Susan J. McIntyre

Susan J. McIntyre

Susan J. McIntyre is Founder and Chief Strategist of McIntyre Direct, a catalog agency and consultancy in Portland, Oregon offering complete creative, strategic, circulation and production services since 1991. Susan’s broad experience with cataloging in multi-channel environments, plus her common-sense, bottom-line approach, have won clients from Vermont Country Store to Nautilus to C.C. Filson. A three-time ECHO award winner, McIntyre has addressed marketers in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, has written and been quoted in publications worldwide, and is a regular columnist for Retail Online Integration magazine and ACMA. She can be reached at 503-286-1400 or

My Favorite Christmas Catalogs of 2015

There are plenty of Christmas catalogs in the mail this year — some great, some just OK, some forgettable. Here are my faves for 2015: The Folio Society "Christmas 2015 Collection" An impressive package in a large envelope with letter, three inserts and two catalogs (one just of children’s gift books). This high-end U.K. book…

Getting the Most From Your Catalog Tests

PATIENT: “Doc, we do tests, but I don't feel that we learn much from them. What are we doing wrong? What should we change?” CATALOG DOCTOR: "Try building your tests differently to get clearer, more actionable results. Here are some tips for what to do, and what not to do.” Optimizing an Offer Test The goal:…

Love Your Customers and They'll Reward You With Sales

“Love” may seem odd as a business concept. Love includes valuing someone as a person, trying to see things from their point of view, being considerate of their time, trying to make their life easier, working to understand and help them achieve their goals, among other things. Let's take for granted that you do all…

Why and How Creative Should Talk to Circulation

Catalog creatives generally feel like they live in a different universe than circulation folks. However, both share the same catalog goals and you'll find you can achieve those goals faster and better by communicating with each other. Here are some tips on how and when to talk. Before You Begin Your Next Design Cycle 1.…

Time for a New Design or Just Bored?

Being bored with your catalog design is a terrible reason for a redesign. Your feelings don’t count; your customers’ feelings do.

Benefit + Unique Sells

Are your catalog and products unique? Are they loaded with customer benefits? If "yes" to both, are you also telling your benefit and unique story well enough to your customers?

Where NOT to Cut Costs in Your Catalog Business

Cost cutting among catalog brands has been widespread for the past few years — and with good results. It's kept many catalogers afloat during the recent tough times, and helped build profits as well as operational disciplines. All that's swell, but beware of going to extremes and overcutting in ways that could harm. Here are four ways that, reliably for most, increase sales and return on investment, and therefore should be on your do-not-cut list:

Catalog Cover Controversies, Part 2

In part one of this series last month, I examined controversies about having a company tagline as well as whether to have extra copy on your catalog cover. Today I'll look at three other cover issues that get lots of debate. They all revolve around the following question: What type of cover is most likely get the catalog opened and deliver high response?

Catalog Cover Controversies, Part 1

When it comes to controlling what should be on a catalog's cover, it seems like everyone gets into the act, even the company president's wife. When there's that much input, inevitable differences arise. This series on catalog covers will provide guidelines for handling those differences of opinion.

5 Top Catalog FAQs

The frequently asked questions (FAQs) below are real questions I've been asked over and over through the years. I'm not making these up. If you get asked these questions too, here are quick and simple answers you can use.

Reaching for the Omnichannel Brass Ring

Do you have a 360-degree view of your customers? Can you attribute sales accurately to each channel? Are you creating the right omnichannel contact strategy for each customer? No? Hold onto your hat. Neither is anyone else.

Fun and Profit From Your Square Inch Analysis Report

Planning your spring catalog? Your "sqinch" (aka square inch analysis) report is one of your most important tools. And more enjoyable than most reports, too. Even your creative team will like it, as it will help guide pagination, space allotment and product placement decisions.

Rules to Live By

PATIENT: "Doc, you've been around the block a few times in the catalog business. In all that time, have you come up with any overarching guidelines that can help me out in my business?"