What is a press insert?

By Cara Lawson

5 minute Read


  • Insight

When you pick up a pile of post from your letterbox, you’re holding a huge variety of mail types. Pieces in different formats, sent from different people in different ways. There’s advertising mail and business mail, press inserts and door drops, programmatic mail and partially addressed mail.

Today, Dragonfly are shining a spotlight on one particular type of mail – press inserts. Here we’ll explain exactly what press inserts are and how they can help deliver more than just being another flyer in a magazine.

What is a press insert?

A press insert, sometimes referred to as a media insert, is a piece of print advertising that is inserted into a pack. This pack could be a newspaper, a magazine, or an even an e-commerce package. Press inserts work two ways, either as an advertising piece for a company, or as a source of income for another. We’ve recently noticed e-commerce companies like PrettyLittleThing start using press inserts in their packages.

These press inserts are designed to be an eye catching, efficient piece with a call to action that encourages conversion. They can offer anything from a free sample when you visit a store, to free shipping when you order online.

Is a press insert just a flyer?

No. Most press inserts will be similar to a flyer, but like door drops, they come in a variety of other formats such as postcards.

Why do brands use press inserts?

Press inserts are a great way to get your brand in front of a wider and relevant audience. By positioning your inserts with a company that has a similar audience to yours, or by using media buying tools to identify the right publications, you’ll know you’re hitting your target audience. Plus, press inserts can be cheap to print and cost effective to distribute, so it’s an economical way to reach cold targets and promote your brand.

Do I need a database to send press inserts?

No! As your press insert goes into someone else’s mailing, you’re using an external database that you don’t have access to. Plus, your insert won’t have any personalisation or personal details on it.  So, press inserts are a great way for brands who don’t have a massive database to reach a massive amount of people.

Why would press inserts be relevant for my business?

Press inserts can be a fantastic way to increase sales as part of an integrated marketing campaign. Press inserts could be used to amp up your quarterly sales or to introduce a new product to your audience and encourage them to try it. If you’re a business that’s trying to build brand awareness or encourage new sales but you have a small database, then press inserts can be the right fit for you!

Does anyone even look at press inserts?

Yes! Everyone loves a discount, especially when it’s for something they would actually use. If your press inserts are going into something that’s a good fit for your brand, there’s no reason why your press insert wouldn’t get engagement or uptake.

Are press inserts GDPR compliant?

Yes. There is no personal data carried on a press insert so they are entirely GDPR compliant.

Are press inserts good value for money?

Absolutely! You’re reaching a massive number of cold targets that are relevant to your brand and enticing them with an attractive CTA. It is a cost-effective way to potentially see a huge ROI.

If you want to hear more about how press inserts can boost your marketing mix, get in touch.

Cara Lawson image

About the author

Cara, our Head of Client Services, brings extensive knowledge and client relation attributes to the Dragonfly team. She thrives in the busy project management environment. Her strategic knowledge of print, creative, production and postage solutions are second to none and she is consistently offering innovative and creative solutions to add value for her clients. Cara appreciates the ‘no one size fits all’ approach and prides herself in her bespoke approach with her clients.

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