Would you like to have a sales piece that keeps on working long after you have placed it in distribution? That’s what a newspaper insert will do if it is done the right way. Here are some common mistakes and ways to correct them.
A retailer once said, “Inserts don’t work, I’ve tried them.” When questioned further, it was discovered that she had done several things wrong.
1. She had her fliers printed by a local offset printer. She did no shopping around; no price comparisons.
2. She had them printed in four color. She did no shopping around; no price comparisons.
3. She had them printed on high quality glossy paper. She did no shopping around; no price comparisons.
4. She then chose the local paper to distribute them. She did no shopping around; no price comparisons.
5. She used her campaign to advertise a limited-time sale. Once the sale was over, the offer on the fliers became void.
The first four are parts of the project that determine cost. This retailer chose the most expensive route for every cost-determining campaign option. If memory serves, the cost of her flier campaign was around $4,000 in a town of 12,000 population.
The retailer said that sales from her campaign barely paid for the campaign. Then she still had cost of goods and overhead to pay, so the campaign was a net loss.
A concrete aftermarket construction company had a very different result. They used newspaper inserts to generate a very nice profit.
The concrete company, on one side of the flier, told their story in a sales letter. That side of the flier was 100% sales copy; no white space (educational in tone; no hype). The other side had crudely sketched illustrations of the process the company would use, followed by an explanation of the illustration, with a minimum of white space.
Ten thousand at a time were printed by the most economical “mail order printer,” still offset, on 20 pound bond, pastel paper, with black ink only. (Printing was under $300.)
The inserts were then distributed, according to zip code, by a regional newspaper whose insertion and distribution price was half that of the local newspaper company.
The whole project was done at a cost of less than $600 to insert and distribute 10,000 fliers to specified zip codes. The same message distributed to the same audience at only 15% of the cost of the first example! Here were the results:
Within the first six weeks of each insertion (of each campaign), the construction company closed a dozen or so contracts, totaling at least $40,000, and up to $60,000! After six weeks from distribution, the calls still continued to come in, though at lesser rates, for up to eighteen months. That is from a single insertion of fliers per campaign.
Total sales from each insertion were estimated at $80,000 to $100,000 per campaign over the eighteen months. Each campaign was in a different zip code, so results were easy to track.
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