Al Stanton

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.

It might be possible to negotiate the placement CPM a little "tighter," but it is equally important that the mailer review the insert creative to see if the response rate can be increased by a better, clearer, cleaner presentation. It is certainly easier to blame low responses on the medium rather than it is to re-evaluate the insert to see if it clearly shows off the product or service to its best advantage. —Al Stanton, president, Stanton Direct Marketing Inc.

How can you cut "Collate pieces at the distribution/order fulfillment center, as this will cut shipping costs of moving the collated pieces/envelopes back to where the orders are fulfilled. [Also,] manage shipping costs. If you accept overweight pieces and don't charge additional for this, it could be eating away from your revenue if this increase in weight also increases your costs for shipping. And manage inventory. Each item—or type of item—in the warehouse may incur an overhead cost based on the amount of space it occupies. Don't accept too many pieces at a time that will sit and incur overhead charges. Keep insert

By Alicia Orr Suman Open the Sunday paper and out pour pages of coupons and sales circulars—including offers from traditional direct marketers: collectibles, personalized products and credit cards, to name a few. But just how do direct marketers get their offers into this wide-reaching and relatively affordable medium? What to Buy More than 60 million free-standing inserts, or FSIs, circulate in newspapers every week. Because of their huge circulation, this medium reaches a significant percentage of the population, at home, with the Sunday newspaper. "The vehicle is well used by many marketers," confirms Lois Attisani, senior account executive at the brokerage and management

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