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3. Perform an encore. Add an extra mailing to your circulation plan. Drop a catalog to your best customers with just a cover change.
4. Out with the old. Sale catalogs at the end of the season are a great way to clear out inventory. Sale catalogs can be done on less expensive paper, with very high product density per page to get the most bang for your buck.
5. Honor the squinch that saved Christmas. Square inch (squinch) analysis can help you get rid of products that are weighting your catalog results down, or better highlight the superstar products in your catalog. Squinch analysis isn’t about reducing costs; it’s about marketing smarter and getting the most revenue out of your catalog mailings. What always surprises me is how many companies don’t perform squinch analysis on their catalogs. The truth is, just like in retail, the real estate an item takes up must be justified. There’s only so much space available in a catalog, so each square inch of that real estate must generate as much revenue as possible.
Note/caveat: Before you attempt to make any changes to your catalog or business model, always test, retest and run the numbers in advance. Don’t make global changes to your catalog or business model without this step. The results can be deadly. Jim’s rule: always split test any new idea — your current catalog (the control) vs. your test (hypothesis) catalog.
Comments? Something I missed that you’ve tried? Disagree with me? Fire off your thoughts below. Look for part two of this three-part how-to guide next Tuesday.
Jim Gilbert is president of Gilbert Direct Marketing and a professor of direct marketing at Miami International University of Art and Design. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim Gilbert has been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing. Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.