Insert Media Buying Guide: Thinking Outside of the Mailbox
“We found out we should always distribute their FSIs on Mondays,” Kelley says. “People have spent the weekend at home and, come Monday, they’re sick and tired of their house and ready to hire the remodeling company.”
Historically, insert media have been used for lower-end consumer packaged goods. But, as Kelley points out, many people “open and buy,” and inserts have sold many high-end products and services. Marketers who know who their best customers are and can identify that demographic geographically, can use FSIs to deliver their offer to good effect.
So, What About FSI Creative?
FSIs are a short-copy, offer-driven media. You must grab prospects immediately and tell them what’s in it for them. In many ways, according to copywriter Steve Wexler of the Steve Wexler Creative Group, successful FSIs are structured like catalog pages or full-page ads. That means big offer, big headline, big photo, fat-free copy.
Three more elements of a successful FSI include:
1. Use the strongest offer possible. Instead of an offer that says, “Remodel your kitchen and you’ll feel better about yourself,” go for emotional impact with “Remodel your kitchen and your friends will wonder how big of a raise you got.” Premiums and special, time-limited offers also boost response.
2. Don’t bury the price. If you’re selling extremely competitive products on price, point out the savings. And add a 30- or 60-day buy-back guarantee, e.g., “If you find it cheaper somewhere else in the next 30 days, we’ll refund you the difference.”
3. Don’t let the newspaper company do your creative. Hire a broker or use an agency or freelancer that specializes in FSIs, and hand the newspaper the finished digital artwork.
Finally, FSIs are their own niche, so if you want to test this medium, hire experts to maximize your return in terms of sales and/or leads as well as the knowledge you glean from this postage-free medium.