A Look Inside Statement Insert Programs
Why Billing Inserts?
Statement insert programs offer a number of benefits for marketers. First, inserts in a billing statement carry an implied endorsement from the issuer. As the mailer has a pre-established relationship with the recipient, this endorsement goes a long way in cultivating the insert marketer’s own credibility.
Additionally, billing statements are virtually 100 percent deliverable since they ride along with a bill that customers must respond to promptly, and inserts are delivered in a low-clutter environment. Most programs accept only two or three inserts in each customer’s statement, because they are mailed First Class (which also aids in deliverability) and additional inserts mean additional postage. This is an important point for insert marketers, as research indicates that response to inserts declines as the number of inserts in a package increases.
This high visibility, however, does carry a caveat: Because these programs have only a few slots for advertisers each month, they can be selective in choosing which products they want to offer their customers.
This media channel also delivers a high-quality audience; these customers are credit-worthy and generally have very appealing demographics. While they often have a high lifetime value, marketers should be aware that many of these programs don’t allow you to rent out the names of customers acquired through the statement program. This means customers need to be suppressed from any lists you rent out in the future.
Picking the Right Product
A broad variety of products and services have enjoyed success in the billing statement arena. Strong brand name products, such as Bose, Sharper Image and Columbia House, collectibles, and offers with high perceived value work extremely well, as do services that require monthly billing, such as phone service, ISP and satellite television. In general, statement programs work particularly well for any product that benefits from a strong back-end.