Boost Response From Insert Media
By Matt Griffin
Strategies to make your bind-ins, blow-ins, ride-alongs and package inserts work more effectively.
Rising postage costs and shrinking list universes haven't made customer acquisition any easier in recent years. Faced with such obstacles, catalogers increasingly are turning to insert media programs as a means to grow their housefiles. But like any growing market, both solid strategies and pitfalls abound. How can you best prepare for a successful insert media campaign? Consider the following do's and don'ts.
Do identify your target audience. "Insert media is not as easily targetable as list media, because in most cases you can't select [recipient categories] within the program," acknowledges Amy Benewicz, former vice president of The Catamount Group, a Bethel, Conn.-based direct marketing agency. Even still, Benewicz says, if more than 50 percent of a package insert or magazine ride-along program's intended audience is in your target audience, that's a good program to test.
Do reserve space way ahead of time. Judy Feyas, insert media director for Hackensack, N.J.-based direct marketing services firm Mokrynskidirect, recommends reserving space with insert programs at least two quarters ahead of time. Why? Often package insert programs and co-op mailings allow inclusion of only one merchant from a given product category.
Reserving space especially is important if your competitors are heavily involved in insert programs, says Feyas. "You want to capture as much space as you can before your competitors get to it," she notes.
Don't be tempted by a one-size-fits-all solution. When testing several insert programs at once, you'll find that each allows a different size and weight for its inserts.
Linda Callahan, senior vice president at Hartsdale, N.Y.-based Leon Henry Inc., a direct marketing services firm specializing in insert media, notes that catalogers approaching insert media for the first time often will try to curb printing costs by using the same 3.5-by-5-inch card for multiple programs. She regards this as a mistake. "You should take advantage of putting in the biggest piece you can. It may mean you're using a different piece for each program, but that's how you'll drive your best response," says Callahan.