Three insider catalog marketing secrets that work

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Secrets or simple tips? Ideas to make catalog marketing work better
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Insider catalog marketing experts know small changes can make a big difference

Business is challenging these days.  And catalog marketing is no exception.  But a few insider catalog marketing secrets can give your mail order business the edge.

1) Turn a county road into a highway

Once the go-to standard for reaching consumers far from the brick and mortar stores they needed, the catalog has maintained its popularity and adapted to the online world.

But many catalog marketers are still using the same old tools for connecting to would-be customers. Successful catalog insiders know that today's marketplace demands multiple points of entry in your prospecting plan.

Here's a checklist to get you started.  Make sure your catalogs being promoted via:
  • Direct mail
  • E-mail
  • Your website (even if you don't offer online sales)
  • Social media, including Facebook and Twitter
  • Video
  • Audio (podcasts)
  • Word of mouth (more about this in a minute)
  • Related publications/co-marketing
  • Press releases

2) Make it worth talking about

No matter how many sophisticated marketing plans you develop, nothing beats the power of the personal recommendation. 

Insider catalog marketing pros know that designing a catalog worth sharing is still the best way to turn browsers into buyers.  Whether you include stories from previous customers, information about problems your customers might face (and how your products can solve them), humorous copy or inspiring environment shots, find a way to make you catalog stand out from the crowd.

3) Even grown ups like looking at the pictures

Many people think brick and mortar stores have the advantage because shoppers can see the products directly.  But the most successful catalog marketers know that the visual edge really lies with the catalog. 

Why?  In a store, a retailer may display a plate or a desk in their showroom, amid dozens of other plates and desks. Even if they arrange products into groups, there's always a competing item in view.  And that doesn't even address the issue of lighting, damaged goods, and other people in the room distracting potential buyers.

But in a catalog, marketers have the opportunity to present that same dish or desk (or jacket or clock or....) in a perfectly lit, perfectly positioned setting.  You get to coordinate colors and even include add-on merchandise in the image to boost the final total. And you get to do it one customer at a time.

Are you taking advantage of this insider catalog marketing tip? 

Are your catalog images:

  • Clear and in focus
  • Photographed in high resolution
  • Shown large enough to allow readers to see details
  • Well lit
  • Positioned on background colors that coordinate with your products
  • Used in environment shots with related products or shown "in use", where possible

Keeping it simple may be all you need

None of these insider catalog marketing tips are really secrets.  In fact, you might call them the basics. But far too many print and online catalogs forget about the basics in their rush to incorporate the newest technology or the hottest new development.  

So innovate away.  But make sure your "new toy" doesn't leave solid catalog marketing in the dust.

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