Catalog mailers have been one of the mainstays of direct mail marketing for over a century. Dating back over a hundred years, people were using catalogs to buy everything from watches to clothing, and even homes.
Sending a catalog mailer to someone immediately puts your brand in their mind as soon as they see it.
Though catalog mailers have been on a decline for years, they’re still proving to be a valuable marketing tool.
Let’s look at how you can put the power of mail order catalogs to work in your business in a world gone digital.
There’s a New Generation at Stake
For decades, the mail-order catalog was the equivalent of today’s online shopping. You got to “shop” a store’s massive inventory from the comfort of your own home, while also browsing items your local store may or may not have carried. The catalog offered all the information you needed, from prices to sizes to colors and dimensions. You could place your order by calling a number or sending in an order form, and your goods would be shipped directly to you.
Oh, how times have changed!
For over a decade now, online channels have largely replaced the “antiquated” catalog. It’s instantaneous nature eliminated most of the inefficiencies of catalogs, plus it gave stores a way to reach larger audiences without the massive printing and mailing fees associated with heavy catalogs (during their heyday, catalogs would cost just under $1 each to mail).
The flaws were obvious, and digital media solved many of them. So why go back?
It’s a tough pill to swallow, but the upcoming generation has never been part of the catalog mailer movement—and they find it intriguing! In fact, studies show that Millennials make up a huge percentage of those who still love getting direct mail, and many of them trust it more than emails and other digital media. They find direct mail valuable and reliable, and it helps influence their buying decisions.
Getting the attention of younger generations like Millennials and Gen Z are becoming an increasing priority to businesses. For those who have grown up in the digital era, catalogs provide a new, exciting, refreshing way to discover brands and products.
The Benefits of Physical Catalogs Over Digital Media
Digital media showered shoppers with larger selections and ordering convenience, while also providing businesses with a chance to cut costs and reach larger audiences. But that’s not to say that catalog mailers hold no trump cards over its online counterpart.
In fact, many may say its benefits are being more broadly recognized now because of the increasing noise of digital and the widespread idea of trying to reduce screen time.
Catalog Mailers Engage the Senses
Unlike digital media, physical catalogs are better able to engage more than just the eyes. Open a freshly printed catalog and you can often smell the pages and ink. You can touch and hear each page as you turn it, giving you a feel for the catalog’s quality. And of course, you have the rich, colorful visuals of the products inside.
They Create Top of Mind Awareness
Sending a catalog mailer to someone immediately puts your brand in their mind as soon as they see it. It continues to build impressions every time someone looks at it on their desk or kitchen counter, as well as each time they open it.
They Put Your Brand in Front of Your Audience
If you’re targeting your mailing list, your catalogs give you a chance to connect from the people most likely to buy from you. You’re placing your brand and products in front of folks who know you, use your products, or otherwise have the best chance at becoming paying customers.If your catalog is targeting your mailing list, it gives you a chance to connect with the people most likely to buy from you. #printingClick To Tweet
Though one may argue that digital media is also portable, much of your online time relies on data or wireless internet availability. It also means you’ll be trading battery life for browsing time.
Catalogs don’t require you to charge up before browsing its pages. It won’t run up your phone bill, and you can shop “offline” until your heart’s content. All you have to do is remember to take it with you.
There’s Less Competition for Direct Mail Catalogs
With all the clamor and emphasis placed on digital media, many marketers are turning toward old-school methods to get their products seen. Direct mail catalogs are experiencing something of a resurgence because there’s less competition for visibility in the mailbox, giving them a better chance of connecting with the right people at the right time.
How Will You Use Catalog Mailers?
The possibilities for catalog mailers are seemingly infinite. They continue to prove a valuable part of marketing strategies, despite the fact that online channels offer greater depth.
Are you putting the power of catalog marketing into your strategy? Let’s talk! Contact us today for printing quotes, graphic design, and mailing options to help you grow your business.