Catalog or Booklet?

You have a great range of products or services and you want to launch a direct- mail marketing campaign, but you don't know if you should print and mail a catalog or a booklet to your targeted mailing list. How do you decide which is best for your business, most suited to your customers and most likely to yield a great return on investment? Keep reading to learn how to choose between booklet printing and catalog printing, as well as how to harness the power of both to shoot sales through the roof.

Catalog or booklet?

resources imageYour first consideration is your sales process. Do you sell dozens or hundreds of relatively low-cost retail products? Chances are a catalog is your best bet because it allows customers to browse your products and make a near-instant purchase. If you sell very few products, however; or your products are expensive or highly customizable; or if you sell services and no products at all, a booklet is more likely to serve your needs because it can provide your customers with the background information they need to know before they call and enter a long sales process. By the same token, the goals of your booklet and catalog are different: Your booklet seeks to get a phone call, a website visit, or set up a later sale; a catalog seeks to land instant sales.

How to use both

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You can double your marketing prowess by using catalogs and booklets in tandem to reinforce one another. A booklet can set up a catalog sale, and a catalog can act as a conduit between minor purchases and major purchases with a booklet as the facilitator. Let's say you sell the new BPA-free baby bottles in your catalog. To unleash your sales potential, send a booklet on safe baby products that features the dangers of BPA in baby bottles to your catalog recipients a few days before you send the actual catalog. Your target audience (undoubtedly new and soon-to-be parents) will have read your booklet and will be ready to order when your new catalog with a special sale on BPA-free bottles arrives. One caveat: If you send your booklet and catalog too far apart, your customers might become someone else's customers. Delivery should be very close or - if you'd like - you can simply package the two together in one bundle. An example of the reverse would be if you sell many minor items in your catalog but also some major items that have extended sales cycles. In your catalog you could include a free product or URL to get a booklet on the topic - thereby beginning the dialogue with highly targeted customers interested in your major products. The short of it? Both catalogs and booklets are powerful sales tools, and together they can deliver a one-two punch that knocks your competition out cold.