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Catalogs and booklets are excellent ways to promote your business and drive sales. For many companies, catalogs represent the majority of sales; while booklets highlight products and services in an in-depth way that helps customers fully understand the benefits of working with your company. Not all catalogs and booklets are created alike; and those that incorporate unique layout approaches stand a better chance of being noticed and making sales.
Too many catalogs are boxy, listing products in columns and rows one-by-one. Break your products out of the box, eliminate constraining lines and let your designs flow throughout the page. You can even spill your designs into the next page for a beautiful two-page spread. Take your time to give each product appropriate page space. One to six products per page will give you more opportunity to espouse the benefits of each product, include vivid imagery and will ultimately have a bigger impact on customers. The last thing you want to do is bury your products, one after another, so that they're difficult to find.
Catalog and booklet real estate is limited, so remember that you do not have to include all of your products. Highlight the most popular items and list the others in a traditional format or prompt customers to visit your website to view your full product offering.
Devote some page space to highlighting your customers every few pages. How have your products and services benefited them? Case studies in sidebars or on the top half of right-hand pages are excellent examples. Don't leave it just to words - include images whenever possible. Testimonials and meaningful results lend credibility and drive sales.
Do your products or services have a hierarchy? Lay out your catalogs and booklets to reflect this. Compare features and benefits, prices, levels of support and other pertinent information that will help your customers make better purchasing decisions in your spread. Show your customers that you want them to get the product or service best suited to their needs, and not necessarily the most expensive product or service. You'd be surprised at how many customers will upgrade when the differences between product/service hierarchies are clear.
Include charts and graphs that depict measurable results, information, statistics and other information whenever possible. They not only add color to your catalogs and brochures, they add credibility. Do your rechargeable batteries last longer than the competition's? Show your customers in a graph.
To be more effective, combine imagery with the chart/graph concept for a powerful message. If you were selling dog beds in different sizes, depict each bed with an appropriately sized dog laying in it to demonstrate actual sizes, for example. Your customers will be more motivated by what they see than by digesting numerical dimensions.
Value is more important than quantity to catalog and booklet success. Large images take up more page space, but they have more impact and drive more sales. Large headlines attract attention. Large call-out boxes, case studies, etc., command it. Even large catalogs such as a 12-inch by 12-inch catalog instead of the standard 8.5-inch by 11-inch can drive more sales because they compel customers to open them at the mailbox. Compare pricing between catalog sizes using PsPrint's instant printing quote tool.
As you can see, being different does not mean being outrageous - it's more about usability. Understand the goals of your catalogs and booklets to find ways in which you can enhance customer experience and help your customers make sound purchasing decisions. Highlight the best of what you have, and leave the rest for your electronic catalogs. Be unique in your catalog and booklet layouts, and you'll have unique sales figures.