Top Trends in Insert Media Creative for 2011
2010 has come and gone, so what does 2011 hold for insert media marketers? The beginning of the year is a natural time to reflect and look back on how your creative stands out.
What is working and what might need some changes? We do it for ourselves, why not for your creative? Change is a good thing, right?
Well, not always. Sometimes there are good reasons why things are done they way they are, and that is simply because they work. This is true in all forms of media, but in particular for insert media because it relies on a much smaller amount of real estate to get the message across.
Keeping in mind that all the elements of your insert are important—insert size, paper weight and offer—let’s first consider what’s new in the space. There are several trends to note in insert media creative, and they include the following:
- Increasing reliance on driving response to Web—one goal here is to reduce costs associated with postage, paper and the personnel necessary to address responses received via mail or phone.
- Everything old is new again, including prominent use of the following offer devices:
→ feature dollars or percentage off
→ free or flat-rate shipping and handling
- Use of lighter weight inserts can result in lower paper and printing costs, and often lowers insertion costs in weight-sensitive programs.
- Use of one size insert translates into lower printing costs.
Looking even further ahead, one possible future trend to consider is the addition of QR codes on inserts. QR codes can be used to get more information in front of your prospect using a limited amount of the premium space available on an insert. The goal would be to increase customer involvement and an alternative means of supplying information on said limited insert real estate.
QR codes could be used for a number of objectives including, but not limited to, driving traffic to retail locations, providing personalized offers, coupons, etc. Even though this trend hasn’t yet taken hold in the insert media arena, given the possibilities and continued smartphone adoption, it's only a matter of time.
While many of these current trends may be successfully incorporated into winning insert media creative, it's important to keep in mind that proven winners for insert media creative include one or more of the following features:
- offering a free gift and/or premiums.
- featuring dollars or percentage off—highlighting the dollar value of the savings/free gift.
- featuring a limited time offer.
- offering a free trial period and/or a guarantee, as applicable.
- featuring testimonials and endorsements, as applicable.
- offering free or flat S&H.
- offering several ways to order: phone, Web and mail; driving 800 number calls as well as traffic to the client's website, and, where applicable, retail stores.
- offering coupons, as applicable.
Tried and true basics of creative and testing should always apply, regardless of the new trends on the block. The following should always be remembered and taken into consideration when designing new creative.
1. Always test your offer and/or creative against control, then retest again. Use true tests (printer mixes) and test into control programs only.
2. Always use unique keycodes, 800#/extensions and/or URLs for each creative and each program.
3. Always offer multiple ways to respond or order including at least two of the following: phone, Web and mail.
4. Remember, some methods are crucial for certain audiences and eliminating that option can harm response.
5. Always provide some sort of incentive to respond.
6. Always create a sense of urgency.
7. Clearly identify benefits or savings of offer.
Keeping these in mind will ensure that no matter what trend your creative juices follow, your basics will be covered.