With the broad acceptance of online shopping, one might think that a direct mail catalog isn’t as powerful as it was pre-Amazon. Happily, recent statistics prove that catalogs that are sent through direct mail are still getting amazing results:

  • Catalogs have a 3.9% response rate.
  • 60% of catalog recipients visit the website of the company that mailed the catalog.
  • Mail recipients purchase 28% more items and spend 28% more than people who don’t have that piece of mail.
  • Catalogs influence buying decisions – 72% of people say that catalogs make them more interested in products and 84% buy products after seeing them in a catalog.

With higher response rates than many e-commerce websites and more leads, website visits, and new customers, you can leverage a short-run direct mail catalog as part of a winning multi-channel marketing strategy. These include:

  • Have a quality prepress process
  • Properly target consumers
  • Focus on graphic design and product images
  • Only use quality printing and mailing services
  • Know your printing run and size options

Don’t Neglect The Retail Catalog Prepress Process

Prepress planning is critical to your catalog’s success after it’s been sent to potential customers. It’s more than simply listing your products and including some pictures. Begin by understanding and defining the following:

  1. Define your target audience; they determine the design, copy, and your catalog campaign’s target.
  2. Identify your best sellers. Plan to put these in the catalog’s prominent spots
  3. Gather your team. If you have in-house creative talent, you may just need a catalog or print consultant.
  4. Decide on the size of your catalog, standard is 8.5 inches by 11.
  5. Establish the workflow and approval process. You can learn more about streamlining catalog workflow.
  6. Determine your budget.

Most of these steps are self-explanatory, but several elements require more conversation.

Aaron Kilby, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Artisan Colour

To talk with a Direct Mail Print Professional, and get more information or a quote, contact us now or call at (480) 948-0009.

Properly Target Your Customer

direct mail catalog woman with cup of coffee and reading catalogRather than send out a mass mailing, send catalogs to your house list, or only your best customers, and consider customizing a prospecting list leveraging demographic information from your best customers to get the best results.

By identifying the most lucrative niche, you can ensure that the time and effort on your catalog will be well-spent. And, by customizing your list – and potentially, your catalog – you can position your design and text to speak directly to a demographic that’s proven to want your products.

Focus On Graphic Design & Product Images

Yes, the text and product descriptions are important but the success of a catalog can often hinge on the graphic design and product images. Unless you’re an accomplished graphic designer, printer, color specialist, and catalog marketer, creating your winning catalog will be a team effort. While you’re choosing who will be part of your team, add a team member who will keep important details in mind.

These details can elevate your catalog and include color match, pre-press quality checks, and professional proofing and press checks. Professionals that can deliver these details ensure:

  • Graphic design is modern and engaging to the viewer
  • Image color closely matches the product to increase sales and reduce returns, this is especially important in fashion catalogs.
  • Flaws in photos can be corrected using Photoshop.
  • The overall catalog quality is outstanding and attracts attention.

Direct mail stays around the typical recipients’ home for 17-days. Imagine the staying power of a beautifully designed, vibrant catalog!

Use Quality Printing and Mailing Services

color correction catalog workflow 1When your catalog is designed and the approvals are completed, it’s time to print. As mentioned earlier, quality control measures during the entire catalog production process are critical, and so are adding pre-press processes and checks. Once printed, there is no going back.

Professionals who understand what to look for during the pre-press pdf check can save your company the cost of printing do-overs and contribute to the success of the catalog.

Know Your Print Run and Size Options

Fortunately, small catalog runs are more affordable than in the past, making it worthwhile to print the exact number of catalogs you need for a specific campaign.

While many catalogs are standard paper size, 8.5” X 11”, savvy business owners and marketers can reduce the size of a catalog to 5.5” X 8.5” and effectively print twice the quantity of an 8.5″ X 11″ for about the same price.

To further control cost, think about the stock and weight of paper. Ask a print expert on how to choose an inexpensive stock, lower weight, and still get the same impact from vibrant, colorful pages.

When you choose a direct mail catalog printer, choose one with a reasonable short-run rate and that can print a 5.5″ X 8.5” catalog so you can take advantage of a lower postage rate.

Get started – talk to the direct mail catalog experts

Developing, printing, and mailing a catalog is worth it because the results can be outstanding. Make no mistake, it is a complicated process. Don’t go it alone.

When it’s time for you to begin marketing with a direct mail catalog, engage the Artisan Colour catalog experts for pre-print corrections and quality control services. If you want the final results without the hassle of catalog production, Artisan Colour can take your catalog through the production process.

Contact us for more information or a quote today