Catalog Doctor

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 susan@mcintyredirect.com.

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?

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:

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?

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.

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