What Is a Product Catalog?

Remember those printed booklets that your mom used to pore over and order products from? Those are called product catalogs. Essentially, they are organized lists intended to market and sell products and services (or a combination of the two).

The 2008 recession brought on a decline in print marketing as companies downsized their advertising budgets. But in the last few years, the print market has been slowly growing. The Print Industries Market Information and Research Organization (PRIMIR) forecasts a 0.4% growth in the direct mail industry until 2020.

With a personalized product catalog (whether printed or digital), your business can create more opportunities to attract new clients and maintain your current customer base.

How to Make an Effective Product Catalog

product catalog template

With the help of online templates and other design software, making a catalog has never been easier. However, if you want an effective product catalog that helps you win new customers, you need to employ a whole new tactic.

We share a few of these design techniques below. Incorporate them into your catalog-making process, and you’ll see positive results soon.

1. Focus on Imagery

Most of the time, customers open a creative catalog to look at the pictures. Use high-resolution and professionally taken photos for your catalogs. Ensure that each photo matches the product descriptions, taglines, and captions on each catalog page. Follow an organized layout. Choose a striking color scheme.

When done well, you will create a product catalog with great visual appeal. And this is one of the most common ways to elicit emotions and prompt favorable action from customers.

2. Tell A Story

Modern catalog content means being creative with your product details and price lists. If you are making a food product catalog, for example, use sensory words that evoke hunger or craving. If you are creating an industrial product catalog, craft product descriptions that relate to how useful each item is in making a long-lasting home or building.

When you tie each product feature with a benefit, readers feel more connected to the product you are selling. It creates a justified want because you have addressed a pain point in their life.

3. Inspire Action

Did you know that millennials are a bit more likely to use a sample catalog and take action (i.e., go to the brand website, order a product) after reading it? This is in comparison to web adverts and email ads.

But how does one prompt such actions? Well, it has something to with Calls To Action or CTAs. These are words, phrases, sentences, images, or a combination thereof that directly asks readers to do one simple thing to get something else in return.

4. Incorporate Vouchers and Coupons

Using high-quality photos and crafting enticing copy can only do so much to prompt customers into action. To make your product catalogs even more effective in generating customer leads, you may incorporate customer offers and discounts in the form of business vouchers and coupons.

Concurrent marketing efforts like this increase the likelihood that customers will keep your product catalogs and use them in the future.

5. Create a Multi-Channel Marketing Plan

When you use printable catalogs, you add to your business’ repertoire of print marketing tools. But, digital marketing is still on the rise, with an estimated 15.9% growth between 2015-2018 alone. As a business owner and marketer, creating well-designed and targeted product catalogs should only be the beginning.

Add different marketing channels into the mix. Make product catalogs that also lure customers to visit your website or online store. Conduct continuous market research to know where your customers are, how they shop, what their hobbies and interests are, etc. This way, you can create a bigger picture of your ideal customer and craft tailor-fitted advertising plans to market to them effectively across different channels.

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