Insert Media Buying Guide: Insert Copy and Design Tips
Like candy bars and gum in the supermarket checkout line, inserts work on impulse. The viewer needs to immediately comprehend the offer and product or service to make the decision to respond.
While it’s true that larger insert pieces provide marketers with more creative options, the overall objectives of commanding attention and delivering a clear proposition remain the same for any type of insert, says Myron Gould, a direct marketing consultant and professor at New York University and Fashion Institute of Technology.
Here are some pointers for writing and designing your insert to achieve the maximum effect.
The Headline is Key
To draw in your audience, your headline and supporting copy need to express a key benefit, says Gould. Inserts offer no time for cute puns that can garble the message.
To hit on the right benefit and presentation that resonates with audiences, Brent Green, founder of Brent Green & Associates, a direct marketing agency, finds that there is no substitute for research that includes market psychographics and demographics; this information helps you find the audience’s pain points and common vernacular.
For example, Green worked on an insert project for a fitness magazine that targets young men. Since these individuals tend to be in a major acquisition stage of their life, Green’s research led him to this insert headline: “10 tips to suck-proof your life.” His goal was to inform prospects that this magazine could help them make smart choices, and he needed to do it with words that would mean something to the audience.
Text and Graphics
When it comes to using copy and graphics effectively, says Gould, you need to “select the right tool for the job.”
If the product is not complex or technical and can be envisioned pretty easily—say, a bottle of vitamins—you don’t need a large visual to communicate this concept, he explains. However, to differentiate this vitamin product from others, you do need to emphasize in the copy the ingredient list, product benefits and other intangibles.