In this ever more digital age, catalogs would seem like an outdated marketing strategy used by people in decades past. Yet, this could not be further from the truth. Direct marketing is, in fact, a key part of the consumer buying process. If used correctly, catalogs can be a highly effective tool for generating income and reaching out to new customers.
Direct marketing print catalogs work especially well when client targeting is involved. The RFM analysis, for instance, is a marketing model used to differentiate between loyal and regular customers, determine future purchasing trends, and offer information that can be used to formulate various marketing strategies to attract and influence other potential leads. With an RFM analysis, businesses will be able to target loyal customers with catalogs that engage them the most, while at the same time, understand how to better reach out to others.
Studies have shown that at least 65% of all consumers over the age of 15 have made at least one purchase as a result of direct marketing – be it a catalog or any other form of direct mail.
What’s more, 90% of people between the ages of 25 and 34 find direct mail such as catalogs to be a trustworthy source of information and prefer it in their mailboxes. When it comes to people from other age groups, 77% of Generation X and 63% of Generation Y consumers have made at least one purchase from direct mail per year.
These statistics clearly show that direct mail marketing is not only working but it is actually thriving among the other marketing strategies.
The Appeal of Catalogs (even for digital brands)
By making use of targeting models to reach out to customers, catalogs can be an integral part of a wider marketing strategy. Businesses can create spin-off catalog titles based on customer types or purchase categories. Catalogs can be personalized to appeal to each client segment based on their preferences, offering a higher ROI in the process.
Catalogs also have a certain appeal to the customer that no digital mail can provide. By its very nature, direct mail forms a more personal connection between the sender and receiver. The simple fact that a catalog is a tangible thing offers it more value than a simple email. I hold on to my annual IKEA catalog for a year and often refer to it as the need arises.
Emails offer more of a momentary interaction that disappears immediately after the viewer looks at something else. With catalogs, on the other hand, the experience is repeated every time the customer comes upon it around the house or office. If the information inside it is relevant to the reader, the catalog will remain on the coffee table or in a business office long after it was received in the mail. This will also expose it to other potential prospects that may come across it.
At Hansel Group Marketing, we work with a variety of online and catalog brands. For our digital clients, we’ve had success using a combination of print catalogs or direct mail to acquire new customers. Sometimes it takes several test mailings before we hit upon the right mix of prospects. It’s also important to understand your break-even metrics upfront. Average order, margin, product SKUs , and active buyer file size are examples of some of the factors that go into the circulation planning for a prospect catalog.
For the digital brands out there that want to start a catalog, give us a call. We’ve helped companies put together a catalog strategy and can help you manage the process from start to finish. Let catalogs be an important part of your new customer acquisition plans.
Catalogs offer a great deal of versatility when it comes to reaching out and influencing customers. Personalizing them based on customer purchase history or recent browse activity will ensure them a longer lifespan and a broader brand exposure over time.