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The Evolving Role of Catalogs: How to Use Them to your Advantage

Posted on: December 7th, 2017 by Lorena Fernandez 1 Comment

Just a few years ago, mailboxes were crammed with catalogs. As a primary form of selling products without a storefront, catalogs served an important role—maintaining relationships with customers by communicating with them on a regular basis, increasing excitement for the next month’s catalog, and keeping sales steady.

Mailboxes are no longer filled with catalogs—does this mean they’ve gone by the wayside? Not even close! In fact, catalogs are still being used to maintain relationships with customers, increase excitement, and maintain sales. But the role of catalogs is evolving. Though the number being sent out has decreased, this is simply because the market for catalogs has been refined. Gone are the days where companies send out a catalog to every home as means of a brand introduction—we leave that up to online marketing now. So where’s the value, which customers should they be sent to, and how should they be used? Read on to find out how you can use catalogs to your advantage.

The Value

perfect-bound-catalogCatalogs are a physical representation of your brand, so it only follows that customers will feel more confident in your company after receiving a catalog. When compared to the overwhelming nature of online advertising, catalogs can make a customer feel special. A customer may ignore online advertising simply because we’re bombarded with so much of it on a daily basis. Because customers can physically hold and feel a catalog, it seems more real. Online marketing can seem impersonal and quick—catalog marketing feels more personal, and customers are likely to spend the time to flip through it.

Targeting Certain Customers

Catalogs are one important way to reinforce the bond with your most loyal customers, and we recommend sending catalogs only to those customers who have elected to receive one. This helps ensure your catalog will not be discarded, thus giving you a better ROI and more booklets-100lb-book-magazine-stockbang for your buck. Try
offering a sneak peek at a new collection or product if customers agree to receive your catalog—this way you know those that elect to receive one are actually interested and excited to hear about your new stuff. Though catalogs are no longer used as a tool for “first-contact,” they have evolved to be an invaluable tool for customer retention.

Making Your Catalog About More than the Products

To make your catalog campaign the best it can be, make it about more than the products. Catalogs allow you to portray a more overarching theme, so tell your story. You’ve got plenty of pages to craft your narrative and build your brand. Besides, customers are more likely to be loyal to a brand they can relate to. So tell customers about what makes you different. Is your product made in the U.S.? Do you use only ingredients that aren’t tested on animals? Show customers what’s important to you. Chances are they’ll be able to identify with it and respect you for it.

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