Top 10 Ways to Advertise Your Catalog
Written by: Lindsay Shugerman
Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
The catalog is perfect.
The products look great in the pictures, and the copy’s absolutely right. Now you just need to get it into the hands of your prospects and customers. So how do you advertise your catalog and get those leads and orders rolling in?
10. Use your catalog to sell your catalog
One of the most overlooked ways to advertise your catalog is with the catalog itself. Customers leave catalogs in doctors offices and lunchrooms all the time.
If someone finds a copy of your catalog, is it easy for them to order a new one? Make sure the website and “request a catalog” information is clearly displayed on the front and back covers to make it easy for that new reader to become a new customer.
9. Put your catalog in print
For decades, catalog sales companies have attracted new customers with print ads. And even in our digital age, that hasn’t changed.
Make sure every print ad for your product includes a telephone number and web address for ordering your catalog. Do the same in press releases and other mentions of your company. Keep it short and simple, so it’s easy to order that new catalog on the spot.
8. Go social
Your customers are the best way to advertise your catalog to new shoppers. Connecting on social networks like Facebook and Twitter is a great way to make this happen. Use social networks to engage shoppers, and to provide a reason for them to share the links with other people.
7. Share the space — and the costs
Co-op advertising is a great way to expand the reach of your ads and stretch your marketing dollars. Join an existing ad group , organize a group of related vendors or buy into a pull-out card program (the kind you see in magazines and tourist publications.)
6. Direct mail still matters
Direct mail is still an effective way to reach potential customers. Whether you use postcards, mini teaser catalogs or purchase an insert in a mailing packet, make sure you target your demographic well to keep ad dollars working for you and your catalog.
5. Link in to the B2B world
If yours is a B2B catalog, LinkedIn is a great way to reach the decision makers and business buyers. Keep your posts and updates informative, but do share links to your website and catalog when it’s appropriate to the conversation.
Creating a group that’s sponsored by your catalog is another way to get your name in front of potential customers, without coming across as “spammy” or “salesy.”
4. Put it on a portal
Just as a mall works by gathering together large and small stores that sell a wide variety of products, a web portal gathers together a number of merchants and provides a way for shoppers to enter each web site. Unlike a directory, a true web portal will offer a unique page for each vendor. Listing your catalog on one of these portals makes it easy for new prospects to find you and request a catalog.
3. Meet, greet and sell
Professional and community networking groups are a wonderful way to meet people — and to promote your catalog. Many such groups encourage members to take a turn as a guest speaker on a topic in which they have expertise. And as a plus, speakers are allowed to share their business cards, flyers or catalogs.
It’s not a direct marketing opportunity because few people want to hear a commercial disguised as a talk. But it may be even more effective and powerful in the long run, because people like to buy from and recommend people they know. And you’re using the chance to become known.
2. Hit the trade shows
If yours is a B2B catalog, a booth at the leading industry trade shows is a powerful way to promote your catalog to exact people who would buy from you. If you have a consumer-focused catalog, special events shows are an equally effective way to advertise your catalog. Home shows, bridal fairs, home-schooler events, flower shows and even the country fair bake-off can all turn into venues for advertising and sharing your catalog.
1. Give it away
When it comes to advertising your catalog, one of the very best ways to do it is to just give it away. Give it to friends, neighbors, members of your alumni group and your church. Leave copies in waiting rooms (remember that contact information mentioned earlier!), laundromats, and restaurant waiting areas. Ask local merchants in related (but not competing) businesses if you can leave a few in their store or office for customers to pick up.
Give people several copies and ask them to share. Post copies on community boards, and leave some at the library with the free magazines and newspapers. If yours is a local business, offer the Visitor’s Center a stack of free copies to add to their freebies.