We have been working with Jacobsen, Inc., a plumbing supply company located in Adair, IA for decades! For years, we produced catalogs for them and they sent out in mass mailings. The printing and mailing costs were high but that’s what their clients expected and used.
Then came the digital world. We developed an e-commerce website, while still printing and mailing a catalog. The size of the catalog went from digest sized to full letter-sized, ranging from 30+ to 80+ pages.
A few years ago, we tested an all-online marketing plan with just a postcard mailing. The idea was to drive all purchases through the website. With all the variances in prices the last couple of years, due to the tariffs, this was an effort to maintain the pricing online and not have an outdated printed catalog. Now, with the COVID-19 scare, digital marketing and e-commerce make more sense than ever.
So, how did their sales go? Well, it was kind of a mixed bag. While the response to the online catalog were appreciated, their customers missed having a printed catalog. In order to keep costs down, we designed a catalog without pricing and then produced a separate pricing sheet, updating and mailing as needed, to keep up with the constantly changing pricing. However, while it made sense, the customers were unhappy having to look at two different pieces.
This year, it was decided that we’ll go back to a full catalog with pricing right next to the products. We changed the size to be a tall narrow catalog (5.5″ wide by 10.5″ high) that could easily fit into a pocket or toolbox. The mailing goes out in the next few weeks and we’re super excited to see the response!
What did this teach us?
While their online presence is super important and the ease of use to purchase products online is NOT going to change and is expected, how we share the awareness of those products by having a tangible, in-hand catalog doesn’t change. Especially with this particular industry. Narrowing down their mailing list to past & current customers, along with some targeted new addresses, is saving them on postage and printing. And offering their catalog on request to targeted audiences via social media marketing also expands their reach, while keeping unneeded expenses down.
Direct mail promotions DO work! And can help a company’s products and services stand out more than ever, now with so many companies going to all digital.
If you think you’d like to learn more about standing out in the crowd with direct mailing promotions, we’d love to hear from you. We’ve been in the printing industry for over 40 years. Let’s do this!
All the best,