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  • AMi Direct

AMiable Solution #386: Different Kinds of “Stuffing”

Stuffing your mailings with inserts can greatly increase the net profit of your project, but you can’t just add any old piece to the envelope

First-class transactional mailings—those invoices, renewals, and bills that your accounting department regularly sends out—mail at full postage rates but very often (as we discussed in last week’s blog) use only a fraction of the weight allowed. That opens up opportunities to give your marketing collateral a free ride.

But what are the best inserts, the best “stuffing,” for those mailings?

If you’re adding inserts to a regular marketing letter, the traditional answer is a brochure. In this letter package format, the letter is the heart of the mailing. It creates a personal connection and makes a soft sell on the benefits and a hard sell on the response. The insert—usually a brochure—does the explaining. It focuses on the features of the product or service the letter talks about.

However, with transactional mailings, there is no letter to support or supplement. Including a brochure for a related product may or may not get read. So what’s a marketer to do?

Think outside the brochure.

An insert doesn’t have to have folds and multiple panels. It can be simple. And it can take a different approach.

Instead of adding a brochure that highlights the features of a related product or service to an envelope with your client’s invoice, Hugh Chewning, direct response specialist and founder of Chewning Direct Marketing, suggests adding an insert that emphasizes the value of the benefits of a related product or service. The point of an insert in a transactional mailing is to capture your customers’ interest and get them to act on it, whether that means checking out that product’s web page, calling Customer Service, or watching a video on your Facebook page.

How can you do that with an insert? Chewning suggests focusing on the following:

1. Your guarantee. Odds are good that your customer is already aware of your other products or services, but something has been keeping them from trying them. A guarantee helps combat whatever reservations your customer has, and as Chewning says, featuring your guarantee in a separate insert “draws attention to your promise for a good customer experience.

2. Your premium. People love free things. They will want them even more when you devote an entire insert to the value and benefits of owning it.

3. Your endorsements. Reviews and praises by happy customers speak volumes, and featuring them on their own insert helps them stand out and get noticed. Be sure to include full attribution of the source for maximum credibility.

The goal is to take advantage of available space and get your customer to act on new offers. Don’t miss this opportunity to maximize the bang for your postage buck.

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