Catalogs fill every mailbox from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from Canada to Mexico. US businesses have embraced catalogs for both B2C and B2B marketing as an important channel to market, and there is one simple reason for this – they generate billions of dollars in sales revenues every year.
Printing catalogs works!
There are three main factors involved in creating a good catalog:
- Imagery and photography used
- Product description and written message
- Overall ease of use of catalog
Only use images and photographers of the highest quality you can afford. Poor images and photo reproduction simply detract from the impact and will be rejected by potential consumers; you have to get this element right and that means using excellent resolution digital images if you are taking them yourself, and where possible the services of a professional to optimize setup and positioning.
A great set of pictures will sell your product, but second rate production will lose business – there is no halfway house with this.
Product descriptions should be meaningful and give enough information to let the consumer decide on purchase or not. Catalogs are sell from pieces; while you may provide a helpline, you really want customers to be able to read the information and make their own mind up to buy there and then. Consider breaking up your catalog sections with articles on the general area being covered, e.g. for a computer wholesaler, a piece on endpoint security issues for the section on IT security.
The layout and overall design of a catalog will integrate with your ordering and processing system. There should be an easy to use index and content section so the reader can quickly move to the section they are interested in. When they have decided on the product and volume they want, they should be able to quickly order – ensure you offer multiple payment and ordering options and print these on every page of your catalog as a header or footer.