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Free-Standing Insert Marketing definition

Marketing (© /

Marketing (© /

Free-standing insert marketing refers to a type of advertising that involves literally inserting marketing pieces into printed media, such as magazines or newspapers. For example, those ads that fall out of a magazine while reading it are free inserts. The term free insert means that they are not actually attached to or bound to the print media, but that rather freely inserted between the pages.

Free-standing insert marketing is an age-old advertising tactic that has been around seemingly since the invention of printed media and marketing. Countless businesses across various industries use this type of marketing, as it provides a great deal of benefits. In this article, we’ll give you a more in-depth look at free-standing insert marketing so you can determine if it is a good option for you.

What is a Free-Standing Insert?

A free-standing insert refers to a piece of printed marketing material that is literally interested in between the pages of another form of printed media; a newspaper or a magazine, for example. The term “free-standing” means that these marketing materials are not bound to the media they are placed in; rather, they are literally inserted between the pages. Whenever you pick up a newspaper and advertisements fall out, those are examples of free-insert ads.

Types of Free-Inserts

There are three common types of free-inserts that are used in this form of marketing. They include single sheet, multi-page tabloid, and broadsheet.

  • Single sheet. These inserts tend to be brief, but are very explanatory. In other words, they get right to the point. They are often used to advertise coupons, special offers, to advertise a special event that a business is hosting, or to promote a single item.
  • Multi-page tabloid. There are also larger free-insert ads, which are known as multi-page tabloids. They are usually four pages long and have the appearance of a small catalog or magazine. They are usually used to showcase several items, or to provide more in-depth details about a special event that a company is hosting.
  • Broadsheets. The largest of the three types of free insert ads is the broadsheet. The standard size is 21 inches long and 9 to 12 inches wide. Similar to a newspaper, the broadsheet is designed to open up. Inside, captivating images are displayed. Due to the large size, the presentation and the images used, the broadsheet has the greatest impact of all three free-standing inserts.

The Benefits of Free-Standing Inserts Marketing

Free-standing insert marketing offers several benefits. Some of the most notable benefits include:

  • Great impact. The colorful images are highly attention-grabbing, increasing the likelihood that consumers will purchase whatever it is that they are displaying. This is particularly important because the average person has a short attention span, so these ads are an effective way to get your message out, whether that message is to promote a sale or to advertise a special event.
  • Increased brand awareness. Free-standing inserts are a great way to increase brand awareness because they allow you to effectively share your message. As such, more people are going to recognize a business’ brand. This boosts the value of a brand and leads to more sales.
  • Budget-friendly. This type of advertising is much more economical than other types of print advertising. It’s cheaper than direct mail, as it requires a much smaller investment. Additionally, only your ad is displayed, which means there is no competition to deal with, which increases the value of this form of marketing.
  • Targeted marketing. Free-standing inserts make it possible for businesses to advertise to a targeted audience. For example, you can send out your ads to the zip codes of the population that is more likely to be interested in and purchase your products or attend an event.
  • Measurable results. You can easily track, measure and asses the results of a free-standing insert marketing campaign, which allows you to determine the impact of your marketing efforts.