In the last two decades, marketing has focused primarily on the digital world rather than physical print, but that doesn’t mean print marketing is obsolete. In fact, catalogs are essential for marketing, and studies indicate that they’re more effective than many other forms of advertising.

Now more than ever, catalogs are effective because of technological innovations that enable companies to target customers based on their interests and buying habits. Here are some of the reasons why you need to begin implementing or bolster your current catalog marketing.

Why Print Is Often More Effective Than Digital

Every day, the public is overwhelmed by constant marketing. People see ads on their internet browsers, emails, phone applications, and televisions, and with this constant exposure to digital marketing, people are quick to dismiss ads without paying close attention.

What sets catalogs apart from digital advertisements is that you can’t ignore them in the same way. Instead, a catalog may sit around a consumer’s house for months, creating more awareness for your brand. So even if they make the conscious effort to throw the catalog away, you’ve already reinforced your products and brand multiple times before that occurs – and stimulated future purchases.

The Science Behind Why Catalogs Work

Catalogs are more effective in leaving a psychological impact than digital advertisements. When a consumer flips through a catalog, they’re more likely to imagine themselves possessing a product, which increases their likelihood of making a purchase.

Neuroscience also corroborates that physical ads are often more effective than digital. According to a study conducted by the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General and Temple University, physical advertisements stimulate an area of the brain, which causes potential buyers to consider the product’s value and whether they want it.

Catalogs also stimulate more senses than digital ads. For example, digital advertisements reach consumers on an audial and visual level, but catalogs can be seen, felt, and may even have a subtle print smell. According to USPS and Summit Research, these different senses create more emotional associations, increasing the likelihood that someone will make a purchase.

Additionally, USPS and Summit Research indicated that people are more likely to connect positive emotions to catalogs because people frequently flip through them for entertainment and relaxation. Catalogs even reduce the anxiety associated with receiving a bill in the mail.

Although physical mail has shown to be highly effective in many demographics, they’re especially effective in attracting millennials. The same study conducted by USPS and Summit Research indicated that millennials care more about physical mail than other demographics and are more likely to spend time reading their mail, including catalogs. Millennials are a critical target age demographic, so appealing to them through catalogs is essential.

Catalogs Work Even Better in the Digital Age

One common reason why companies don’t utilize catalogs is the cost of printing and mailing advertisements. However, the digital age has enabled companies to reduce costs associated with sending out catalogs. Before the internet, companies would frequently send out catalogs without a specific target customer in mind, which was particularly expensive because of the large number of prints and their associated mailing expenses.

In the digital age, companies can send targeted catalogs to customers that are more likely to purchase their products. Online databases contain unique consumer information, including their interests and spending habits. Because of this, companies can determine who will be more likely to buy their products and market to them specifically. Additionally, it reduces expenses by avoiding sending catalogs to people who are less likely to make a purchase.

You can even use customers’ past purchases to shape how you market to them going forward. For example, if your company sells many different products and some only buy clothing, you can send out clothing catalogs to that targeted group. Personalized marketing through customer data greatly enhances the likelihood that someone will purchase your products.

Using Catalogs in a Multichannel Marketing Approach

When your business utilizes catalogs in tandem with other marketing channels, you can increase your conversion rate by reaching potential customers in different mediums For example, customers who receive a catalog may be prompted to visit your website and purchase online. You can also track your catalog’s return on investment with mail dates, customer codes, and source codes.

Utilizing catalogs in your multichannel marketing strategy is a highly effective way to reach new customers and engage your existing customer base.