Catalogs are still an effective marketing tool, even in today's growing digital marketplace. Catalogs also have many applications beyond the most common use of mail order.
This guide will discuss some of the benefits to using catalogs as part of a marketing strategy.
Mail Order Catalogs
A catalog is a list of products and services that a business offers through mail order. A mail-order catalog contains merchandise from a company known as a cataloger. A cataloger publishes the catalog and operates the mail-order business.
They may also manufacture the products themselves or buy them from another company. The cataloger then uses the catalog to market the products to prospective customers. Companies publish catalogs in a similar manner to other magazines. They then distribute their catalogs through a variety of methods, including the postal service and internet.
Catalogers often buy customer names from a broker or cooperative databases. This strategy is most common for businesses that are focusing on growing their customer base. A buyer places an order for products in a catalog through some method, usually a telephone call or website.
The cataloger then delivers the product, usually to the address that the customers provide. This address may be the customer's own home address or the address of a third party. In some cases, the cataloger sends the product to a nearby retail location, where the customer picks it up.
The primary advantage of sending a product to a retail store is to reduce the shipping costs.
Catalogs in Supermarkets
Supermarkets may utilize catalogs to promote their products, even though they don't actually deliver them by mail. These types of catalogs typically include coupons or promotion codes that customers can use to receive a discount on products.
Supermarkets can also use printed catalogs to drive customers to their website. Customers can add discounts to their account on the website. The customer then receives the discount automatically by scanning their membership card at the point of sale.
Catalogs as Portfolios
Some types of catalogs such as a portfolio don’t advertise items that are for sale. A portfolio displays examples of a person’s work, like:
These professionals often self-publish collections of their existing work in catalog format. This strategy allows artists to present their work to prospective clients. Portfolios are particularly beneficial when the original work no longer exists.
Periodicals in Catalog Format
Publishers may use the catalog format for periodical information. Its versatile nature makes catalogs useful for a variety of publications. The publications that use the catalog format include trade journals and local newsletters. The catalog format allows periodicals to supply detailed instructions on a particular product.
Many businesses provide an electronic catalog, or e-catalog, on their website. They use this type of catalog to promote products that change frequently in some way, making them more suitable for online ordering. Several factors can cause such product volatility.
The products in an e-catalog may be updated regularly due to technological advances. The prices of these products may change frequently, which can make ordering from a printed catalog impractical. Publishers may also use catalogs to advertise items with complex procurement requirements. This scenario is especially likely if the product is rare or valuable.
Boosting Revenue with Catalogs
Online shopping is becoming more common, but catalogs are still an effective supplemental tool for showcasing products and generating interest. Many modern businesses use printed catalogs as part of a multi-channel marketing strategy.
Why? Research finds that customers who receive exposure from more than one marketing channel are much more likely to buy a product. Printed catalogs often drive customers to an online retailer’s website, especially if they’re new customers.
Retail businesses spend a great deal of their marketing budget making appealing print designs. This practice helps to enhance the experience of reading a printed catalog with quality photographs. Customers can also avoid having to use a computer thanks to printed catalogs.
Prospective customers are far more likely to pick up a catalog again than to return to a website. They can read a printed catalog several times and even make notes on the products that interest them. This property allows customers to interact with a business's brand more easily than with online media.
Passersby are naturally expected to glance at a printed catalog rather than a computer screen. This possibility provides a business with a greater opportunity to spread its message. Printed catalogs tend to remain on coffee tables for prolonged periods, providing greater opportunities chances for people to read them.
Catalogs for Brand Promotion
A catalog is more than a method for customers to select and order merchandise. Many companies also rely on them to attract new customers by promoting their brand. Direct mail is the most common method of informing prospective customers about a company's products.
Catalogs can promote a business's brand by displaying them in high-traffic areas and distributing them in stores. Customers often have an idea of what they want to buy after looking through a catalog. But, they’ll likely find other items they want to buy when they go online or to a brick-and-mortar store to order.
Who Offers Catalog Printing Online?
Many online companies now offer catalog printing services. This trend makes obtaining printed materials for your business a simple process. Some online printers also provide mailing services that allow them to mail catalogs directly to your customers. This service is especially popular with small businesses that don’t have their own shipping department.
Some printing companies offer digital versions of your catalogs. You can email them directly to customers or publish on your own website. They may also allow you to create a catalog by uploading artwork and other elements to their website. Many provide catalog templates to ensure artwork retains its desired orientation and size.
Businesses usually need to print large numbers of catalogs. Offset printing is a common method of accomplishing this task economically. This method uses a rubber blanket that conforms to the printed page, resulting in sharp images and type.
Conquest Graphics also uses the cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK) printing technique to produce vibrant colors. CMYK printing uses these four colors to produce a range of colors that customers will find visually appealing.
Start Using Catalogs Effectively
Many businesses use printed catalogs to increase their revenue. The most obvious benefits of catalogs are to boost direct mail orders. However, they also drive customers to a business's website, which improves online sales.
Retail businesses are particularly likely to develop a marketing strategy that includes catalogs. A printed catalog thus holds great potential as a marketing tool.
You may find the idea of printing a catalog to be intimidating, given the large number of items in a typical catalog. But, this process is easy with the right printing company there to guide you.
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