Marketing Automation

Booklet, Brochure, Catalog Printing and Mailing: How-tos and Best Practices

May 7, 2020
Author
Inkit Team

Sending catalogs to top customers, you get $9 for every $1 spent. At the same time, you also enhance your chance to be noticed and entice recipients to check your offer. It was found that the average time people spend thumbing through catalogs is 15.5 minutes. Besides, they tend to keep such mail pieces for several weeks and often get back to them later.

Apart from catalog printing and mailing, other large-format mail, including booklet and custom brochure printing, also yields meaningful results. These types of direct mail communications offer a great alternative to an 8-second attention span of digital marketing. Internet users focus on anything for just 8 seconds on average! The additional time you get with mail marketing strategies can make your brand more memorable and boost sales.

brochures mail

Moreover, with the help of triggered direct mail software, booklet, brochure & catalog printing and mailing become highly personalized. You can target specific customers based on their real-time behavior, make mailing more cost-effective, and enjoy many other benefits.

To learn how to produce, deliver, and automate large-format mail, continue reading about:

  • Large formatted direct mail types (custom brochure printing, booklets, and catalogs)
  • 3 ways to manage brochure, booklet & catalog printing and mailing
  • Custom brochure printing, booklets, and catalogs in triggered direct mail campaigns
  • Best triggered direct mail examples

Large-Format Direct Mail Types (Custom Brochure Printing, Booklets, and Catalogs)

Since catalogs, booklets, and brochures are used solely for marketing purposes, their design and quality particularly matters. Whereas with official print communications, you need to focus on information accuracy, catalog printing and mailing takes much more. Format, paper stock, colors, message, selection of products, and target audience are just a few things to consider.

Brochures

A brochure is an informative document that looks like a piece of paper folded several times. Custom brochure printing and mailing are commonly used by all types of businesses regardless of their market niche. This type of large-format mail includes brief information about the company’s services, benefits, offers, and contact details. Many businesses also include QR codes enabling consumers to quickly visit the related website, place an order, etc.

Before starting custom brochure printing, you need to know which brochure design you want and consider several things:

  • Size. Even though some custom brochure printing providers have no size limitations, you will most likely choose from several standard dimensions. The most common options include 5.5”x 8.5”, 8.5” x 11”, 11” x 17” (for half-fold brochures) and 8.5” x 11”, 8.5” x 14”, and 11” x 17” (for three-fold custom brochure printing).
  • Folding type. Choose anything from a double parallel fold to four-panel folds depending on the number of pages you need.
(Source: Hollister Creative)
  • Paper stock. The recommended and the most popular paper stock is 100 lb. 70 lb, 80 lb, and 10 pt. cardstock are other available options.
  • Coating. Select Matte, Gloss, or High-gloss with or without UV coating.

Booklets

A booklet is a thin book that usually describes a company or promotes its services. Unlike catalogs, booklets don’t include prices and promote products indirectly. They are also generally thinner than catalogs and include from 4 to 48 pages on average. Saddle stitching is another typical characteristic of booklets since this method is perfectly suitable for a small number of pages.

The most common types of booklets include magazines, annual reports, lookbooks, photo books, yearbooks, and newsletters. Such print is largely used by middle and large enterprises targeting B2B customers or B2C service providers.

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Catalogs

Catalogs are often considered to be a subtype of booklets. Fair enough, these direct mail types have a lot in common. Nevertheless, catalogs serve a unique purpose – direct sales. They can include the prices, characteristics, and detailed pictures of hundreds of products. Besides, catalogs have a larger volume than standard booklets and can reach around 100 pages.

If you decide to invest in catalog printing and mailing, you’ll need to pick:

  • Binding type. Saddle stitching, perfect binding, spiral binding, or wire-O binding
  • Coating. Matte, Gloss, or uncoated.
  • Portrait or landscape layout.

Apart from that, the size, paper stock, and cover of catalogs are also customizable. You can fully tailor catalog printing and mailing to your needs and increase your sales with high-quality print.

3 Ways to Launch Brochure, Booklet & Catalog Printing and Mailing

Custom brochure printing is a serious investment that could take a considerable share of your marketing budget. If done right, it quickly pays off. If not, you risk overspending on expensive production, targeting ineffective leads, and high postal charges.

Generally, there are 3 approaches to brochure, booklet & catalog printing and mailing:

  1. Manual catalog printing and mailing. This is probably the most exhausting approach since you will need to find a third-party printing house, email your designs, wait for printing, take the mail, and organize the delivery. Although such a solution may be suitable for one-time mailing, it doesn’t work for regular mail marketing campaigns.
  1. Web printing through API integration. To initiate printing remotely right from your computer, you can connect it to a remote printer through API. The printer can be located anywhere be it a nearby house or a small city 5000 km away. This enables you to print without leaving your office and considerably saves time.
  1. Full mail automation with trigger-based catalog printing and mailing. If you want to fully optimize custom brochure printing and mailing, use direct mail automation. In addition to remote printing through API, Inkit also allows you to run triggered direct mail campaigns. You can automate mail production and delivery to launch it only when necessary (e.g., when a customer subscribes to a print catalog).
mail

The final choice usually depends on the readiness to switch to automated marketing campaigns. Although they require some initial configuration, such marketing strategies are an inevitable future. More about triggered direct mail below.

Custom Brochure Printing, Booklets, and Catalogs in Triggered Direct Mail Campaigns

Large-format mail pieces with detailed information and product assortment effectively enhance customer service for regular buyers. Since catalogs generate the largest ROI when sent to top and loyal customers, you need to pick the target audience carefully. Triggered direct mail helps with this.

By connecting mail automation software like Inkit to your CRM, you can segment customers relying on real-time events and interactions. As a result, the software will launch catalog printing and mailing only when a customer is likely to open the mail and convert. The triggered direct mail tool automatically detects the most favorable moment based on your settings and collected data. This means that your mailing efforts become more personalized and cost-effective. You will no longer splash money to see a catalog printed is thrown away.

Examples of triggered direct mail: the best use cases

  • Send direct mail, such as catalogs or coupons, to loyal buyers who added products to the cart but didn’t purchase. Direct mail can significantly reduce shopping cart abandonment rates and power remarketing.
  • Deliver brochures and business cards to your new B2B customers that have just subscribed to your online service.
  • Provide a booklet detailing your bonus program to regular customers who joined the loyalty program
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Send personalized direct mail automatically based on customer actions.
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