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7 Reasons to Add Free Standing Inserts to Your Media Mix

By Jenna Bruce on Mon, Feb 25, 2019 @ 10:00 AM |


Whenever we sit down with a new client, we always ask them two questions:

1) What are your overall campaign goals, and…

2) What channels have you been using to reach those goals.

What we hear time and time again is that many, if not most SMBs, want to extend their reach into their local communities. Many are also working on a shoestring budget, which has caused them to focus on digital channels like social media and email. While these two channels can play a role in an integrated campaign, from our experience, they are not going to do much to get your local audience to pay attention and walk into your store.

But here’s something that will: free standing inserts (FSIs). These are the loose ads stuffed inside of the Sunday paper. Most SMB owners think FSIs are a platform for consumer-packaged goods only, but that’s an antiquated belief. The truth is, FSIs have become a fantastic media option to promote a wide variety of brand messaging.

But that’s just the beginning of the story. Keep reading to find out the awesome benefits FSIs offer and why you should consider giving them a try:

  1. Consumers Start Shopping at HomeFamily looking out for home finances at the supermarket

One of the biggest advantages of inserts is that they cater to consumers who like to ‘browse the aisles’ from the comforts of home. Most people create their shopping lists on Sunday by going through the FSIs to see who’s having a sale on what. Is bologna on sale this week? Good, then that’s what the kids are having for lunch. Is that big box store offering a deal on 20-pound bags of mulch? Good, then we’re gardening next weekend.

If you want to get your offer in front of a group of people who are ready to buy, FSIs are the way to go.

  1. Inserts Set Your Brand Apart

Today’s consumers are bombarded with brand messaging, particularly online. Because of this constant noise, they have decided to tune out much advertising. Newspaper inserts get you noticed because they don’t blend in with the countless generic ads that all look alike. Have you ever wondered why supermarkets and big box stores have been advertising with newspaper inserts for decades?

  1. Real Staying Power

Newspapers in general have far more staying power than online ads, which are easily blocked or ignored. Newspapers and their inserts lay open on people’s coffee tables and dining room tables for a week or more. When a campaign has a shelf life can be measured in weeks instead of minutes, it means it has the power to drive massive action.

  1. A Much Broader Reach

According to a Consumer Usage Newspaper Advertising Report conducted by the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), 9 out of 10 media consumers use newspaper inserts to make buying decisions. 65% of respondents said that the best deals could be found in FSIs, and newspaper inserts are highly desired by readers. In fact, two-thirds – or 66% - of newspaper readers either always or regularly look at inserts. That’s a huge portion of newspaper readers that are actively looking for your ad. The bottom line is, in a fragmented media landscape, inserts remain an effective ad channel with broad audience and reach.

  1. Inserts are Cost Effective

In our many years of overseeing both insert and direct mail campaigns for our clients, we can say without question that while direct mail is a powerful strategy, inserts have the exact same potential to reach and convert thousands of prospects but can be launched at only a fraction of the cost.

  1. A Link Between Print and Digital

With the emergence of QR Codes, robust Web portals and personalized URLs, creating a link between print and digital has never been easier. FSIs have the ability to leverage these links and offer consumers an engaging and interactive online experience. This traditional print channel is no longer static but an opportunity to begin a two-way dialogue with interested consumers.

  1. Focused Targeting

Your offer was created with a particular target audience in mind. If you don’t get your message in front of the right audience, then your entire campaign is a waste of time and money. By choosing to distribute by zip code, market, and myriad options in between, inserts give advertisers the power to get their message in front of only those people who are part of their target demographic.


The bottom line is, newspaper inserts are a more affordable way to get your message in front of the right audience. If you’d like to get started with FSI advertising, please get in touch with us. We love helping business owners get the biggest return on their advertising investments.


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