Insert Media: A Miniature Resurgence
While that low price is compelling, there are caveats to consider before producing a miniature. Debra Goldstein, senior vice president of the management division at Leon Henry Inc., a list management and brokerage firm specializing in insert media, cautions catalogers to monitor printing costs.
Most miniatures aren’t standard-sized package inserts or blow-ins, she points out. So the collation equipment often has to be adjusted to fit. As a result, “printers are forced to increase fees to accommodate the specifications for the job,” she says. “And some printers charge those costs back to the cataloger.”
Traditionally, printers have charged a flat, standard fee per thousand for miniature catalogs. “But now we’re seeing a tiered pricing structure that is based on insert size and paper stock chosen,” Goldstein says. A 3-1/2 inch by 5 inch size is standard; anything larger than that typically commands a higher price tag. But even with those possible extra costs, Goldstein says miniatures still are far less expensive to place as insert media than mailing traditional catalogs to prospect names.
Paper basis weight is another production consideration for miniatures. And to keep your costs in line, Carson recommends 40 lb to 50 lb coated stock for a 16- to 24-page, digest-sized miniature.
There are other options with miniature catalogs. B&W Press, a Georgetown, Mass.-based printer, produces several formats, including two-way self-mailers that can include a response envelope and 10 pages of products. They fold down from 8-1/2 inches by 32 inches to 8-1/2 inches by 5-7/8 inches to meet postal requirements, notes Paul Beegan, a B&W sales and marketing executive. B&W also can personalize and mail miniatures. Marketers using them present 30 to 70 products per edition, he says.
Priest at UniFirst says that when the cataloger tested its first miniature four years ago, it did so well that UniFirst has kept miniatures in its marketing mix ever since.