High-​Quality Catalogs Drive ROI for Marketers

BY Kathy Crosett
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Sometimes, consumers just want to look through a high-​quality catalog that they received in the mail. These direct mail pieces prompt people to pick up the phone and place an order. Or, shoppers go online to learn more about the business. Either way, marketers are investing more in direct mail catalogs because they’re achieving a return on their spending.

The ROI for High-​Quality Catalogs

If you suggest direct mail catalogs to your clients, they might demand some proof that this old school marketing method still works. Jonathan Zhang, a faculty member at Colorado State University, has run tests on direct mail and has positive proof. To study the effectiveness of catalog mailings, Zhang worked with an online luxury retailer. Some customers received a high-​quality catalog and email messages, others received only email promotional messages, and others were not sent any material over a set period of time. Analysts measured a 49% bump in sales from customers who received the email and catalogs during the test period. The customers who were sent only email communications increased purchases by 28%. After all of the costs and revenues were calculated, analysts reports a 600% ROI for this campaign.

Why Direct Mail Works

We all know that financial services companies and nonprofit organizations use direct mail heavily. Marketers in these verticals use direct mail because consumers trust the format. Zhang’s research uncovers another reason that marketers can benefit from high-​quality catalog mailings: vividness. “Vividness is highly influential in consumer behavior as it can increase consumer involvement and joy in the purchasing process, ultimately influencing preferences and sales,” he reports.

Don’t let your client assume that only older consumers respond to direct mail. Even millennials like to browse through the pages of pieces they get in the mail, especially since there is less direct mail these days. They like to imagine themselves enjoying a cruise or wearing high-​end apparel as much as any other consumers do.

If your clients are selling products and services that appeal to consumer aspirations, they can increase revenue by incorporating high quality images in their catalogs. This strategy works best for luxury products such as jewelry, high-​end apparel and cruises. Remind them that analysts believe spending on direct mail will increase this year.

When you work with your luxury clients, encourage them to add high-​quality catalogs to their media mix. To learn more about the purchase plans of affluent consumers and their attitudes about direct mail, check out the AudienceSCAN report available from AdMall at SalesFuel.