Cut Costs and Keep Creative
If your catalog weighs more than 3.3 ounces, a goal would be to redirect the per-piece catalog weight back down [or at least closer] to 3.3 ounces. Drop to a lower basis weight, or print on a higher bulk paper option. One way to offset the less substantial feel of a lower basis weight is to print the catalog’s interior pages on the reduced weight and apply a heavier outer wrap. In addition, eliminating the bind-in order form and preparing it within the catalog can shave weight from your mailing.
Change Formats Wisely
Jumping to a dramatically smaller format, such as going from a 83⁄4 inches by 107⁄8 inches trim to a slim jim (tall and narrow format ranging in size up to 61⁄8 inches by 111⁄2 inches) can be a nightmare for your catalog’s branding and product presentation. There is a pre-existing perception that slim jims are downscale. This format provides a different visual landscape than a standard format (approximating a square when open), affording a much smaller space to present products.
So, first consider consumer reaction to the size change. Format changes often result in reduced response rates. Will your customers and prospects still recognize you? Will they stop to open the tabs that hold the catalog shut (and cost you an extra 3 cents per piece)? Would your photos have to be so reduced in size that people can’t shop from them?
Following past postage increases and the most recent one, a number of catalogers have found slim-jim sale and clearance editions a viable alternative to books that previously mailed at full size. Slim jims enable them to put the net savings toward funding the additional postage for their standard-sized books. Slim jims also work well for niche books that emphasize one merchandise category pulled from the main catalog. These get mailed to a select group of customers.