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Monday, November 07, 2016
  • Pumpt Admin

Awesome catalogues: what is it that makes this channel appealing?

When it comes to direct marketing, we know that catalogue readership rules. As reported by a recently released Australasian Catalogue Association (ACA) Industry Report, Kiwi consumers actively avoid advertising online and when watching television or while listening to the radio.

Anecdotally we know this too, as we change channel or station, get distracted by another handheld device in an advertisement break, or fast-forward if we’re watching pre-recorded content. In contrast, both addressed and unaddressed direct mail is still getting the eyeballs. The ACA Report found that 88% of consumers read unaddressed flyers “all the time” and, unsurprisingly (but still impressively), 100% of consumers read mail that comes addressed to them.  

So what are the secret ingredients of the letterbox channel that sees its contents achieving such positive reach? What is it, in fact, that makes a catalogue appealing?

In our digital world, undoubtedly one of the things that makes a catalogue appealing is the fact that it’s on paper; you can touch it and, in this way, it’s real. As the ACA Report reminds us, “Paper is a part of life. It’s the morning newspaper, your child’s favourite book… a treasured family photo.” These days, there is something a little bit novel, and even a bit special, about holding a tangible, physical something in your hand – and that gets attention.

The next thing is paper stock. The weight and texture of the paper you choose is all part of the brand story that you’re telling readers. How the paper feels in their hand has an impact on how they’re going to feel about your product or service. Positioning yourself as the place for bargains? A glossy lightweight spread should do. Want to be seen as high-end or a bit more boutique? Opt for heavier stock in a satin or matt finish. It’s all part of building an impression and keeping a consumer’s attention.

Once you’ve got your mailer into someone’s hand, design is next. Here the principles of successful graphic design come into play – legible typefaces, attractive colours and quality images – however, with a few caveats. Data should drive the design of your catalogues and, luckily, if you’re utilising the letterbox channel optimally, there should be plenty at hand. Consider who your best customers typically are now or the demographics of the areas you’re distributing your mailer to. The design of your flyer should keep the intended consumer chiefly in mind, as we all know the key driver for any marketing is all about appealing to an audience.

Lastly, compelling content helps. It’s one thing to display an appealing array of products and prices and, for some retailers, this might be all you need. However, if you want your mailer to hang around on counters or coffee-tables, and to become dog-eared as different people in the household pore over it, giving something a little bit extra helps. Some of the most successful catalogues find a way to work in some humour, or include tips and tricks, or other narrative, that keeps consumers eagerly awaiting the next instalment. Editorial-style content that provides readers with some added value will not only increase the precious time that they’ll engage with your pages, but also the chance that they’ll share your mailer with others too. 

Whichever way you look at it, catalogues get results! Whether a ‘lover’ or a ‘leaver’, consumers can’t help but be swayed by mailers through the letterbox. In fact, the ACA Report found that 79% of consumers have purchased something after seeing it advertised through unaddressed mail. ­­With those kind of numbers, using catalogues and unaddressed mail seems like a no-brainer – so get in touch if you want to look at your options!

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