< Back to insights

Boost Online Sales with a Catalogue or Brochure Mailing

Catalogue and brochure mailing can form an integral part of helping your business to grow. The terms ‘catalogue’ and ‘brochure’ are often used interchangeably yet there are distinct differences, differences that need to be noted when considering how, when and why they are produced and mailed.

Catalogue

A catalogue is a method of showing your complete product range, so it often has a high pagination with multiple products per page. It is most often an annual project but can be seasonal for companies with a higher turnover of products. It should be produced to a high specification and delivered in the best possible condition as it will likely be kept for the entire year. Most catalogues are usually A4 our A5 but can of course be produced in other sizes.

Brochure

A brochure by contrast is usually either: corporate and focussed on company information and services; or product and focussed on a particular range or offer that you want to promote such as a summer sale. Brochures can vary quite dramatically in pagination according to your content. Product brochures are ideally suited direct mailing campaigns to launch new products and sales, but they can be equally as effective for highlighting seasonal items and ranges.

Benefits

There is of course common ground between catalogues and brochures and the key benefit of both is their ability to put your products directly in front of your targets with a physical presence. Most recipients will keep direct mail and read it when they have time to give it their full attention, this goes further with both catalogues and brochures due to the nature of their content. You can expect them to not only stay in the home/office for a few weeks but also to be shared amongst family, friends and colleagues - increasing your readership even further and creating potential new customers.

Furthermore a printed booklet doesn’t rely on web connections and data allowances, it can be carried around and read anywhere, such as on public transport on the way to work. There are no click through’s to get past, just all the information laid out in one easily accessible place.

E-commerce is fast paced, we expect to find what we want within a couple of seconds and if we don’t we will click off a site and try another. This doesn’t afford much opportunity for hero shots and lifestyle messages – it’s all about a quick win. Printed matter is different; it’s perused at a more relaxed paced and the perfect opportunity to go that little bit further with photography and design elements.

Reaching out to your customers and prospects with a physical presence in a digital world will help to build their confidence in you and your brand. Carefully designed and specified media all plays its part, from the style of imagery and copywriting to the choice of paper and finishes – it all helps to build brand awareness in a way that simply cannot be done online.

There’s one question businesses often ponder and that is “Do I still need a catalogue if I have an e-commerce website” The answer of course is no, you don’t ‘need’ one but the benefits should be considered carefully and if you decide a catalogue isn’t for you then do think about mailing brochures instead in order to promote your products and increase your audience.

Part of a multi channel campaign

Use brochures and catalogues as part of your overall marketing mix. It’s a well known fact that multi-tiered campaigns using different media have a better response rate. Consider an email campaign to advertise your new catalogue arrival or a postcard to follow up a brochure delivery with an offer, for example. Brochure campaigns can be pre-empted with a social media advert with a direct link to your website and a sign up form to receive a mailed copy of your current and future marketing – a great way to build your database.

Increase website traffic

While some customers may want to make a postal order, it’s more likely that buyers will visit your website to place an order, particularly if you have included an offer code with your catalogue. These website visitors therefore have a clear objective in mind and that is to make a purchase. Optimise this by adding in a pop up with a further discount for a higher spend and it’s highly likely the buying process will be completed and at a higher value than anticipated. You don’t need to stop there either, why not add in a refer a friend package too and keep watching your sales grow!

Design & print

It goes without saying that your design should represent your business and your brand. It should also work to a clearly defined objective; what do you want it to do for you? This is your opportunity to set a scene and build a picture to a captive audience. You need to consider the printing at the design stage too and have an idea of how you will want to mail it. For example dropping 20gsm in paper weight could save you £££’s in postage.

Depending on your available data your entire brochure can be targeted and personalised according to your recipient’s criteria and interests.

Don’t forget to allow plenty of time for design and print and make sure you any physical mailings tie up with online campaigns.

Fulfilment

Depending on the specification of your Catalogue or brochure there’s a choice of ways in which to prepare it for mailing:

  • Overprinted with the address directly onto the cover – the cheapest method and works best for brochures that don’t need any inserts.
  • Inserted into an envelope – great if you want to include a letter and want some added protection.
  • Polywrap or potato starch wrap – wrapping is fast and efficient and allows the recipient too see at a glance what’s inside. Biodegradable potato starch can be used as an eco-friendly option. You can add a cover sheet and inserts too, perfect for both A5 and A4.

Mailing

In terms of the mailing element there are choices here too.

  • Unaddressed – the cheapest method as a door drop but doesn’t allow for specific targeting
  • Partially addressed – delivered via the post to specific addresses but without a name, allows for some targeting criteria without any GDPR concerns.
  • Addressed – fully targeted to selected recipients from a database.
  • In bulk – as it sounds delivered large batches to pre-agreed multiple addresses such as libraries and receptions. This can be a great way to get your products in front of a new audience – include a stack of prepaid postcards for interested parties to sign up for more information.

If you are unsure of which method will work best for you and your audience then why not go with a split test? Divide your database and try a different method for each. Don’t forget to include a mechanism in order to monitor your response rates such as a discount code or call to register.

For maximum postal savings it’s always best to consult your chosen direct marketing company while planning your project, postal prices can be affected by a whole host of criteria including size, weight, outer, and your database. Here at Arcane we welcome enquiries for all projects including those that might just be a seed in your imagination and we are fully equipped to help them become a reality. Our design team can work with you from concept through to creation, while working with our mailing and fulfilment teams to ensure the best possible outcome for your business in terms of quality and cost.

Why not get in touch and see how we can help you today?

Chat with us today