Catalog Doctor: Leveraging Your Catalog Assets Across Channels
Leverage Catalog Editorial
Do you have editorial extras in your catalog — e.g., tips, recipes, news, awards, community involvement? If so, try the following:
11. Add tips, recipes, reviews, did-you-knows and how-tos to emails as extra bonuses. They add perceived value and give subscribers more reasons to click through to your website.
12. Add tips, recipes, reviews, did-you-knows and how-tos to your site. They add credibility and increase organic search results and time spent on your site.
13. If your business has been recognized with an award, include a mention of it in your web ads and on your homepage to increase credibility.
14. Post news such as store openings or community initiatives to your social media sites. Report it in a newsletter-style email.
Leverage Your Photos and Copy
15. Do you take detailed product shots for your catalog, like the pockets of a coat or the inside compartments of a suitcase? Add those detailed shots to your web product pages or use a rotating .gif to add visual interest on your home- page, along with the primary image of that product.
16. Use catalog images and copy to create a postcard or small flier to drive traffic to your brick-and-mortar store(s) or website.
17. Create product-specific header cards for your retail displays, using images and copy from your catalog. This works well for promoting non-packaged products, and helps cut down on customer questions to staff.
18. Use catalog images and copy to create outgoing order inserts for web/catalog mail orders and in-bag inserts for store orders.
19. Use catalog subheads and other benefit copy as alt tags for your website images. You'll increase search engine optimization and provide meaningful copy to the small group of consumers without image access (e.g., images turned off, problems accessing images, image-related disabilities).
Leverage Your Catalog Offers
20. Send an email repeating your catalog offer to remind consumers it's out there as well as putting the offer in front of those who weren't mailed. You'll drive both email and catalog sales.
21. Send a follow-up email announcing that your catalog offer deadline is fast approaching. This will build last-minute urgency.
22. Some promotions can get buried within all your catalog pages. Highlight those catalog offers with email and homepage placements.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.