6 Great tips for effective catalogue marketing

Sales and Marketing

Catalogues are not just a sales tool but an everyday part of the customer's buying habit.

By integrating online and offline marketing, catalogues can be used by consumers and then go online to investigate further or make a purchase.

A carefully designed and well branded catalogue is more likely to be left lying around, thus extending the lifespan of the catalogue, and further driving reach and sales.

The first hurdle is to create something people want to read. So here are some ideas to help:

6 great tips for effective catalogue marketing

  1. Design for your audience
    The best catalogue will always be designed to appeal to your targeted audience. Be it a coffee pot or a luxury car, the way your product is presented will make all the difference in being the product of choice for consumers. Develop your catalogue to match the desires of your audience, make it interesting and enjoyable to read, and you will gain more affinity and drive sales.
  2. Feature your most profitable products - and analyse the results
    Put your most appealing products (ones that generate the most profit) on the outside top corners. Make these elements strong and larger than the remaining products on the spread.

    An interesting cover can make people flip through the contents, so carefully consider which products or services are to feature on the front cover, inside cover, first page and back page. Always think “What will my target audience think about this” when deciding the layout, image size, copy, pricing and special offers.

    Take advantage of being able to analyse the results and ROI of your catalogue. This will give you valuable insights to your audience, and will give you the tools to refine your next catalogue to give you even better results next time.
  3. Cross sell
    Between your products:
    Suggesting companion products can increase sales by 5 – 15%. Use your catalogue to take advantage of cross selling. This can be achieved in the product copy, or call outs or even by placing related products together on a page.

    Help your audience easily learn about all the products and services they may need and convert that interest into sales.

    Between your website:
    As a general rule of thumb, multiple channels of advertising run simultaneously will result in a higher response from you customers than if advertised in only one channel. Take advantage of cross media merchandising by promoting your website in your catalogue and your catalogue on your website. Upload your print catalogue in pdf format for people to download, or use a catalogue viewer such as issuu and embed it on your website.
  4. Keep a consistent style to reinforce your banding
    Once you have invested in a successful image, resist the urge to change it. A company that is consistent with the look of their catalogues is easily recognizable by their customers, and as a result has a brand loyalty. Once you are tired of the look of your business (because you have seen it over and over) your customers are just starting to see it as your brand.

  5. Design for economy
    Standard catalogue formats are more economical:
    The bottom line is that printing on common paper sizes such as A4 or A5 is generally more economical than printing on less common paper sizes. This is not to discourage creativity or unique design. You just have to weigh the benefits of a particular design against its costs

    16-page count increments are more economical:
    Printing in even signature page quantities, such as 16, 32, 48, 64, etc., will provide the most pages for the dollar. If you can't hit increments of 16, then the next best option is increments of 8 pages. This would include page counts of 8, 24, 40 and 56.
  6. Market and distribute your investment
    Plan your catalogue distribution carefully to increase sales. Take advantage of social media in a cost effective way to promote your catalogue and increase the ROI of your catalogue.
    So here are some ideas for distributing it:
  • include a pdf of your catalogue in your email newsletter or email campaign
  • mail out your catalogue to your subscribers/ targeted organisations
  • ensure your catalogues are visible instore and put up posters promoting it
  • place a catalogue in the bag with every sale
  • embed your catalogue on your website
  • spread the campaign and promote the catalogue using twitter, facebook, pinterest, google+ etc
  • run a competition through social media

Plan your catalogue distribution carefully to increase sales. Take advantage of social media in a cost effective way to promote your catalogue and increase the ROI of your catalogue.

Suzie Chadwick

Co-Director at

At Microcosm, we deliver a total communications solution for busy retailers. From the ever-changing world of web, e-commerce and social media, to important traditional print sales catalogues and direct mail. A total solution means your brand is taken to market in a clear, effective and visible way. We empower you with the right tools and help influence potential and current customers both online and in store.

Microcosm Design


Marketing and communications


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