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Susan J. McIntyre

Catalog Doctor

By Susan J. McIntyre

About Susan J.

Susan J. McIntyre is Founder and Chief Strategist of McIntyre Direct, a catalog agency and consultancy in Portland, Oregon offering complete creative, strategic, circulation and production services since 1991. Susan's broad experience with cataloging in multi-channel environments, plus her common-sense, bottom-line approach, have won clients from Vermont Country Store to Nautilus to C.C. Filson. A three-time ECHO award winner, McIntyre has addressed marketers in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, has written and been quoted in publications worldwide, and is a regular columnist for Retail Online Integration magazine and ACMA. She can be reached at 503-286-1400 or susan@mcintyredirect.com.
 

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Benefit + Unique Sells

Are your catalog and products unique? Are they loaded with customer benefits? If "yes" to both, are you also telling your benefit and unique story well enough to your customers?  Read More >>

Sections:

Where NOT to Cut Costs in Your Catalog Business

Cost cutting among catalog brands has been widespread for the past few years — and with good results. It's kept many catalogers afloat during the recent tough times, and helped build profits as well as operational disciplines. All that's swell, but beware of going to extremes and overcutting in ways that could harm. Here are four ways that, reliably for most, increase sales and return on investment, and therefore should be on your do-not-cut list:

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Sections:

Catalog Cover Controversies, Part 2

In part one of this series last month, I examined controversies about having a company tagline as well as whether to have extra copy on your catalog cover. Today I'll look at three other cover issues that get lots of debate. They all revolve around the following question: What type of cover is most likely get the catalog opened and deliver high response?  Read More >>

Catalog Cover Controversies, Part 1

When it comes to controlling what should be on a catalog's cover, it seems like everyone gets into the act, even the company president's wife. When there's that much input, inevitable differences arise. This series on catalog covers will provide guidelines for handling those differences of opinion.  Read More >>

Companies Mentioned:

5 Top Catalog FAQs

The frequently asked questions (FAQs) below are real questions I've been asked over and over through the years. I'm not making these up. If you get asked these questions too, here are quick and simple answers you can use.

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Companies Mentioned:

Reaching for the Omnichannel Brass Ring

Do you have a 360-degree view of your customers? Can you attribute sales accurately to each channel? Are you creating the right omnichannel contact strategy for each customer? No? Hold onto your hat. Neither is anyone else.

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Tips for Finding the Right Product Density for Your Catalog

Product density is quite a science. What's right for one brand is wrong for another. Here are some guidelines that may help.

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Fun and Profit From Your Square Inch Analysis Report

Planning your spring catalog? Your "sqinch" (aka square inch analysis) report is one of your most important tools. And more enjoyable than most reports, too. Even your creative team will like it, as it will help guide pagination, space allotment and product placement decisions.

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Cataloging is Rocket Science

Over the years, I've come to realize that in many ways cataloging is rocket science. Here are four reasons why:  Read More >>

Sections:

Are Your Catalog Test Results Worthless?

Testing is an excellent way to learn how to maximize sales and minimize costs. However, it's critical to construct your tests to deliver results that are both accurate and actionable. A poorly designed test can deliver unreadable results and money down the drain. Here are tips to get clear, actionable results every time you test:  Read More >>

Don't Let Your Catalog Creative Schedule Drive You Crazy

It seems like catalog creative/production schedules, just like budgets, have gotten so tight they drive everyone crazy. Here are nine tips for bringing sanity to your schedule management.


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Why Catalogs Aren't a Bunch of Ads Stapled Together

PATIENT: "Doc, our new owners want to change the catalog so it's more like a series of ads — aspirational, exciting, clean, with attention-grabbing headlines on each spread. They figure ads work to drive sales to their brick-and-mortar stores, so that proven formula will work for the catalog too."   Read More >>

Companies Mentioned:

4 Tips for Fast, Easy, Error-Free Proofreading

Proofreading needs and deserves to be done right. With the right system, you can make it easy on your team, catch all the errors and inconsistencies, and avoid all the cost and logistics problems that errors can cause. Here are four tips how: 

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Catalog Testing: Whys and Hows

It's very tempting to skip testing in a catalog. However, I've seen too many ‘great marketing instinct’ and ‘common wisdom’ ideas crash and burn. It's much better to test first.  Read More >>

Sections:

9 Errors That New-to-Cataloging Firms Make, and How to Avoid Them

Catalogs have some significant differences from other channels, and that can surprise people new to cataloging. Here are nine mistakes that new-to-cataloging firms often make. These mistakes don't have to happen, however; they're within your control. Avoiding getting seduced by them can put you on the road to catalog success.  Read More >>