Special Report Insert Media Buying Guide
Henry reports that "everyone's on a kick for blow-ins." Four years ago, he explains, the double cost of insertion and distribution on this program type scared companies away, but that seems to be less of a worry.
It also helps that the Internet channel continues to show strong performance. Dot-com firms continue to learn from their multichannel brethren, notably by opening up their customer shipments to inserts. Amazon.com opened the gate for other online firms to follow, says Mike Zuckermandel, senior account executive, Zed Marketing, an insert media firm in Edmond, Okla. He predicts this trend will continue, as long as the industry makes it a point to seek out and educate dot-coms that might not be aware of the potential revenue that could be gained from an insert program.
One footnote on package insert programs offered by dot-coms: Zuckermandel says these programs tend to command higher CPMs
than those run by offline and multichannel marketers, because many of these dot-coms don't rent their customer lists. That makes their insert programs the only way to reach the customer files.
And there's good news for direct marketers trying to reach particular niches; programs that reach more specialized audiences are opening up. For example, Benicewicz is excited about a new statement stuffer program from the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority that targets toll pass customers and offers access to both a regional and commuter/traveler market. She adds that one program manager even is working with models to segment its program by region for insert users.
Zuckermandel reports he's seeing new programs that are geared toward reaching younger audiences, such as teens. Benicewicz also continues to find more programs targeted toward men, the affluent and different ethnicities.
One quick aside on the usage end: Zuckermandel says it's been a terrific year so far for package insert program owners who can take mini-catalogs and product samples. In particular, packaged goods companies have been hot to insert samples, and have paid overweight limits to cover the owners' additional postage costs.