Study after study has demonstrated that customers love getting catalogs in the mail – especially younger customers. This may because we are already bombarded with digital information, so having a catalog to flip through feels novel and engaging. It may also be simply because direct mail items stand out.
So how do you ensure that your catalog makes an impact?
Several famous catalogs start with letters from founders; this can engage and interest your potential customers. But don’t be afraid to go farther.
Sustainable brands often dedicate several catalog pages to how they are making a difference in the lives of factory workers or in their charitable work. If you’re selling clothing, include testimonials from customers. Do you mail furniture catalogs? Then include comments from a newlywed couple on how the furniture perfectly fits their home.
Selling pots, pans, and kitchen appliances can be a little dull unless you inject some visual eye candy. We all love flipping through the Williams-Sonoma catalogs because of the beautiful food images and recipes, or checking out the Pottery Barn catalog for decorating ideas.
People have loved stories throughout human history. Use your catalog to tell a story and increase engagement.
Many catalogs are a specific physical size, roughly the height and width of a magazine. If someone gets multiple catalogs, this can make it harder for your catalog to stand out. Experiment with sizes, designs, and colors until you find something that engages your audience.
It could be as simple as changing your front cover to a bright eye-catching red on a reactivation version.
Most companies using direct mail also have a digital presence. If you do, it’s important to maintain your branding across all your marketing channels. Your logo shouldn’t look different in each channel, and your tone should be consistent across platforms.
Catalogs used to have two ordering methods: send in a physical order form or call in an order. Then, placing an online order became possible. Now, companies need to become even more innovative.
Maybe customers could scan a barcode through an app to place their order. Did you know that the USPS offers seasonal 2% postage discounts if you include a mobile shopping QR code?
Maybe there could be a way to text an order in. Don’t be afraid to experiment and see what works for your audience. In the current market, there are many disruptions to technology and delivery systems; finding ways to combine your direct mail with online interactions can be an ideal way to work with customers who are digital natives.
A general-purpose catalog can be fine if that’s the only way for you to show off your inventory but consider looking for ways to customize what you send, even if that means creating a smaller catalog overall. Sometimes it’s more cost-effective – especially for brands that sell everything from clothing to linens to baby products.
Using a customer’s shopping history to determine what to send can increase the chances that they’ll make a purchase since you’re targeting exactly what they have wanted in the past. Also including a selection of other products, interspersed with the targeted items, will remind them that you have a broader selection.
If you’re not sure how to build direct mail marketing into your current marketing channels, contact us today. We’re happy to help you find the right method to support your business.