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5 Creative Catalog Techniques That Save Paper Costs

March 2, 2010 By Melissa Campanelli
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All catalogers want to capitalize on the recovering economy, but they're most likely still constrained by pretty tight budgets. To help catalogers learn how to prioritize their needs and tailor their printed catalogs to maximize revenue, All About ROI presented a Feb. 16 webinar called "Ways to Get More Bang for Your Paper Buck: How Combining Your Priorities and Paper Innovations Can Save You Money in 2010."

(To register for the on-demand version of the webinar, click here.)

The presentation featured Carol Worthington-Levy, creative director and partner at LENSER, a multichannel direct marketing firm, and Brian Cummins, marketing strategy manager at paper firm NewPage.

During the presentation, Worthington-Levy offered the following five creative catalog techniques designed to help you save on paper costs:

1. Design your catalog to fit press and paper sizes
. "Look at sizes that don't waste paper but that can also run on a lot of different presses so you have some options when bidding," she said. "Look at sizes like 8-1/4 by 10-1/2  or thereabouts, and talk to your printers to see what fits on their presses."

2. Paginate your catalog in true signatures. "When developing your catalogs, choose the proper number of pages to fit together in the signatures on a press," Worthington-Levy said. On a half web press, for example, you'll probably have eight pages printing at one time, and on a full web press, you'll have 16 pages. But, "as soon as you start attaching a separate cover to your catalog, between the labor and the extra paper, it's going to start costing you more," she added. "So try to keep it in full signatures, and you'll find both printing and paper costs will go down."

3. If you're changing your catalog size, quantity or format, rebid work with three printers. "Even if you have a printer that you absolutely love, definitely rebid this work with other printers," Worthington-Levy said. "Your current printer may not be set up to run this new size efficiently or cost effectively."

 

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Most Recent Comments:
alisha - Posted on October 06, 2010
I thinks its good suggestion for everyone. A paper playing a very important role in our life so we have to save it. Like when you are design your catalog and other design it should be fit in paper sizes don't try to waste your paper. Save paper save tree.
Carol Worthington-Levy - Posted on March 10, 2010
Good suggestion from Louise. Keep in mind, though, that for many years in the industry they've tried to figure out how to do cost-effective custom pagination for catalogs ("selectronic binding"), without a lot of success because it adds so much to the cost.

It also may eliminate showing products to people who you may not realize were actually good targets. For example, if you were a specialty catalog who sold high end furniture, accessories and jewelry all with western/Texas flair, (we have a client exactly like this), you might give up too early and start sending your furniture customer ONLY the furniture and accessories - and miss out on some pretty good opportunities to sell jewelry as gifts.

Often catalogs are niche by theme rather than by product, and paring down the merchandise too much will lose you sales.

In addition, the most successful catalogs these days are already niche in product selection. if they've done a good job of merchandising, and then they start paring it down to under 48 pages for the sake of economy/ efficiency/ less paper, they won't sell as much and sales will go down per catalog! This is what statistics have told us. You're better off stretching what you show your customers to keep them informed and interested.

In the B2B world, the ideal thing is to have one big sourcebook that gets kept with competitors' sourcebooks - and then, if you are able to target your market accurately, send smaller more targeted offerings in additional catalogs. This is certainly better than sending out a huge sourcebook a few times each year -- but very few companies do that anyway. And the ones that do need to look more carefully at their mail strategy because as you point out, they are probably spending too much on paper.
Louise - Posted on March 02, 2010
This topic “5 Creative Catalog Techniques That Save Paper Costs” can be expanded to include the technique of targeting your product offering to match your intended customers’ needs.

Is it time to do away with the very large one-size-fits-all catalog? Consumers and Procurement departments are far too busy and distracted to leaf through the entire product offering. They want targeted catalogs that meet their requirements.

In the end this will save even more paper costs.
Click here to view archived comments...
Archived Comments:
alisha - Posted on October 06, 2010
I thinks its good suggestion for everyone. A paper playing a very important role in our life so we have to save it. Like when you are design your catalog and other design it should be fit in paper sizes don't try to waste your paper. Save paper save tree.
Carol Worthington-Levy - Posted on March 10, 2010
Good suggestion from Louise. Keep in mind, though, that for many years in the industry they've tried to figure out how to do cost-effective custom pagination for catalogs ("selectronic binding"), without a lot of success because it adds so much to the cost.

It also may eliminate showing products to people who you may not realize were actually good targets. For example, if you were a specialty catalog who sold high end furniture, accessories and jewelry all with western/Texas flair, (we have a client exactly like this), you might give up too early and start sending your furniture customer ONLY the furniture and accessories - and miss out on some pretty good opportunities to sell jewelry as gifts.

Often catalogs are niche by theme rather than by product, and paring down the merchandise too much will lose you sales.

In addition, the most successful catalogs these days are already niche in product selection. if they've done a good job of merchandising, and then they start paring it down to under 48 pages for the sake of economy/ efficiency/ less paper, they won't sell as much and sales will go down per catalog! This is what statistics have told us. You're better off stretching what you show your customers to keep them informed and interested.

In the B2B world, the ideal thing is to have one big sourcebook that gets kept with competitors' sourcebooks - and then, if you are able to target your market accurately, send smaller more targeted offerings in additional catalogs. This is certainly better than sending out a huge sourcebook a few times each year -- but very few companies do that anyway. And the ones that do need to look more carefully at their mail strategy because as you point out, they are probably spending too much on paper.
Louise - Posted on March 02, 2010
This topic “5 Creative Catalog Techniques That Save Paper Costs” can be expanded to include the technique of targeting your product offering to match your intended customers’ needs.

Is it time to do away with the very large one-size-fits-all catalog? Consumers and Procurement departments are far too busy and distracted to leaf through the entire product offering. They want targeted catalogs that meet their requirements.

In the end this will save even more paper costs.

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