Using Internet Marketing to Drive Stronger Catalog Sales

The majority of catalog sales are now placed online. As a result, it is critical to not only review the catalog proof for accurate item numbers and prices, but to review it from an Internet marketing perspective as well. Here are four key Internet marketing programs that can be leveraged to drive increased response and sales to a catalog mailing.

Paid Search. Review key product categories and individual key products, as well as new items. Does your paid search program (SEM) include keywords and phrases to capture searches for these products? Many consumers will see products in the catalog and later go online and use Google or Yahoo, for example, to search for those products. It is important that your site be listed in the top positions for these items to capture the demand.

Natural Search. Similar to paid search, key products and new products should be reviewed for URL structure, product name, copy and keyword meta tags. Every month I see great items that are promoted through the catalog, but are very difficult to find online through search or even within a company’s Web site through the site search. These companies miss valuable sales opportunities simply because consumers cannot find the items they are interested in. Reviewing the item set-up on the website at the proofing stage will help provide time to fix issues and rank higher in search.

E-mail. The e-mail schedule starting the week before through the first few weeks of the catalog should focus on key items from the catalog. Announcing the catalog mailing and introduction of new spring or summer items will help jumpstart the book sales. In addition, reviewing search terms from paid, natural and Internet site searches will increase the open rate of the e-mails sent during this time by utilizing words and phrases the consumer is using when thinking about and purchasing from the site.

Blogging. Blogging is only one of the many social media now being utilized to a great degree in Internet marketing programs. Blogging can immediately increase natural search results. By including keywords and products in your daily or weekly blog, greater visibility of and interest in these items will be created.
In the world of convergent channel marketing where print and electronic marketing are one and the same to the consumer, it is important to coordinate the marketing efforts between print media and the Internet, which will result in higher sales and greater ROI of all marketing programs. Take the time to review your latest catalog and how you are integrating it into your online marketing programs today.

Michelle Farabaugh is a partner with catalog consultancy Lenser.

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