Skyrocketing postage and paper costs have led many catalogers to consider changing their catalog format to a “slim-jim” size – roughly 6-1/8” x 11” – in order to save money.
Before you follow suit, be aware of two important considerations.
For one, tabs are required on slim-jims. Since this makes it more difficult for the customer to open the catalog, it’s no surprise that response rates can decline, often by 5% to 10%. Look at your own numbers to see if such hidden costs would outweigh the benefits – and always test before making a permanent switch.
What’s more, be aware that the jury is still out with the USPS on slim-jims. Despite a rate structure that encourages this format, the USPS has been finding them problematic. Many are so fat that they jam automated processing equipment.
New postal guidelines are under discussion, and may be in place in 2009. So before you go to the trouble and expense of completely reworking your catalog format, you may want to wait to see how postal guidelines shake out.