The recent Mailorder Gardening Association conference included an informative critique of several member catalogs by a panel of experts. Panelist George Hague of J. Schmid & Associates reminded us of the order in which readers view catalog elements. They are:
1. Images. These do the heavy lifting, so make sure yours are as clear and inviting as possible.
2. Violators. These include anything that interrupt the flow of copy, from headlines to bursts such as “New” or “Bestseller.”
3. Price. Once a product is under consideration, the consumer typically focuses on the price before reading further.
4. Copy. Strong copy closes the deal. Make sure your product descriptions cover all the important features and benefits.
It’s not uncommon for catalogers to make do with whatever images they have and forget about violators that draw readers in. Pay more attention to these two areas and your sales will rise as a result.