Catalog Doctor: Analyze Digests and Slim Jims
Patient: Doc, this postage increase worries me. Should I switch from a standard-size catalog to a digest or slim jim? How can I switch without making my business sick?
Catalog Doctor: A digest or slim jim can produce a strong, healthy business. The smaller size often evokes a more personal, “company-that-cares” feel. When combined with upscale design and photography, it also evokes quality and “best of class.”
Patient: How can I tell if a digest or slim jim is right for me? And how do I avoid the potential pitfalls?
Catalog Doctor: A digest or slim jim might work for you if you fall under one of these categories:
• You mail small quantities.
• You sell specialty products in a tightly targeted niche.
• Your full-size catalog doesn’t exceed 48 pages.
• Your full-size catalog has high product density. (Smaller trim sizes’ lower product density can be easier to read, thus lifting response.)
• You have upscale products that could work with just one image to a page or spread.
Patient: Why do digests and slim jims mail at lower postage rates?
Catalog Doctor: They both fit the U.S. Postal Service’s definition of “letter” size, so they’ll run through the letter equipment that’s supposedly less expensive to operate. The USPS wants to bring rates more in-line with its actual costs.
Although full-size catalog mailers just got skunked, one client that switched to a digest actually saved postage compared to its old 2006 full-size rate (sticking with 2006’s trim size would have stuck it with a 30 percent postage increase).
Patient: What sizes are digests and which are slim jims?
Catalog Doctor: Slim jims are as tall as standard 8.5-inch-by-11-inch catalogs, only skinnier. Instead of the normal 7.5-inches to 8.5-inches wide, they run around 5.5-inches to 6.125-inches wide.