While most would consider advertisements placed in the paper to be the primary vehicle for getting a print marketing message out to consumers, there are a variety of other print vehicles that can be very effective depending on your objectives. Consider, inserts for example, which are standalone pages placed into a publication. As Jenna Bruce, a blogger for Mediaspace Solutions, puts it in her article, “4 Reasons Newspaper Inserts are Highly Effective in the Digital Age[1], “If you haven’t incorporated inserts into your multi-channel marketing mix, now’s the time.” We couldn’t agree more. Print ads continue to top surveys as the most trusted form of marketing, and inserts are yet another way to get printed advertisements in front of your potential consumers. Additionally, we expand the concept of inserts to include three forms of mailed print media: print & deliver inserts, direct mail and saturation mailings. Each of these marketing strategies has unique benefits which should be considered.

Print & Deliver Inserts – Print & deliver typically refers to the process whereby an advertisement piece is designed, printed, placed inside the paper, such as the Genesee Valley Penny Saver, and subsequently delivered along with that paper as a free-standing item. Why would a business choose an insert over an ad in the paper itself? Sometimes, businesses have a great deal of information to share, and they need more space in which to display it. Businesses, such as supermarkets, prefer inserts that are sometimes multiple pages, and can be easily removed and saved for weekly shopping. Another example is restaurants, who tend to use inserts to distribute their menus to a local audience.  Also, from a cost standpoint, inserts can be distributed to a particular zip code rather than to a publication’s entire circulation, thereby eliminating waste. Lastly, what is most attractive about inserts are their use as an alternative to direct mail-a large area can be reached by a standalone piece, often at pennies to the dollar compared to direct mail.


 Direct Mail – Direct mail is a piece that is sent directly to consumer homes. The homes are selected based on demographic or psychographic factors within a given geography.[2] For example, if you specialize in selling walkers and canes, you may choose direct mail to send your advertisement to all persons over a specific age in a target area. It is easy to see why this strategy is effective. It is also, however, more of an investment. Pricing for direct mail is determined by several criteria, including weight of the mailing, print cost and postage as well as the cost of compiling the list of recipients. But the cost can be well worth it. In his article, “Why Direct Mail Marketing is Far from Dead,” Steven Pulcinella, Director of Digital Marketing at ProspectsPLUS!, states, “Overall, the DMA [Direct Marketing Agency] found that direct mail’s response rates are actually anywhere from 10 to 30 times higher than that of digital.” Hence, if you are willing to invest in direct mail, it’s possible to reach targeted groups quickly and effectively. The more specific the target audience, the more effective direct mail is likely to be.

Saturation Mailings – Saturation mailings are designed to blanket everyone in a particular postal area. It is a geography-focused strategy and must be sent to a complete, existing postal route. A saturation mailing may be recommended if an advertiser is unable to use the print & deliver insert method due to area restrictions and/or presence of a particular publication. It is not uncommon for larger companies to use a saturation mailing to make their offers known throughout an entire area. This method is also a popular choice for marketing local events. Due to volume, it is also commonly less costly per piece than direct mail.

Mailed print media offers the flexibility necessary to effectively reach consumers. Whether targeting a geographic area or a demographic group, mailed print media offers valuable strategies for businesses. Its unique ability to reach broad groups of people or to pinpoint specific target audiences makes it a formidable marketing technique, worthy of its place in any business’s advertising strategy.

[1] Bruce, Jenna. “4 Reasons Newspaper Inserts Are Highly Effective in the Digital Age.” Home Page, eMarketer, 21 July 2015, 8:53AM, www.mediaspacesolutions.com/blog/4-reasons-newspaper-inserts-are-highly-effective-in-the-digital-age.

[2] Pulcinella, Steven. “Why Direct Mail Marketing is Far from Dead.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 30 Aug. 2017, www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2017/08/30/why-direct-mail-marketing-is-far-from-dead/#4af85cff311d

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.