How to Make Your Insert Media Stand Out
If you tested one insert program a day, it would take you four years and counting to test them all. "There are more than 1,500 insert programs available today," says Leon Henry, chairman/CEO of Leon Henry Inc., a 50-year-old insert and list management and brokerage firm. "And there will be more."
The insert field received additional attention when it augmented its popularity, at least in industry press, with the renaming of the Direct Marketing Association's (DMA) Alternate Response Media Council to the Insert Media Council, which held its first-ever Insert Media Day in the fall of 2003. "It's certainly becoming more talked about," says Cheryl Bagdan, senior account executive at Statlistics. In addition, the field may be gaining some new constituents "as mailers have budget constraints put on them," notes Bagdan, "and realize this can be slightly more economical."
And, it certainly can be profitable to those offering programs for others to join. "Just about everybody is [offering an insert program] now," says Ben Giordano, former chairman of Media Solution Services, an integrated media and marketing company that placed more than 2 billion inserts into billing statements (its specialty) in 2003 (now it's a part of V12 Group). "It becomes a profit center for the institution."
The success of those offering insert programs suggests that for many, insert media is a flourishing direct marketing vehicle. If it wasn't working, companies like Amazon.com, America Online and Blockbuster wouldn't continue to spend big marketing dollars placing inserts, and companies offering such insert programs would be on the decline, not on the rise, as industry experts have observed.
Not Your Ordinary Insert
With so many programs out there—package inserts, statement stuffers, free-standing inserts (FSIs), card decks, multi-offers/co-op mailers—and many inserts often in one package, how can a marketer ensure his or her insert will capture the eye of the consumer?