Live from Insert Media Day: Inserts Serve a Dual Role

Rye Brook, NY—According to the speakers during the Direct Marketing Association’s Insert Media Day on Sept. 9, the revenue-generating potential of catalog inserts is limitless. As Pete Rice, senior vice president of marketing of home and garden products cataloger Plow & Hearth, noted during one session, “We wouldn’t have these programs if we were making lots of money and didn’t want to make anymore.”

Plow & Hearth limits the number of blow-ins or bind-ins it accepts from outside advertisers to one per issue. That’s because the company also reserves space for inserts touting its parent firm, 1-800-Flowers.com. So while Plow & Hearth is able to build revenue selling inserts, 1-800-Flowers.com can use the catalog to build recenue by raising 1-800-Flowers.com’s visibility among Plow & Hearth’s audience.

Although the insert program has been lucrative, from a brand perspective “we want to know what the piece is, because there’s an implied endorsement from us,” Rice said. Though he described the implicit endorsement as “very arms-length,” Rice said that bind-ins represent a more direct relationship than the easy-to-remove blow-ins. “So we have more stringent needs for bind-ins based on how they impact our book.”

In analyzing a potential sold insert, Rice said that Plow & Hearth scrutinizes it to make sure there’s no potential negative impact on any products within the catalog. A typical deal-breaker would be a product that might resemble an item in the Plow-Hearth catalog that’s sold for a lower price.

But bind-ins can have a positive impact on catalog product sales, Rice added. They create “hot spots,” as catalogs often flip open to the spread housing the insert.

Partner Content

The Gift of Wow: Preparing your store for the holiday season - Netsuite
Being prepared for the holiday rush used to mean stocking shelves and making sure your associates were ready for the long hours. But the digital revolution has changed everything, most importantly, customer expectations. Retailers with a physical store presence should be asking themselves—what am I doing to wow the customer?
3 Critical Components to Achieving the Perfect Order - NetSuite
Explore the 3 critical components to delivering the perfect order.
Streamlining Unified Commerce Complexity - NetSuite
Explore how consolidating multiple systems through a cloud-based commerce platform provides a seamless experience for both you, and your customer.
Strategies for Maximizing Mobile Point-of-Sale Technology - NetSuite
Learn the top five innovative ways to utilize your mobile POS technology to drive customer engagement, increase sales and elevate your brand.