“We love the catalog business. Why? Because it works.”

Magic words uttered by Lily Kanter of Serena and Lily at NEMOA‘s spring directXchange marketing conference. How cool to hear about a highly-branded company with a retail base finding  success with catalogs. Lily credits this to email fatigue. You get a handful of mail every day in your mailbox v. getting hundreds of emails per day in your email box. I would add that it helps that S&L creates catalogs that look great. And they print on really nice paper.

What’s cool about direct marketing, and what got a practical girl like me involved in the business, is that you test stuff. If your catalogs aren’t bringing in the business you want, can you improve the look, reduce the density, invest in paper – and put out a better looking product? If there are only a few catalogs in the mailbox with you, how can you make your work stand out more?

Of note, Lily also pointed out that discounting in print and otherwise is now part of the game. We all turned to discounting in the last economic downturn, and as she said, “the customer got hooked up to the drug.” S&L deals with this by offering discounts only for major, seasonal events. Print discounts are A/B tested on the web prior to the launch of a major offer or event. Smart!