Alternative Print Media-Interview with Leon Henry
How do you beat the high cost of solo mail? Leon Henry, chairman, CEO and founder of Leon Henry Inc., has an answer: He calls it Alternative Print Media. Those are the offers you find in your merchandise shipment from a catalog company (package inserts)... multi-offers in fat envelopes (co-ops)... catalog bind-ins and blow-ins... free-standing inserts in your Sunday newspaper (FSIs)... extraneous pieces in outgoing direct mail (ride-alongs)... statement stuffers... card decks... supermarket take-ones... even offers on airline ticket jackets.
The late guru Dick Benson once said:
Think of alternative media, co-ops, and FSIs as short-copy media.
Consultant Bob Doscher says:
Think of alternative media as offer-driven media.
Since these formats are generally limited by size, the marketer cannot tell a long story as in solo mail. So the offer must be powerful, and it must be easy to order.
With alternate print media, direct mailers can reach most of the 100 million households in America and many of the 11 million businesses. For example, package inserts alone represent a universe of half a billion names, many of them with gorgeous demographics. With a savvy broker, it's possible to target prospects with nearly the same precision as direct mail. Yet, if your offer is broad-based and does not require complex demographics, the cost can be as little as $15/M.
Leon Henry is a broker-manager with 40-plus years in the business and about 100 alternative print programs under management. Here is his take on the current state of alternative print media—and the future.
Q: As we move into the next millennium, what do you think the state of alternative print media will be? Will it expand or lose momentum? Will there be any new forms?
A: Alternative print media will be even stronger in the next two to five years because of the continuous low price of the medium on an absolute and comparative basis. It will be stronger because there will continue to be more outlets for distribution of inserts; i.e., insert programs and more insert mailers who see what others are doing will copy or adapt from their success.