Bible Belt Buyers Big on Inserts

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The Conservative Book Club Bulletin is a 600,000-per-year ride-along insert program managed by Leon Henry Inc. that has seen success in the past year.

The program is the Eagle Publishing book distributor's way to generate added revenue and leverage with related products and brands. Leon Henry manages and brokers several programs with companies that target conservative customers.

"There's a whole package conservative audience that is very strong," said Debra Goldstein, senior vice president of Leon Henry Inc. "They buy and love this medium of buying through the mail."

She noted a significant response from buyers in the Bible Belt to other conservative programs the company manages.

The ride along with the Conservative Book Club Bulletin targets affluent and educated buyers of books covering public policy, government, history and religion. The average yearly spend for a consumer is $116, including software and reference materials that the club also offers.

The median age for the book club is 52, and 85 percent of subscribers attended or graduated college. The list has a median household income of $48,000, and 65 percent own a computer.

Other conservative insert programs that Leon Henry manages include Heritage Family Library on-the-pak and package programs. Heritage Family is a division of door-to-door bookseller Southwestern/Great American Inc.

Heritage books are all reference/family type, such as abridged encyclopedias, desk reference sets, children's books, cookbooks and Bibles. The package program reaches 323,000 yearly while the on-the-pak program reaches 245,000 yearly.

The firm also offers programs with S&S Worldwide, the Colchester, CT, Christian provider of children's toys and educational tools. Advertisers can have their inserts blown in to the Christian specialty catalog or reach 268,000 consumers in S&S Worldwide packages.

Leon Henry also is pursuing a project with political magazine American Spectator. An insert program is on hold due to lack of polybags, a feature that would be costly but better support an insert program.

The conservative insert programs boast not only the response but also the versatility of offers that can use the programs. Advertisers have seen responses to electronics, collectibles, subscriptions, housewares, apparel and other high-ticket items. Despite the family-oriented sensibilities of the client list, market forces control the content of ads rather than any mandate from Leon Henry or Eagle.

"We censor nothing ... advertisers that are more liberal wouldn't want to go into a program like this," Ms. Goldstein said.

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