Document Printing Services

 

Dynamic Document Printing with VDP

When you need documents with mass customization, including varied text and images, you need Preferred’s document printing services with variable data printing technology. Preferred Direct offers variable data programming that allows us to provide a wide variety of projects, from simple business forms and letters to the most complex transactional work.

Document Printing Services

  • Account Statements & Letters
  • Annual Reports
  • Legal Forms & Documents
  • Patient Forms & Documents
  • Financial Forms & Documents
  • Business Forms & Documents
  • Donation Forms & Documents
  • Explanation of Benefits Statement
  • & More!

Printing Options

  • Black & White or Full Color Printing
  • One-Sided or Two-Sided Printing
  • Variety of Paper Types available
  • Bindery and Finishing available

“Working with Preferred Direct has been a pleasure. It is great to have such a responsive, flexible, and knowledgeable team to help execute our communications plans.”

Curt Wynn

Director of Marketing Public Affairs and Communications, Tidewater Community College

document printing booklets

Finishing Services

Preferred Direct provides bindery and finishing services for all of your document printing needs.

Whether your professional document requires:

  • binding
  • collating
  • punching
  • scoring
  • die cutting
  • folding
  • & more!

We have the skills, technology and experience to deliver a print product that looks professional and is ready to distribute. 

Collate & Assemble

Preferred Direct offers complete collate and assemble document printing service for your business. When collating and assembling, all of your requested materials will be placed in the correct order efficiently and accurately, giving your materials a professional look every time. As a commercial printer, Preferred Direct can save you money by completing your fulfillment jobs in a quick, easy and efficient manner.

inventory management
direct mail printer
Preferred Direct Marketing

Industry Specialties

Businesses and municipalities across the country entrust Preferred Direct with regularly producing their dynamic document printing needs. From city water invoices to medical bills to EOBs to retail revolving charge accounts, you can rely on us to handle your document printing needs, securely and accurately. Industries we specialize in are:

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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!

Preferred Direct Named Top Printing Service in Virginia Beach by Expertise.com

Preferred Direct Named Top Printing Service in Virginia Beach by Expertise.com

June 24, 2022 Norfolk, VA – Preferred Direct, industry-leading print, direct mail, and digital communications partner, is honored to be selected as one of the Top 7 Best Printing Services in Virginia Beach by Expertise.com, a market research leader dedicated to researching and presenting the top service providers in over 200 industries across the U.S.

Expertise.com uses selection categories that include availability, qualifications, reputation, expertise, and professionalism to assess over 60,000 businesses monthly and present the highest rated professionals in each industry.

In Virginia Beach, Expertise.com reviewed 97 printing companies, including Preferred Direct and scored each business on more than 25 variables across the five selection categories, resulting in a handpicked list of the best printers in Virginia Beach.

As a result, Preferred Direct was chosen as one of the top 7 printing companies in the region. The company received an A rating for reputation, a criterion scored on publicly available information such as average review scores, professional database reviews, and volatility of ratings. Preferred Direct also received an A+ for professionalism, based on interaction with a mystery shopper who posed as a potential customer and scored the company’s knowledge, friendliness, and professionalism.

A family-owned company, Preferred Direct was founded in 1987 and recently celebrated 35 years in business. Located in a 50,000 square foot facility in Norfolk, Virginia, Preferred Direct owns 25+ print, bindery and fulfillment assets, including an HP T250 digital printer, a Xerox Impika inkjet printer, a Canon 710 printer, Kern roll inserter, a Horizon binder and more. Specializing in high volume direct mail and print solutions, Preferred Direct services clients in the insurance, healthcare, finance, nonprofit, utility and other direct marketing industries, nationwide.

“We take pride, not only in the quality and efficiency of our print services, but in the level of professionalism and customer satisfaction we provide,” says Bill Nee, president. “For 35 years, we have built a name as a technology-first, data-secure, family-owned print partner in the Hampton Roads region and we are incredibly honored to be named one of the top printing services in the area. Thank you to Expertise.com for recognizing the dedication and outstanding work our staff puts in every day to serve and support our customers.”

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! 

Preferred Direct Celebrates 35 Years and Two Generations of Business

Preferred Direct Celebrates 35 Years and Two Generations of Business

April 18, 2022, Norfolk, VA – Founded in 1987, Preferred Direct, a second-generation commercial printer, is excited to announce the achievement of 35 years in business. Founded by Bill Nee, Sr. and his wife, Patricia Nee, , Preferred Direct started from humble beginnings as a mail sorting business in the family home and has grown to a 50,000 square foot commercial printing facility in Norfolk, VA. As the company steps into their 35th year, Preferred Direct is proud to be a local family business serving companies nationwide with print, mail and communication solutions.

From a Home Office Mailshop

In 1987, Patricia and Bill Nee Sr. were an average couple with a house in the suburbs and three young adult sons. At the time, Bill Sr. was working long hours in corporate America, but he and Patricia had an American dream of their own – to be successful business owners.

direct mail printerThroughout the 1980s, the United States Postal Service invested in automation technology for mail processing and was offering large discounts to bulk mailers with pre-sorted mail (Smithsonian National Postal Museum). Bill Sr. recognized the potential for services in mail collating, sorting, and processing, which led him and Patricia to start a small mail shop in their home office. As the business grew, so did their dream

“My parents long-term vision was to create a ‘one stop shop’ that would simplify the work of their clients by providing an end-to-end solution that includes everything from design to printing to mail.” Says Bill Nee Jr., son and now President of Preferred Direct.

After three years in business, the company outgrew the family home and moved to its first commercial location in Virginia Beach, VA. That same year, Bill Sr. incorporated the company in Virginia as Preferred Direct Marketing Services Inc.  For the next eight years, Bill Sr. and Patricia would grow the company to become the “Preferred” mail service center for clients throughout Hampton Roads and the East Coast.  In 1998, they decided to purchase a printing press, an investment in capital equipment that would take Preferred Direct to the next level.

To Nationwide Commercial Print & Mail Fulfillment

In 1998, Bill Nee, Jr., joined the family business to operate the new press, and his younger brothers, Rick and Chris, came on board over the years that followed. The company quickly outgrew its facility, and in 2008, moved into a 17,000 square foot premises on Virginia Beach Blvd.

Six years later, in 2014, Preferred Direct signed its first master service agreement with the largest Healthcare provider in the United States. Thus began investments in multiple print, mail and fulfillment technologies, including the first roll-to-roll Xerox Impika in the US for faster inkjet printing capabilities. Four years later, Preferred Direct purchased its first roll to insert equipment to speed up the mail inserting process for their clients.

In January 2019, the company had outgrown yet another facility, prompting the move into its current 50,000 square foot building located at 4590 Village Avenue in Norfolk, VA. The move made room for the company to purchase an HP T250 digital printing press capable of high-speed variable data inkjet printing, with vibrant color and quality.

“Our capital investments over the past 10 years have enabled us to offer higher quality and faster turnaround times, while keeping our pricing competitive for clients” says Chris Nee, son and  vice president of business development.

Living the American Dream

With a deep commitment to security (HITRUST certified & HIPAA compliant), technology and efficiency, Preferred Direct continues to thrive.

“It’s amazing to see all that our family has been able to accomplish over the past 35 years, as we’ve gone from sorting mail in the kitchen to having 57 employees, 10+ equipment assets and a multitude of customers across the nation,” remarks Chris.

 

“We are incredibly proud of the hard work of our team of employees and the great collaborations we have built with our customers. We’re looking forward to continued growth in the future and to maintaining the family connection that has brought us so far,” says Bill Nee Jr., whose son and grandsons now also work at Preferred Direct.

What began with a dream has evolved into a growing family business that has made an impact in the Hampton Roads community and for companies nationwide. Today, Bill and Chris Nee continue to build the legacy their parents began and remain committed to helping businesses around the nation with their print and mail communication needs for many years to come.

Preferred Direct’s, Kristen Hollar, featured in HP Graphic Arts Article titled “Fabulously Focused”

February 10, 2021 – After the success of the HP PageWide T240 installation at Preferred Direct, HP reached out to the company to discuss the history of Preferred Direct and the ROI of the new print technology. Here’s the article content:


If Preferred Direct can be described in one word, it’s surely passionate.

As an industry-leading print, direct mail and digital communications company, the Norfolk, Virginia company thrives on an innovative spirit – something their Director of Operations carries in abundance. Kristen Hollar has worked at Preferred Direct for 18 years, standing ready to meet the marketing and communications needs of any commercial organization in direct mail, digital or, mixed media. She continually looks for new ways to help her customers succeed on all marketing fronts with the help of the HP PageWide We Press T240 HD. But forward thinking has been Preferred Direct’s hallmark for 34 years.

The company was started as a mail shop by owner Bill Nee’s parents out of a spare bedroom in 1987. Bill Nee, Sr. spearheaded the company’s entrepreneurial drive, having worked for years with different mailing, printing and software firms. He determined to write his company’s own software and streamline as many processes as possible. By 1992, the Nees had expanded their offerings into printing, as they found themselves waiting constantly for printers to deliver, which impacted drop rates.

In the ensuring years, as has been their history, Preferred Direct kept innovating, quickly adopting personalization and incorporating variable data processing into production. That dedication to forward thinking served the printer well in a challenging economy. Kristen saw how the 2007 recession impacted competitors that had not yet transitions to digital printing. Kristen kept fulfilling orders, handling runs of any size on short deadlines, and helped her company get through tough times. She believes strongly that customers will always choose vendors with newer ideas, lower costs and speedier turn arounds.

As digital printing came of age, Preferred Direct’s next step was the installation for the HP PageWide Web Press T240 HD. Of its speed and versatility, Kristen says, “It allows us to print on a much larger scale, the color is tremendous, and we can print roll-to-roll on different substrates. When someone comes to us with a need for 100,000 pieces in two days, the HP press makes all the difference.”

Today, with the T240 HD at hand, customers can bring in complete integrated campaigns. With the advent of email, display ads, and SMS, Preferred Direct has watched digital communications grow to 40 percent of their business. But direct mail will remain the heart and soul of their operations.

As Kristen says, “Our evolution into digital marketing happened because we’re always staying on top of technology as it comes to market – always reinvesting in the company and our processes, procedures, and equipment. We believe it’s important to have everything under one roof.


Preferred Direct is an industry-leading commercial print, direct mail and digital communications provider founded by Bill Nee, Sr. in Norfolk, Va. in 1987. Now in its second generation of family ownership, Preferred Direct is a HITRUST-certified, HIPAA-compliant partner to the healthcare, insurance, finance and other industries nationwide. Learn more at www.preferreddirect.com.

 

Paying it forward: Preferred Direct’s $20,000 donation will provide over 50,000 meals in SEVA

December 11, 2020 – Norfolk, VA – Aiming to bring some relief to families experiencing hard times due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other issues, Norfolk-based Preferred Direct, a family-owned commercial printer, has donated $20,000 to the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore (SEVA). The funds will help provide 50,000 meals to people in crisis in the SEVA community.

”It has been a very difficult year for so many people,” says Bill Nee Jr., president of Preferred Direct. “We feel fortunate to be in a position to hopefully make a difference and show our commitment to our community.”

He added: “We knew that the SEVA Foodbank is helping meet the immediate needs of numerous households affected this year. We are honored to be a part of the meaningful work they do.”

Preferred’s donation comes at a crucial time. According to SEVA President Ruth Jones Nichols, “This year, food donations are down by 1 million pounds.” Meanwhile, the economic effects of the pandemic mean more Americans are experiencing food insecurity for the first time in their lives. “Feeding America has projected about 59% of people facing food insecurity, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, won’t be eligible for federal nutrition programs,” Nichols explained. This means SEVA’s mission is more critical than ever.

SEVA uses cash donations like Preferred’s to make bulk purchases, which it then assembles and distributes. This includes fresh, frozen, canned, boxed, and prepared foods. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the SEVA Foodbank has supplied nearly 6.5 million meals to those in need.

Nee said that despite the detrimental effects COVID-19 has had on many businesses, Preferred Direct — which has been providing essential printing, direct mail and digital communications services to businesses locally and nationally since 1987 — was able to maintain healthy operations. He hopes that the company’s donation will spur more giving.

“This pandemic is a reminder that life is unpredictable. Your situation can change in the blink of an eye. We wanted to give when we could, because we never know when we’ll be the ones in need of help We hope others will be inspired to give as well.” Nee said.

To learn more about the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, visit: https://foodbankonline.org/

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Preferred Direct is an industry-leading commercial print, direct mail and digital communications provider founded by Bill Nee, Sr. in Norfolk, Va. in 1987. Now in its second generation of family ownership, Preferred Direct is a HITRUST-certified, HIPAA-compliant partner to the healthcare, insurance, finance and other industries nationwide. Learn more at www.preferreddirect.com.

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.

Preferred Direct Enhances Speed and Efficiency with Transformations’ Uluro Customer Communications Platform

Preferred Direct Enhances Speed and Efficiency with Transformations’ Uluro Customer Communications Platform

July 22, 2020 — Transformations Inc., a software solutions company based in Franklin, TN, announces that Uluro, its front-to-finish customer communications management (CCM) platform, has been selected by Preferred Direct, a full-service print service provider based in Norfolk, VA. Preferred Direct is a family-owned company launched in 1987 by Bill Nee, Sr. As the management of Preferred Direct passed to Bill Nee, Jr. in 2015, the company, known for its end-to-end offset and digital capabilities, recognized an opportunity in offering high-volume transactional services for its clients that encompass a wide range of industries. Preferred Direct chose Uluro for its advanced automation, which is making it possible to eliminate manual processes and enhance the speed and efficiency of the company’s print and electronic services.

“We produce customer communications for a lot of non-profits, health insurance and mutual fund companies, which means we work within very tight SLAs. As the volume of work from these clients began to increase, we knew we needed a more advanced technology for document processing, especially when you get into processing multi-million pieces within a month’s time,” said Kristen Hollar, director of operations at Preferred Direct. “Expanding our capabilities with Transformations’ Uluro software was a no-brainer for us because everything’s automated with Uluro. Not only does it open up the ability to take on multiple files and projects, but our printers are also able to access files and start processing and printing and inserting immediately. We are going to press with a multi-million-piece file approximately 24 to 48 hours sooner than before by using this software.”

The Uluro platform is delivering on Preferred Direct’s requirements for speed, efficiency and productivity, not only in its production environment but with its data as well. The company processes variable data applications with multi-sheet variables of data included, a plethora of statements and invoices, postcards, newsletters and even incorporates variable data into booklets and surveys. With the increased productivity Uluro is delivering, Hollar predicts they will be able to take on twice as much work as they have been able to handle in the past.

Preferred Direct’s president, Bill Nee, added, “Streamlining workflow and enhancing efficiency are two of the biggest initiatives in our company. Uluro isn’t a product that’s off-the-shelf—it can be customized to fit a company’s unique requirements. With that in mind, we worked with Transformations to configure the best solution set that would satisfy our existing customer needs as well as those of potential new customers. This is a very exciting time for us. We’re really looking forward to taking advantage of everything that Uluro has to offer.”

“We strive to meet the current and emerging communication needs of our customers, so the fact that Uluro is able to help make Preferred Direct’s production processes easier and more efficient for both print and electronic delivery is an excellent example of the platform’s flexibility,” said Bill Tidwell, CEO of Transformations. “We look forward to helping Preferred Direct continue to be successful and innovative in meeting market demands as they grow and change in the future.”

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ABOUT TRANSFORMATIONS

Transformations, Inc., based in Franklin, Tennessee, is a software solutions company and developer of Uluro. Uluro is an award-winning, comprehensive front-to-finish Customer Communications Management (CCM) platform for creating, producing, delivering and tracking critical customer communications. Uluro’s mission is to provide the most secure delivery solution available and provide customers a significant competitive advantage that can help them grow their businesses and increase their market share. For more information visit: www.uluro.com and LinkedIn.

ABOUT PREFERRED DIRECT

Preferred Direct is an industry-leading commercial print, direct mail and digital communications provider founded by Bill Nee, Sr. in Norfolk, Va. in 1987. Now in its second generation of family ownership, Preferred Direct is a HITRUST-certified, HIPAA-compliant partner to the healthcare, insurance, finance and other industries nationwide. Learn more at www.preferreddirect.com.