With the upcoming postal increase, more and more mailers are looking to insert media for cost effective customer acquisition programs. These vehicles go well beyond the typical package inserts and blow-ins to include shared mail, FSIs, and catalog insertion programs. To compete with the increasingly competitive market of not only catalogers but e-tailers and retailers, mailers are realizing that they need to incorporate this medium into their circulation plans.
One of the biggest opportunities for mailers is using the newspaper to distribute their catalogs. While merchants should by no means solely rely on newspapers to deliver their catalogs, this program can be used as an alternative to acquire new customers often for a lower cost than if they were to mail catalogs. You can target the customers you want to reach by using modeling geographic, demographic and behavioral information of each newspaper’s subscribers. Catalogers that also have a retail presence can use a store radius report to reach subscribers within a pre-determined number of miles of their store locations.
Catalogers should also test shared mail and freestanding inserts (FSIs). These vehicles allow mailers to drive Web and retail traffic as well as sell products. These programs include Valassis, Smart Source, Advo, Money Mailer, Clipper Magazine, and Val Pak. While many mailers had previously dismissed these programs as not high-end enough for their product lines, you can reach higher income consumer through this past purchase behavior modeling.
Some other programs that are gaining interest are ATM advertising, dry cleaning receipt advertising, advertising on-page in other catalogs and on-page ads in newspapers and magazines. By including an 800 number, Web address and store locations, these vehicles not only improve brand recognition but also increase sales at a fraction of the cost of list rental.
Don’t let the postal increase get you down. Insert media can help grow your customer base. By adding insert media to your online and offline marketing plans, you can increase customer acquisition without hurting your bottom line.
Wendy McLaughlin is a vice president and Tricia Hamel is an account executive with Hackensack, NJ-based list firm Mokrynskidirect.