Consumer Prospecting with Fewer Pages
The idea of creating a smaller prospecting catalog (same trim size but with fewer pages) full of best-selling pick-up items is appealing and sounds like a logical thing to do for a consumer cataloger. It saves money (or so it seems), and in theory has little, if any, impact on performance. But in practice, this generally isn’t the case.
This month, I’ll discuss why it’s more cost-efficient for consumer catalogers to prospect with more pages and the advantages of doing so from a financial perspective. In other words, I’ll examine why you should prospect with the same catalog you mail to your housefile.
Pages Boost Response
Having more pages in your catalog will increase your number of orders and revenue. This assumes your page density remains the same. Adding more new items to your catalog and keeping the page density — i.e., a larger store — will increase revenue.
It would seem a catalog that included only bestsellers would perform so well it would offset the falloff from a catalog with fewer pages. At first, this might be so. But prospects will tire of seeing the same products time and again.
When prospecting, you’re continually mailing many of the same outside names. In fact, if you’re actively mailing prospects, some of those people will see your catalog as often as your customers. Therefore, the importance of introducing new items to stimulate sales holds true when mailing to prospects, for the same reason you want to change the catalog when mailing to your housefile.
Whether you’re considering a smaller version of your catalog, including new and pick-up items, or a “best of” book, keep the following in mind: When adding pages to your catalog, the revenue will increase by half of the percentage increase in pages. That is, if you increase your page count by 10 percent, you’ll see an increase in sales of about 5 percent. When you add pages, you improve performance; if you reduce pages, performance declines.