Denny’s Daily Zinger: Are Print Catalogs Dead? No!
Have a look at the photo to see the cover of ULINE’s Spring/Summer 2014 catalog—628 pages offering “over 29,000 packaging, shipping, industrial and janitorial products, ready to ship today.”
My guess: It cost $2 in the mail.
I do not believe I have ever placed a single order with Uline, and yet I have been receiving these behemoths for more than 30 years.
The obvious conclusion: Uline’s accountants use an abacus.
The Mantra of Print Catalogs
By the turn of the 20th century, the Sears Roebuck catalog put a giant department store on the bookshelves of millions of hinterland homes.
Fast forward to 2014 and the mantra is, “Why print a catalog when everything is available online?”
According The Wall Street Journal’s Elizabeth Holmes, catalog mailings are increasing. The reason: “Shoppers spend more online after browsing through lavish print spreads.”
The Old Rules Still Apply
- Send print catalogs.
- Make it easy to order—by mail, online or phone.
- Track customers.
- Track orders by source.
- Recency, frequency, monetary value (RFM) are the measurements.
- Divide your customers into quintiles. Q#1 is your best customers; mail them most frequently.
- Quintile No. 5 are poorest.
- The challenge: Move Quintile No. 2 people up to Quintile No. 1 and Quintile No. 3 up to Quintile No. 2. Etc.
- “Wanna make money this quarter? Don’t mail the 5th quintile. —Bob Hacker
Takeaway to Consider
Note to Uline: If Denny Hatch has not bought after 30 years of sending catalogs, delete him from your list.