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Sampling: This method of insertion offers a variety of “goody bags” distributed free to specific markets, i.e. college students, new mothers, buyers at retail and other special interest groups. Inserts accompany product samples and coupons. Some vendors are trying to qualify recipients by requiring them to spend a certain amount, or purchase multiple products, or fill out a direct response vehicle before receiving sampling bags or boxes. Packages are sometimes given out “free” in high traffic situations. Frequently, geographic targeting is also available. Pricing ranges from $35/M-$50/M.
Card Deck Mailings: This vehicle usually consists of 20 or more 3-1/2 x 5-1/2” business reply cards delivered in poly packs. Rate card prices average from $35/M to $45/M and include printing; still mostly business-to-business, a growing number of consumer card decks have come onto market. Approximately 500 decks are available in circulations of 50M-1MM each. Most decks will accept pre-printed inserts at a higher cost per thousand. Many are also mailing in larger 5-1/2 x 7-1/2” format that is more pre-print friendly.
Catalog Bind-Ins/Blow-Ins: This distribution has been used in big numbers for years by horticultural set (i.e. a magazine subscription offer or a lead generator for a lawn tool product is bound into a catalog). Many gift and apparel catalogs are now beginning to offer blow-in space as well as bind-ins to further serve direct response advertiser. Blow-ins can run as little as half price of package inserts to same customers. They generally represent larger volumes and more predictable mail dates.
Other Alternatives: Newspaper FSI’s have become more direct mail/direct response friendly as they are challenged with selling more pages while coupon distribution decreases. A great testing vehicle, they represent at least 100MM circulation weekly and can frequently be bought as remnant for under $4/M for a half page. Solo and blow-in opportunities are also available here.
Shared Advertising such as Inserts have been included in supermarket take-one racks, have ridden along with Pennysavers, order acknowledgements, retail circulars and list goes on. As direct marketers look for increasingly creative methods to better their bottom line and find less expensive ways to generate new leads, and qualified inquiries, more will be developed. As direct marketing companies continue to be challenged by cost of finding new customers, pool of mail order sources will continue to shrink. Options like riding along with newspapers and/or retailer circulars delivered in mail boxes and selectable by county size and type of households could spawn a brand new generation of customers.
Advertise For Less, Get More. For all success stories, package insert field is just like other forms of direct marketing response. It is a numbers game. If you watch cost of printing and cost of distribution, your response should be sufficient to provide you with a satisfactory cost per inquiry or cost per order. But for steady production of orders at reasonable and competitive costs, shared direct mail is hard to beat. And for ease of entry, low visibility, low cost, what could be better? The cost of heavy postage and four-color envelopes aren’t here. Inserts are inexpensive and for most products, there is an extensive universe. Many magazines, catalogs and continuity clubs distribute millions of inserts annually. They are making investment in inserts. Isn’t it time to consider this medium.
You Can Target The Following Audiences
• Consumers • Homeowners • Businesses • New Businesses • New Movers
Why Pay More When You Can Pay Less? Be Smart, Advertise For Less!
Author & Marketing Consultant Savings4Merchants http://savings4Merchants.com Big Marketing Ideas Without The Big Spending! Copyright 2005©