There are plenty of Christmas catalogs in the mail this year — some great, some just OK, some forgettable. Here are my faves for 2015: The Folio Society "Christmas 2015 Collection" An impressive package in a large envelope with letter, three inserts and two catalogs (one just of children’s gift books). This high-end U.K. book…
Susan J. McIntyre
PATIENT: “Doc, we do tests, but I don't feel that we learn much from them. What are we doing wrong? What should we change?” CATALOG DOCTOR: "Try building your tests differently to get clearer, more actionable results. Here are some tips for what to do, and what not to do.” Optimizing an Offer Test The goal:…
“Love” may seem odd as a business concept. Love includes valuing someone as a person, trying to see things from their point of view, being considerate of their time, trying to make their life easier, working to understand and help them achieve their goals, among other things. Let's take for granted that you do all…
Catalog creatives generally feel like they live in a different universe than circulation folks. However, both share the same catalog goals and you'll find you can achieve those goals faster and better by communicating with each other. Here are some tips on how and when to talk. Before You Begin Your Next Design Cycle 1.…
Being bored with your catalog design is a terrible reason for a redesign. Your feelings don’t count; your customers’ feelings do.
Are your catalog and products unique? Are they loaded with customer benefits? If "yes" to both, are you also telling your benefit and unique story well enough to your customers?
Cost cutting among catalog brands has been widespread for the past few years — and with good results. It's kept many catalogers afloat during the recent tough times, and helped build profits as well as operational disciplines. All that's swell, but beware of going to extremes and overcutting in ways that could harm. Here are four ways that, reliably for most, increase sales and return on investment, and therefore should be on your do-not-cut list:
In part one of this series last month, I examined controversies about having a company tagline as well as whether to have extra copy on your catalog cover. Today I'll look at three other cover issues that get lots of debate. They all revolve around the following question: What type of cover is most likely get the catalog opened and deliver high response?
When it comes to controlling what should be on a catalog's cover, it seems like everyone gets into the act, even the company president's wife. When there's that much input, inevitable differences arise. This series on catalog covers will provide guidelines for handling those differences of opinion.
The frequently asked questions (FAQs) below are real questions I've been asked over and over through the years. I'm not making these up. If you get asked these questions too, here are quick and simple answers you can use.
Do you have a 360-degree view of your customers? Can you attribute sales accurately to each channel? Are you creating the right omnichannel contact strategy for each customer? No? Hold onto your hat. Neither is anyone else.
Product density is quite a science. What's right for one brand is wrong for another. Here are some guidelines that may help.
Planning your spring catalog? Your "sqinch" (aka square inch analysis) report is one of your most important tools. And more enjoyable than most reports, too. Even your creative team will like it, as it will help guide pagination, space allotment and product placement decisions.
PATIENT: "Doc, you've been around the block a few times in the catalog business. In all that time, have you come up with any overarching guidelines that can help me out in my business?"
Over the years, I've come to realize that in many ways cataloging is rocket science. Here are four reasons why: