Insider Marketing: 18 Insert Media Best Practices

Insert media is the ultimate form of insider marketing. By sending your offers as part of the delivery of an already trusted merchant, prospects see your creative in the most positive possible light—and while they’re getting the thrill of opening a recent purchase. Here are 18 best practices to put your marketing materials in the right packages and make the most of that moment.

1. Test Small …
… but be sure to test enough to be statistically valid. Many advertisers feel they do not have the budget to embark on a successful insert media campaign. This is not true. Most advertisers do not need to distribute millions of pieces to determine if the channel can work. Minimize your risk by distributing enough to accurately read your response. Testing four programs with 25,000 in each is often better than testing one program with 100,000.

2. Test Smart
When deciding which programs to test, there are many factors that should be considered. First and foremost are the demographics of the host program. In addition, you must be aware of the total universe of the program so there is opportunity to roll out should the tests prove successful. However, don’t be lured into testing a program solely because there is ample volume of packages.

3. Test Broad
Vary your test in terms of category and audience. Testing different audiences is smarter and safer than testing multiple programs in a single category. Do not only test gardening programs, for instance. Expand your distribution to reach buyers in other categories as well. This strategy increases your odds of finding a successful category while a one-dimensional test will result in an inaccurate portrayal of the medium as a whole

4. Test, Retest
One successful test is not enough to warrant a full roll out in any channel. Take your time with your tests and make sure the positive results are accurate before committing to a large roll out.

5. Code
It may sound simple, but you would be surprised by how many advertisers don’t code their inserts properly. Not only should each program have its own unique code, but each month in a particular program should also have a unique code. This will yield a better understanding of the insert’s performance in a program over time.

6. Control Works
When testing new channels, or new programs within a channel, stick with what works. After a successful test and re-test, then you can expand to new formats, offers or creative.

7. Use the Space
Don’t get lost in the package—stand out! The average maximum dimensions for a package insert program are 5-1/2″ x 8 1/2″. Use that space as best you can. Don’t get lost in a package with a 3 1/2″ x 5″ insert when you can use one twice a large and attract more attention.

8. Share Results
It is important to share your successes and failures with your list broker. The more detailed the information you share, the more effective they will be in returning qualified program recommendations to you. If a program did not work for you at $45/M it may still be successful at $30/M, but your broker will never know that unless you are open and honest about your responses. A simple “it did not work” is not enough. Be as exact as possible.

9. Multiple Reply
Give the recipient more than one way to respond to your offer. Business reply card, 800 number, URL, even mobile barcodes should be incorporated into your creative. And make those calls to action prominent in your creative.

Publish date: June 19, 2013 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT