Panel Talks Industry's Costs, Complexities

Share this content:

NEW YORK -- The risks and rewards of insert media were the focus at the Direct Marketing Association's Insert Media Council annual luncheon Sept. 19 at the Harvard Club in New York.

The gathering featured a panel of representatives from advertisers: Littleton Coin Co., Ortega Publishing Pty Ltd. and Vista Print. Each shared marketing strategies and challenges as well as how inserts affect their bottom lines.

"The last dollar we spend in search engine optimization is not as good as the first dollar we spend in insert media," said Ellen Sante, manager of print and alternative media at Vista Print, which has U.S. headquarters in Lexington, MA.

A veteran in SEO, Vista has just begun testing insert media in the past two years, she said. The company aims to reach new markets with the channel, and the results for now are the "tip of the iceberg."

"We don't necessarily expect to break even in insert media," she said.

Vista calculates a customer's lifetime value in addition to tracking new orders and cost per sale. The company cut costs by printing oversized postcards for package insert programs in-house but accrues extra costs for programs with smaller or lighter mailing requirements.

"It's all about risk and rewards," said Jeffrey Marsh, senior vice president of marketing at Littleton Coin. "It costs more to go with different sizes and formats but sometimes the rewards are higher."

New Hampshire coin company Littleton has used inserts for 35 years. The company shifted more offers into credit card statements recently, facing higher costs due to bank mergers, which create larger consumer groups to receive the creative.

Other complications Ms. Sante cited include understanding the variation of program costs, correctly attributing online traffic to offline efforts, being too aggressive with offer deadlines and rounds of legal disclaimers.

All panelists said an experienced, well-connected broker reduces costs and complications.

"[The insert industry] is not for the faint of heart," Mr. Marsh said. "It's not easy to get the media to work for you, but it is doable."

Loading links....

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

We recently were named B2B Magazine's Direct Marketing Agency of the Year, and with good reason: We make real, measureable, positive change happen for our clients. A full-service agency founded in 1974, Bader Rutter expertly helps you get the right message to the right audience at the right time through the right channels. As we engage our clients' audiences along their journey, direct marketing (email, direct mail, phone, SMS) and behavioral marketing (SEM, retargeting, contextual) channels deliver information relevant to the needs of each stage. We are experts at implementing and leveraging marketing technologies such as CRM and marketing automation in order to synchronize sales and marketing communications. Our team of architects and activators plan, execute, measure and adjust in real time to ensure the strategy is working as needed and change things if it's not.

Find out more here »

DMN's Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here