Connect With Your Audience
Magellan’s covers show scenes that draw the viewer into the picture—and into the catalog itself, says Lynn Staneff, a spokesperson for the travel catalog. “We’re fond of [depicting] streets and pathways that beckon the reader inside.”
Copy that Converts
Copy not only defines and refines the emotional experience of your catalog, it’s also the linchpin that turns a reader into a buyer. All successful marketing brings about one or more conversions in its audience: It converts disinterest into interest, interest into desire, and desire into need. In a catalog, the point at which interest turns into desire or desire turns into need can be just a little bit of copy.
Effective copy converts if it’s about the audience. It needs to speak to their experiences, wishes and problems. Hello Direct is renowned for its compelling copy, which consistently addresses the needs or problems of the audience and how the catalog’s offerings solve those problems. It’s called “backhoe and fill,” a copywriter’s most dependable tool.
What makes great catalog photography? First, it’s branded—emotionally. Great photos move the catalog’s narrative forward and add to the personal experience.
Second, because photos merely substitute for products, great photography must imbue tactility, weight and motion. It involves more than just the sense of sight: It invites touch, smell and hearing, too.
The Buying Experience
If a catalog is an experience, then to be successful, it has to be a buying experience. Otherwise it’s just a free show.
However, Worthington-Levy says there are only a few catalogs that do that right, and many that don’t.
The catalog Graphic Dimensions shines in this area, she notes. “They do a very effective job of showing the size and proportion of the products, while using very easy coding and pricing charts on each product page, so you don’t have to search around,” says Worthington-Levy.