DMD Speaker Gives Scoop on Inserts

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NEW YORK -- Though the title of yesterday's insert media session was "What Your Broker Doesn't Tell You About Package Inserts and Statement Stuffers," the speaker admitted that, "The truth is there are several good insert brokers out there."

The session was given by Michael Feldstein, director of alternative media at Boardroom Inc., at the Direct Marketing Association's DMD New York Conference & Expo here.

Regardless of how good your broker is, Feldstein urged attendees to be their own advocates and offered tips for using insert media.

In the list category, Feldstein stressed that the best programs often are not even on the market.

"Go to the manager of your best lists and try to negotiate an insert deal," he said.

His other list-related tips included:

· Save the hard price negotiations for rollouts as opposed to tests.

· Get non-competes for programs you are in.

· Ask how many inserts are in a program.

· Consider exchanges.

· Skip months on programs to avoid hitting the same consumers too much.

· Don't pay upfront.

· Avoid retail package insert programs.

Of the latter, Feldstein said, "In my experience, they just don't work."

Feldstein suggested several things regarding creative including, "Free is still a magic word, especially for inserts."

He said marketers should adapt what works for them in direct marketing creative when designing inserts, and use the maximum insert size. Interactive devices work well, he added.

Production suggestions included using several key codes, having inventory on hand for last-minute programs and watching the weight of the inserts so that overweight charges are not assessed.

He advised marketers to monitor their response closely and always question anything out of the ordinary.

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