It seems like catalog creative/production schedules, just like budgets, have gotten so tight they drive everyone crazy. Here are nine tips for bringing sanity to your schedule management.
Customer benefits are what it's all about. What makes your brand best for your customers needs to be woven throughout all your editorial, product copy, page heads, design and photography. First, define what makes you the best at XYZ. Second, define how to make it clear to your customer. It's not just about design differences. If you can make a true case for how you're different and why that's good for your customers, that's what no competitor can copy.
In an effort to make it simpler for consumers to simultaneously browse its print catalog and research and buy from their mobile devices, Sharper Image embedded a “Buy Now” capability into its holiday preview catalog. The catalog is chock-full of electronic, recreation, fitness and travel products, and was sent to 4 million households and businesses on Nov. 4.
‘Clean’ design typically means more negative space (aka white space), minimal copy, larger but fewer images per product, sans-serif type, often smaller point sizes and sometimes gray type instead of black. To see if clean is for you, let's look at where it works and where it doesn't.
There's more to obtaining print bids than price. Printer lead times should be part of the mix. For example, when mail tapes and creative files are due to the printer should be considered. The shorter the deadline when mail files are due to the printer the better. This enables catalogers to include more recent buyers in the mailing.
With the help of The Dingley Press, we conducted a study to determine how many catalogs it prints that still include some type of order form. We found that almost half of our fairly large sample size have no inside ink-jet or order form insert, but they do have an order form printed on-page in the catalog. Another 18.5 percent use a bind-in order form. In summary, 71.5 percent of the catalogs we surveyed use an order form; only 28.5 percent have eliminated the order form entirely.
The printed catalog is the main driver of traffic to the web. However, with all of the other touchpoints available to consumers today, how do we really know the impact of catalog mailings on web sales? And why do we give so much credit to the print catalog? There are a few reasons why:
As an online marketer, I want to thank Mr. Postmaster General and the honorable members of the Postal Regulatory Commission. I cannot wait until you raise postage rates come January. Now some people may not agree with me, but I applaud your efforts to consistently raise postage rates.