If you think about it, catalogs are a staple in the advertising world. We would venture to guess you get at least one catalog per week in your mail (although it may seem like more) but around the holiday season, you’ll probably see double or triple that amount. Effective catalogs are a great resource for companies – they are a cost-effective, one-stop method for getting the company products in front of potential customers in vibrant, enticing, and colorful detail. And catalogs make it easy for the customer to order, too – they can just grab a cup of coffee, settle into a cozy chair, and shop in comfort.
So, what goes into producing effective catalogs?
- Catalogs are usually printed in full color (also called 4-color or CMYK) on coated or glossy stock.
- Research has clearly shown that people respond significantly better (over 50% better) to full color images versus black and white images.
- A good design attracts attention. Unique and quality images will grab the customer’s eye.
- Consider thick covers to help the catalog get through the postal system and into your customer’s hands intact.
- Also consider using a protective, moisture resistant coating to repel rain and dirt.
- Don’t go with a cheap printer, go with a quality printer. Quality printers can help you make the correct paper stock and binding choices, resulting in better, more effective catalogs.
- Display products in a grid-type layout, which will help you get the most products on a page in the most orderly manner.
- If cost is a factor, catalogs can be cost-effectively downsized into smaller catalog dimensions.
- Divide your products into logical major categories. This allows customers to leaf through the pages and look for certain sections if they are searching for a particular item.
- Display all of your products in the catalog! Why hold something back for a sale or a future promotion when you can show your customer everything today?
- Present your most expensive and highest quality products on the cover and in the front of the catalog to entice your customers.
- Write teaser-type ads for other products that are displayed further back into the catalog pages. Sprinkle these ads throughout the front pages to "guide" readers to other products they haven’t considered or that go with the items they are ordering.
Catalogs, with their multi-page format, are powerful and versatile print communication vehicles. And in today’s digital world and with the amount of information available on the internet, there still is nothing like a well done catalog. Its vibrant, full color images really do burst off the page into the minds and hearts of the reader. That’s why print publications remain so important to the success of every organization.