Your Package Inserts Are Your Best House Segments

A basic tenet of catalog marketing is that customers are most responsive to your offers at the moment they receive the product they ordered from you. That’s why bounce-back catalogs—catalogs placed in the boxes of outgoing orders—are so effective, says Jim Coogan, president of Sante Fe, NM-based Catalog Marketing Economics.

“Typical response rates for package insert catalogs show that these catalogs respond as well or better than any other house segment,” he says. And not only are bounce-back catalogs reaching the ultimate hotline buyers, but their postage costs are virtually nil.

So how do you get the maximum value of those outgoing packages with your own offers?

* Track the orders by giving the bounce-back books their own key code. Mailers often don’t believe the responsiveness of package inserts until they measure and read the response rates.

* Use a second cover on the package insert catalogs.

* Put a second and even a third house offer in each outgoing package.

* Include a limited-time-only coupon good for a quick follow-up order.

* Closeouts and liquidations work well here. Put together some deals.

“Don’t forget to work closely with your package insert broker to maximize the number of outside inserts that go into each package,” Coogan adds. “The math for outside inserts is compelling. If you have five inserts in each package at $0.05 each, that is $0.25 an order that drops to the bottom line.”

Figuring out the incremental sales from your own house package inserts is easy, he continues: “Number of orders per year times the dollars per catalog of your best responding house segment. For example, if you ship 10,000 orders per year, and your best house segments pulls $12 a catalog, the incremental sales will be $120,000 per year”.

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