Pick and Pack Services

The Preferred Pick and Pack Partner

From receiving to delivery, Preferred Direct has the experience, equipment and personnel to execute pick and pack services for a variety of industries. Whether it is e-commerce order fulfillment to book inventory and distribution, we handle all packages with care, while protecting your customer data according to the highest security standards.  Our wide range of packaging options are designed to fit your needs, at the best cost for your company. We take extreme care when picking, packing and shipping our packages to ensure your product arrives at the right destination in excellent condition. 


When receiving deliveries in the mail, packaging plays a major part in the presentation of the product. At Preferred Direct we provide various packaging options to suit your fulfillment needs at the best cost for your company. We have a variety of styles and sizes of envelopes and boxes in numerous dimensions. Tubes are also available for large print jobs, such as banners. Contact us today to learn more about our various packaging supplies and how we can best handle your pick and pack services and order fulfillment needs.

Dark blue circle icon with a dolly and boxes outlined in white for fulfillment services on the colleges and universities and financial services pages
perfect bound book printing boxes


We take extreme care when mailing and shipping our packages to ensure your mail arrives at its destination on time, in excellent condition. When shipping or delivering packages, we make sure our boxes are properly and professionally labeled with the name or code of the contents in the package, the delivery location and any other information you would like to include. Order accuracy, packaging security and on-time delivery are the highest priorities in all pick and pack services.

direct mail printing bills

Postage Perks!

One of the best features of Preferred Direct’s Pick and Pack Services is the cost and time savings you receive by letting us handle all your postage paperwork and applications. We minimize postage costs for you by extending our discount from all the mail we handle daily. We use our automated postage system to complete the CASS certification process and the National Change of Address program to complete the postal information. We have the ability to apply postage, whether it is first class stamps, nonprofit, or any other type using inkjet machine to print postage directly onto your mail, including barcodes and indicias. 

Tracking & Delivery

When using a third party service, it’s important to know where your orders are in the logistics process. Preferred Direct will keep in constant communication, so you know when your orders are picked, packed, shipped and delivered. We provide fast timelines for prompt delivery, to ensure your materials get where they need to go in a timely fashion.

You will have access to your shipping and tracking information online, so you never have to worry about where your packages are in the delivery process. As part of our pick and pack services, we handle all the shipping & tracking details for you, so you can focus on what you do best.

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Infographic: Higher Education Marketing Print Ideas

Infographic: University Print Ideas

for Higher Education Marketing

Here to help your higher education marketing stay organized and inspired throughout the year, we’ve put together this handy guide with university print marketing ideas for every season. Whether it’s orientation forms for incoming freshmen or event invites for homecoming, Preferred Direct is here to help you make an impact all year round. Check out our Undergraduate Print Marketing guide below and contact our team to kick-start your next print project!


Higher Education Marketing

About the authors

Kickstart Your Accountant Marketing with Direct Mail

Kickstart Your Accountant Marketing with Direct Mail

With various tax and annual report deadlines quickly approaching, it’s important to find creative ways to effectively engage your tax and finance clients. Using direct mail as part of your accountant marketing strategy can break through the e-junk clutter and increase sales! Direct mail campaigns provide a tangible and personalized approach, making them an ideal choice for promoting your tax and accounting related services.

Preferred Direct offers services that have helped Accountants nationwide with all 4 steps of their print marketing campaigns: designing, printing, finishing, and mailing. Here’s a comprehensive guide from the Accountant Marketing Experts at Preferred Direct on how to kickstart your marketing with direct mail:

 Define Your Target Tax AudienceEvery door direct mail accountant marketing

In order to properly define your target audience, you must identify your ideal clients and tailor your direct mail campaign to address their specific tax and/or finance needs. Consider demographics, location, industry, annual income, household type, and more when creating a targeted mailing list for accountant marketing. For example, let’s say you want to reach clients within 10 miles of your office, every door direct mail (EDDM) is a great option to promote your company to every single house or business within a desired area.  Contact Preferred Direct for assistance with EDDM.

Clearly communicate and adapt any special promotions, discounts, or unique offerings that set your business apart to the demographic you’re trying to reach. By defining your target audience properly, you can tailor your message to increase your return on investment (ROI).  For instance, for individuals with children or dependents, you can offer a discount for those filing with dependents. However, offering this family-friendly discount to the wrong audience could impact your campaign negatively and make single or childless recipients feel pushed away. That’s why personalization matters!

Campaign Personalization Matterspersonalization accountant marketing

Now that you know your target audience, you need to capture their attention on a personal level. Customizing your accountant marketing pieces to resonate with individual recipients will make them feel seen and understood, instilling trust in your business. By using variable data printing (VDP) technology, your print partner can incorporate personalized elements such as customer names, specific financial concerns, location landmarks, and other unique information based on the recipient’s profile. Learn more about Preferred Direct’s variable data printing services, here.

Direct Mail Designaccountant marketing direct mail design

It is essential to invest in a professional design that captivates the attention of your accounting clients. Bold brand colors, clear typography, and high-quality images make your direct mail pieces engaging and effective. Consider your printing options; Select your paper type; Black and white or full color print; One-sided or two-sided prints etc. By ensuring that key information is easily read and your branding is prominent, potential clients will know exactly who your company is, what you do and how to contact you.  Market additional accounting services in each campaign, such as financial planning, retirement & estate planning, etc., for potential upsells/cross sells and increased campaign ROI. View our infographic on key postcard elements for design tips for your next campaign.

At Preferred Direct, our graphic designers can create captivating artwork to help bring your accountant marketing to life and maximize your return. Ask about our add-on design services for your print and mail campaigns.

Incentives and Discounts

The best way to encourage engagement and to track your ROI is by including exclusive incentives or discounts that can be redeemed. When it comes to finances, clients strongly value professional guidance.  Tax Accountants can find success when providing a limited-time promotion, a special rate for first appointments, service coupons or a referral bonus in their direct mail campaigns. Educational resources to help clients understand their finances and possible tax implications are a great giveaway for accountant marketing campaigns as well. Direct mail incentives can boost response rates and create a sense of urgency bringing in leads sooner rather than later. Browse other direct marketing ideas in this blog.

Finish off by clearly stating what action you want recipients to take. Whether it’s scheduling an appointment, visiting your website, or calling for more information, a compelling call to action (CTA) is crucial for driving response rates. Especially with a time sensitive service like filing taxes! Use unique codes, dedicated phone numbers, or specific landing pages to measure response rates. Analyzing results allows you to refine future campaigns for better effectiveness.

Strategic Campaign Timingaccountant marketing strategic timing

Plan your direct mail campaigns to coincide with key accounting milestones. Consider sending initial teasers before tax season officially starts and follow up with reminders and additional promotions as the deadline approaches. College savings planning services in the fall or summer project accounting in the spring are all great accountant marketing campaigns to highlight throughout the seasons.

By following these steps, you can kickstart your accountant marketing with direct mail, ensuring that your message resonates with potential clients, at the perfect time.

 Preferred Direct: Experts in Accountant Marketingpreferred direct

Preferred Direct has over 35 years of experience as a second-generation family business working closely with financial organizations throughout the US. Our goal is to help maximize your company’s exposure and engagement this tax season. By making our VDP and direct mail services a part of your tax marketing, you partner with an experienced Print Partner capable of designing, printing, finishing and mailing your best campaign yet!

Let Preferred Direct take care of all your printing and fulfilment needs.  We are a HITRUST certified partner prioritizing the security of your sensitive customer and financial data. Contact us to discuss which secure print and mail services will be best for your accountant marketing needs.

About the authors

5 Pro Tips for Your Annual Company Newsletter

5 Pro Tips for Your Annual Company Newsletter

In the world of business, annual company newsletters are the best source of distributing a company’s journey over the past year. These annual reports have become far more than just a measure of successes in numbers. Companies have used these newsletters to showcase achievements and company growth, highlight employees, share customer stories and testimonies, as well as future company goals and aspirations.

Are you new to the world of business marketing? Here’s a few tips from the Print & Mail Pros at Preferred Direct to ensure your next company newsletter captivates your shareholders, customers, employees and beyond.

#1 Use Engaging Visuals! saddle stitch printing booklet

Nothing will lose a team’s attention faster than looking at a company report of words and bullet points. Incorporating strong visuals such as photos, charts, graphs, and infographics make data and content more digestible. If possible, try to use real photos of your headquarters, team members and customers. A stock photo can be easy to spot and makes it less relatable. It’s important to incorporate your company colors throughout your report to always reinforce your brand message and look. Annual reports don’t need to be boring! Contact Preferred Direct for a design consultation and we’ll help you ideate your next  company newsletter for top ROI.

#2 Make Your Company Newsletter Personal

An important aspect when it comes to your company newsletter is to be open and honest about your company health. Take this as an opportunity to showcase your successes and achievements, environmental/social initiatives, key milestones, and noteworthy events. This is also a good place to provide an overview of financial achievements such as profits and revenue. Alternatively, incorporating lessons learned and other shortcomings can show company transparency, inspiring loyalty and helping prevent larger loss in the future. By sharing future plans and strategies, along with potential challenges, you can add a personal touch to your company newsletter that help empower and inform your greatest assets – your employees and supporters.

#3 Keep it Clean & Organized

To ensure your message is received accurately, the content must be clean and structured to be easy to read. Not everyone reading your company newsletter is an executive or even a tenured team member, make sure to use easy-to

Company newsletter pagination services-understand verbiage and visuals so readers of all professional levels can follow along.  Using easy-to-read typography, incorporating sections and titles, and having a clear strategy to your newsletter is imperative. Contact the Preferred Direct team for pagination services.

#4 Make it Professional

We’ve all gone to events where you end up with a handful of brochures you never even look at. Make your annual reports stand out with professional bindery and finishing options from Preferred Direct! We offer spiral bound, perfect bound, and saddle stitch binding, along with the printing and mailing of your newsletter. Your board members, shareholders, employees, customers, and donors deserve a professional polished print they can take pride in.

#5 Embrace Digital!

Embracing the digital world allows viewers to access  your annual newsletter more readily and at their own pace.  With the increase of individuals using their phones to view professional documents, having a digital copy of your annualcompany newsletter binging and finishing report can help spread your message even further. Using Preferred Direct’s email marketing service, you can share the digital newsletter, as well as grow your direct mail newsletter list annually. You can also combine print and digital mediums by using QR codes in your printed company newsletters that link to special landing pages. Contact our team to learn more.

Now that you understand your newsletter is more than just a transfer of information down the chain of command – it’s a strategic communication tool for multiple audiences. Let’s get started!

preferred directAt Preferred Direct we offer a wide range of services that will set your annual reports apart from the rest. Our skilled designers and state-of-the-art equipment provide what you need to achieve a professional look and the consistent branding your company deserves. From pagination to distribution, we can design, print, and mail your next annual company newsletter, from start to finish. Contact us to get started today.

About the authors

Maximizing Open Enrollment Success: 6 Key Print Materials Every Insurer Needs

Maximizing Open Enrollment Success: 6 Key Print Materials Every Insurer Needs

Open enrollment is a crucial time for insurance companies to attract new members and retain existing ones. In the competitive marketplace, print insurance marketing remains a tried-and-true strategy for communicating your benefits and value to potential policyholders. In this blog, we’ll explore six essential insurance print materials to maximize open enrollment success and elevate member experience.

Direct Mail Open Enrollment:

Direct mail marketing remains a powerful tool for reaching new members and reminding existing ones during open enrollment. Postcards, mailers, letters, and advertisements come in all shapes and sizes and can be used to send personalized messages, promotions, renewals, and important information about insurance plans. Direct mail allows potential policyholders the time to review and research your offerings, directly or online. With Preferred Direct’s experience and technology in direct mail services, we’ll help you create eye-catching designs with a strong call to action and targeted audience to increase your campaign ROI.

Printed Newsletters:

open enrollment direct mailCreating a printed newsletter, with professional finishing such as saddle stitch binding, will certainly leave an impression. This print insurance marketing approach not only caters to a diverse demographic, including those who may prefer traditional communication methods but also makes it more likely to be noticed and retained. Including member benefit summaries, featured doctor and hospital news, and even a nutritional cooking recipe, can help create an engaging newsletter that establishes a tangible connection with your audience, encouraging policy enrollment and retention.

Third Party Billing:

Third-party billing can provide a seamless process for collecting premiums, deductibles, and communicating coverage details. These documents should be designed with the utmost clarity to ensure that policyholders can easily understand their financial responsibilities. Preferred Direct is a HIPAA-compliant and HITRUST-certified printer, excelling in high-quality third-party billing services. We take pride in making sure your customers have a smooth experience during open enrollment and billing because we know happy customers can equal lifetime policyholders.

Explanation of Benefits:

Explanation of Benefits (EOB) statements are essential for policyholders, providing a breakdown of the costs associated with their services. Just like third party billing, having a professional and concise EOB document and communication process will improve your member experience making them more likely to renew each year.

Member Handbooks:

Member handbooks are valuable tools for insurance companies seeking to provide their policyholders with comprehensive information about their coverage. These handbooks serve

book printing services fulfillment

as a go-to resource for policyholders, offering details on benefits, claims procedures, network providers, and other essential information. A well-structured member handbook can be a valuable asset for both policyholders and insurance companies during open enrollment, fostering trust and confidence in your services. With state-of-the-art printing and finishing technology, Preferred Direct can create a professionally printed and bound resource that strategically covers all your insurance offerings.


Document Printing:

During open enrollment, insurers have a multitude of documents to print, ranging from member forms, contracts, and more. Preferred Direct offers state-of-the-art document printing services that guarantee accuracy, consistency, and professionalism. Your insurance company can rely on us to produce high-quality insurance marketing print materials that reflect your commitment to providing excellent service.

PDM teamPreferred Direct has over 35 years of experience as a second-generation family business working with insurance providers throughout the US. In our experience working with some of the largest insurance companies in the nation, to maximize success during open enrollment, it’s essential to invest in the right print materials. By incorporating third-party billing, direct mail marketing, advertising postcards, explanation of benefits, and document printing into your open enrollment strategy, you can create a comprehensive and compelling marketing campaign. These materials not only convey essential information but also reflect the professionalism and trustworthiness of your insurance company and its services.

For a successful open enrollment season, trust Preferred Direct as your full-service business communication partner. Contact us today to discuss our marketing and design services to help you goals this enrollment season.

About the authors

Print-on-Demand: A Game-Changer for Economical Print

Print-on-Demand: A Game-Changer for Economical Print


Businesses and entrepreneurs alike are constantly seeking ways to streamline their processes and reduce costs. More and more companies are moving away from traditional mass printing methods with large print runs, substantial overhead expenses, and the risk of unsold inventory. With the emergence of the Print-on-Demand (POD) through digital printing technology, customers now have a more economic and efficient solution for their mass printing needs. Preferred Direct, an industry-leading print, direct mail, and digital communications partner, is proud to offer Print on Demand services to customers throughout North America. In this blog, we will explore this lean printing technique, how it works and its advantages and applications for businesses today.

What is Print on Demand (POD)?

Print on demand (POD) is a business model and printing technology that allows companies to print products in small quantities. The key concept behind the growing success of print on demand is that products are printed or manufactured only when they are ordered, reducing the need for large, upfront inventory and associated costs. Here are some of its unique advantages:

Reduce Costs & Waste

print on demand

Traditional printing often entails substantial upfront costs for mass orders and the risk and burden of storing inventory. With Print-on-Demand, customers can eliminate these overhead costs by printing copies in smaller batches over their contract lifetime. While the per-unit cost of Print-on-Demand books may be slightly higher than bulk offset printing, the overall cost savings come from avoiding warehousing and waste costs.

Companies and entrepreneurs can maintain a manageable inventory of print collateral at a time and order more (or less) throughout their contract, reducing the financial risk of unpredictable sales or fails. Talk to your print partner to understand lead times, order minimums, payment terms and more. Preferred Direct’s digital printing and finishing services ensure your books, catalogs, documents and more remain available without the need for extensive storage space or the risk of obsolete inventory.

Economic Self-Publishing

Print-on-Demand is an economic and accessible option for independent authors and small publishers. With the rise of entrepreneurs selling print products direct on platforms like Amazon and Facebook, Print-on-Demand can help the average author get to official publisher level. While traditional offset printing may not be cost-effective for those with limited resources or those who don’t need large print runs, currently. This democratization of mass printing has expanded the range of voices and content available to consumers, and Preferred Direct is here to support entrepreneurs on this exciting journey!

Rapid Turnaround

Time is of the essence in the world of business. Print-on-Demand technology allows for quick turnaround times, enabling orders to be anticipated, printed, and shipped to customers within days. This rapid response reduces lead times and allows for faster printing and delivery. With Print-on-Demand, the printer and customer must have a relationship based on communication to strategically print as needed.

Customization and Personalization

Considering you are printing in small batches, clients can make updates and revisions to each run with Preferred Direct’s variable data and digital printing technology. This feature is particularly useful for educational materials, corporate publications, and political or niche markets, giving you the flexibility to tailor your content as things change.


print on demand

Print-on-Demand takes a lean approach to publications and is more environmentally friendly than traditional printing. Bulk printing can result in significant paper, energy, transportation, and resource waste when books go unsold. POD reduces waste by printing only when there is a confirmed demand, contributing to environmental sustainability.

Print and Digital Integration

In this digital age, many companies now offer a combination of print and digital formats for their titles. POD can be seamlessly integrated with e-book distribution and other digital channels, providing readers with multiple options for accessing content.

Preferred Direct for POD

Preferred Direct offers Print-on-Demand solutions among our various print and finishing capabilities. We understand the quality, urgency, and logistics needed to successfully carry out a Print-on-Demand program for your print campaign. Whether you are a business, an entrepreneur, an author, or a publisher, Preferred Direct has the experience to print and deliver your products, on time and on budget. Contact Preferred Direct today to discover how our Print-on-Demand technology can transform your operations to be efficient, cost-effective, and eco-friendly.

About the authors

Winning Your Campaign with Omnichannel Political Marketing

Winning Your Campaign with Omnichannel Political Marketing

Winning Your Campaign with Omnichannel Political MarketingIn the world of politics, capturing the hearts and minds of your constituents is key to success. In today’s digital age, traditional political marketing strategies alone may not suffice. Enter omnichannel marketing – a multifaceted approach that seamlessly integrates various marketing channels to create a compelling and impactful political campaign. Preferred Direct, an industry leader in print, direct mail, and digital communications, is here to guide you through your candidate journey with proven solutions for a successful political campaign.

The Power of Omnichannel Political Marketing

In the realm of political marketing, you’re not just reaching out to potential voters; you’re connecting with citizens who are deeply invested in the future of their community and country. Omnichannel marketing offers a comprehensive strategy to effectively engage with your audience across various touchpoints. By utilizing multiple marketing platforms such as social media, direct mail, grassroots campaigns and more, candidates can reach a wider and more diverse audience than ever before. Here’s a breakdown of the top channels for effective political communications and how Preferred Direct can assist you:

Local News Advertising

local newspaper political marketingIn a world saturated with digital content, local news remains a trusted source of information. Preferred Direct can help you craft compelling advertisements that resonate with your constituents through local newspapers and news websites. Whether it’s a candidate profile, a policy announcement, or an event invitation, we ensure your message reaches the right audience.

Digital Marketing

In today’s interconnected world, digital marketing via social media and email are powerful platforms for interacting with your community. From running targeted ad campaigns to creating supporter groups, weekly email newsletters to email pledge campaigns, these digital marketing platforms are effective channels that many of your supporters use each day.  Preferred Direct can assist you in crafting engaging email campaigns that complement your overall strategy. Our clean databases, appealing templates, and strategic content ensure that your campaign messages are delivered effectively to your supporters.

Direct Mail Marketing

direct mail political marketingDirect mail remains a cornerstone of political marketing campaigns. Preferred Direct specializes in direct mail printing and mailing. You can partner with us to design, print and deliver impactful mailers, flyers, newsletters, and postcards to get the word out of your campaign. As a HIPAA-certified printer, Preferred Direct will safeguard your recipient data and process all mail with the utmost care. With our Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) service, you can target specific neighborhoods, zip codes, counties and more to ensure your message reaches the right households for your political campaign. Preferred Direct also offers variable data printing which allows you to personalize each direct mail print with tailored visuals such as individual’s name, local landmarks, custom slogans, languages and more.

Grassroots Political Marketing

While digital channels are essential, nothing beats the authenticity of face-to-face interactions. Preferred Direct understands the value of grassroots marketing, where candidates can connect with voters on a personal level. Handshakes, handing out flyers, and genuine conversations leave a lasting impression. We can support your grassroots efforts by providing high-quality campaign materials, including signs, pamphlets, and flyers, to help you make a memorable impact.

SMS Text Marketing

SMS text political marketingIn the era of smartphones, Preferred Direct’s SMS text marketing is a highly effective way to engage with voters. It’s immediate, direct, and cost-efficient. Whether you need to send polling locations, promote pledging opportunities, or share important information, Preferred Direct even offers SMS text marketing to help you connect with supporters on a one-to-one basis effectively.

Preferred Direct: Your Winning Partner for Political Marketing Campaigns

With over three decades of experience assisting political candidates, Preferred Direct is your go-to partner for all your political campaign marketing needs. We pride ourselves on delivering high-quality print and mail products, on time and within budget. As a HITRUST-Certified Printer, we prioritize the safety and security of your campaign information.

In 2022, Preferred Direct was honored as the Top Printer in Virginia Beach, a testament to our commitment to excellence. Winning a political campaign requires an omnichannel approach that spans over traditional and digital channels. With Preferred Direct as your political marketing partner, you’ll have the expertise and technology needed to create a winning campaign strategy that connects with your constituents on every level. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you achieve victory this election year through the power of omnichannel marketing. Your success is our #1 priority!

About the authors

Maximizing Impact: How Direct Mail Boosts Donations for Non-profits

Maximizing Impact: How Direct Mail Boosts Donations for Non-profits

direct mail campaigns

Non-profit organizations play a crucial role in addressing various social issues and causes. To continue their vital work, they often rely on the generosity of donors. In today’s digital age, where online fundraising platforms and social media dominate the scene, one traditional method still stands strong: direct mail. In this blog, we’ll explore how these campaigns can be a powerful tool for non-profits to boost donations and make a lasting impact.

The Power of Direct Mail in Fundraising

direct mail campaignsDirect mail is a tried-and-true method of fundraising that has stood the test of time. Its effectiveness lies in its tangible nature. Unlike digital communications that can be easily deleted or ignored, a well-crafted mail piece physically lands in the hands of your potential donors. According to the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), the response rate for direct mail to a house list was 9% in 2018, compared to just 1% for email.

Understanding Your Non-profit’s Audience

Before launching a campaign, it’s crucial to understand your audience. Non-profit organizations typically have diverse donor bases, including individuals, corporations, and foundations. Each of these groups may have different motivations for giving. Direct mail allows you to tailor your message to specific segments of your donor base, making it more likely that your message resonates with the recipient.

Crafting Compelling Campaigns

To maximize the impact of your campaigns, focus on creating materials that capture attention and evoke emotions. Start with eye-catching design and imagery that aligns with your cause. Preferred Direct can assist with design services – contact our team today for a quote. Your message should be clear, concise, and emotionally compelling. Include a strong call to action, guiding recipients on how they can make a difference by donating.

Data-Driven Decision Making

Data plays a crucial role in optimizing campaigns. Segment your donor lists based on factors like giving history, demographics, and location. Personalize your messages using variable data printing to make donors feel valued and understood. Track the performance of your campaigns using analytics to refine your approach over time.

Case Studies and Success Stories

Nothing speaks more persuasively than success stories. Share real-life examples of how your organization’s work has made a tangible difference in the lives of those you serve. Highlight the impact of past campaigns, including specific results and how donations were put to use. Direct mail catalogs and newsletters are a great way to share impact stories and generate engagement through genuine connection.

Ensuring Data Security and Compliance

direct mail campaignsNon-profits often deal with sensitive donor contact and financial information. It’s crucial to ensure data security and compliance with regulations like HIPAA when handling healthcare-related data. Partnering with a HIPAA-Compliant and HITRUST-Certified Printer like Preferred Direct can provide peace of mind in this regard.

Measuring the ROI of your campaign

Calculating the return on investment (ROI) is essential to assess the effectiveness of your campaigns. By comparing the cost of the campaign to the donations received, you can determine how efficiently your efforts are driving donations.

Integrating Direct Mail with Online Fundraising

QR code direct mail campaignsDirect mail and online fundraising can work hand in hand. Include URLs or QR codes in your materials that link recipients to online donation pages. This provides an easy and convenient way for donors to contribute, and it allows you to track the online response to your mailings.

Tips for Non-profits Getting Started with Direct Mail

For non-profits considering direct mail for the first time, it’s essential to start with a clear strategy. Define your goals, target audience, and budget. Partnering with a reliable print and mail provider like Preferred Direct can help you navigate the complexities of direct mail campaigns.


Direct mail continues to be a potent fundraising tool for non-profit organizations. Its ability to deliver tangible, emotionally resonant messages to potential donors sets it apart in a crowded digital landscape. By understanding your audience, crafting compelling campaigns, and leveraging data, you can maximize the impact of your direct mail efforts. Remember, it’s not just about sending mail; it’s about making a difference.

If you’re ready to explore the potential of direct mail for your non-profit organization and want to ensure the highest level of data security, consider partnering with Preferred Direct. Our expertise in commercial printing and direct mail can help you craft impactful campaigns that drive donations and support your mission. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can assist your non-profit in maximizing its impact.

About the authors

Preferred Direct Expands Capacity With 2 New Equipment Technologies

Preferred Direct Expands Capacity With 2 New Equipment Technologies


Second Generation Family-Owned Printer Invests In Their Future


Norfolk, VA – Preferred Direct, industry-leading print, direct mail, and digital communications partner, is proud to announce the successful installation of a new Hunkeler-Horizon roll-to-fold converting machine and a new performance upgrade to their HP 250 Digital Press. These strategic investments will further increase the quality, efficiency, and lead times of the company’s printing, finishing, and mailing services nationwide.

Purchased from Standard Finishing Systems, the addition of the Hunkeler Roll to Cut to Horizon AFV-566/T564 Folder System marks a pivotal step for Preferred Direct’s production capabilities. This advanced technology streamlines the process of converting large rolls of paper into neatly folded, ready-to-mail products. The machine’s precision and speed will provide a seamless transition from printing to finishing processes, reducing turnaround times, and increasing overall efficiency.

Furthermore, Preferred Direct has invested in a performance upgrade for their existing HP 250 Digital Press. The upgrade now allows the company to achieve an impressive speed of 800 feet per minute (fpm) for monochrome print and mail jobs. This upgrade will accelerate production while maintaining exceptional print quality for Preferred Direct’s transactional and informational print clients.

“We are thrilled to add these new technologies to our equipment line up,” said Bill Nee, President at Preferred Direct. “These investments reflect our commitment to remaining a local family-owned printer with BIG print and finishing capabilities. As a technology-forward company, we are always looking for innovative solutions to automate and streamline our processes and empower our employees. Our focus will always be our clients and our employees, and these new technologies will enable us to serve them both more effectively.”

To discover the Hunkeler-Horizon roll-to-fold system from Standard Finishing Systems, visit https://www.sdmc.com/product_stand/roll-to-fold-gen8/.

To discover the HP 250 Digital Press solution, visit https://www.hp.com/us-en/commercial-industrial-printing/pagewide/t250-hd-web-presses.html.

About the authors

What is Saddle Stitch Binding?

What is Saddle Stitch Binding?

From comic books to corporate brochures, examples of saddle stitch binding are everywhere we look. But what is saddle stitch binding exactly?

Saddle stitch binding is a bookbinding method where sheets of paper are folded and secured together with staples or stitching along the folded crease. The term “saddle stitch” comes from the saddle-shaped equipment used to drape booklets over during the stapling or stitching process.

Typical booklets range anywhere from 8 to 100 pages. Depending on paper thickness, the maximum page count can increase or vary by application. To create a saddle stitch booklet, the pages must be in multiples of four, including the front and back cover. A printed sheet of paper with graphics on both the back and front will create four “individual” pages when folded in half. Therefore, four pages are added to the booklet for every additional sheet printed.

At Preferred Direct, we have multiple finishing technologies to perfect and progress the saddle stitch process to ensure you receive a perfectly stitched booklet with incredibly fast lead times. Learn about our printing and saddle stitch finishing services on our website.


The Saddle Stitch Binding Process

Saddle stitch binding is a simple, cost-effective, and efficient binding method offered by Preferred Direct. This finishing process requires specialized stapling or stitching equipment and significant investments from your commercial printer to complete this process quickly and accurately. Booklets that are not stitched correctly will have trouble folding and flipping from page to page, as well as have trouble laying flat and maintaining quality throughout handling.

There is a specific process you must follow to achieve successful staddle stitch printing and finishing. Here’s a quick overview:

Folding and Collating: Once the booklet pages are printed, the sheets of paper are folded to create individual pages. This folded crease is often referred to as the spine. The folded sheets are then arranged in sequential order and prepared for binding.

Saddle Stitching: To begin saddle stitching, the folded paper is placed on a saddle-shaped equipment with the spine of the booklet in the center. The staples or stitches are inserted through the folded crease, securing the booklet together. Most booklets only use two staples along the spine, but stitching may vary depending on the paper size or the number of pages.

Trimming: After the stitching step is complete, an excess of paper may extend beyond the edge of the booklet. Printers trim the excess, creating a neat and uniform edge, preparing the booklet for finishing.

At Preferred Direct, we have multiple automated finishing technologies that fold, collate, stitch and trim your booklets for fast, efficient service and quality print. Unlike other printers who may outsource the binding process, Preferred Direct can complete all printing and binding in-house, as well as mailing and fulfillment services to distribute your booklets around the nation. Contact our team to request a project estimate and get started on your first print project with Preferred Direct!

Popular Applications of Saddle Stitch Binding

Saddle stitch binding is all around us. It is a very common method of booklet finishing and is used in a variety of print types that we interact with every day. Here’s some common applications of this finishing option:

If you’re looking to print one of the above projects, then saddle stitch binding is most likely your best finishing option.

Advantages of Saddle Stitch Binding

Known for its simplicity and efficiency, saddle stitch binding provides a quicker turnaround, a lower finishing cost, and a professional look to any booklet printing service. This binding method only needs a few staples to secure a booklet, whereas perfect binding uses glue to attach pages to a spine and requires more specialized equipment. Saddle stitched booklets can be completed quickly and are ideal for time-sensitive print projects. Their spine can lay completely flat when open, along with being compact, low weight and portable. Saddle stitch also offers more versatility for customers. From booklets to catalogs, newsletters to magazines, this form of binding accommodates a variety of paper sizes, weights, finishes, print designs and more.

With over 30 years of experience providing quality printing, finishing and mailing services to businesses around the country, Preferred Direct is the go-to commercial printer for professional saddle stitched print projects. We have the technology, experience, and capacity to assist you in creating high quality saddle stitched booklets from printing to binding to fulfillment and beyond. Contact the experts at Preferred Direct to get started on your booklet printing project today! Request an estimate online or give us a call at 757-461-2730.

Not sure if saddle stitch binding is the correct finishing for you? We also offer perfect-bound and spiral bound finishing options for larger books and print pieces. Contact the PDM team today to discuss your print project and we’ll steer you in the right direction.

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Navigating the Agency-Printer Relationship

Navigating the Agency-Printer Relationship

In the fast-paced world of business, collaboration and synergy are key ingredients for success. One very important partnership that often is underestimated is the relationship between your company, your marketing agency and your commercial print partner. In an era where digital marketing dominates, the tactile power of printed materials can be overlooked. Yet, there’s an undeniable charm to holding a beautifully designed brochure or receiving a thoughtfully crafted direct mail piece. This is where the partnership between a marketing agency and a commercial print partner shines. Seamless interaction between these two entities can greatly impact the effectiveness of your marketing and the overall success of your business. In this blog, we’ll explore setting expectations, defining roles, choosing the right partners and the benefits of using a well-connected print partner.


Setting Expectations and Defining Roles

The foundation of any successful partnership is clear communication and well-defined roles. When it comes to the relationship between your marketing agency and print partner, the following points need to be established:

  • roles & responsibilitiesDesign Needs & Deadlines: Clearly communicate your design requirements and deadlines to ensure your agency can meet the artwork deadline and your printer can achieve the desired quality in your timeframe.
  • Print Types: Discuss the specifics of the print job, including paper type, color options (full color or black and white), and any bindery, folding, collating or finishing required. Ensure your printer has the capabilities for a wide range of print types, i.e., newsletters, postcards, brochures, handbooks etc. Consider whether you need mailing services as well.
  • Responsibility for Fulfillment: Determine who will handle the fulfillment process. Some print partners, like Preferred Direct, offer comprehensive services that include printing, mailing, and even kitting for promotional campaigns. While some marketing agencies are responsible for kitting specialty client gifts and will need the print piece sent to them for fulfillment.
  • Budget: Transparency in budgeting is essential. Evaluate all costs involved, from the marketing agency’s fees to the printing invoices, shipping charges and more. This holistic view helps prevent surprises down the line.


Choosing the Right Partners

direct mail marketing samples pack request

There are several factors to consider when choosing the right marketing partner. The first factor to consider is industry knowledge. A marketing agency that understands your industry can hit the ground running. They’ll have insights into your target audience, competition, and trends specific to your field, all of which will greatly impact the effectiveness of your campaigns. You can also request samples from a marketing agency, this will help you to evaluate the quality of their work and help to determine if they are a good fit with your brand. If the samples include case studies or metrics, you can gain insights into how effective the agency’s campaigns were for their previous clients in your industry. This can give you an idea of the potential ROI you might achieve by working with them.

When looking for the right commercial print partner, you will want to consider things like data security, equipment and technology, customer service, and experience. Protection of sensitive data is paramount. Make sure your print partner has security measures in place to protect your information and maintain client confidentiality. As a HIPAA compliant and HITRUST certified printer, Preferred Direct values the level of security required when dealing with personal information.

Preferred Direct is committed to quality at every step of the way. We use advanced print, fulfillment, and data technology to deliver custom communication solutions, on time and on budget. We take pride in being a highly skilled business partner who can deliver on your most pressing marketing and communications needs. Whether your project is transactional, informational, or promotional, Preferred Direct has over 30 years of experience in delivering engaging, secure print pieces for companies in a variety of industries.

Preferred Direct: A Multi-Faceted Partner

With years of experience in key industries such as healthcare, insurance, finance, energy & utility, and not-for-profit sectors, we have collaborated closely with various marketing agencies. Our extensive capabilities, renowned customer service, swift lead times, nationwide print services, and a data-centric approach have earned a reputation as a reliable, technology-focused print and direct mail partner for companies across the nation. As a family-owned business, we prioritize personalized care and are well-equipped to assist you or connect you with an excellent marketing agency tailored to your industry needs.

The partnership between your marketing agency and commercial print partner is a cornerstone in your marketing strategy. Clear communication, well-defined roles, and selecting the right partners, like Preferred Direct, can elevate your campaigns, simplify the campaign process, and drive substantial results. Teamwork makes the dreamwork!

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