Advanced Catalog Preparation Tips

Catalogs are like providing sales staff for your customers 24 hours a day. At any moment, the customer can quickly reference all the information that they may want concerning your products and services. Besides the obvious sales opportunities, most small business owners treat catalogs as an educational reference tool as well. Use this knowledge to your advantage as well as other important tips when designing and printing your catalogs. Well-designed print catalogs not only improve sales, but they build rapport with your customers.

Layout and design
When
designing your catalogs, make sure to keep your customer’s needs in mind. Your layout should provide customers with useful information and product pictures so that they know exactly what they’re getting. Consider organizing your catalogs by categories as this will help your customers find what they’re looking for more easily and provide you with opportunities for cross-selling.

Editorial content
Consider including educational articles throughout your catalogs. Because catalogs often become reference tools, when you include educational articles you reinforce that your customers can turn to you for help. This goes beyond simple selling and builds trust with your customers.

Professional printing
Professionally
printed catalogs will always serve you better than catalogs that have an amateurish look and feel. You may save considerable money by cutting costs on printing, but you can expect a reduced response from your customers as well. Sharp images, proper paper selection, and an overall professional look and feel more often than not requires a professional’s touch, but the costs of working with a professional are well worth it.

Finishing
The final step in printing catalogs is to have the catalogs professionally finished. “Finishing” refers to how the catalogs are bound. "Saddle-stitched binding" is a durable, cost-effective method that involve stapling or stitching along the edge. For catalogs that are more than 100 pages, consider the “perfect binding” method which includes a stiff cover that the catalog pages are affixed to with a flexible, yet strong adhesive. This will give your catalogs a professional feel that also allows your customers to open the pages completely.

Printing catalogs is no easy task, but few sales tools can work more effectively for you. When designed and printed properly, catalogs will not only increase sales, but they can build rapport and trust between you and your customers.

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