Catalog Circulation

Merge it and Purge it!
November 9, 2022 at 12:29 pm

In a direct marketing business, a customer list (i.e., housefile) is your most valuable asset. Therefore, it's important to manage your housefile and to keep it segmented and always up-to-date. To keep your housefile current, you need to merge/purge it regularly. What does this mean? Merge/purge is a process that identifies and removes unwanted or…

Getting Started With List Segmentation
September 29, 2022 at 12:07 pm

I want to discuss the basics of list segmentation and why it's an important part of maximizing profitability. Segmenting your customers (i.e., house file) will help you know who to mail and, just as important, who not to mail. The days of mailing your entire house file every mailing is over. It's time to begin…

Catalogers Need to Partner Even More Closely With Their Printer
July 5, 2022 at 2:38 pm

The catalog printing world is in crisis. Paper prices continue to increase. Paper supplies are limited and catalogers often aren’t getting enough paper shipped to their printer to meet their press run requirements. Printers are “sold out” for the holiday 2022 season. Costs continue to increase for paper, postage, ink, and freight and fuel. Bindery…

How Catalogers Are Understanding and Responding to the Post-Pandemic World
June 28, 2022 at 5:39 pm

As the pandemic has eased, catalogers are having to pivot to the new reality of the post-pandemic world. Most catalogers saw significant changes to their businesses with the onset of the pandemic. Now, most catalogers are seeing another shift as demand, response rates, and the basic business models shift again. How can catalogers understand the…

What Would Happen if …
December 21, 2021 at 10:17 am

What would happen if you mail down to the breakeven point and stopped there? In other words, eliminate all the R-F-M cells that fall below the incremental breakeven point. This sounds like a financially smart thing to do, but is it? The cold, hard facts are that if you elected this mailing strategy it would…

Post-COVID Mailing Strategy … Be Careful Not to Overmail
August 18, 2021 at 5:28 pm

The horrific pandemic caused people to stay home most of the year, which created a large spike in orders for many direct-to-consumer companies, both catalog and digital. The increase in demand was so significant that it caused issues for the supply chain. Many retailers scrambled to purchase inventory in order to meet the order demand…

Catalog Printing Schedules Are Disrupted for This Holiday Season
August 11, 2021 at 6:48 pm

Prices for catalog paper increased again on August 1. Paper price increases have continued over the past several months. Printers are now being allocated paper by the mills, which means printers aren't able to get all the paper they've ordered. As a result of this supply chain backlog, printers are sold out of press time…

Predicting Sales as the Pandemic Fades
July 1, 2021 at 4:20 pm

The pandemic is fading. How can catalogers predict sales for the second half of the year? Here are some points to keep in mind: Catalogers are finding that their sales are decreasing or remaining steady depending on their merchandise category. Some categories were still white-hot this spring, with gardening being a prime example of a…

Raising Postage Rates for Catalogs Isn't Economically Justified
June 24, 2021 at 12:17 pm

The USPS’s announcement of new, higher postage rates for catalogers and all other mail is a mistake and should be rolled back. The attempt to boost revenue by raising rates may very well have the exact opposite effect: catalogers will drastically scale back on the number of books they put into the mail, suppressing USPS…

Catalog KPIs … Keeping Your Eyes on the Ball
April 28, 2021 at 7:02 pm

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are important to any print catalog or digital marketing business. Knowing how often and which KPI to track can make a huge difference to your profit and loss (P&L) statement. You need to separate the “nice to know” from the “need to know” information. Tracking nonessential KPIs might make you feel…