Alternative Media, which can encompass anything from shared mail programs to newspaper FSIs to statement stuffers to package inserts, might just be the best-kept secret in high-volume acquisition channels. Sending media riding along with multiple inserts in a consumer’s mailbox or newspaper can actually be a hugely successful way to bring in new customers for your company. In fact, several of our clients use this channel as a great acquisition source, and for one of them, it is their second-largest volume of new customers each year.

The key to making co-op mailers work is to follow these simple guidelines:

  1. Stand out from the clutter—Use interruptive creative elements to call attention to your insert.
    On average, co-op mailers have anywhere between 10 and 20 inserts per package, so it’s critical that you catch readers’ eyes as readers are flipping through the stack. And, on average, you have 1-3 seconds to capture readers’ attention enough for them to pull out your insert to learn more.
    • Try to use bright colors and imagery to call out a simple value proposition
    • Include a short headline to highlight what your company’s benefit is to the customer
    • Having a special offer is always essential to any new customer acquisition campaign, but for inserts especially, it’s important that the offer look unique and have high-value
    • Using perforation to highlight a coupon or discount, and using promotional bursts, are great ways to draw in readers to your message, and appeal to their shopper mindset of hunting for a good deal
  2. Reach the right audience—Know who would be most interested in your product or service.
    The typical readers of co-op inserts are not who you might think. They range in demographics from young families to older, more affluent couples. The average reader usually is well-educated and has a relatively high household income. Readers all have one thing in common. They consider themselves savvy shoppers. They love feeling smart about getting a deal and have no problem taking the time to go through a stack of inserts to save money on something they would otherwise buy at full price. The key to getting your insert pulled out of the stack is knowing exactly what interests your current customers. Then, call out that benefit in your insert so that you appeal to other customers just like them.
  3. Get the reader to contact you—Make sure the phone number or URL is quickly readable.
    Remember, it’s not the insert’s job to make the sale. That’s your job. The insert just needs to give the reader enough information to make people want to contact you. So keep the message straightforward and easy to follow, and ensure the phone number or URL is seen as quickly as possible. Use large type size and bright colors to make it noticeable without any effort or eye strain.

By following these simple steps, you can make the shared-mail channel an effective one for your customer acquisition efforts.