In an age where everyone is concerned with digital and social it seems that direct mail might be making it’s comeback. Retailer Z Gallerie hinges their marketing strategy on adding value in customers’ homes and created eight catalogs to be released throughout the year highlighting the latest colors, trends and styles. Many other retailers like Bonobos and Athleta are also relying on catalog as a strong part of their marketing mix and the effects are starting to trickle into other digital channels.
“Last year, Bonobos reported that some 20% of first-time online customers were inspired to place an order after having received the brand’s catalog in the mail. Moreover, these shoppers spent 1.5 times as much as first-time buyers who didn’t receive a catalog. U.K.-based clothing retailer Boden found direct mail to be similarly effective. Their customers spend as much as 20 minutes engaging with its print catalog, compared to an average of eight seconds with email and about five minutes with Boden’s iPad app.” (via Curalate)
In the age of the #selfie, consumers are concerned with status on their social media accounts and beautifully designed aspirational catalogs are seen as a symbol of affluence. Most of the time you walk to your mailbox expecting a sales letter from a cable company or one of those cheesy “claim your money” postcards, so when consumers are rewarded with an expensive print piece they are becoming inclined to share.
Z Gallerie is one retailer that has started to capitalize on this growing social trend and has created a strategy to prompt customer photo shares by asking them to use #pagesofstyle and giving away a $250 gift card each month as a prize. So far the #pagesofstyle hashtag has 317 photos and we imagine it will continue to grow.
We wanted to track other brands with inspiring catalogs to see if customers were sharing. The answer was a resounding yes, although in a much smaller way since they aren’t being prompted as part of a campaign or contest. When we looked for other home decor retailers whose catalogs were being shared we discovered West Elm, Pottery Barn and (surprise) Restoration Hardware all topping the list.
Below are some examples of customer photos being shared with either #brandname+catalog or just #brandname.
Might make you want to reconsider your print strategy!