This is a guest post from our friend Stephen Key of an article that appeared in Inc. Magazine on May 5, 2020.
Keep in mind that "seeeding" your product via a Samplemax Onsert card to a target demographic or geography could be just the thing to spread the word about your NEW product!
Getting publicity is one way of creating more revenue from your product.
A great public relations campaign can have a long-lasting impact on your brand's reputation and public image. It will also help you sell more product. So, whether you're licensing or venturing, learning how to get media attention is something every inventor should do.
There are many ways of getting publicity for your product. Today, one of the most effective is by going the distance to literally place it into the hands of media and influencers. This strategy is sometimes referred to as "product seeding," and it works.
I've personally used product seeding to help me get national publicity for my inventions. For example, when I was running Hot Picks, a company that produced novelty guitar picks in the early 2000s, I used product seeding to get myself booked on CNBC's The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch. In the letter I mailed the show's producers, I included a handful of picks, knowing they would spill out and leave a lasting impression. I also used product seeding to get written up in music magazines like Guitar World and Revolver.
This strategy isn't new, so why is it particularly effective right now? Because we're all so inundated with digital content -- whereas nothing compares to actually holding something in your hand, where you can touch, feel, see, and use it. That interaction is much more likely to pique someone's curiosity.
More recently, I've been on the receiving end of successful product seeding campaigns because I interview inventors on my YouTube channel. For example, the other week I received a package from Anaheim, California-based puzzle company MicroPuzzles: a 150-piece mini puzzle packed in a test tube, along with a thank-you note. The package was custom-printed with my name on it and the product inside was nestled among eye-catching tissue paper. I was instantly enamored, and I wouldn't have felt the same way if I had just gotten an email.
The most effective product seeding strategies are highly targeted yet subtle. When you begin making your hit list, focus on people whose audience can benefit from your product. Bigger isn't necessarily better.
1. Be intriguing.
You need people to open your initial message for this strategy to work. (Mailing someone your product without touching base first is just spam.) So, don't overlook the importance of your subject line. For MicroPuzzles, the line that worked on LinkedIn was, "Here's a puzzle I bet you've never seen before." That's fun.
2. Keep your request short and simple.
All you are doing is asking this person for permission to send them something. That's it. Don't sell. Focus on making it easy for them to say yes quickly.
3. Personalize each package you send.
To the extent that you can, make the recipient feel special. This can be accomplished by a few genuine words of appreciation. Don't ask for anything in return, and don't make any demands. Above all else, be sincere in your approach.
4. Convey a sense of urgency.
Attention is fleeting; the media moves fast. When you begin seeding your product out, make sure you are able and ready to respond to the responses you receive quickly -- like within 60 minutes. If you're too slow, they'll move on.
Personally, hiring a publicist was never in the cards for me because they're expensive and there's no guarantee they'll be successful. So, if it's not in your budget either, that's okay -- as an inventor, you're well-suited to get your own publicity.
by Bernard Martin
We've spend quite a bit of time researching what are the optimal sizes that onsert cards can be produced and conform to postal standards that we have gotten approval. We have developed the following set of guidelines.
THE PAPER: 18pts C1S
For the purpose of providing some "standards' we recommend inserts be produced on 18 point cardstock. This is the same cardstock that is commonly used for your business cards and postcards. “C1S” stands for Coating on 1 Side, uncoated on the other. The coated front provides more vibrant colors, while the back which is uncoated results in duller colors and is easy to write on. Thicker or thinner stock could be used and both sides could be coated, but in order to provide some costs below we need to establish what we believe would be the most commonly used paper stock to create onsert cards.
LENGTH & HEIGHT OF THE SAMPLE CAVITY
The simplest answer is that the sample cavity can be practically any size you desire. But just because it can be produced does not mean that it is feasible for packing, shipping, postal delivery or fit in magazine racks.
With the myriad of magazine sizes on the market suffice to say the whether using a header style onsert card or a spine style onsert card the onsert cavity is the important aspect of the onsert card. Here's some simple rules of thumb:
WIDTH OF THE SAMPLE CAVITY
As a general rule the width of the cavity should not be smaller than 1" wide. According to Glenn Marino, One inch "is the smallest that we can produce. Even if we could make it smaller I dont think that it could be erected and function properly."
The width can be pretty large, but keep in mind that anything sitting too high in a magazine stand would require thicker paper than 18 pt to support the weight an don't "fall over" So for the purpose of providing some ideas of standards we're going to make the following 'standard" sizes so we can give you some cost estimates.
The 3 sizes are:
The dimensions below reflect both a vertical cavity along the spine and a horizontal cavity along the top, head, in all 3 sizes. As we explained about we are basing this on using a standard magazine size of 8" x 10-3/4".
That means that the Onsert cards would be:
12.693" x 11.8125" flat folds to 8 ¼" x 10 3/8" with 15/16" sample cavity and finishing with a die cut, apply 15/16" x 4 ¾ window patch, fold and glue flat insert.
When was the last time that a sales rep for a publishing company walked into one of their advertisers with a NEW advertising product? An actual physical product, not a digital product. Something that could be delivered directly to magazine subscribers. In our discussions with publishing industry insiders they've told us that perhaps the last time something that was as new and innovative as an onsert was in the early 70's when scratch and sniff products came out.
Traditionally, the inside covers are really the first and last impressions a magazine reader will have until onserts!
With an onsert card there are now six covers that can be sold. The four traditional covers above plus another back cover and another inside cover (that space under the magazine when it's in the poly bag.
And of course there's the onsert sample! The sample is wrapped by branding and copy right on the cover of the magazine!.
That means that publishers now can sell
We think this is a terrific opportunity to generate new revenue streams for publishers! Of course the advertiser could publish an article on the product in the onsert "inside" cover or maybe a coupon, or a QR code.... Perhaps it could even be shaped into oragami folks for the kids!
An onsert card really opens up some creative opportunities for advertisers and that translates to new revenue dollars for publishers!
As more and more media channels emerge, it’s even harder to capture consumers’ attention. Sure, digital and print marketing are great for getting the word out…. But NOTHING attracts people’s attention … Like a free sample!
SampleMax has a new way to help magazine publishers — and their advertisers — shareproduct samples. It used to be that magazine product samples could only be offered via thin packets INSIDE the magazine.
SampleMax allows the product and its messaging to be displayed OUTSIDE the magazine. It’s a great way to advertise products like colognes and perfumes, shampoos, lotions, soaps, powder drinks, car waxes and more.
The SampleMax system can be used with any size publication, whether it’s 100 pages or 1000 … perfect bound or saddle stitched. What’s more, SampleMax is approved by the United States Postal Classification Center as a periodicals supplement.
With SampleMax, EVERYBODY WINS:
To see what SampleMax can do for Publishers, Printers, Advertisers, Advertising Agencies, Media Agencies, and Manufacturers, visit www.samplemaxinc.com … or call 850-543-5493.
Samplemax: The most effective way to increase your revenue and customer engagement for printing and publishing advertisers.
SampleMax™ Inc. holds both U.S. & International patents for sample 'onserts™' that enables miniature samples of product to be fastened as a magazine advertising supplement to the outside of publications so that advertisers have a premium method of presenting their product for maximum engagement.
Consumers are quite savvy and don't want to spend money on anything they aren't sure about.
That's why free samples can boost sales by as much as two thousand percent!
That's written 2,000%!
Up until now, there wasn't a way for publishers or printers to provide a standardized method of delivering product samples to consumers in a consistent format.
That is where SampleMax™ fits! SampleMax™ is an ideal solution for consumer oriented companies who are focused around entertainment, philanthropy, health and beauty, fashion, the arts, and epicurean products that need to put their sample in the hands of their target audience.
Here's where you will find some ideas on how to maximize your onsert marketing, some press releases, news stories and events.