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Increase your sales with catalog leads

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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Increase your sales by following up on catalog leads

So what are you doing with your catalog leads?

If you're like many catalog marketing companies, the answer might be "Not much." 

Yes, many of those leads eventually receive a catalog -- or two or ten.  But the “when,” and the “what next” are what's missing from the equation.  With the right plan, we have always found that you can turn those leads into sales.

Here are some tips to get you started on your own plan for managing and responding to catalog leads the right way to help increase your sales.

1)  Identify and differentiate your lead sources

Most catalog companies get leads from a number of different places, including paid lists, shared lists, direct mail responses and opt-in from advertising.  And that's good. 

The problem comes when these catalog leads are all lumped together, as though they were the same. They're not....and you need to respond differently to each type.

Start your catalog lead management plan by creating a different response to each type of lead.  Anything from a "personal" message enclosed with the catalog for consumer requests, to special offers to entice blind leads to take the plunge and try your catalog (remember, they did not ask for it!)  

2)  Make a schedule for first response

Treat your catalog leads as though they come with an expiration date stamped on them.  Because in reality, the best chance of making a sale comes close on the heels of a catalog request. 

And the best chance of getting a catalog into the hands of someone from a lead generation list is now, before people move and your catalog gets lost in the world of "Or Current Resident" -- or even worse, gets returned unopened.





3)  Plan for the follow-up

Sending out your catalog is only the first step in your catalog marketing plan.  You also need to have a plan for retaining that lead as a customer. 

Depending on the type of business, this may involve direct mail such as postcards.  Or it could be an e-mail offer.  Just make sure you tailor the follow-up to match the type of lead, or the type of potential customer. 

4)  Pay attention to what works...and what doesn't

One of the best ways to know exactly what you should be doing with your catalog leads is to look carefully at what you've done in the past. 

Keep track of the source, type, follow-up and response for each lead.  Track sales and costs for each lead type to build a complete picture of the ROI for your leads.  If you don’t understand how to do this, ask for help from lead generation experts.

And be willing to change the approach ... or change the parameters of your lead service if it's not producing the results you need.  Often tweeking the way you use your lead generation services and accessing their expertise can yield excellent results.

5)  Keep looking for new lead sources

It's easy to get into a rut, and rely on catalog lead sources without expanding your opportunities.  Don’t abandon what has been successful for your company, but watch for innovative ideas to augment what already works.  From Facebook to QR codes, new lead resources are opening up all the time. 

Make it a part of your catalog lead plan to experiment and explore.  The best way to reach your unique customer base might be just around the corner.

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