Insert Media Buying Guide: Get a Strong Insert Media Prospecting Program
Insider tips for successfully testing insert media—and expanding your usage
W ith it looking more and more likely that postal reform might not get passed before this session of Congress ends, the threat of a double-digit postal rate increase hangs over the direct marketing industry. Historically, postage hikes have spurred direct marketers to trade some direct mail circulation for insert media program tests.
But postal woes isn’t the only reason for the increased interest in insert media options: With list universes down from where they used to be and merge/purge rates at an all-time high, many direct marketers have added insert media to their marketing mix.
Whether you’re new to this channel or looking to enlarge your footprint in the space, the following insider tips from experts in this field can help you navigate the intricate world of insert media.
For the Beginner
The top mistake direct marketers make when testing insert media is not trying out enough programs.
“Many new mailers like to test only a couple of programs, and then when it doesn’t work financially, they throw in the towel. This doesn’t allow a mailer to test the waters properly,” says Arlene Rosen, president and founder of ARA Media Solutions, an insert media firm. “If a mailer is able to test a number of programs, that will increase their print order and reduce the cost of printing. This affects the overall campaign, since printing 100,000 pieces can be close to twice as high as printing 500,000 pieces.”
Rosen recommends testing a variety of programs and program types (package inserts, statement stuffers, co-ops, etc.) in quantities of 25,000 pieces or 50,000 pieces.
Jim Lynch, vice president of list management at list services firm Millard Group, concurs, adding that not all programs have availability at the same time. Being able to spread out your budget helps you find the programs that work best for your products and offers. Lynch oversees Millard’s insert media division, AM/Direct.