Formulating a B-to-B Catalog Mailing Plan, Part 2
10. Be creative with your copy and design. Make use of photos and illustrations in your catalog, Harding advised. Show products in use, products in use with people, problem pictures (before and after), mix and match, and in cut-away form. People shots receive high attention, he said, especially two people interacting with each other. Use of tables, charts and diagrams can also prove to be effective, Harding said. Even if only 2 percent of your customers look at them, they’re the ones to focus on. These include competitive comparison charts, options and accessories charts, SKU tables, and a diagram of usage steps (or processes).
11. Keep track of your competitors. To keep your catalog performing at top efficiency, know what those around you are doing. Compare these factors against your competitors’ catalog: increased or decreased page space, relisting of new products from previous quarter, product category differences, mailing frequency, dropped products and product rotation. This allows you to learn what your competition does well while also learning what they struggle with. Incorporate aspects they do well, while learning from their weaknesses.
12. Test your catalog to determine what works best. Harding suggests multiple mailings of your catalog, then comparing response to determine which catalog works best. Test cover concepts, more pages vs. fewer, mail frequency, multiple sequences of prospect books with differing page length, customer catalog to prospects vs. a unique prospecting catalog and many changes vs. no change (multiple mailings to customers).