Happy New Year 2015

2015 is nearly here!  How much thought have you put into your catalog marketing plan for the New Year? Mailing catalogs is a core part of brand awareness.  Statistics show time and again that when done right, the measured ROI resulting from a catalog mailing far exceeds the cost.  Yet, we cannot deny that times are changing and with internet and digital capabilities marketing has never been so complicated.  As direct mail marketers we should be asking ourselves what it is that’s going to make us stand out in 2015. Here are five tips for catalogers that will help your catalog program succeed in the coming year.


Add Bearing to Your Call to Action (CTA): Aside from the fact that you want your catalog program to create lifelong valued customers, a good question to ask going in to 2015 is what results do you want to achieve from your catalog program?  The question should be asked for every catalog that is sent out.  Whatever your answer to this question is should directly relate to your CTA.  What do you want your consumer to do within minutes of reading your catalog?  Do you want to encourage them to go to your website and make a purchase or do you want to encourage your consumers to get in their cars and drive to your store with a coupon?   How about trying to sell a certain piece of merchandise, say a new line of jackets or snow shoes?


Whatever it is, once you decide what results you are trying to achieve with your CTA, you can work on making it more effective.   For example, if what you want is to get your consumer in the store to buy clearance merchandise before the stocking of a new season, a good CTA may be a coupon in your catalog for an extra 10% off all in-store purchases through a certain date.  If you are trying to get your customer to shop online, a personalized gift would be an excellent promotion.  For example, scan this QR code and receive a free travel mug with any purchase.


Most important is that your message is clear and concise to your audience.  If you don’t tell your customer what you want them to do, then chances are they won’t do anything.  Here are a few tips to help you be more successful next year with your CTAs:


  • Keep it simple
  • Keep it clear
  • Keep it visible
  • Keep it desirable
  • Keep it easy


Incorporate Video with Augmented Reality: To keep up with our digital counterparts, catalogers must create interactivity within their catalogs.  So if YouTube is going to take over the world (which apparently is the prediction for 2015) I’d say catalogers better find a bridge between the print and digital realms.  There are a few ways to do this, but one that is growing in popularity and which has proven to be effective is Augmented Reality.


You may have read about Hammacher Sclemmer’s 2014 holiday Augmented Reality App and most of you are sure to have seen the Ikea Augmented Reality Apps. Both have been very successful.   Here are a few ideas of how you can add video to your catalog using Augmented Reality.


  • Create a video about a product
  • Create a video message from the company president
  • Create a testimonial video about a certain product
  • Create a video review
  • Create a demo video (for example, a cooking video for a kitchen supply catalog would be nice!)

For more information about Augmented Realty, check out our blog Augmented Reality Welcomes Catalogers to the 21st Century.


Send Out a Magalog: Content marketing is getting big and in 2015 it will be even bigger than ever.  Geico, AAA, and Aubuchon Hardware are three places that send out valuable content in magalog format.  I for one love receiving these and read them cover to cover.  This is something that any company can do.  Just because the magalog is content driven does not mean you cannot have a CTA or that you cannot incorporate product reviews.


The idea is that you are giving your consumer your materials in a different, perhaps more valuable, format.  It’s a great way to create brand awareness and customer trust (loyalty), as well as drive sales.  If you are a kitchen supply store, consider sending out a magalog including recipes made with your equipment.  If you are a hardware store, consider sending out a magalog all about home and garden repair.  If a fashion store, send out fashion tips and tricks.  It doesn’t matter what your field is, there’s always content that will interest your audience.  The best part, they won’t forget you.


Use Personalization to Encourage Individual Growth: Personalization in catalogs was a big deal in 2014.  It proved to be extremely helpful to catalogers and in 2015 it is going to be even more important, so why not take it a step further and use it in a way that appeals more to your audience?  In our recent white paper Thinking Cross Generationally About Your Catalog we talk about how baby boomers are attracted to anything that encourages personal growth and happiness.


With a new year, why not experiment with the collision of techniques in your marketing?  By using customer data, you can segment your catalog to your customer by changing headlines, images, and even product focus.  Once you know what products they are attracted to, you can more easily explain how new products will benefit their personal happiness.


What other tips do you have for 2015?  Feel free to share your ideas and comments.


Thanks for reading.  We wish you a happy and prosperous New Year!!