Reduce Catalog Costs
3. Catalog trim. A small decrease in the trim size of your catalog can both save you money on paper and decrease the weight of your catalog, thus decreasing postal costs, which are calculated by weight. More importantly, ask your printer to ensure your catalog's trim size and page configuration are set up to garner the maximum efficiency on the printer's presses.
4. Paper basis weight and grade. Before I tackle this topic, let me offer a caveat: Your brand's image is deeply tied to the look and feel of your catalog's paper. For that reason, any change in paper can affect your brand and should be tested. When doing your profit-and-loss statement's post analysis, look at the effect on all segments of your housefile and all prospect lists. In tests such as these, I've seen some segments perform very differently. Look at the response on both a mailing and list level.
Often times, a paper change to a less expensive grade will go unnoticed by your customers. And small reductions in paper basis weight and grade could save money. As an option, change the paper only on part of your catalog. For instance, ask your printer about the most efficient configuration possible to keep your outside pages the same, and change a portion of the paper used to print the inside pages of your catalog.
5. Gang print. One of the more effective ways I've reduced catalog costs is to gang print certain catalog pages that are common from book to book. Work with your creative and merchandising teams to determine items or product groups that can run for a season or multiple seasons with no change. Then ask your printer to configure a common core in the catalog for the period. For instance, if you determine you have 12 pages of products that can run consistently, and you produce four catalogs in a season, have your printer print this section of the catalog on the first press run, and store it (at the printer) to be bound for each successive catalog.