More Merchants Choosing Catalog Choice

Catalog Choice—a year-old online service that allows consumers to create a list of catalogs from which they want to receive no or less-frequent mail—announced Sept. 25 a partnership with several multichannel merchants. Williams-Sonoma, Crate & Barrel, L.L. Bean, and Orchard Brands have agreed to honor catalog preference requests made through Catalog Choice in a secure and timely manner.

What’s more, the American Catalog Mailers Association (ACMA) has agreed to recommend that catalogers embrace consumer mail preferences and execute merchant licensing agreements with Catalog Choice. ACMA executive director Hamilton Davison says his group created a task force that spent time investigating Catalog Choice.

The ACMA task force spoke with Catalog Choice sponsors, and offered input on how the service can best accomplish its goal of eliminating waste without damaging the catalog industry. “Our conclusion is that Catalog Choice is sincere and focused on reducing unsolicited catalogs, waste that places a burden on catalogers and catalog customers alike,” Davis says.

Created in October 2007, Catalog Choice has already registered 1 million members. Catalog Choice spokeswoman April Smith says the company rolled out a new Mail Frequency feature to merchants this summer and will be unveiling this feature to consumers next month. “We wanted to give mailers enough time to learn about the feature and configure their options before we made the announcement to our members,” Smith says.

Mail Frequency was prompted by feedback the service received from both mailers and consumers. “Many mailers have the ability to mail fewer catalogs to consumers, and we wanted to facilitate ‘opting down’ on our service,” Smith says. “Many consumers have also told us that given a choice between no catalogs and fewer catalogs, many would select the option of receiving a catalog less frequently.”

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