Catalog Insert Programs - The Team Approach
By Gretchen Kirby Peck
Advertising-insert programs: How to make them work for your catalog.
Despite a rocky 2002 economy, catalogers are forging ahead, turning their attention to new manufacturing practices to support—and, in some cases, supplement—their sales efforts.
Order forms aren't the only things you'll find nestled in your favorite catalog these days. Increasingly, catalogers are partnering with third-party mailers to insert advertising into catalog pages. And the ads are taking myriad forms, most commonly as blow-in and bind-in inserts. (Blow-ins are loose ad inserts, while bind-ins are inserts that are bound into the book.)
For catalogers, these initiatives often mean extra revenues. And for advertisers, they're a way of targeting a specific demographic, while the cataloger picks up the postage costs.
To be sure, relationships between catalogers and advertisers must be delicately managed, and once formed, must be extended to a third party, as well—namely, your catalog's printer. Much like the relationships that blossom between magazine publisher, printer and advertiser, this triad must form a seamless network of communication, as well. All parties must be apprised and in agreement about the project's objectives. And everyone must be intimately aware of creative, production and manufacturing deadlines. Moreover, each must have a comprehensive understanding of the production process, specifically, its costs, strengths and limitations.
Fortunately, catalogers and advertisers aren't flying solo in these initiatives. Third-party agents are there to lend a hand by marketing advertising programs for the cataloger and helping to keep that all-essential communication between parties flowing.
The LH Management Division of Leon Henry Inc. sells blow-in, bind-in, package-insert and ride-along programs to non-competitive advertisers, in turn generating revenue for clients such as Current catalog. Explains Debra Goldstein, divisional manager of LH Management: "We're the insert manager responsible for selling blow-in or bind-in space into the Current Social Expressions and Scrapbooking catalogs. In addition, we manage their package-insert program, [for which] inserts will be collated into an envelope and placed in the shipments with merchandise purchased from the catalogs."