Hitmetrix - User behavior analytics & recording

Avoiding bumps in the inserts road

There are several crucial steps to assembing an insert campaign. Six experts across all stages of the process share their tips to maximize ROI and minimize potential stumbles. They are in the attachments below. We invite you to read them.

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The first step is choosing the right size and format. The maximum weight is normally 0.25 ounces; however, some co-ops and ride-alongs accept heavier. A typical insert uses 45- to 70-pound paperweight stock.

> THE TAKEAWAY

When using keycodes, factor in additional pieces for overage and spoilage

Inserts must have a key code on the response portion for tracking. Most advertisers key in set quantities; ship extra to account for overage and spoilage. Send each client a shipping information letter for each order with the exact start date of the program.

Mark each carton of inserts with the name of the advertiser, a sample of the insert taped to the outside of the box, quantity per box, total quantity, number of boxes, key code, number of boxes per skid and date of insertion. All boxes should contain packing slips to verify.

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You should be tracking everything from the receipt of your raw materials to their collation to getting them in their envelopes or packages. Stay in contact with your fulfillment plant to know how much inventory it has moved and preferably which lot number it’s on.

A successful insert program is managed through good communication. You should be able to give the participants hard start and stop dates. Marketers are advised to give offer expiration dates as much leeway as possible – you don’t want to be stuck with unusable materials.

> THE TAKEAWAY

Keep in close contact with your fulfillment center to re-forecast shipment.

Re-forecast your monthly package numbers regularly. With inaccurate quantity numbers you stand to either not leverage your opportunities and lose money or, worse, not run inserts when promised.

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All insert media requires keen attention to production specifications but, with credit card statement inserts, you need to be extra careful. Focusing on proper production and delivery of inserts is the first step. Most programs have exacting specifications. Study all pallet-stacking requirements and special carton labeling to be sure your printer has the capability to meet them.

Ensure your printer includes time in the schedule for proper carton packing. Often, inserts must be packed into bundles of a certain amount of inches, with cardboard inserts at the top and bottom of each bundle, and banded with an acceptable material.

Some insertion facilities have specific days and some require advance appointments. Build extra days into the production schedule for approval.

> THE TAKEAWAY

Paperweight must be heavy enough for a successful business reply card return

Many programs require barcoding on each insert, so plan extra space. Select paper that ensures your piece does not exceed weight requirements, but is thick enough for a successful business reply card return.

Send preaddressed FedEx labels to the issuer so they can send any customer orders they may receive back to you.

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