bet you've been looking for such an opportunity, but you never thought about it. Here it is, you can finally advertise for LESS."
Why Should You Consider Shared Direct Mail?
Shared Direct Mail Advertising provides same benefits of solo direct mail advertising for a fraction of cost. Shared Direct mail advertising is a proven and cost effective way to advertise your offer to consumers and businesses. Smart advertisers are sharing costs of postage, mail processing, mailing service, ad design, mailing lists and printing by combining their ads with several other advertisers into a combined mailing package which reaches a targeted audience. If you are a smart advertise and want to advertise for less then you need to consider shared direct mail advertising. Shared Direct mail advertising successfully reaches more than 98% of households, thus over 120 million households throughout United States.
First-class mailers are still absorbing harsh realities of recent postal increase and a variety of advertisers are examining economic efficiencies of their methods of distribution. Every mailer should seriously consider their "options" and one such option is using shared direct mail.
In last 30-plus years, number of shared direct mail advertising programs also called inserts has risen dramatically, along with a variety of options being offered to mailer. Let’s examine maze of insert opportunities in today's marketplace.
Package Inserts: These are free standing promotional pieces delivered to mail order customers via their fulfillment package; i.e. insert is delivered to you in a box containing a shirt you ordered from a catalog. Naturally product shipment types vary dramatically: catalog generated vs. space-generated, television or internet, continuity or club oriented, business-to-business vs. consumer. Correspondingly, responses to outside insert will also vary. The going rate for package inserts is still an average of $70/M. The number of outside inserts varies from four to eight. Generally, only non-competitive pieces are included together.
If one goes heavily into a club or continuity oriented program, rate of duplication needs to be monitored. The response rates also vary significantly depending on a number of other variables: whether insert is generating a lead or producing an order, average ticket price of items being sold, size of insert, etc. A large ticket item may be satisfied with two responses per thousand, whereas lead-generating devices having a strong affinity between insert and products being delivered would produce responses ranging from 1-3%.
The current universe exceeds seven billion and includes programs like Shopper's Advantage, America Online and Current. There are also scores of smaller programs and specialty companies like Zoysia Grass Plugs, Amazon.com Tools & Hardware and Wizard Entertainment.
Ride-Alongs: In this instance, a company mails a catalog, circular or announcement to its customer base and allows outside advertising to ride along. An advertiser can count on this method of distribution since company doing mailing has a vested interest in getting out their own promotional pieces. Companies like Columbia House dominate this category and offer regular mailings in blocks of 2MM-6MM to their club members.
Advertiser's response from this category is strong--comparable to package inserts. Average prices range from $50/M-$75/M. Outside inserts range from one to four per mailing. Response curves are similar to direct mail. These programs may be dying as they reduce their numbers of negative option mailings.
Co-op Mailings: This category, by definition, presents a group of non-competitive advertisers mailing to a common market. Co-ops represent large numbers (up to 40MM) in a single drop, can usually provide good geographic selectivity and often provide demographic selectivity as well i.e. new mothers, new movers, prenatal. Although responses are not as high as those generally received from packages, co-ops are priced more competitively, at an average of $25/M. Other co-op mailings include coupons from local merchants (i.e. dry cleaner, ice cream shop, oil change). These programs are usually sold on a local level by neighborhood franchises. Well known examples include Super Coups, Money Mailer and Mr. Coupon. Most of them are available in a #10 envelope format, but some mail in a 6 x 9” envelope. Circulation exceeds 100MM/quarter.
Statement Stuffers: These mailings include invoices and statements generated by cable TV companies, utilities, credit cards, magazines, book clubs, continuity programs, retailers, businesses and so on. They are usually distributed in small envelopes so your insert needs to be no larger than 3-1/2 x 6” to fit. Outside inserts are generally limited to one or two since statements get mailed first class (high percentage of deliverability) and additional outside advertising would bump them into next postal class. Response tends to be strong with average prices running at $60/M.