The Science of Insert Media Production
How to keep your costs in line
The aspect of insert media that scares off many a curious direct marketer is the level of commitment needed to get optimal results. Not only must you test a variety of programs, creative approaches and offers to find winning combos, but you have to plan out your insertions so you can take advantage of production economies.
Granted, media placement costs are higher than those associated with insert printing. But that does not mean you shouldn’t look to control your production expenditures. By giving some thought to format, paper, timing and distribution, you can open up a channel full of opportunities for prospecting and strengthening share of customer.
“Everyone wants to print in volume,” says Paulette Kranjac, president of List Process Co., a list and insert media services firm in New York, “because that’s how printing discounts accrue.”
But the same insert won’t necessarily work for each program you select. You need to take the size minimums and maximums for each program into account, as well as determine the best creative execution to draw the response you desire.
Luckily, most programs don’t change their insert specifications and also follow some sort of industry standard, explains Joel W. Mark Katz, senior account executive at Leon Henry Inc., a list and insert media management and brokerage firm in Hartsdale, N.Y. As long as your insert is under the weight maximum—ranging from 0.10 oz. to 0.25 oz.—and machine insertable, you often can find and test into a format that will work across a variety of programs, he says.
For example, says Katz, a 3˝ x 5˝ card insert would work for a card deck program as well as for most statement-stuffer programs. Insider tip: Even though most card deck program owners offer printing and shipping as part of the program fee, you still can order overruns to use for other programs.