Last month, the U.S. Postal Service unveiled plans to help close its budget deficit by raising stamp prices 3 cents. Adam Avrick, president of Design Distributors Inc., a Deer Park direct marketing company, keeps a close eye on postal changes, because so much of his business is about mailing.
"We can produce just about any [advertising] product that you may receive in your mailbox," he said. Avrick also educates businesses on how to navigate changes in mailing regulations and save money on their mailings, and he was recognized recently as National Industry Member of the Year by the Postal Service's Postal Customer Council.
Avrick, 49, joined his father's 30,000- square-foot envelope company in 1987 with a goal to offer a one-stop shop, where clients could order the envelope, the brochure and the mailing. Since then, they've grown to 120,000 square feet.
How does the pending increase in postage affect you and your customers?
Direct mail is still probably the best way to target an individual recipient. It's very quantifiable. It's based on return on investment, ROI. You know exactly how much that mailing cost. You know how many people you mailed it to. You know your response rate -- how many people bought from the mailing. Therefore, you know where your break-even is. Postage going up changes the break-even point . . . it will affect whether or not a campaign is a success.
How can you reduce mailing costs?
We will presort your mailing. We will truck your mailing to the post offices, thereby utilizing work-share programs from the Postal Service. There are all kinds of programs. It just depends on your specific needs.
How is direct mail surviving in the digital age?
Some people think there's a certain negativity around mail because of how long it takes from the time you produce it to the time you get it at home. But statistics continue to show that when a person receives a piece of mail, that reaction is different than when a person receives a piece of email. You do a lot more delete, delete, delete in your email than in your mailbox.
What's your biggest headache?
The world has become so incredibly time-sensitive; our schedules are hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute. You'd think we were doing surgery here, but our clients' marketing plans are timed with multichannel marketing [such as radio and television], so there's a big difference if that job mails on a Tuesday versus a Wednesday, because it needs to be in-home at a specific time frame.
You're training learning-disabled students at your facility?
We bring them in for basic vocational training to do repetitive-motion work. Studies suggest that people with learning disabilities or people on the autism spectrum are receptive to that type of training and would be far more productive than a different person doing the same thing.
Your dad, Stuart, is 79 years old and still the CFO?
He's in charge of all of the money, which is great because you can't trust anybody like you can trust family.
What's the best advice he's given you?
Always live up to every commitment you make at any cost.
NAME: Adam G. Avrick, president, Design Distributors Inc. of Deer Park.
WHAT IT DOES: "From artwork to mailbox" -- a full-service direct marketing production facility.
REVENUE: $15 million to $20 million.