Catalog Spotlight: Soft Surroundings
I recently received two Soft Surroundings catalogs within a couple of days of each other. One catalog was a 68 page sale catalog and I noticed that they used two tactics to improve key code capture and highlight catalog awareness.
On the right side of the back cover of the catalog, Soft Surroundings added “use your key code to keep receiving our sale catalogs” along with the sale end date. See catalog image below.
Tracking catalog orders is a common problem among catalogers because it’s very difficult to get catalog recipients to order using key codes. Twenty years ago, compliance was much easier especially when a higher percent of catalog orders came via the call center. But in today’s world, most orders are placed online and you have to strike a balance between forcing the data capture and allowing quick one-click ordering. And no surprise here…seamless one-click ordering usually wins.
It’ll be interesting to see whether this tactic is successful for Soft Surroundings. Will customers be motivated to take the extra step to keep receiving their sale catalogs?
The other marketing tactic used was Informed Delivery by the USPS. Informed Delivery sends a daily email to postal customers that includes a digital preview of their mail. Catalogs aren’t always scanned but the USPS has a business program that offers “business mailers the opportunity to engage users though an integrated mail and digital marketing campaign that generates additional use impressions, interactions, and insights”.
This is what my email looked like. The catalog image was prominently featured at the top.
Informed Delivery is a great concept but its effectiveness really depends on consumers signing up for the service. I signed up last year and use it daily, but many people are not aware of the service.
Currently there are just over 12 million households that have registered for Informed Delivery. Right now there is NO charge to run an Informed Delivery interactive campaign for ride-along or representative images of letter size mail.
A ride-along image is a color image provided by the mailer or cataloger that is clickable (interactive) for the catalog recipient via a provided URL. A representative image is a color image chosen by the mailer instead of the grayscale scan provided by the USPS. Representative images are not clickable.
Soft Surroundings used two free tactics to increase direct mail customer engagement and improve catalog tracking. What are you testing in 2019?
If you would like help planning, managing and executing direct mail campaigns, contact us today to schedule a call. We work with traditional catalog brands and also digital brands who mail catalogs, postcards, and other direct mail formats.