Print Alternatives: Can't Afford Catalogs Anymore?
But don’t go too small on a prospecting book. I’ve seen a 124-page catalog do well with a 60-page prospecting version, and a 60-page catalog do well with a 32-page prospecting version. I advise steering clear of 16-page and 12-page books, however. And prospecting books don’t work for everyone, so you have to be careful.
Plus, when cutting pages from your regular catalog to create a prospecting book, try to get a separate product sales report that shows what products prospects are buying. Their buying patterns are probably different from your regular customers.
When you cut products, cut from the lowest sellers to the highest, then compute lost sales on the products you’re omitting when forecasting your plan. Also, increase page density on your midselling products.
Bouncebacks, Fliers Effective
CS: Do bounceback offers work? Can they generate additional noncatalog revenue even though the customer just ordered?
LETT: Absolutely. This is something you can do immediately with very little lead time. Place a coupon for $5 or $10 off your next offer in all outgoing packages. Make certain the coupon is the first thing customers see when they open the carton. Bounceback offers are an effective way of generating repeat orders from satisfied, recent Web and catalog buyers.
Small Fliers, Narrower Focus
CS: What about mailing small fliers, maybe with a narrow product focus or targeted theme?
McINTYRE: Fliers can work extremely well if they’re sale or clearance mailers enclosed in outgoing orders.
You can really pack in the product density, and there’s no postage. But I haven’t seen fliers of any kind work profitably as self-mailers for catalogers.
LETT: I’ve seen fliers used effectively to build retail store traffic. While most retailers know the advantage of fliers, the key is analyzing and understanding the results those fliers generate.