Alternate Media - What's Worth Testing? (777 words)
So, what's out there worth testing? Ask a broker specializing in alternate media for ideas on what to test. Here are just a few examples to help get you started. See the resource directory that follows for more information on who to turn to for all your alternate media needs.
These free-standing promotional pieces are placed in fulfillment packages delivered to customers who have purchased items via mail order. Because they have just bought the item with which the insert is included, this form of alternate media is particularly effective as people are often more receptive to additional offers right after a purchase has just been made. Of course, this theory is only successful providing the customer is happy with the merchandise received. Make sure to include your inserts with respected companies whose image will have a positive impact on your product as well.
McClusky recommends this form of alternate media for general merchandise, membership, credit card, continuity and lead generation mailers. In addition, he anticipates that traditional mailers who are now e-commerce marketers will turn to package inserts to bring attention to their sites.
In co-op mailings, two or more companies combine their offers in one envelope. Although response rates tend to be lower than if the envelope contained a specific offer from only one company, the advantage lies in the fact that costs are often considerably lower than offers sent singularly or included in packages. As Denny Hatch says in his book, "2,239 Tested Secrets for Direct Marketing Success," co-ops represent large numbers in a single drop and can usually provide good demographic selections. Other types of co-ops include mail-order and direct response offers, and local coupons. These programs are usually sold on a local level by neighborhood franchises.
According to John Jones, president of Good Neighbor Direct, supermarket take-ones are currently doing well for mailers. The advantage here is that instead of mailing to prospects you assume will want your offer, your pieces are free for everyone, and usually taken by people interested in what you're selling. Supermarket take-ones are also a good medium for testing copy and design for later adaptation to other media.