Posted By Seamus Barton
4 Tips for Effectively Sending Catalogues by Mail
If you’ve ever been part of the production for a catalogue, you understand how much work actually goes into designing, writing, printing, and distributing them to your clients. Your catalogue campaign needs to follow the same steps you would take with developing a great direct mail campaign.
These steps include segmenting your target audience, setting marketing goals, your budget, developing a mail piece that includes personalization, then testing, running the campaign, and lastly, tracking the results. However, there are some other things you will also need to consider.
Catalogues are usually much larger than other types of direct mail, so you will need a good understanding of their size and cost. There are many tips that you can keep in mind when developing your own catalogue.
1. Outline your marketing goals
Before you can start with your design, you will need to understand the intended purpose of your catalogue. Knowing the purpose of your catalogue will help you create the words and images that will go into it. It will even help you figure out what order you will display various products, and who your target audience is.
Once you have an understanding of what your marketing goals are, you can come up with a strategy to meet those goals. Which of your products do you want to sell more of? What services do you offer that you would want more of your customers to know about? These types of questions will help you stay on track to accomplish your goals as you continue through the next steps of creating your catalogue.
2. Choose your catalogue type
Based on the needs that you outlined in the last step, you should have a rough idea of the type of catalogue you will need. There are many different types to choose from, and each of them will have different purposes.
These types of catalogues are either for established customers or employees because they are mostly made up of text that is meant to educate or provide information on a certain topic. For employees, these can include training manuals used internally. For customers, this could be a magazine that outlines the details of your company’s latest news and how this will have an impact on your products or services.
These catalogues are usually used for reading or branding purposes. Catalogues in this category are not trying to make sales directly; they are instead trying to establish a persona for your brand that will later be used to encourage your clients to choose you over a competitor.
Promotional catalogues are standard examples that probably come to mind when you picture a catalogue. These catalogues feature a special selection of products offered by a brand. This specialized selection is purely used for promotional purposes.
These can include any number of goals, like increasing sales in a particular category or products, help announce a special offer, or highlight a whole category of products or services that your company offers.
These are a more specialized type of catalogue used solely for businesses who are primarily offering services and not products. The goals for this type of catalogue are usually to prompt readers to call, visit a website, or otherwise communicate with you to get a quote or schedule an appointment for your services.
These catalogues will list every single individual product and service that a business has to offer so that a reader can quickly reference it for pricing details of a particular good or service. These kinds of catalogues will help enable the advertiser to provide mail-in forms for readers to place their orders through mail.
No matter which type of catalogue will better suit your business, it’s crucial to pick one that checks the boxes for the marketing needs that you established earlier on in the process.
3. Content planning
For every catalogue type, the design and content process might be different. However, there are still specific traits that will help you make them more successful. The most effective catalogues can show a knowledge of the following:
You must know the product that you’re selling before you can think about how you are going to sell it. You must learn about what makes your product or service critical to your customers, especially in the final stages of their purchasing decision. This know-how will help guide you in choosing what products and services to feature in your catalogue in order to generate the greatest return on investment for your business.
Do you know who is already buying your products or services, and what they are saying about them? If you have the answers to these questions, then you can get a great understanding of your target audience, customer base, how they spend their money or make their purchasing decisions, and how they engage with your content. Having a basic understanding of who your customers are and who they have been historically will help give you an idea of who they will be in the future.
4. Choose the right direct mail printer
If you will be mailing out your catalogue to a mailing list, then you need to find a printing service that will also give you in-house printing and mailing services. Companies like Troi Mailing Services will have their own print and mail center and can help ensure that your catalogues go out as soon as they are done printing.
Whichever printing service you choose, make sure that they will be able to provide you with a high quality print and a high accuracy mailing. If you decide to mail out your catalogues yourself, keep in mind that it will take a lot longer. You will need the materials to be shipped to your location before sorting and mailing them manually, whereas a direct mailing house can expedite and automate all production processes. Mailing houses also have address validation software to make sure your catalogues are reaching bonafide addresses.