Having His Say: Insert Media Deserve a Closer Look

By placing inserts in outgoing packages, co-op mailings, billing statements, and in catalogs as blow-ins or bind-ins, marketers have been able to effectively bridge the gap between the high cost of direct mail and their ever-expanding need to put the right offer in front of prospective buyers … all in a cost-efficient and profitable manner.

Insert programs allow mailers to identify their best prospective audience—and to reach them rapidly. A natural place to start would be to seek out programs that offer demographic characteristics similar to those in the mailer’s own customer file. Insert programs will allow the mailer to reach “hotline” buyers even before those names are made available as part of a 30-day buyers select.

Most insert media programs offer the implied endorsement of the carrier. This simple fact should not be taken lightly. With more than 1 billion impressions annually, insert media programs have become a fertile source of customers. Given the likely postage increase in 2006, I’m surprised that the number of users is not growing even faster than it is. And while governmental/administrative regulations and guidelines have hit hard at telemarketers and spammers, no such rule has been promulgated against the use of inserts in outgoing packages.

To the uninitiated or to those mailers who have had less-than-impressive initial results, it is strongly recommended that they work with experienced insert media vendors. Experienced brokers can help mailers save money on printing and shipping material to the lettershops. Sometimes just “tweaking” the creative will make difference between a profitable and unprofitable campaign. Also, offers must present true initial value to get the relationship started with the new customer. A discount savings or a free gift will often suffice. Here, again, a media expert can and will point the mailer in the right direction. Likewise, should mailers decide to open their outgoing packages to noncompetitive offerings, they should look to specialists who have been and continue be proficient in managing these insert programs.

Scarsdale, NY-based Singer Direct is an Internet and alternative media solutions provider.

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