in security technology or their printer has limited options. Working with a more connected, technology-focused printer is a trend that can make a big difference in your marketing.  

  

Before You Dive All In, Contact Preferred Direct  

Not all trends will work for your audience, so it’s important to partner with a print provider to discover the right campaign for your goals. At Preferred Direct, we have a team of designers and print experts to help you create the perfect direct marketing pieces that engage your audience. As a HIPAA-compliant and HITRUST-certified printer, we have invested in top print and fulfillment technology and follow the strictest data security standards to ensure the safety of your data. Partner with Preferred Direct today and implement one or more of these direct marketing trends for your most engaging direct marketing campaign yet! 

10 Benefits of Direct Marketing for your Business in 2022

Here are 10 Astounding Benefits of Direct Marketing for your Business in 2022

2022 has been labeled to be the year of direct marketing. Add to that the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 threat of 2020 to this day, and you’ll find this type of marketing to remain a top channel that continues to enable both B2C and B2B corporations to make millions in profits.

If in the past companies used mainly offline marketing techniques, such as print ads, TV commercials, billboard marketing, or newspaper ads, today most marketing happens online. However, this doesn’t mean that some direct techniques such as direct mail are dead. In fact, direct mail is stronger than ever before. Over 73% of US customers prefer direct mail over other marketing channels.

If you want to gain an edge over your competitors and make the most out of your marketing dollars, you should definitely become aware of the huge benefits of this marketing tactic. However, before getting into that, it is important to look at what actually direct marketing is. 

direct marketing ROI ebook

Download the 2022 Direct Marketing ROI eBOOK today!

 

What is Direct Marketing?

To better understand what direct marketing is, you need to understand what indirect marketing is. Indirect marketing includes all the tactics that promote your brand on a general level. These could be billboards, commercials, newsletters, blog posts, radio ads, google ads, brand awareness campaigns, or newspaper ads. These ads are not personalized to the individual but aim to capture a target audience that share similar interests.

Conversely, direct marketing is focused on the end customer, with a clear goal of converting them or bringing them deeper into the funnel. Direct marketing can include a wide range of tactics, both online and offline. Online  tactics are email marketing, targeted ads, remarketing, or SMS marketing. Offline techniques are telemarketing, events, points of sale, or postal mail.

Traits of a Successful Campaign

Effective direct marketing campaigns have some particular traits. There are:

  • Personalized content
  • Using clear images that draw the eye, coupled with authentic testimonials
  • Leveraging the power of strong, persuasive calls-to-action
  • Keeping data fresh
  • Integrated with other marketing campaigns

Benefits of Direct Marketing for your Business in 2022

variable data printing#1. Offer the ideal purchase experience: direct marketing allows you to craft a bespoke experience for each potential customer, thus maximizing conversion rates. Your customers will feel valued and more willing to be guided from the initial discovery stages all the way through the conversion stage of the buyer journey.

#2. Build strong, long-lasting relationships with your customers: all direct campaigns, such as email marketing or remarketing, enable you to build stronger relationships with your clients. Since you’ll be sending your targeted messages to very specific audiences, plus you’ll have the option to build your messages on the previous ones, you’ll be able to nurture your relationship with prospects.

#3. Discover new customers and find more customers interested in buying from you. When you discover one type of engaged buyer, you can research other buyers with similar interests. You can thus expand your reach and gain access to a new market willing to buy from you.

#4 Perfect targeting: with direct mail marketing services, you can target people based on their unique interests and needs. Direct marketing enables you to narrow down your audience and gain access to only those people who are willing to purchase from you.

#5 Quick turnaround: whether you choose an email marketing campaign or a direct mail campaign, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to experience an extremely quick turnaround time. Creating email campaigns online is super fast and easy. At the same time, commercial printers offer a very good turnaround time thanks to the advancements in print-on-demand technology. You’ll be able to set up winning campaigns within days and boost your conversion rates like never before.

direct marketing personalization#6. Advertise specific products, services or offers: another benefit this type of marketing has to offer relates to control. With this technique, you are in control of which information you’re sending to which prospects. You control the offer and the message depending on the individual, so you can perform multiple A/B tests to determine what your audience really wants from you.

#7 Easy personalization: online, you can use various programs that can personalize the name of a person based on certain criteria. Offline, you can also leverage variable data printing to easily personalize each direct mail you send to prospects. By addressing your recipients by name and by adding certain unique traits they posses will help you connect with them at a deeper level. Variable data printing is an excellent way for easy personalization.

#8. Quite cost-effective: when you factor in the return-on-investment, you soon notice that direct marketing is much cheaper than any other marketing technique. Thanks to analytics, you can know exactly how much you are spending on each conversion.

#9. It’s fairly easy to track and measure your results: Easily track your progress and test out results to see exactly who is benefiting most from your campaigns. Whether you’re going with online or offline campaigns, you can easily track results. Of course, the analytics is better for online campaigns, because it’s all listed there.

direct mail advertising campaign#10. Improve customer loyalty: lastly, direct campaigns are focused and will enable your customers to remember you with ease. Strong campaigns can keep brands and products in the minds of customers. On the other hand, indirect campaigns that are just out there trying to capture the attention of potential customers will never have the impact of a direct marketing campaign in which the customer is directly impacted.

Looking for some more direct marketing insight? Take a look at this article on 2022 Direct Mail Trends and Predictions, by whosmailingwhat.com, and contact our team to get started.

 

direct mail marketing estimate

Use the Best Services for your Brand

direct mail servicesMost people check their mail box several times a day, especially when they are expecting EOBs, collection letters, utility bills or medical bills. You can make it a pleasant surprise by leveraging the benefits offered by one of the best direct marketing techniques, direct mail.  

To fully capitalize on the power of direct marketing for your business, you should only work with professionals. At Preferred Direct, we offer a vast range of personalized marketing services, including direct mail, emergency printing, fundraising services, and printing services. We are focused on increasing your ROI and enabling you to make the most out of your budget. 

 

Contact us today at 1-844-719-1848 and let us help you outsmart your competitors in 2022 and beyond by taking full advantage of Preferred Direct’s Print & Mail services.

Download the Direct Marketing ROI 2022 eBook

Gain insight into the latest direct marketing trends and learn how to maximize the ROI of your mail campaigns.

Nonprofit Marketing – Print & Digital Tips and Tricks

Nonprofit Marketing – Print and Digital Tips & Tricks

Print marketing and digital marketing should, no doubt, be a part of your nonprofit 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.

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 nonprofit marketing stand out and provide a tangible way to reach your target audience.

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

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.

1. 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. 

2. Stay within budget with on-demand printing. 

By working with a commercial printer that offers on-demand printing, your can keep costs in check for your nonprofit marketing campaigns. 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. 

3. 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 on your nonprofit marketing 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.

 

Nonprofit Marketing – Using Digital Marketing Solutions

 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. 

1. 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 nonprofit 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. 

2. 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. 

Commercial Printing3. Customize your digital marketing communications. 

Tailoring your nonprofit 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. 

Choosing the Right Partner for your Nonprofit Marketing Campaigns

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 nonprofit marketing to minimize costs and maximize returns. We provide a full spectrum of services related to printing, direct mail marketing, email marketing, and SMS marketing.

direct mail servicesWe 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.

Request a quote online or call Preferred Direct toll-free today. 1-844-719-1848

 

21 Ways to Add Flair to Your Direct Mail Campaign

21 Ways to Add Flair to your Direct Mail Campaign

Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “Learn from the mistakes of others… You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself!”

direct mail advertisingHow do you attract, inform, and appeal to your customers? How do you differentiate your direct mail campaign? 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?

Many highly-effective methods exist to promote a business. Direct mail campaigns, 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

Direct Mail Campaign Tips

Here is a score of suggestions to energize your creative marketing mail campaign or 21 ways to add flair to your direct mail campaign:

 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 direct mail 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 your direct mail campaign 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. 

The Preferred 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. 

direct mail services

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

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.

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.

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.

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

variable data printing HP

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:

 Financial 

  • 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 

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 

direct mail services

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

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!

Envelope Press

HP 240T HD Roll to Roll Press

Xerox Roll to Roll Press

High Speed Mail Inserter

Five Creative Ways to Spice Up Your Marketing Print

Five Creative Ways to Spice Up Your Marketing Print

direct mail servicesThe value of your marketing print pieces are 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 Marketing Print Matters

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 as a markting print piece. 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 marketing print 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 services, the money you spend won’t be worth it if no one remembers what you have to say. 

Creative Solutions

Here are five creative ways to add some spice into your next marketing print or transactional print piece:
#1. Perforation: Instead of including a separate form, perforate your direct mail and let your customers interact with it a little more. Or score the letter so after they’re finished reading it, they can turn it into an origami swan or paper airplane. To stand up to the US Postal Service, you’ll need a printer that can design mail that can withstand the pressure without complicating the design and functionality of your letter.

#2. Graphic Design: The graphics of your marketing print 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.
#3. Bindery: This general service can refer to either the stapling or binding of your materials. If you need commercial printing for a presentation at a major conference, you can use a spiral or loose-leaf binding to give attendees a different way to interact with your company. Considering many professionals are visual learners, the right commercial printing can reinforce and drive home the key points of the presentation. Preferred Direct a man leaning over with his hands on a stack of colored printed materials
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.

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

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

Choosing the Right Marketing Print Partner

direct mail servicesThere 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 and offer creative ways to engage them. We give you the means to capture people’s limited attention span with marketing print, so you don’t waste a single cent of your marketing budget.

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.

The Ultimate Guide to a Direct Mail Campaign

The Ultimate Guide to a Direct Mail Campaign

What Is Direct Mail?

direct mail campaignDirect mail campaign refers to the act of sending a physical medium to potential prospects, current clients, or existing members of your organization. It could be a letter, pamphlet, package, postcard — anything that sends a message about your business or organization. There is some thought that direct mail is for B2C, but it can be an equally effective strategy for B2B as well. Preferred Direct is both a print and direct mail operation, making us a powerhouse for businesses Direct Mail Campaigns over the nation.

The Power of a Direct Mail Campaign

Direct mail campaigns creates a tangible experience in a person’s hands, one that can reach the practical senses to connect with the emotional side. It may explain why the Direct Marketing Association found that house lists generated an average response rate of 9%, and prospect lists generated an average rate of 4.9% in 2018. The response rate had roughly doubled from the year before, making 2018 the most productive year since 2013. Studies have shown that people view direct mail as more trustworthy, perhaps because it requires more effort to send than your standard email blast.

What Kinds of Direct Mail Campaigns Are Most Effective?

The 2016 data revealed the following ranking (in terms of response rate):

  1. Oversized envelopes
  2. Postcards
  3. Dimensional mail
  4. Catalogs

Oversized envelopes create a sense of anticipation, an itch that needs to be scratched. Postcards give people all the information they need with nothing more than a single glance. Catalogs are both enticing and easy to flip through to see if anything catches the eye. And, well, you might be wondering what precisely dimensional mail even is. In short, it’s anything that isn’t flat. In other words, if you make your flyer into the shape of a paper airplane, there’s a much higher chance that someone will open it. You can also try making your mail more than 3/4″ thick. That also seems to hold a lot of appeal to recipients if you’re measuring based on the response rates.

How Does B2C Direct Mail Work?

A B2C Direct Mail Campaign doesn’t have a lot of rules, which is one of the reasons why it can be a fun project for marketers. Some people will send instant coffee to customers to show them just how easy it is to use the company’s services (as simple as adding hot water). This type of direct mail works especially well for startup businesses. Others will work the personalization factor, addressing a person as directly as possible. So instead of just including the person’s name, they might also incorporate the school they go to, the type of financial account they have, or their specific insurance policy. Non-profit organizations often include coins in their direct mail pieces to prompt the recipient to respond. Addressing a specific person means using variable data in commercial printing. You’ll need a company that can quickly alter a piece, so it’s as accurate and useful as possible. So if you’re trying to send information to your patients about their insurance policy, you can vary your direct mail based on the patient’s plan and coverage levels. Preferred Direct has worked with countless Direct Mail Campaigns across a wide variety of industries, and we’ve seen what works along the way and the solutions they provide.

How Does B2B Direct Mail Work?

Consumer direct mail will inherently be different from B2B, especially if you’re marketing or targeting a highly select group of people. We recommend personalizing every piece of mail that goes out (similar to B2C efforts). Some businesses have even gone so far as to create personalized portraits or cartoons for each prospect. (Trust us when we say there are enough freelance artists out there to make this little gamble worth your while.) Others will send leftover swag to companies for everyone to enjoy, or create a fake press release or news article that details how their business can help recipients solve a problem they already have. Whatever it is you do with your B2B direct mail, you need to consider the end product of each campaign. If the colors of your brand are a little dull or the artwork is a bit smudged, it can create a negative association with your company long before the reader ever really bothers to learn what you had to say.

What Is Digital Mail?

email marketing services

Digital mail is a way for you to personalize your correspondence using computerized tools and therefore more targeted. Digital Mail allows you to manage your mail through your Smart Phone if you like. Mostly, it’s a way of piquing your audience’s interest without dramatically increasing the time or cost of the project. One of the biggest reasons why email campaigns and virtual advertising fails is because it rarely addresses the reality of the consumer’s life. A financial account holder who’s never invested before is unlikely to care about an opportunity with a minimum buy-in of $20,000. Parents of a toddler aren’t going to rip into a brochure that details the myths and facts of student loan debt. For some, using variable data may have been difficult to do in the past, but this has largely been changed by the technology of the day. Rather than plates having to be swapped out every time you wanted to change artwork or wording, database-driven printing equipment can be programmed to go from one piece to the next seamlessly.

How Can I Best Personalize a Direct Mail Campaign?

One word: segmentation! If you’re not segmenting your lists, you’ll end up sending meaningless junk to people. You’ll end up wasting your direct mail budget! A marketer’s job is to comb through their audience to better understand what’s driving people’s habits and to make the mailing more targeted. Variable data can be incorporated into direct mail, but you first need to know how to best work with that data. Ideally, you’d want to send a different message to every customer and prospect. Customers and prospects want to feel valued, especially given the level of competition in the business world today. And while this is a tall order, you can get closer to this goal if you can start paring your list by everything from age to income to lifestyle.

As you begin to make your lists more specific, you can use A/B testing to quantify your response rates. So let’s say you create a small list of people. They’re all roughly the same age, they all live in a similar neighborhood, and they all share vital traits in terms of their profession. As an example, you send one half of the list a letter detailing how you can help them save some cash with your services. You send another half a letter discussing exactly how your business helps customers save time. From there, you can measure the response rates to see if people care more about their money or their time. There are many ways to A/B test your mailing piece. You can test colors, call to action, fonts, etc  The key is to test and test to be sure that you are getting the best response or the response you want.

Why Wouldn’t I Send an Email?

Consumers are consistently facing a deluge of email. When this strategy was first debuting, marketers found success in carefully constructed email campaigns. However, the influx has made it such that even the most dramatic of subject lines are not getting the desired results. People receive 121 emails a day on average, meaning it’s become much more of a chore than anything else. In contrast, people still enjoy checking their mailbox, especially when they get something interesting or fun from time to time.

How Much Does Direct Mail Cost?

bill printing services

Here’s the rub if you’re comparing the two most common forms of communication: email is virtually free, but direct mail will cost you a little more. The largest expense for a Direct Mail project is the postage. Direct mail can cost anywhere from a few cents a project, the graphics collating of the data to the bindery of the medium. If you’re looking to save a little cash on your project without compromising the quality, you’re in luck. The machinery used for direct mail has improved in the past few years, making it possible to handle high volumes and complicated design requests (whether in terms of graphics or folding). If you’re looking for commercial printing, it helps to pick a company that knows the value of a good investment. Preferred Direct has the Xerox Impika and the HP T-240 HD printer, both of which have managed to blow us away with their efficiency and results. Print on Demand projects is high-speed full-color printing at its finest. What that means for your direct mail campaign is that no drop of ink is wasted, and no detail is overlooked. You can use the paper stock that fits your brand, so you can rest assured your direct mail is making the right impression.

How Does the Post Office Work with My Direct Mail?

The post office looks at everything from the size of your mail to the thickness to the shape.  Their visual inspection of the trays or sacks and the accompanying paperwork, whether First Class Pre-sort or Standard will be necessary for the mail’s approval. If everything isn’t labeled correctly, carriers may treat your direct mail without the kid’s gloves it requires. You don’t need your carefully crafted folding job to end up flattened at the bottom of a postal bag. Preferred Direct knows the U.S. Post Office requirements inside and out, and we make sure your mail is delivered precisely how you intended it. Why go through all that effort if customers or prospects end up with a half version of what you meant to send?

How Can I Use Direct Mail with Inbound Marketing?

Inbound is all about attracting leads through informative content, and direct mail is all about creating them. The more interest you can generate through your outbound efforts, the more you can grow your inbound efforts. Use direct mail to educate people about what it is you’re trying to do and watch how your efforts encourage them to take the next step. As with any inbound strategy, you need to find customers where they are. It should come as no surprise to you that some people won’t even look at their mailboxes because they’re too busy looking at smartphones. But for marketers in industries like insurance, finance, and education, you’re likely dealing with homeowners who are still interested in the mail. You can also work with opt-in lists to create more inbound success. The people on your opt-in list have already asked for you to send them direct mail. Those who inherently have an interest in your company may be more likely to follow up on your specials or promotions, which can lead you to more profitable relationships. Sending just the right number of publications can encourage customers to upgrade without annoying them. Or you can try following up a virtual sign-up with a physical one. So if someone subscribes to your email list, you can send a thank you with direct mail. Or you can send an interesting case study that showcases how you help people just like them. Doing something a little different can help your company stand out.

Can I Cross Commercial Printing and Digital Marketing?

Yes, and the results can be surprisingly effective. Some people will direct customers or prospects to the website instead of asking them to call to make an appointment. Some will offer incentives to sign up for their app, but only make those digital marketing incentives available to those who receive their direct mail. You can also print a scannable QR code on your direct mail piece. The data will show you how people are interacting with your mail piece.

How Can Direct Mail Directly Affect My Profits?

A Direct Mail Campaign is a great way to strengthen your branding efforts. The more times you can connect with your customers on different levels, the more likely they are actually to remember you. So while your direct response rate may not be 100%, that doesn’t mean you haven’t made another impression on your customers. Your virtual communication, physical media, and broadcast efforts may all differ based on the audience and the communication method. Still, the essence of the brand and the messaging stay the same. If you want to learn more about how direct mail can help you, Preferred Direct is here to give you a few tips. We have the equipment, know-how, and professional experience to provide you with more than just standard advice. And while we can’t get into the specifics of your campaign right now, we can undoubtedly dive right in when you give us a call.

What Should I Look for in a Direct Mail Company?

When choosing a direct mail printer for your organization’s communication projects, there’s much to consider. Not all printing providers have the expertise or equipment to handle the demands of full-color, secure, variable data printing.

direct mail services

A direct mail company needs to be able to keep up with you. Despite the many (many) printing companies who advertise cut-throat rates online, the moral of the story is that your level of service matters. If you need to make last-minute changes to your direct mail, you need a staff that can make it happen. With Preferred Direct, you get a project manager who is looking after all the details on the project. They’re the ones coordinating different employees, so no request is falling through the cracks. These pros are also here to help guide you through the process of direct mail. So if you have questions about segmentation, branding, or A/B testing, we show you how to make the most of your hard-won lists.

With over 30 years of experience in commercial printing and mailing fulfillment, Preferred Direct is the preferred direct mail printer for many companies nationwide. We have the technology, capacity and drive to assist you in your communications efforts. From design to delivery, we handle your data with care, delivering your direct mail on time and on budget. Contact us today to request a project estimate and let’s get started!