Insert Media Buying Guide: Committed to Its Roots
While it may not have the star quality of more in-vogue direct marketing channels, for Southampton, Pa.-based garden tool marketer Mantis, insert media is something to get excited about. “It’s still a very important part of our media mix,” says Steve LePera, Mantis’ director of sales and marketing for mail order. Although LePera admits DRTV has become the company’s largest lead generation source, “there still has to be a base of what I call direct mail prospects driven by more traditional methods like package inserts … to our overall program,” he explains.
The company participates in a wide range of programs, from Valpak to high-volume programs with catalogers such as Harbor Freight Tools and Carol Wright Gifts, to what LePera describes as endemic programs within gardening industry catalogs such as Burpee, Gurney’s Seed and Nurseries and Spring Hill Nurseries. The cost efficiencies inserts provide allow Mantis to target its core gardening enthusiast customers via the more specialized catalogs, but also to take what LePera describes as a more shotgun approach. “When you do an insert in a more broad [program], such as a Money Mailer or Mailbox Merchants, or even a package insert program such as Omaha Steaks, for example, it can work out,” he says. “The economics of it make sense, so I can be a little more adventurous. When you compare the cost-per-thousand to run a package insert program to renting a list, and indeed preparing a direct mail package, those are huge differences—and you get the added benefit of being in a [shipment] that was just delivered to someone’s door.”
One of the company’s more successful initiatives to grow its insert media reach over the past few years has been its “on-sert” program with Reiman Publications. The publisher offers rural lifestyle titles, such as Country Woman and Farm & Ranch Living. Each magazine is mailed in a polybag, and the Mantis insert rides on top of the magazine. “These types of programs gave us a nice entrée into a market that we really need to speak to,” notes LePera. And as Reiman has introduced new titles, Mantis has been able to grow that prospecting base.