Insert Media vehicles can take many forms. Here are the most typical types:
3-1/2"x 5" cards printed by the host and enclosed in a wrapping for shipment to a targeted audience. The cards are mostly business reply cards. A card deck usually mails via bulk rate and does not guarantee a mail order buyer.
Catalog Blow Ins/Bind Ins
Catalogs offer a high volume distribution. A Blow In is an insert "blown" into the catalog during printing and a Bind In is stitched into the binding (or slid between staples). Although Bind Ins have more of a chance of staying inside the catalog by the time it reaches the customer, Blow Inís tend to have better response. Bind Inís also require additional design to allow for a binding edge.
This mailing combines inserts from a group of non-competitive advertisers riding together in the same envelope. Mailing volume is usually high and can mail as a mass mailing in zip code saturation or can be targeted via a theme such as New Parents, Senior Citizens, New Homeowner, etc. Names for the mailing are acquired via list rental and are not proven direct mail buyers.
Customer Mailings/Ride Alongs
By definition, this is a mailing to an existing customer offering them additional products or offers. This customer has proven to have purchased at least once from this company. Most commonly, this is in a 6" x 9" or 9" x 12" format for mailing.
Running your ad on the back of a statement bangtail or Package Insert Program collated envelope. Puts your ad in the eye of the consumer prior to any of the ads inside. You only have to supply artwork.
Mass Market Mailings
These are zip code, SCF or geographic designed mailings to a mass market. They can provide opportunities for on-page advertising as well as provide opportunities for inserts. These mailings do well for geographic selections including the more rural C & D counties of the country. These are not proven mail order buyers and usually do not provide offer exclusivity.
Newspaper - FSIs (Free Standing Inserts)
Inserts are accepted into a Sunday paper or Wednesday coupon section. These inserts can be placed solo into the newspaper or run in an FSI which is then placed into the newspaper. A FSI is a cooperative, full-color, multi-page flyer offering local, regional and national advertising with coupons, services and offers. Large circulation is available.
Package Insert Programs (PIP)
Third-party advertisements that utilize a companyís outgoing packages are referred to as a PIP. Riding along in these packages carries an implied endorsement by the host company. These are hotline buyers and known direct mail purchasers. Due to these positive aspects, base rate run higher than other insert media.
Sample packs are usually hand delivered for free to specific groups or markets. The packs contain samples, inserts, coupons and other items targeting this group.
Space advertising is usually meant to cover magazine or similar publications allowing on-page advertising. Pricing can be expensive and some magazines insist on full circulation to be taken. Not all offer exclusivity and the customer is not a proven mail order buyer. Magazines have expanded to include magazines designed purely for advertising (Clipper Magazine, Reach Magazine). These magazines have lower pricing since the audience is not subscribers and the content is not editorial; however, they do mail in specific areas and have selections available.
Statement Insert Programs
Third-party advertisements that ride along with an invoice in a bank, utility, cable or other services. They are usually mailed first class and in a #10 envelope or smaller. Statement programs have a strict weight limit and also do not want to detract from their invoice. Thus programs will accept 1 or 2 inserts only.
Take Ones are slots holding a stack of inserts at a heavy traffic consumer area such as a supermarket. Note the board at the entrance of the supermarket or on the check out counter at certain stores or information centers.
Other common industry terms:
A collation envelope is typically a 6Ē x 9Ē envelope with a variety of loose inserts that is dropped into the out-going customer package. Using a collation envelope allows a greater number of participants (usually 6 to 8) without slowing down the fulfillment process.
An exchange is a partnership between two companies that are program owners and mailers. Both will agree to use each otherís insert program to distribute their own advertising insert.
An exchange fee is collected by each of the advertiserís brokers and split with the program manager to cover the coordination of the exchange.
Inserts can be† placed in a customer order package loosely. In most cases, only two or three inserts can be placed in packages by hand while still retaining fulfillment efficiencies. Hand insertion is common in package insert programs that are new to the market because the number of testing advertisers will not warrant the cost of collation envelopes and production expenses.
An insert broker works in the interest of a particular advertiser or mailer. The broker will research and find insert programs in the marketplace that reach the specific demographic targets that the advertiser desires. Beyond finding specific media opportunities, a broker will usually coordinate all aspects of that media placement on behalf of their client, including: rate negotiation, order placement, freight arrangements, and distribution monitoring. Most insert brokers can also assist with insert printing coordination.
Since the insert media is unlike most other marketing channels, an insert broker will help you develop a test strategy. The broker's relationship and experience in the industry will help an advertiser steer clear of unresponsive programs.
As an industry standard, brokers are rebated a commission of 20% from the program owner as payment for placing advertising into the media.
An insert manager works in the interest of the program owner. They are responsible for locating quality advertisers that are interested in placing advertising inserts into the mailings that the program owner sends to their customer base. Managers are not only responsible for promoting the insert program, but also negotiate rates, and coordinate with the mail production facility or distribution warehouse. Most insert media managers also bill the advertiser, pay the appropriate commissions to recognized brokers and forward due revenue to the owner.
Insert managers will look for the most suitable and best quality advertisers for their client. Their main goal is to provide the owner with advertising offers that are relevant to their customer base, thus giving the advertiser the best chance of a good return and building a lasting partnership between the advertiser and program owner.
As an industry standard, an insert media manager will retain a 10% commission on all orders placed into the program. Expenses related to the programís operation (envelope, collation, shipping), are an expense to the owner. Many times, these expenses are offset directly by incoming program revenue.
The advertiser is also commonly referred to as a mailer. Most mailers work with insert media brokers to find appropriate advertising opportunities.
A program owner is the company that sends mail or packages to a specific group, usually customers. Anyone that has an existing distribution channel of any type could potentially be a program owner.
As an industry standard, program owners receive 70% of advertising revenue generated by the program minus related expenses.