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9 Tips for FSI Campaign Success

By Jenna Bruce on Tue, Nov 18, 2014 @ 08:37 AM |


As Thanksgiving quickly approaches, more retailers and advertisers will be using free standing inserts (FSIs) to get their offers in front of holiday shoppers. FSIs are a great way to create awareness, drive traffic, and keep advertising costs at a minimum while targeting a specific demographic that already trusts the printed channel.

With this in mind, here are nine tips for creating a successful newspaper insert campaign:

Make Sure Your Creative Triggers an Emotional Response

Print ads are sometimes lazy ads. Instead of exciting or enticing the reader to take action, they simply list the offer and company information, like a wordy business card. One of the biggest benefits of FSIs is readers welcome them and actively seek them out. Don’t waste this enthusiasm with a boring creative. Harness consumer enthusiasm and create messaging that triggers some kind of emotional response.

Use a Professional Designer

Would you let your hairdresser give you a tattoo? Or your gardener cut your hair? Didn’t think so. Don’t let the local newspaper design your creative for you – you most likely won’t be happy with the results. Hire an agency or a freelancer, and preferably one that specializes in FSIs, to design and create ads that will have the most impact. Check out our creative ad services and request a free consultation today.9 Tips for FSI Campaign Success

Make it Easy to Track

Why do so many advertisers think only digital campaigns can be tracked? This is one of the biggest print marketing myths out there. All print ads, including FSIs, can and should be trackable using either a specified URL address, dedicated 1-800 number or a coupon code. This will help you identify how your insert campaigns are performing over time.

Minimize Risk by Testing Smaller Campaigns First

Many advertisers assume they need a large budget in order to be successful with FSI campaigns, but this is simply not the case. The key is to test smaller campaigns to determine if the messaging will get a good return on investment. The initial testing, however, can be small. Consider testing two campaigns with 20,000 pieces each instead of one campaign with 75,000 pieces. The smaller number will give enough data to gauge whether the response hit your objective without breaking your bank.

Focus on Demographics When Testing Channels

When selecting which channel to test, focus on demographics instead of sheer volume of subscribers. By focusing on the audience at the other end of your message you will ensure you align your campaign with the proper delivery channel.

Be Patient with Testing

Many advertisers make the mistake of only testing once before rolling out a campaign, but this won’t always lead to reaching campaign goals. It’s much better to be patient with the testing process to make sure the positive results are 100% accurate and scalable before committing to a larger buy.

9 Tips for FSI Campaign SuccessUse a Media Buyer

The good news about FSI advertising is there is a plethora of media channels to choose from. The bad news about FSI advertising is all of these possibilities can become a bit overwhelming. Working with a media buyer can help you determine which newspapers and regions to target and how to position your offer to give you the broadest range at the most affordable price.

Communicate Your Successes and Failures

When working with a media buyer, always share test results in detail so they may adjust their approach and make even better recommendations for future buys. Don’t be vague and say “it didn’t work.” Give them numbers and data they can work with. They are there to help you succeed, so help them help you succeed.

Optimize for Mobile

Many print advertisers have come to embrace mobile, albeit kicking and screaming. But many more still have neglected to optimize their website for mobile consumers. It’s not enough to include a mobile link within your insert – make sure once the reader lands on your page they can actually interact with it.

FSIs are a crucial ingredient in any integrated marketing mix, especially around this time of year. To ensure you deliver the strongest messaging within the optimum channels, create real engagement through emotion, use a professional designer who specializes in FSIs, make your ads trackable, test, use a media buyer who can increase your reach while decreasing ad spend, communicate results with your buyer, and for the love of God, optimize for mobile already.

Free Guide: How to Target Your Audience with Free Standing Inserts


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