Catalog and Direct SellingL Create in 3-D
Techniques to help your products come alive on the printed page
Selling a product through the mail is a true art form when it’s executed correctly. While it’s true that many direct marketers successfully sell products with minimal representation of the product, consider how much more response might be garnered if a product were to come alive on the printed page. Direct marketers have to compete against their retail sisters in an unfair playing field, since retail allows customers to pick up, touch, feel, try on or even sample products.
You can create products that are three-dimensional in nature using the right creative techniques. Here are some questions that will help your designers gain an edge in their creative execution, hopefully resulting in products that come alive on the printed pages of your direct mail piece or catalog.
Do your designers know what they are selling?
A great direct marketing product typically is unique and hard to find. As a first step, here are a few questions that designers should ask before the design process begins:
• What makes this product unique?
• What are the key features of the product?
• What will customers miss if they don’t buy your product?
• If the product isn’t particularly unique, how can you create an atmosphere of uniqueness?
• What about product details should you stress, e.g., size, options, flavors?
It’s nearly impossible to make a product come alive if there is no complete product hand-off that encompasses the virtues of a product and how it fits into your merchandise concept or brand.
Can a photograph tell the story?
Your first line of defense is a photograph because it’s what customers are drawn to immediately. Photo-graphs are an “easy read” for time-crunched customers who want to quickly understand what you are selling. However, a simple photograph may not always grab readers’ attention. So, the goal of every product photo is two-fold: It must grab attention and then quickly attempt to explain product uniqueness. That’s a fairly tall order when you consider the short attention span most consumers have.