In fact, he even goes so far as to say that they should look vaguely cheap, “Because people will think they have to be getting good prices, because you certainly didn’t spend a lot of time on the creative presentation.”
By the way, sticking to the same trim size as your regular catalog makes it easier on your creative team. Kotowski also offers this tip: On two or three items in your sale mailer, place a stamped SOLD OUT icon—to create a sense of urgency.
Newsletters: Online and Off
For catalogs, the editorial authority in these non-selling (or very subtly selling) pieces can be invaluable for staying “top of mind” when the customer is ready to buy. Kotowski cites b-to-b catalogs, such as Epson and g-Neil, as especially well-positioned for newsletters because they can offer industry-specific content to their readers/buyers.
Food catalogers have also enjoyed great success using recipes as collateral content to buttress their culinary authority. Many gardening catalogers produce mail or online newsletters. It’s all part of building the customer relationship.
Consultant Jack Schmid has a name for the clever combination of direct mail and space: “targeted mass advertising.” Many catalogs started their operations with space ads. J. Peterman and Banana Republic are two major examples.
Space ads bring in catalog requests or promote single product sales, with an added benefit: In effect, they pre-test lists for the publications in which the ad appears. With space ads, you reach the same prospects you would renting the publication’s list, but usually at a cheaper price. And a bill-me arrangement can allow you to pay with the money you bring in after conversions.
Space ads lend immediacy. The shelf life of the publication demands that your back end be able to handle a flurry of orders (cross your fingers!).