Live from The Annual Catalog Conference: American Historic Society Puts Sales on Its Calendar

Boston–Tire manufacturer Pirelli is well known for its annual calendar, which features the world’s most famous models in highly seductive poses. The calendar produced by the American Historic Society (AHS) is neither as renowned nor as salacious, but has proved to be an effective sales tool for the cataloger of coins and collectibles.

In January, Westlake Village, CA-based AHS sent a 2001 calendar to 150,000 of its customers as a thank-you gift. The calendar is also for sale in the AHS catalog and on its Website for $9.95.

For each month of the year, the 11″ x 8-1/2″ calendar spotlights a special collectible, such as a John F. Kennedy half dollar and the American Silver Dollar Collection, complete with photo, description, and history of the product. AHS’s toll-free ordering number and URL are listed on each page.

Although the calendar was designed primarily to promote coin collecting, it has generated sales along with traffic to the company’s Website, says vice president of marketing Don Baker. And while the company had anticipated some revenue from the calendar, sales are higher than anticipated, though Baker won’t disclose figures. AHS products range in price from $19.95 to $1,999.95.

One reason for the better-than-expected sales, says Baker, is that the calendar has a broader reach than the catalog. Collectors and hobbyists are the core recipients of the catalog, but once the calendar is hung in the collector’s home or office, it is viewed by his or her friends, family, and colleagues as well.

Baker doesn’t expect the calendar to generate a “tremendous” amount of sales. Nonetheless, AHS is planning to produce another calendar next year.