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Should You Use Free Standing Inserts as Part of Your Holiday Advertising Mix?

By Jenna Bruce on Mon, Dec 10, 2018 @ 10:00 AM |


Despite the proliferation of digital channels, consumers are still embracing traditional media. In fact, according to a Coupon Trends report by Inmar, coupons clipped from newspaper inserts are still the number one influencer when it comes to getting shoppers to take action.

What are Free Standing Inserts and Why Should You Care?

Free Standing Inserts (FSIs) are those branded bundles of content stuck within the newspaper, generally the Sunday newspaper. These direct mail marketing tools include a variety of promotional offers such as information on current sales, mini-catalogs, and new product launches and are great at eliciting a measurable response from consumers.

FSIs not only provide product recommendations by helping consumers discover highlighted product categories, they also inspire entertaining ideas that enhance the promotion’s theme.

The holiday season is upon us, and that means consumers are more than ready to spend their hard-earned cash. They can either spend on your products and services or your competitors.

If you’re looking for a way to deliver high impact messaging within a credible source while targeting consumers based on things like household income or zip codes, then you’ll definitely want to add FSIs to your marketing mix over the next few weeks.

Here are a few more reasons why free standing inserts deserve your attention and advertising dollars this holiday season:

They Offer a Wider Reach

Over the last few years you’ve probably heard that newspaper circulation is dying.  But consider this: Inserts still reach approximately 50 million households across the nation. That’s a huge reach.

But beyond the benefit of reach, inserts drive consumer action. A survey conducted by MORI research found that 70% of consumers “regularly” or “occasionally” read newspaper inserts, while 60% of consumers clipped coupons from newspaper inserts and 50% purchased a product as a result of an ad.

Inserts Bridge the Gap Between Online and Offline Engagement

Before you dismiss newspaper advertising as “outdated”, consider that this “outdated” channel supports mobile commerce and ecommerce spending trends. A survey conducted by Valassis found that within 30 days of viewing a newspaper insert, 30% of people went online to get more information.

Are you a retailer hoping to drive foot traffic this holiday season? This Wall Street Journal article points out how newspaper inserts are the most powerful drive-to-retail media available to marketers.

Newspapers Offer Staying Power

Digital ads are a bit like Pop stars: They’re here one second, gone the next. Newspaper ads, on the other hand, tend to stick around longer. Think about your own home. You probably take the inserts out and lay them on your dining room table or coffee table where you peruse them over the course of a week. If you think about it, people interact far more deeply and longer with newspaper ads than they do digital ads.Pretty curly hair girl having cup of coffee and reading newspaper at the cafe-1

Sunday Shoppers Spend Significantly

(It’s the holidays, I thought alliteration would be jolly)

Did you know that consumers actively seek out the inserts in the Sunday newspaper? This is because they use the weekend to make shopping lists and plan what to buy during the week. Just imagine the revenue you can earn when shoppers actively look for your ads.


Newspaper inserts continue to be one of the most influential marketing channels with the power to affect consumers’ buying choices. FSIs help you increase brand awareness while helping consumers make affordable purchasing decisions. If you haven’t incorporated inserts into your multi-channel marketing mix, now would definitely be a good time. If you’re new to advertising with inserts, we can definitely help. Get in touch with us and let’s make the holidays your most profitable weeks of the entire year.

newspaper ads print media free standing inserts FSI