The Power of Inserts (914 words)
By Debra Goldstein
More and more catalogers are discovering this winning method of increasing revenue.
Package inserts, catalog blow-ins, ride-alongs and statement stuffers — these are just a few of the ways catalogers are generating additional revenue.
By creating profit centers through various insert media, catalogers are taking advantage of the current climate in which every dollar counts. They're creating larger pools of opportunities for themselves, in addition to instituting programs that benefit their insert advertisers.
The usual published rates for a cataloger's package-insert program range from $50 to $60/M, while catalog blow-ins generally are priced from $25 to $35/M. There are about 1,200 insert programs on the market, of which more than 400 are catalog-related.
What to Consider
Insert program owners, including catalogers, look for offers that will be value-added for their customers, because accepting inserts in outbound packages is an implied endorsement of the offer being made. Ideally, offers should target the primary demographics of your audience.
For instance, an offer for a garden tiller may be appropriate if your catalog reaches known homeowners. Or if your primary demographic consists of a mature audience, inserts from book clubs featuring audio or large-print books may be welcomed by your customers.
Of course, you wouldn't want to accept inserts for competitive offers to your merchandise lineup or offers of questionable taste. If you're uncomfortable with the insert offer, pass on it. Your goals are to sell your product first and to maintain long-term customer satisfaction and loyalty.
What You Bring to the Table
To an insert mailer, your catalog offers the following: a positive selling environment, guaranteed visibility, category exclusivity, relatively low cost and the ability to supplement the sale/lead flow between direct mail campaigns. In turn, by accepting inserts, you'll forge relationships with advertisers and perhaps establish a reciprocal arrangement that allows you to promote your offer to the mailer's customers.