Direct Mail Booklet-Style Catalogs and Event Programs are becoming some of the most inquired-about products on our call-list.
So, what did we do about it? Yes, we print booklets!
Booklets are great materials for event programs…
…and printed catalogs stick around.
This article will mainly focus on catalogs because many people are surprised that catalogs even still exist. They’re one of the more involved products to manufacture, and postage isn’t exactly cheap. The Internet was thought, for a while, to replace the catalog, but what happened? The answer is actually a little complicated.
First, a lot of people appreciate printed mail. In research for this article, we found an agency who puts out a quarterly magazine for their Canadian client. They did a recent survey of readers asking how they would feel if the magazine became an online magazine only, and the result was record-worthy. 95% of readers clearly preferred the printed magazine.
Printed mail is tactile. Dealing with something printed is pretty passive; the reader doesn’t have to sit in front of a screen, and doesn’t need to type anything to search. People can hold a catalog, write notes in it, put it down and pick it up again easily. It will often stay in the house or office for weeks.
Even with most of the population using the internet, catalogs continue to mail in the billions (yes B-illions) and so, from the marketers’ perspective, and the very foundation of direct marketing: catalogs absolutely work! Their ROI easily offsets the costs of getting them into the hands of customers and prospects.
With that tidbit mentioned, statistics show there were “only” 12.738 billion catalogs mailed in 2010, which is down from 13.684 billion in 2009. That marks a drop of about 7%. Much of the money not spent on catalogs is usually invested in SEO, PPC (Pay-Per-Click), and improving e-commerce websites.
How people order from catalogs has changed.
Not long ago, there were three, possibly four, methods to place a catalog order: mail, phone, visit a store or consult with a local rep (kind of like the Avon lady).
Nowadays, both B2B and B2C catalog orders typically come via the internet. People peruse the catalog, choose what they want, and then go online to place the order.
Because of this ordering method, it’s become really easy to drive traffic to your website and further your SEO reach, which works out well for your online catalog – for the people who don’t mind a little more effort of searching to browse your inventory. Right there, you’ve captured both print and web audiences.
There will usually be a spike on your website traffic when print catalogs are delivered.
Mailed pieces increase responses to your inventory as well as your website offers, thus offsetting the higher costs of sending them, which makes them valuable marketing material for your business.