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How Small Businesses Can Create Cheap Catalogs

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Creating a presentable catalog may seem overwhelming and costly, but it doesn’t have to be as challenging or expensive as you may think. Catalogs help drive your sales and increase awareness about your product, services or information that you want to share, so you want it to be as effective as possible while also not breaking the bank.

We have put together some tips on creating, printing and distributing, so that you send out stunning catalogs, without spending a fortune.

Strategizing

What is it that you want your catalog to do? Figuring out the purpose of your catalog is the first step in the planning process. Do you want to inform your readers or advertise your products? Once you have determined your marketing goal, you can then decide what products you want to highlight or which services you want your readers to be more aware of. This will help you with your writing, with choosing the order your images will be seen, and the overall design process.

Nor will it ever be according to the latest research and industry data.

After determining the purpose, you want to choose the type. There are many different types of catalogs, including informational, promotional, and service listings. Informational Catalogs are mostly text and educate or inform your reader; Promotional Catalogs tend to have more images than hold items offered by your company, while Service Listing Catalogs list all the products and services provided by your business.

How you want people to get your catalog is something you need to think about from the start. Will they get it mailed to their house, pick ​it up at your location, or grab it at a tradeshow or event?

Your choice affects what goes into the catalog. If they are grabbing one at your store, then they are already aware of your company, so the contents can focus on other things. If you are distributing them on a mailing route, there may be people who have never heard of your business.

The strategizing process for your catalog is probably the lengthiest step, but it's crucial to plan and brainstorm so that when you are ready to execute, it will be a breeze.

Writing

Whether your catalog is mostly images or full of text, the writing is a crucial part of the whole picture. If your catalog is mainly about the photographed products you are selling, you don’t want the copy to be drab and uninformative. Still, you also don’t want it to overpower your images.

Are you selling to a younger crowd or offering services to high-end professionals? Knowing your audience is essential for your catalog writing process. Whichever group of individuals you wish to reach, you should mirror the style in your catalog. Do some research and find out how your consumers talk about your products or services. Knowing how they speak of your business can help you decide the right language to use.

Coming up with catalog marketing ideas in a meeting

Engaging content is the key! Great photos are always an eye-catcher, but an excellent headliner pulls your reader in to find out more. Something that speaks to your reader and makes them want to read further is the priority.

If you’re trying to sell something or make your offers attractive, it is a good idea to describe what they’ll do for your reader, not only list what they do. If you’re selling organic toothpaste, sure it is nice to know that, but what are the natural ingredients and what do they do for your consumer?

Designing

Creating a presentable catalog requires a lot of strategizing and takes a lot of thought to write something unique. The design of your catalog will show off your work, so you want it to be appealing to your viewer.

Choosing your typeface

Choosing a typeface that fits your style may be tricky since there are so many out there. Helvetica and Times New Roman are ubiquitous, proven typefaces for print marketing, but are they right for you? Depending on your audience, you may consider looking at other styles. For example, if your target audience is children, a Futura font gives a header a cutesy touch while if you are reaching out to athletes, an Impact font is sure to, well, make an impact.

It is imperative to make sure your typeface is consistent throughout your design. If you use a serif type on one page and san serif on another, your design won’t flow cohesively.

Negative space is positive

Catalog Shopping

Cluttered pages can be an eyesore. Too many things close together doesn’t give your viewer a break to soak in the content. Make sure that your images and text have adequate and consistent spacing between them so that they stand out and don’t run together.

Negative space within your catalog acts as a frame that highlights the essential details such as images of your products or a block of text with your offers. Letting the background of the pages balance with your content makes it easier to read and remember.

High-quality photos

You may hire a professional photographer to capture your photos or save some money and use your skills to create beautiful images. Either way, it is critical to make sure they are the highest quality possible. Good lighting and an appropriate resolution are the goals. The last thing you want after putting so much time into your product is to turn viewers away with grainy, low-resolution photos. 300 DPI will allow your images to be sharper and more detailed, so they are crisp, clean and ready to wow.

Distribute content fluidly

If you open a catalog and on the left page, there are six large photos with inaccurate spacing and on the right, there is one small photo with several paragraphs surrounding it; your content won’t be read fluidly. You want to have complementary page designs that work well together. Think of each page as a grid and layout your content accordingly, so that each page is balanced.

If you aren't confident you'll be able to design your catalog in a way that looks and feels professional and cohesive, you can always seek out the help of a professional graphic designer. Fortunately, if you choose to print with Conquest Graphics, you can also take advantage of our expert team of designers that offer design services for reasonable rates so you can get your catalog out there in the real world in as timely a manner as possible.

Affordable catalog printing

Low-cost catalog printing means you need to choose the right printer. Look for ones that promote high quality but also affordable printing options, and ones that want to help. Excellent customer service can go a long way. They can not only help you choose the low-cost catalog printing option that best fits your needs, but they can help make sure that your job stays on track without money-wasting mistakes.

Research and information gathering are our middle name

If you are choosing to mail your catalogs, you want to find a printer that has its own mailing center, like Conquest Graphics. When your printer has its own mailing center, it saves you time and money as you don’t have to worry about packaging, applying address labels, or lugging your catalogs to the post office. This also allows your catalogs to get shipped to your customers right after they are printed, speeding up the delivery time.

When it comes to your printing, there are high-quality and affordable catalog printing options that you don’t want to ignore.

Thicker, high-quality stock with a finish is a must! You may want to use a thinner and lighter weight paper to reduce the price, but you should consider a thicker stock with an aqueous coating as your cover. The cost difference is minimal and an aqueous coating will ensure that your pages will be protected and look great for a more extended period as your reader flips through the pages. Coatings can come in a rich glossy finish that shines or a more muted and timeless velvet finish; either one can help improve your catalog’s durability.

Full-color printing is another affordable option—it is an extra small cost, but always worth it. Using full color in your images and text is sure to attract readers and stand out amongst other dull one or two-colored catalogs. Color plays a vital role in your branding even if your logo is black and white, your colorful images and text will help draw readers in.

Distributing catalogs affordably

After putting so much time into designing a catalog that wows your customers, distribution is the next hurdle to accomplish without spending an arm and a leg. The best distribution option depends on how you want your customers to receive your catalog.

If you decide to get them mailed directly to you so that customers can grab one at your store or prospects can receive one at a trade show, you must plan accordingly to obtain the cheapest catalog mailing costs. Consider how many people you expect to receive your catalog. If you order 50 catalogs, the price of materials is more affordable than ordering 500. Still, if you order 50 catalogs ten times, the shipping rate can be around $140 in total while if you were to have ordered 500 catalogs at the start, your shipping payment could be about $14.

If tradeshows aren’t your thing or you want to reach people outside of your business, mailing to individuals is the way to go. Bulk mailing and EDDM are the cheapest catalog mailing courses of action.

Bulk mailing

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Bulk mailing prices are lower than if you were to pay for full postage prices on each piece being mailed; a lot of times, mailers pay single-piece postage on their more extensive mailing. When you use bulk mailing, you or your mail center does a lot of the preparation work, such as packaging or sorting through ZIP codes. This means the Postal Service does less work, charging you less.

Bulk Mail is an affordable way to mail your catalogs if you have a mailing list full of customers.

EDDM

If you want to mail your catalogs to people who may not know much or anything about your company, you want to use Every Door Direct Mailing or EDDM. This is the cheapest way to distribute your catalogs and reach a large area of prospects and customers. You simply figure out what area you would like your catalogs to reach, and they will be distributed to each address on that mailing route.

EDDM costs are so low because, like bulk mailing, you or your mailing center handles the preparation for distribution.

Conquest Graphics is known for its affordable catalog printing with the highest of quality options. Check it out for yourself, and feel free to call or chat in for any questions or assistance on building your presentable catalogs cheaply!

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