Schmid recommends using the services of direct marketing pros who know how to elicit responses; placing extra spots to circumvent pre-empting; requesting an air-time schedule in order to be prepared for handling bursts of incoming calls; being able to fulfill catalog requests quickly; and tracking the time of day responses come in, to select the best time slots.
This is another way to drive catalog requests. Customers may also shop right online, or be routed to your site after seeing a selection of products.
Dot-coms sites, such as Catalog City, My Only Catalog, Catalog Site, Catalog-Mart, iCatalog Inquiry and Catalog Resources offer varying levels of partnership, from the fulfillment of catalog requests to full-scale handling of orders and returns. They pride themselves on simplifying e-catalog shopping, and offer an online presence to catalogers without e-commerce sites, or an added one for established catalogers to gain new customers.
The moment when a customer requests a catalog is a crucial opportunity—make sure to get requested catalogs out faster than the others. Then, go an extra step. “If someone takes the time to request a catalog, they’re already primed to become your customer,” Wawro says. “You’ve got them hooked, but you still have to reel them in.”
Wawro recommends delivering first-time requested catalogs with a welcome package including a letter and introductory offer (using a code to track which customers are new.) Or if the package approach is too expensive, express welcome in the form of a special-offer dot whack on the requested catalog, to aid in getting the all-important first order.
As a copywriter, Wawro recommends making readers “feel special” by thanking them profusely in the copy and welcoming them to “the family.”
Road Runner Sports: This welcome package for catalog requesters comes in a First Class envelope, making it stand out from the pile; the outside envelope reminds customers they requested this; and a guarantee and special offer are extended.