Leslie Linevsky has always loved catalogs. Long before catalogs were on iPads, smartphones and the Web (even before the Internet existed)!
Leslie’s passion for catalog merchandising inspired her and Richard, her husband, to found The Artist’s Collar in the mid 1990’s. The trendy print catalog featured expensive neckties designed by artists, including Romero Britto, and inspired by M. C. Escher and Frank Lloyd Wright. Orders flowed in from advertisements in The New Yorker and the Smithsonian Magazine. Then, what started as a little catalog – the 8 x 5 inch catalog was a powerful but spare 14 pages – became big business when Linevsky decided to add online marketing to the business plan (this was in the early days of the Internet, when it took 45 seconds to load one image of a necktie!)
Comparing the results between purchased list rentals of 30-day buyers from Neiman Marcus versus print advertisements requiring consumers to call or visit the website, Linevsky was stunned by the end result … catalogs mailed upon specific request led to phenomenal conversion rates.
“We soon learned the true meaning of Catalog Conversion … we had double digit conversion when a consumer specifically requested our catalog,” Leslie says.
Leslie and Richard manned the phones and computers from their Miami condo, snaking cables down the hallway of the residential building to their covert office. The daily business of fulfilling orders kept them running at a crazy pace. Leslie ironed ties, wrapped them in tissue paper and applied the custom gold seals. The living room was stacked to the ceiling with boxes from vendors. The goal of 24-hour customer service sometimes had the bedside phone ringing at 3 a.m.
“It was crazy, but it was lots of fun,” says Leslie.
In 1996, The Artist’s Collar was sold and the proceeds from the sale funded the launch of Catalogs.com, a company that specializes in Web-based lead generation. The Artist’s Collar had very clearly illustrated a direct mail mantra: the more highly qualified a lead, the higher the rate of conversion.
With catalog solutions for the internet, iPad and mobile shopping, Catalogs.com is the Internet’s trusted authority on shopping. For over 14 years, more than 950,000 unique monthly visitors have recognized Catalogs.com as a premier shopping service. Catalogs.com allows consumers to preview hundreds of catalogs and provide the opportunity to opt-in to receive a specific catalog, shop retail websites on their desktop, iPad or phone and find great savings offers from over 650 participating retailers.