Understanding  Free-standing Insert (FSI)

As a marketer, it is crucial to utilize various advertising methods to capture the attention of consumers. Free-standing inserts (FSI) are one such method that can significantly impact your coupon promotions and retail marketing campaigns. In this post, we'll discuss the 6 most popular questions about FSI and how it can be integrated into your direct mail campaigns.

What is a Free-Standing Insert (FSI)?

A free-standing insert (FSI) is a form of print advertising that is designed to be inserted into newspapers or magazines. These inserts typically contain coupons, promotions, or advertisements designed to drive foot traffic to a retail location.

How Effective are FSI Coupons?

FSI coupons have been found to be incredibly effective in driving sales numbers. In fact, research indicates that nearly 88% of consumers use coupons. Thus FSI coupons are great in capturing the interest of potential customers and driving them towards making purchases.

How Can FSI Support My Retail Marketing Campaigns?

Free-standing inserts (FSIs) can support your retail marketing campaigns in several ways:

  • Grab attention with the catchy headlines - most of the consumers start looking for deals through print ads in newspapers; thus big attention-grabbing headlines can do wonders.
  • Share details and promotions - with limited space there comes a need for concise yet informative content.
  • Drive sales volume - FSIs tend to increase the purchase volumes as they attract groups whose ultimate aim is cost-saving through smart shopping.

What Types of Promotions Work Best on FSI Coupons?

There are many types of promotions you can offer through FSI coupons, but some tend to work better than others. For example; percentage-based discounts like "25% off" have been seen to work better than dollar-off discounts like "$5 off."

When Should I Use FSIs?

Free-Standing Inserts (FSIs) work best when there are weekly or monthly promotional events:

Make sure it's integrated within your overall campaign messaging plan thus creating sustained consumer engagement over time.

What Are Some Best Practices When Designing FSIs?

When designing an FSI coupon or promotional material, here are some best practices:

  • Keep it simple - both content-wise and design-wise
  • Use big fonts and bold colors
  • Highlight the deal/offer prominently
  • Make sure there's a clear call-to-action

Do not forget about branding since this is not just about selling products; branding should also ensure customer loyalty over time.


  1. Marketing Metrics: The Definitive Guide To Measuring Marketing Performance By Paul W. Farris
  2. Retail Marketing Strategy: Delivering Shopper Delight by Constant Berkhout et.al
  3. Print Advertising Ain't Dead: Tips on How To Attract Customers Through Print Media by Richard Peterson
  4. The Direct Mail Solution: A Business Owner's Guide To Building A Lead Generating Sales Along With Online Support by Craig Simpson
  5. Coupon Crazy: The Science, The Savings & The Stories Behind America's Favorite Obsession by Mary Potter Kenyon
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