As marketers continue to adjust to the May 2007 U.S. Postal Service rate hike, more companies are attracted to the world of insert media, says Doug Guyer, president of new business development for Berwyn, Pa.–based International Direct Response. Low costs and circulation in the millions make inserts a viable supplement for almost any marketing program. The seven tips below will help jump-start your insert media strategy.
1. Make a strong offer.
Focus on the offer and call to action before branding initiatives. “Insert media can have some brand marketing benefits, but it is best looked at as a direct response marketing vehicle,” says Ben Quigley, vice president of marketing for Songbird Hearing, the New Brunswick, N.J.–based creator of the first disposable digital hearing aid, and former director of marketing at Vonage, a telecommunications firm. Along the same line, Guyer warns marketers against “taking their print ad campaign, putting it on an insert and expecting to get response, when it’s just about brand awareness and there’s no call-to-action.” If you have a product that’s complex, an insert approach may not be feasible.
2. Establish good price points.
Price points below $10 work best for freestanding inserts (FSIs), and prices between $20 and $30 are most successful for package insert programs (PIPs), says Al Stanton, president of Elmira, N.Y.-based Stanton Direct Marketing. Bolstering a good offer with free shipping or an exclusive discount helps boost response. Offer deadlines are good motivators but must be relative to the carriers’ distribution time line. Avoid heavy discounts, which may win in response but come out as a bottom-line loss.
3. Use big numbers to your advantage.
“You can test 250,000 package inserts for the cost of roughly 30,000 to 35,000 direct mail pieces,” Guyer says. FSIs can reach millions of potential customers for only $5,000 or $10,000, according to Stanton. For a client’s first PIP test, Guyer recommends a 250,000-piece campaign with multiple test cells, and Stanton suggests clients test into FSIs at between 1 million and 2 million pieces on their first trial.