New opportunities with inserts

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New opportunities with inserts
New opportunities with inserts

Magazine publishers utilize inserts constantly. They may not know it, but those subscription renewal cards that fall out of the pages of a reader's favorite magazine are inserts — and can be valuable to a smart marketer.  For instance, consider repositioning those 3x5 cards and using them to acquire new customers in other media vehicles, like catalogs. That's what we call “insert media.”

With nearly 7 billion insert opportunities annually, publishers, and other advertisers, should consider insert media advertising for the ability to target their consumer prospects. For instance, Field & Stream magazine might look for new subscribers by placing inserts within the Cabela's or Sportsman's Guide catalogs. Parents magazine could look to advertise in the Oriental Trading catalog. Sports Illustrated might find EastBay, athletic wear catalog, a viable partner. You get the idea. 

Today, opportunities with catalogs go beyond the “blow-in” insert or package insert. Many catalogers are open to integrated marketing partnerships that could include on-page advertising and “product placement,” or even in-store displays. For example, Sears, a brand with which Singer has an exclusive relationship, would be a perfect and willing partner for a number of magazine titles, thanks to its breadth of merchandise categories like home appliances, toys and clothes.

With the economy in the shape that it's in these days, publishers are looking for the most cost-effective approaches to marketing. Insert media can be a new and efficient channel for publishers to promote their subscription offers.

Often, when selling the concept of insert media to advertisers, I use the analogy that, just as there seems to be a magazine for any specific consumer group or interest, there's probably a corresponding catalog or package insert program for that same segment. It just make sense that publishers would consider utilizing catalog or package inserts as a targeted way to uncover new subscribers.

Dave Marin is the vice president of business development for Singer Direct, an agency specializing in multichannel media campaigns. Reach him at

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