Insert Media: Testing How-tos That’ll Make a Difference
You’ve finally got it. The “holy grail” of insert media, you so humbly think. Well, response rates might be up today, but it’s difficult to guarantee they’ll remain there tomorrow. Or is it? Testing your insert media campaign may not be as glamorous as brainstorming a shiny, new “big idea” but, as Barbara Henry, executive vice president of insert media and list management firm, Leon Henry Inc., notes, rotating pieces through your core program is proven to be the best way to prevent fatigue over the long term.
The majority of today’s buyers are fair-weather friends, at best. Preparing for the future gives a marketer a modicum of security that a piece can survive the ever-changing landscape of its consumer’s world, because as nearly all insert media specialists (and direct marketers in general, for that matter) agree, smart testing is integral to the longevity of a campaign. The reason, Grant Johnson, chief executive officer of Johnson Direct, a full-service marketing communications agency, shares, is, “Your competitors are looking at what you’re doing. The smart ones are going to continue to test.” Which takes care of the “why,” but the notion of “how” lies in details that often aren’t shared. Once you have a piece that’s working … what happens next?
The four tips highlighted below detail a few of the specifics to look at when testing your insert media campaign.
1. Expand your horizons.
“Given the broad nature of some programs … it would be wrong to discount expanding an audience target,” Henry notes. Repositioning your message, however slightly, to take advantage of an unconventional partnership may open doors to potential customers you never even knew were there. “Test new programs with like-minded individuals who are buying. Then, make it a strong offer or message based on where you’re placing the insert,” relates Johnson. A little creativity is required, but if both sets of consumers have something specific in common, like discretionary income, inserting a high-end electronic device in a gourmet food catalog, for example, might make sense. “L’eggs panty hose … found many male programs that would work … It’s amazing in insert media that you’ll find things work that you never thought would,” says Diane Caruso, president of insert media management firm Choice Media.