Your catalog is your first impression with new prospects. Not simply a vehicle to showcase your offerings, your catalog offers a glimpse into your brand identity and what you find important. It’s what helps recipients form perceptions about you and how you might approach their business. For current customers, your catalog is equally important. They already buy from you, so they want what you’re selling. Still, you need to deserve their attention. Mailing frequently is smart, but if your catalog is too familiar, it can be dismissed as something seen before.
So what are the keys to increasing your catalog’s impact? Here are five tips from the pros at the Creel Companies:
1. Use Professional Design — One of the best ways to command attention is through great design. You need a look that’s unique, intriguing, and testifies to your value. Sure, you may not be selling beachfront property in Tahiti, but you still need to look professional. While some content management systems (CMSs) can make catalog development plug-and-play, they can also convey a generic image. Make the investment to avoid this. If your products aren’t worth great presentation, they’re probably not worth buying either.
2. Mix It Up — If you’ve been mailing the same, 8.375 x 10.875 catalog for a while, it’s time to spice things up. Surprise your audience with a tabloid, digest, or even square piece. Experiment with a limited sneak-peak or an all-encompassing “best of the best.” Some of the most effective catalogs are those that are unexpected. Using a combination of digital and offset printing, you can get pretty creative. You can personalize covers or inserts, while keeping the base of the catalog static and costs in check. Or, you can design your piece customizing an entire form by demographics, geographics, or customer tier. This form can even have coded coupons with pURLs, 2-D barcodes, or special call-in numbers to enrich readers' experience.
You can also spruce up your look with foil stamping, spot coatings, or special PMS inks. Add them to photos of new products or best-sellers to add dimension. If you’re short on budget, focus on your catalog’s cover. A great visage can commit recipients to read your piece through.
3. Make It User-Friendly — A catalog is only successful if its pulls. Engage recipients and make it easy to follow. Strive for continuity, include reviews, and make it easy to get more information. Most important, provide multiple ordering options on every page. While 800 numbers and mail-in forms are helpful, consider 2-D barcodes that link to pURLs or advertising websites. The more tools you have, the more you’ll increase your reach and effectiveness.
4. Select Paper Stock Wisely — The substrate you select can have a tremendous effect. Thin stock can make you look cheap. And high-gloss can make descriptive text hard to read. The Creel Companies offer an array of stocks for any catalog project. You can choose from gloss, satin, matte, uncoated, and other finishes — and amongst virgin, repurposed, recycled, biodegradable, and even tree-free substrates. We also often have a line on some great performing, discontinued stock and overages that can save you money. Discuss your objectives with our experts when ordering.
5. Think Quality — A high-quality catalog may cost a little more, but cheap ones tell recipients you cut corners. With the Creel Companies, you’ll always get print production quality you’ll be proud of. Indeed, our company has won 36 Gold Inks for publications over the last 5 years alone!
With good planning and a trusted print partner, you can create a great catalog with lasting impact. The Creel Companies produce offset and digital catalogs for thousands of corporate and agency clients every year. In addition to printing, we also offer graphic design, marketing, data management and segmentation and finishing. Plus, with five global locations, we have a number of special mailing, co-mailing, and fulfillment programs to help you reduce postage costs and expedite delivery cycles.
Contact your Creel or Digital Lizard account executive today for stock samples, mailing ideas, or a quote. Or click below.