Designing Direct Mail for Cross-Channel Catalog Success

Man reading a catalog

In today’s increasingly online world, it is more important than ever for marketers to develop and execute strong cross-channel experiences.

Whether a person is holding a physical catalog in their hands or browsing one online, the experience they have with the brand should remain the same. No matter where a customer or potential customer is accessing the information, there should be clear messaging with consistent language and formatting that allows the brand to remain consistent across all of the channels being used.

We have partnered with the folks over at Virid to show how to optimize the brand experience by linking direct mail with your online storefront. The tangible presence of a printed piece helps it stand out and impacts purchase behavior by driving online shopping activity.

Here are four tips to keep in mind when designing engaging direct mail catalogs to achieve cross-channel success:

  1. Less is more. Rather than send every recipient the same 60-page catalog containing every product you offer, consider applying customer data analytics and insights to determine which products each recipient may be the most interested in, and then reduce the page count so it only includes those products. They will appreciate that there are less items to sift through, and be more likely to make a purchase.
  2. Use compelling images and offers. Design your catalog with relevant and engaging images and offers that stand out and capture your audience’s attention quickly and in a manner that compels a response. Consider using images that clearly represent what the product is designed to do, in a way that makes it easy for the end consumer to picture themselves using it.
  3. Watch your send list. This may sound counterintuitive at first, but sending to less people may actually increase your overall response. As with reducing the page count, reducing the amount of people to whom you are sending the catalog is an excellent opportunity to increase response by filtering out those that are unlikely to ever purchase from you. Dive into your send list to determine who your best customers are, so you can separate them from your worst customers and filter out those that are uninterested or irrelevant that will never purchase from you anyway. This way, you are not wasting money by sending them more information than they need, and you are bettering your chance of response by singling out those in the highest decile for response.
  4. Tie it back to the online experience. Our friends at Virid have said it best: “Linking online and offline channels has been notoriously difficult for retailers, but catalogs offer unique opportunities to connect those two different customer experiences. One way to tie the channels together is to create custom landing pages for catalog audiences. If you have a specific collection in the catalog, mirror it online. You can create a custom URL to track traffic to that collection and publish the link only in the catalog. This can create a more cohesive cross-channel experience, and it helps track sales attribution back to the catalog.” Click here to read the full article.

The Bottom Line

The experience a person has with a brand should remain the same across all channels. Designing effective direct mail catalogs begins with defining the right message and offer, selecting the right target audience, and allowing them different ways to interact with your brand.

We will be at NEMOA from March 14-16. Say hi to Patrick Reagan if you see him!

About Compu-Mail

Compu-Mail (www.compu-mail.com) provides end-to-end direct marketing and business printing services to companies across the U.S. and Canada. Headquartered in Grand Island, NY, Compu-Mail services include direct mail, email marketing, data driven marketing with database management, statement rendering, and variable imaging. Compu-Mail can be reached at 800.255.0670 or marketing@compu-mail.com.
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