The Power of the Catalog Mini-Me

mini_catalogs4Despite the growth of digital marketing, consumers still value the experience of paging through traditional paper catalogs. Unfortunately, few companies can afford to mail out four or five full catalogs a year anymore. That’s where “mini-catalogs” come in.

“Since we began using mini ‘slim’ catalogs a few years ago, we’ve increased our response rate to some customer segments by up to 10%, increased their retention by 20%, and saved about one-third in postage and production,” Bill Diener, catalog marketing manager of the promo-products seller Crestline, told

These mini-catalogs aren’t the “slim jim” variety with the hard-to-open wafer seals, but those with pages held beneath a panel with glue that qualify for automated letter rates and are easy to open.

Mini-catalogs can also cost nearly half what it costs to send full versions – 28 cents vs. 57 cents on a million mailed, respectively. Add that to the significant savings on paper, ink and setup, and you have a serious argument for experimentation.


Observed Diener, “Not only have the mini-catalogs delivered consistent, full-catalog-like results, but they’ve often exceeded them. By changing up our format we’ve had greater impact, and many customers like that the mini-catalogs use less paper.”


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