Grow Sales and Your Bottom Line
3. Blow-in technology is much more limited in size and application, but it's most often a card-type format with a special offer or message inserted, perhaps in several places, in your catalog. One of the most common b-to-b applications using blow-ins includes directing customers to the Web for special sales or events.
The objectives of an insert or wrap should include:
- introducing a new product line or subcategory;
- presenting a special message to a customer segment;
- highlighting a new pricing concept or special offer;
- introducing a loyalty program; and/or
- explaining a new customer service feature.
Accurately measuring your result is just as important as knowing your objective. Why go to the trouble and expense of a special catalog section without finding the answer to "Did it work?" To effectively plan your test, you must identify all costs, create a break-even analysis, project results and define the criteria by which the insert will be judged.
Let's look at examples of each of these objectives, how catalogers generally apply their skills to them and how to measure results for each.
Test a new product category, line extension or spin-off catalog candidate. Every cataloger wants to test product line extensions of already successful categories. After all, this is how you grow your business, right? A safety-products catalog might introduce, say, a new line of protective glasses. An insert can be an ideal way to give the items a special introduction and appropriate promotional positioning. It also can be used to highlight a merchandise category that might have potential for a spin-off book.
Measure results: Look at sales and contribution per item, page and the insert. Do a mini-square inch analysis and compare it with pages in your main catalog.
Test special messages to targeted customer segments. A circulation scheme outlined in the chart "Circulation-Testing Plan" used an outer wrap and cover change to vary its message (and offer) to various segments of its housefile.