2018 Year in Review, aka Cats & Bacon

Every year, Catalog University co-founders Sarah Fletcher and Janie Downey sort through TONS of direct marketing pieces to pull out anything they find intriguing that we can all learn from. They call this talk “Cats & Bacon” because you just can’t look away – like when someone mentions Cats. Or Bacon. Yum. What are the […]

2017 Year in Review, aka “Cats & Bacon”

Every year, Catalog University co-founders, Sarah Fletcher and I (Janie Downey), sort through several TONS of direct marketing pieces we received in the mail to find the best and the worst to share with you. We call this talk “Cats & Bacon” because there’s always so much to like – just like Cats & Bacon. What […]

What Have You Learned Today?

In the “old days,” you attended K-12 classes. Then maybe you went to college, got a degree, got a job and progressed by working hard or making lateral moves to other companies to get ahead. Throughout your career, you learned from experienced people you worked with, and maybe you got a grad degree, but even […]

How Do You Keep Copy Fresh?

We recently got two great copy questions from our “Pub Regulars”: How do you keep copy fresh when you sell the same product over and over? How do you give similar products a life of their own? Jeff Ryan wrote copy for L.L.Bean for 19 years and has gone on to write copy for dozens of […]

Cats & Bacon: Direct Marketing Year in Review 2016

Sarah Fletcher and I have a collective weird sense of humor which is a really good asset to have when you’re running a website! Running a website AND keeping track of the twists and turns of our ever-evolving industry? That ALWAYS gives us points to ponder and a good laugh. Sort of like Cats and […]

Amazon, Athleta and Man-Buns

The Art of Keeping it Simple. “Simple is harder than complex.” – Steve Jobs Browsing through a catalog of one of my favorite brands, I found myself completely frustrated, to the point that I eventually threw the catalog aside. Why? Because they made it hard for me to shop. We are in an era where […]

How to Write Great Headlines

Please join us on Weds, 11/18, at Noon EST. Writing great headlines is hard. But even if you have never written a headline, there are techniques that make it easier. Sarah Fletcher, Creative Director for Catalog Design Studios and Co-founder of Catalog University has been writing headlines for years. She’ll share how she determines what […]

Catalogs and Cocktails

Dear Pier 1, You almost had me. It was so close. I’m a fan already and purchase from you about once or twice a year. I own the garden parasols, the candles, the bar components, some pillows, and faux flowers, all of which I love. Thank you. I wasn’t hurt that the catalog came addressed to […]

DESIGN MATTERS!

Design matters. I believe this with all my heart. In my 30 years of working with brands large, small and in-between have only deepened my belief in this simple statement. Unfortunately, there’s too much bland design in the marketplace today… design that could and should be so much better. I’m talking about the kind of […]

Designing Catalogs for the Senior Market

When several of my clients begin asking the same question within weeks of each other, I take notice. Lately, I’ve heard several variations of something like this. “How do I retain my aging customers and begin attracting a younger market?” When I dig a little deeper, the driving force behind the question is really about […]