Catalogs help to Boost Revenue

In a recent Forbes article by Lois Geller, “If Direct Mail is Dying, It’s Sure Taking Its Time About It,” the use of catalogs and their effectiveness was discussed.  The author brings up a good point for any direct mail skeptics… “If direct mail is ‘dying,’ then why do marketers still use it?”  The short and simple answer:  It works.

Direct mail, specifically catalogs, offer the potential for marketers and brands to see response and results — catalogs will ultimately bring in money for companies.  Catalogs help to bring in revenue that brands would simply not see if it were not for direct mail’s ability to be dropped — literally — into the homes and hands of your target market.

In the Forbes article, the author pointed out two reasons she believes direct mail remains such a revenue generator:

1. The mail is often the only reliable way to reach reasonably affluent males.

2. The over-50 crowd, already large and growing, has a lot more money than younger folks and they’re just as happy to deal with you in print as they are in the cyber world.

While catalogs still offer a way to respond by phone and mail, they also offer easy ways for people to go online and order too — one of the reasons why brands see about 60 percent of their online leads from print marketing messages.  Catalogs combine the benefits of both print and digital marketing in an almost seamless and synergistic way.

Because catalogs have a higher cost associated with their production, it’s important to create a concise and targeted list through the use of database management.  By sending to more targeted lists, you’re able to not only reduce your overhead cost, but also increase your response rate as well because you’re sending relevant information/products to your recipients.

The last quote from the Forbes article is powerful:

But direct mail is not going away. I get a couple of thousand offers by mail every year. They arrive all year long, trending heavier in the last few months and in January and the number is growing. The industry is still selling billions of dollars’ worth of products and services. It’s not hip and happening, not “now” but it is highly effective and very profitable.


Timothy Freeman
Print & Graphic Communications Association


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