One of the first, and perhaps the best known, catalogs in the United States was the Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog. Publication began in the 1890s and soon after mailing catalogs became an innovative way to sell products.
Fast forward to the 21st century and mailing catalogs is still an active form of direct marketing.
When it comes to creating and mailing catalogs as part of your direct mail marketing efforts there are some big considerations that should be assessed and evaluated to ensure that you get the desired results without going over the set budget. Proper planning and campaign management is the key to successful results when it comes to catalogs and direct mail efforts.
Mailing Catalogs: 10 Big Things you should Consider
- International or Domestic — One of the first considerations when it comes to mailing catalogs is whether you plan on sending these items to domestic addresses, foreign recipients, or both. International mail has additional requirements and costs that are involved, and this mailing option can be much more costly as a result.
- Environmental Impact — The environmental impact that your direct mail marketing efforts have will be a concern for most individuals and business owners. There are ways to lessen your environmental footprint without spending more that you have available.
Green printing techniques:
- Soy-based ink
- Recycled paper
- Recycled printing plates
- Recycled waste ink
- PDF proofs
- Recycled shipping pallets and corrugated material
- Size — When you are mailing catalogs, the size of the item will play a big part in the mailing costs. Larger pieces and those that are outside the standard measurements and dimensions will have a higher postage cost. Discuss the postal requirements for the size of your finished piece if you are concerned about the final expense for mailing in order to find savings if possible.
- Weight — The weight of your direct mail marketing materials is also an important consideration when it comes to catalogs. You will need a paper stock that is thicker and heavier in order to get the desired appearance and durability. This could increase the weight of your catalog and as a result increase the postage costs incurred.
- Machine Processing or Hand Stamped — Another top consideration when it comes to mailing catalogs is whether the item will be machine processed or hand stamped. The postal service will charge a higher rate for items that require hand stamping because these require more time and staff to process. Any dimension that is not standard may require hand stamping, and so will fragile items.
- Mailing Lists — The lists used for mailing catalogs is one of the most important factors involved. Why spend a large amount of money in printing and mailing if you are sending catalogs to people who have no interest in your products or services? Spend the time needed to verify that the lists being used are the right ones for your marketing goals and business.
If the mailing lists that you use are not accurate and highly relevant then you could get a very low response rate, if you get any response at all.
From our article: 10 Costly Mistakes to Avoid with Direct Mail Campaigns. Click here to read the complete article.
- Cost — The cost of printing and mailing catalogs can be expensive, although there are some cost-saving techniques and tips that can help you stay within budget with this type of project. There are things that you can change or adjust in order to get some savings. If the cost seems too high, discuss this with the printer to see what your options are.
- Order Size — One of the factors that must be calculated with direct mail marketing that includes catalogs is the order size. Larger orders will typically have a lower price per unit because a bulk discount may apply. If you think you will need additional catalogs in the future you may want to order extra now to lower the cost and be prepared.
- In House or Outsourced — Will you use a printer who is printing and mailing catalogs both? Generally speaking, using a printing company that can handle your entire campaign, from design and printing to mailing and fulfillment, is the most cost-effective and logical method. Having to transfer the printed catalogs to a separate entity for mailing is simply opening up more ways for errors and mishaps to occur.
- Labels or Printed Address — One consideration that many overlook when mailing catalogs is how the address information will be added. The recipient data can be printed on the item as the rest of the printing is applied, or it can be added to a label that is then applied to the catalog before it is mailed.
Using this centuries old method of marketing still makes sense today. Contact Las Vegas Color Graphics for more information and to start mailing catalogs today.