How to Generate Leads With Insert Marketing

By May 01, 2012

Insert programs can be a productive and cost-effective method for a catalog to generate leads. One way to do this is to highlight a “hero” product in your inserts, says Dennis Erickson, senior vice president, insert and print media, Paradysz.

Inserts drawing attention to one product that is a seasonal or perennial strong-seller can create interest in your brand and drive prospects to your website to make a purchase or request a catalog. If you’re inserting into a publication, consider matching the product or creative with the magazine’s editorial, says Erickson, who spoke at NEMOA’s spring conference. And unless you’re offering a solid, easily perceived value, stay away from making price the focal point of the offer.

L.L. Bean is a great example of a brand that does this well, said Erickson. Bean’s inserts often feature a product with a story to tell—the offer is secondary to the brand and the product.

There are many potential benefits to inserts, says Erickson, including:

•    An incremental source of web traffic and new buyers.
•    Another option to mitigate channel risk, should one currently profitable channel go soft
•    Increased ability to optimize marketing spend
•    A way to support seasonal products
•    Low cost platform for testing
•    Increased brand awareness

Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when testing inserts:

1.    Size matters. An insert program's volume should support your brand's ability to do multiple-offer tests.

2.    Have a diverse media mix. Testing across different media platforms maximizes your learning process and expedites your ability to scale up your insert program.

3.    Be creative. Establish your control offer and then don't be afraid to test different creative approaches, tracking each with a dedicated promotion code and/or URL. And, consider testing different hero products and price points.

4.    Stay consistent. You need to tie your online and offline experience together. Remember, says Erickson, when a prospect is looking at an offline offer on your insert, you're still far from closing the sale. "If they get to the website and there's a disconnect, conversion goes way down."

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