Creative & Copywriting: 5 Cost-Cutting Danger Zones
Trimming expenses is top-of-mind for everyone producing a catalog or e-commerce site today. But it can get you into trouble if not approached with some extra knowledge.
Creative is often management’s target for cost trimming, even though creative is rarely a high percentage of total expenditure. When you add printing to that, however, it’s a big piece of change — and opportunities for savings abound. But danger can lurk when paring creative and printing costs. So, here are five danger zones to avoid:
1. Writing It Yourself
It’s easy to lay off a copywriter or stop hiring freelancers. But merchants and marketers rarely look at a product from the consumer’s point of view. When copy is written by novices, it often becomes lists of features culled from manufacturer product sheets with no benefits to tug on customers’ emotions. Copy without emotional drivers never sells as well as it should. A pro writer is a great salesman.
2. Cramming Spreads
Stuffing more on each spread while reducing page count is a bad idea. If you really need to trim by a signature, do a fresh square-inch analysis to see which products are paying for their space and which aren’t.
Use that information to remove underperforming products. Otherwise the weak will weigh down the catalog, and the whole thing will suffer. By removing duds, you can give best-performers the space they deserve. This will yield better sales.
Cramming too much on a spread also makes your catalog a flat, gray crush of too much copy and too small images. You have a Web site — use that cheap Web space to sell underperformers. A dynamic catalog with heroes on each spread and no junk is
3. Tantalizing Gatefolds
When trying to reduce a catalog by less than a full signature, it’s tempting to try the gatefold — a doubled-over page that creates a full-page flap to the inside. Your printer can do it, so why not, right? Well, one of my painting mentors gave me great advice that’s relevant here: Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.