A reliable, low-cost marketing tool at any time, insert media typically gets more attention during times of economic adversity—but perhaps not for all the right reasons. While these programs can provide marketers with an alternative to a direct mail campaign, they also can help drive incremental sales as part of a multichannel campaign to the same audience.
Stanton Direct Marketing Inc.
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
You can pick your brain. You can pick your insert media broker. But can you pick your insert media broker’s brain? The answer is a resounding “yes,” according to Lori Fursman, director of brokerage for Stanton Direct Marketing, an insert media brokerage and management firm. In fact, she encourages you to do so. No insert media campaign can get past square one without a solid concept and a healthy exchange of ideas between you and your broker; it can make all the difference. Not only have insert media brokers, managers and the like seen more than their fair share of strategies, formats and creative, but
Don’t think of inserts as slips of paper. Rather, to get the right creative vibe, you need to imagine your insert as a snack-size bag of potato chips, a candy bar or a pack of gum. This might sound weird, but stripped to their basic function, inserts are an impulse-buy medium—like a store checkout lane. “By and large, anything in the insert space is an impulse buy,” says Al Stanton, president of Stanton Direct Marketing, an insert media and management firm in Elmira, N.Y. Even with two-step offers, he says, inserts are meant to generate a spontaneous response to send for more information. Due to
It’s common practice for direct marketers to look for list test ideas by reviewing the group of companies who order continuations on their file. Logic dictates that if your list works for a company, the reverse probably is true. This concept applies to insert media, but not just in the way you might think. Sure, if you notice specific companies consistently placing their inserts in your program, it’s likely the demographics of your audience are similar to their customers’, and so you might want to run inserts in any program they offer. Further, explains Al Stanton, president of Stanton Direct Marketing, an insert media brokerage
Share your tips and learn from fellow direct marketers as we cover the hottest issues and best practices in insert media. Question: What offer strategies work best for statement stuffers, blow-ins and other insert types that are short on space? Answers: “Insert offers should employ strong brand recognition and easy-to-understand offers. The offer should be compelling and promotional with a simple response device. Free shipping, samples, premiums and discounts should be prominent, yet not overshadow the product/service offer. The use of dot whacks, call-outs and other images work well in this medium. Soft offers can be very effective. However, beware of back-end issues
Some advertisers will place on a truly last-minute remnant basis. They will actually keep material on-hand at the letter shop or warehouse where the distribution originates. If there is open space, the inserts are on site and can be used immediately. The downside is that there is no guarantee on placement because a higher rate piece would always have priority. I caution people when placing remnant orders. Cheap circulation that doesn't work is likely to be more costly than expensive circulation that produces a return. ——Rob Stanton, director, business development, Stanton Direct Marketing Inc.
Being prepared to place remnant orders can be a cost-saving strategy. Most seasoned users of insert media will print additional key codes of material for the specific purpose of last-minute placements. Placement rates can be most negotiable just prior to a closing date, but it usually requires quick action to get the inserts delivered to the required destination for distribution. ——Rob Stanton, director, business development, Stanton Direct Marketing Inc.
By Lisa Yorgey Lester Rising postal costs and falling response rates have given many a marketer pause to consider testing insert media. In turn, this interest in inserts has led many direct marketers to consider opening up their packages to third-party advertising offers. There are many benefits associated with creating a package insert program. The most obvious is an additional revenue stream that leverages the postage you already pay to deliver your goods. In addition, a package insert program increases your exposure in the marketplace as brokers and mailers investigate your com-pany and product line to determine their offer's affinity with your program,
Looking strictly at the bottom-line is a short-term solution that hurts long-term development. Long-term steady growth is based on gaining value, not just cutting costs and resources. With insert media, the object is not to find the cheapest space, but to find circulation that will give the greatest ROI. Finding space that produces a great return usually requires some testing and investment. Continuing to test new and different insert media programs—along with various creative options—will help fine tune return. There is no real secret about that. ——Rob Stanton, director, business development, Stanton Direct Marketing Inc.