Catalog Doctor: Analyze Digests and Slim Jims
Another cataloger tried a slim jim but it didn’t work because the company couldn’t offer the full product range. Sure, a catalog with fewer products will get a lower response than a catalog with more products; so why remove products at all?
A third catalog tested a digest versus a full-size the correct way. It offered the same products in both, and kept all the photos the same size as well, putting half as many products on each of the digest pages. The test was a tie.
Are There Side Effects?
Patient: Doc, are there any prescription side effects from switching to a smaller trim size?
Catalog Doctor: You’ll hear warnings about switching to smaller trim sizes, but most side effects are harmless.
Side effect 1: You’ll miss out on co-mailing savings. Full-size catalogers are racing to co-mailing to help save on 2007’s painful postage increases. And it’s true that most printers’ co-mailing programs are for full-size only — not for digests and slim jims.
Co-mailing for full-size typically saves .005 cents to 1 cent per piece postage. So, if you’re mailing at an average postage of 32 cents per piece, you’ll drop that postage to maybe 31 cents. But switch to a digest with the same square inches and you’ll pay only 20 cents each in postage.
Side effect 2: You have to add the cost of tabbing.
True, you must close letter-sized catalogs with two tabs or equivalent. Figure on $150 to $400 make-ready, and $15 per thousand to $30 per thousand run charge. You’ll also need to add a traying charge of around $3 per thousand to $5 per thousand. At a 100,000 quantity run, it adds 2 cents to 4 cents each. Using my example above, that’s still only 22 cents to 24 cents postage each for a digest versus 31 cents for a flat.