Catalog printing tips and tricks: Learn what works and what doesn’t

As you probably know, catalogs can be a very effective method of selling goods or services to your customers. Not only are they effective and relatively inexpensive but also just about everybody understands how to use them. But how can you ensure that your catalog does what you want them to do? It is important to note that being effective does not necessarily mean that they will work for everybody. Below are the things that you need to do to ensure that your catalog printing achieves the marketing purpose for which it was intended.

1. Have a plan

Prior to starting, it is critical that you plan what you want your catalog to do. What do you need it for? Do you want to inform potential clients of the services that you offer? Are you interested in increasing brand awareness? Do you want to showcase your goods or services?

Put your goals in writing and ensure that you do not digress into including the things that are not related directly. You are free to make a more detailed and lengthier catalog when you have the time.

2. Your structure must be clear

For instance, your catalog is to have eight pages. Since one page is going to be the front cover, it means there are only seven that are left for you. For each page of info that you want to have, make use post-it notes. Also, rearrange the pages on a board, table or a wall until you make up your mind on the structure that you want. You may include the following in your pages:
• About Us
• Our Products
• Our Services
• Why we are different
• Pricing
• Market Research
• Facts and Figures
• Large full-out images
• Social Media and contact details

Decide on the amount of space to be taken by each element and remove anything that seems not to add any value.

3. Maintain your brand

Besides the words that you use, it is important that your catalog’s look and feel promote your company’s image and also communicate something about your outlook and philosophy. Irrespective of whether you are setting up a sleek wine bar, or you have a vibrant publishing venture, it is important that the typescripts, image and colors you use remain consistent throughout your catalog and also be on brand.

Fortunately, you probably did majority of this at the time of designing your logo. You probably selected your company colors too, which means that you already have a pattern to follow. If you manage to make your web and printed collateral to look as if they belong together, you are about to make a robust branding statement as well as build a loyal following.

4. Accuracy is the name of the game

Grammatical mistakes and bad spelling can spoil what would have been a magnificent catalog. The result is that your firm may come across as unprofessional. The logic is that if you can easily make a mistake with the printing of your catalog, there are high chances that you will make mistakes with your customers’ projects. Even if you cannot get a professional proofreader, trying getting a couple of other eyes to also go through it. Check and check again to be completely sure of your spellings, grammar and consistency (do not mix US and UK spellings).

5. Keep it compelling

Make sure that your writing is concise, which means avoiding lengthy descriptions and flowery language. In particular, your first paragraph is very crucial. Make it interesting enough and your readers will easily be compelled to continue reading. Ensure that your choice of vocabulary and your sentence length relate to your target audience. Do not use jargon but use professional and conversational tone.
Where possible, include some impact statistics. A shocking or a surprising fact is not only memorable but also creates talking points.

6. Use images of people

Research shows that if you include a real-life image of an individual, the eyes of the reader is likely to be first drawn to image and more so to the eyes. It has also been shown that the mood of the individual in the photo can impact branding and sales.

Conclusion

Catalogs might be the easiest and the most effective ways to market a startup . After all they are easy to use and quite cheap compared to other forms of advertising. For any catalog printing to be effective to your marketing, it is important that you take the above tips into consideration.

5 Distinct Qualities of the Best Catalog Printing Companies

Catalog’s certainly create a powerful marketing channel for large businesses to reach out to thousands of customers every month. Mid-sized and small businesses can also use the catalog marketing method to generate more orders and sales. A well printed mail order catalog will not only attract new customers, it will also provide information that will increase the orders from old customers.

The first step towards successful catalog printing is to locate a reliable printing company. You must find a company that has sufficient experience in printing your company’s type of catalog. In this post, we will be discussing some of the most important qualities that the best catalog printing companies should have.

Excellent Print Quality

The ability to provide premium quality work, in as many print formats as you need, is the first quality you should look out for. You can ascertain the level of quality that a catalog printer can provide by requesting for samples. Make sure you request for samples with different types of folds, covers, binding and die-cuts. If the printing company cannot produce high quality samples, there’s no reason to build a relationship with them.

Prompt Delivery

Catalogs are usually released on a monthly basis. So they must be printed promptly and be ready for mailing by a specific date every month. Therefore, the printer must have a strong sense of urgency and the ability to consistently deliver your job on time. Any catalog printing company or vendor that cannot provide timely work will eventually become a liability to your organization.

In order to know how effective the company’s delivery system is, you should test them with a small job that does not have a very urgent deadline. Remember that when you start the actual catalog printing, the delivery period will also include the time for mailing. For a more accurate assessment, you can consult references who have been dealing with the printing company for a reasonably long time.

Competitive Prices

The service fees charged by top rated printing companies for the same type of catalog will be similar. However, you should focus on the breakdown of the total cost. This will help you to know how the prices of a particular vendor compare with others. Therefore, you should request for quotes from at least three top-tier printers. Then ask for a detailed breakdown of the service fees charged by each company. You may be amazed at the differences in the way each company allocates fees to various activities, raw materials and services.

Up-to-date Printing Technology

The easiest way to assess the equipment and production methods of any printing company is to visit their plant. As you take this tour, you will be convinced about their corporate culture and capacity to meet your expectations. When you meet the people who will print, bind, and mail your catalog, you will discover several things that you can’t easily know by simple phone conversations. For instance, you can easily observe the level of coordination, cleanliness, and cohesion among the workers in the plant.

In addition, you will know if they have the right equipment to print your catalog to your specifications. Preferably, you should opt for a printer that specializes in printing catalogs rather than general book or magazine printing. A specialist will be more creative and will be able to provide other value added services that are directly related to the success of your catalog marketing programs.

Efficient Logistics and Mailing Management

Apart from printing your catalogs in an efficient and cost effective manner, a top-notch catalog printer will offer good logistics and efficient mailing processes. This is very vital for the prompt delivery of the catalogs to the end user every month. For example, the company you work with should be able to serve as a mailing list manager, a postal consultant, and offer catalog delivery tracking. They should have a well maintained database that you can use to monitor the effectiveness of your catalog marketing campaign. Some companies even provide co-mailing partnership opportunities that will help you to lower the cost of your catalog mailing when it is scheduled along with the mailing of other clients’ catalogs.

Conclusion

Selecting one of the best catalog printing companies for your business is a very important process. You should also take time to call up references and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of any company you plan to work with. However, you should also realize that dealing with catalog printing company is like building a relationship. So you should be prepared to accommodate a few unpleasant occurrences once in a while.