Are Insert Media Right for You?

Looking for a method of targeting specific demographics at a considerably lower cost than other modes of customer acquisition? Consider insert media.

Inserts are placed into merchandise packages, direct mail, credit-card statements (these are sometimes called statement stuffers) and catalogs and magazines as blow-ins or bind-ins. Other types of insert media are cooperative mailings and newspaper freestanding inserts (FSIs).

Each insert vehicle has its own universe. Catalog shipments offer the lowest month-to-month customer duplication. A key advantage of package inserts in particular is that you have category exclusivity inside the box. In addition, you will reach the ultimate hotline buyer, virtually at the point of purchase, at a fraction of other media costs.

There’s no lack of insert availability and opportunity:

  • Packages — 500 million annually
  • Package insert envelope advertising — 25 million and growing
  • Statements – 3 billion annually
  • Blow-ins and bind-ins — 1.5 billion annually
  • Cooperative mailings — 70 million monthly
  • Ride-alongs — 300 million annually
  • Shared mail — 25 million monthly
  • Freestanding inserts — 50 million weekly
  • Card decks — 38 million annually

To create a successful insert program, be promotional with your offer by using incentives, discounts, free shipping and handling, or premiums. Keep the weight of the insert at 0.25 oz. Size is important as well as restricted, depending on the program. Make the ordering process as easy as possible by highlighting the toll-free number and Website URL. Test, test, and test again to keep your offer and creative fresh and exciting.

Each program and each offer will respond differently. The best way to determine response is to test a variety of programs. Keep in mind that the response curves are longer in insert media and vary by type of program.

Jill Hilliard is sales and marketing manager for Hackensack, NJ-based list services firm Mokrynskidirect.

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