Insert Media: Think Outside the Book, Part I
Integrating catalog, online, and retail divisions to offer multiple channels has become more the norm rather than the exception when it comes to catalog prospecting. So how can a traditional cataloger find new ways to prospect for customers in a such dynamic environment?
Consider thinking outside of the book itself and going back in time. Take a look at a proven media channel that’s been a steady workhorse for other marketers for decades: insert media.
While there are some catalogers using insert media as a viable channel for customer acquisition, the vast majority don’t. Insert media represents a cost-effective way to reach proven mail order buyers at a fraction of the cost of printing and mailing a full-size catalog.
Consider the economics. Between printing, postage, list rental and letter shop costs, a typical catalog runs at least 50 cents per piece to get into the mail. The media and printing costs in insert media cost 3 cents to 10 cents per piece to get into most programs, depending on how elaborate a piece you decide to print and which type of insert media channel you go into.
So it’s possible to reduce your cost per contact 90 percent, but with a likely drop in response of much less, yielding a considerably lower cost per order. Expect a lower order size on the initial order.
Consider these viable insert programs:
- Package inserts: included in the shipping package of a responsive mail order buyer.
- Catalog blow-ins: physically blown into a catalog mailing to a cataloger’s own customer base.
- Ride-alongs: similar to blow-in, but located in the mailing envelope of a promotion to a company’s own customer base (often a book or music club).
- Co-op mailings: a group of non-competitive advertisers sharing an envelope to mail to a common market.
- Card decks: a group of advertisers promoting via same sized cards, mailing to a common market. Outside inserts can sometimes be included.
- Statement stuffers: Invoices sent with invoices generated by utilities, credit cards, cable companies, oil companies, retailers, etc.
- Free standing inserts (FSIs): FSIs typically are included in Sunday newspaper supplements.