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  Insert Media

Insert Media includes several different advertising vehicles and delivery methods. Each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Many firms offer mailing and email list services, however insert media is a specialized marketing field focused on maximizing the advantages of various insert programs. AllMedia will guide you through all the steps necessary to start an insert program or include an insert program into your business or marketing strategy.

Insert media has the ability to quickly and inexpensively deliver your advertisement into the hands of potential customers. AllMedia has the expertise to plan and implement an insert media campaign which takes experience and attention to detail.


• You will share the postage cost with other advertisers.
• You can deliver your advertisement to potential customers months before your competition.
• Your advertisement will be seen by customers who anticipate their package.
• You can pick a program based upon consumer buying behavior.
• Your advertisement will be associated with products that are already established and well-loved among consumers.


• With over 30 years of knowledge and experience handling insert programs, AllMedia is well-equipped to provide you with the latest market research.
• You will be completely informed through every step on how to efficiently use an insert program.
• You will get the best price for placing your inserts because we have extensive relationships with insert managers.
• You are encouraged to ask questions because the more you know, the easier it will be to communicate with you.

Insert Media is a grouping of several types of marketing programs which include:

Catalog blow-ins - freestanding advertising pieces nested inside catalogs or magazines.

Catalog bind-ins - freestanding advertising pieces glued into the seam of a catalog or magazine.

Card Decks - groups of twenty to forty 3.5" x 5.5" cards that are wrapped in a plastic wrapper, typically used for business to business marketing.

Co-ops - grouping of freestanding advertising pieces placed in one envelope.

Newspaper freestanding inserts - free standing advertising pieces placed inside the pages of a newspaper.

Package insert programs - freestanding advertising pieces placed in the packages that are delivered to customers.

Poly-wraps - freestanding advertising pieces placed inside the plastic wrapper of a magazine or catalog.

Statement stuffers - freestanding inserts placed in the monthly billing statements of other reputable



The bottom line is that insert media can produce a high return on investment (ROI) because it permits you to target certain demographics and purchase behaviors while sharing the postal costs with other advertisers.


INSERT MEDIA 101: [back to top]
Each type of insert media has its own advantages. In the direct mail industry, recency is king and comes at a premium. Recency, the frequency in which a mailing list is updated, is important to list management because active consumers often purchase similar products. Package insert programs capitalize on this phenomenon, placing your advertisement in the hands of a buyer anywhere between one and seven days after their purchase. This is amazing considering that you would have to wait between 30 days to three months if you were to purchase the mailing list. So when you use a package insert program, you will be contacting customers 30-90 days before anybody else has the chance. Also, when your free standing advertisement arrives accompanying a respected company's product or in a prestigious company's billing statement, that company is giving you an implied endorsement.

A second advantage of insert media including Blow-Ins, Bind-Ins, Package insert programs, and poly-wraps is that customers are anxiously awaiting the arrival of their merchandise/magazine and therefore your advertisement will be well-received, with a higher excitement level than a standard piece of direct mail.

In addition to being able to choose a package insert program that can ensure your advertisement will be looked at 100% of the time, you can target consumers by their demographics and lifestyle by picking the right insert program. For example if you are selling water skis, you could do a blow-in into a boating magazine, or consider using a package insert program from a company that sells life preservers to boating enthusiasts. Your broker will help you find the best program for your particular product.

A third advantage of insert media programs is that they are extremely inexpensive as a result of shared postal costs. For example, in a co-op you may be bundled with many other advertisers, but everyone splits the postal cost. The most familiar co-ops are Val-Pak and Money Mailer. Co-ops are inexpensive insert programs, but are not ideal for targeting individuals based on their buying preferences or by their demographics. Val-Pak and Money Mailer however do serve a useful purpose in that they are saturation co-ops, completely saturating a zip code or area around your business. A broker will be able to choose the right insert media program for you and use their high volume discounts to get you a better price. In addition it may be possible that your broker will be able to negotiate category exclusivity for your product depending on the insert program.

A fourth advantage of insert media programs is that you can pick a program based on consumer buying behavior. For example, if your company sells its products online, you might want to use a package insert program from a company similar to, where all of their customers are familiar with the Internet and make online purchases. Based upon your customers buying behaviors and demographics your insert broker will assist you in the selection of a program that parallels your business in as many ways as possible.

Before you decide to include an insert program in your marketing strategy there are many multiple factors to take into account. First, to be successful in any direct mail campaign you have to test, test some more, and then retest, graphic design and headlines. In the beginning, instead of experimenting with price points, it is always best to stick to price points that have worked for you in the past. Although, you need to have realistic expectations when using insert programs, you can expect a 1% response rate for insert programs, which is very reasonable considering the extremely low cost of the programs. Also, patience is the name of the game when implementing insert programs, because all of the packages are not sent out at the same time. So you will not generate the immediate responses that newspaper advertisements or postcard distribution produce. However, some insert programs are sent out at the same time like Co-ops, statement stuffers, and Shared Mail. To find the right insert media program for your needs you need to inform your broker about your goals and sales deadlines.

There are a couple of simple things that you can do to ensure a successful campaign. First, enlist the help of a list/insert broker. Brokers are knowledgeable about which insert programs work and which programs are not successful. With thousands of insert programs, in order to find the right program you need a professional broker. Second, you need to test different insert media programs, offers, graphic designs and headlines, while always having a control (a tried and true advertising piece that brings in results). Once you find a package that works better than your control, revise and update your control and then continue to test. The most important part of testing is to add a key "a special code imprinted on your mail piece" so you know which package performs better. Testing without using keys is equivalent to not testing at all.

After finding the perfect combination of your offer, graphic design and headline, you need to test the different insert programs, without adjusting your mail piece. It is important to change only one variable at a time so you know what to attribute your change in sales.

Note: There are lots of complicated statistical models to evaluate multiple changes to your mail piece at one time and your insert broker will discuss them with you if it is appropriate.

When deciding whether or not to use an insert media program it is important to be as informed as possible. You should not be afraid to ask your broker about printing sizes, mail dates and the process of how your advertising piece will finally make it into the hands of consumers.

Just as important, you should have a knowledgeable printer and direct mail consultant. Brokers, printers and direct mail consultants all have their specialties, so just because you have used a certain vendor in the past, does not necessarily make them right choice for your current job. It is important to ask them if they specialize in your type of direct mail. If you are new to direct mail or do not have reliable vendors, your broker should be able to assist you in finding the right resources for your job.

Price is always a sticking point of any deal and you want to get the best value for your money. Due to the fact that there are so many types of insert programs it's hard to know what program will work for you and if you're getting a good deal. You are in luck if you use a broker. Your broker will negotiate prices with the list owners and make sure you get the best price. You can also expect lower prices as your volume and frequency increase.

In conclusion, insert media can create an excellent source for steady sales of your product if used correctly. The first step to being successful is just taking a step back and giving thought to who makes up your best customers and what are your break-even price points for your product. Insert media, for all its advantages, still might not be profitable on your first mailing; so many smart mailers use it as a long term marketing technique making more and more profit due to repeat customers. They add new customers to their own customer database and mail to them more frequently. Insert programs are hard to beat because of their low barriers to entry, ability to target certain consumers and low cost? Whether you want to send 5,000 or 50,000,000 inserts there is a program out there for you!


If you are interested in starting your own insert media program, don't hesitate to call us at

(469) 467-9100 x100 or .

AllMedia Inc. | Plano, Texas | Telephone: 469-467-9100