The Future of Insert Marketing, Part 2

In Part 1 of “The Future of Insert Marketing”, I described 11 trends worth looking at. Here are some additional reflections:

  1. How do I bring down the cost of acquiring a customer when the next postage rate increase is already being debated? The Internet, which is on everyone’s mind, is not the only answer. Inserts are intrinsically low cost. The cost components are delivered printed pieces and distribution charges. Both have flexibility depending on volume and negotiation.
  2. How do I increase my responses? Besides the tried-and-true direct marketing techniques, marketers using inserts should consider value-added copy that incorporates the distributing program. For example, a special offer obtainable only from the distributing program should make the recipients more strongly consider ordering, especially when there are points to be gained or a savings to be made.
  3. How do I expand my universe of insert programs? Providing an extra inducement to partnering may be what’s needed to open up new package insert programs. Certainly one can argue that offers from high-quality mailers enhance the value of the package.
  4. What else can I do to open up an insert program? Practically every package that is shipped carries product literature from the shipper. Providing the printed material in return for mutually agreeable ad copy is one way to create a win-win situation. Undertaking a cooperative effort that brings in more than one advertiser may be another way to convince a prospect program to accept your inserts and those of the partners you bring in.
  5. How do I think outside of the box? Literally or figuratively? There is space in the envelope carrying the invoice attached to the product shipment package. One or two lightweight inserts can fit in there. What else is available to carry an insert? Catalogs, mailings, bills, statements, and newsletters all can be adapted to accept inserts.

The future of insert media will be controlled by the imagination, or lack thereof, of marketers. Greater distribution volume will attract reluctant marketers who currently do not see the insert forest for the trees. Those mailers already harvesting the customers brought by inserts will welcome additional insert programs. Leon Henry is chairman/CEO of the Hartsdale, NY-based list services firm that bears his name.

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