BTB Catalog Boosts Latest Campaign

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4imprint will launch one of its largest acquisition campaigns this year when it drops 1.8 million of its spring/summer 2001 catalogs March 12.


The mailing is a 20 percent increase from previous catalog drops, said Greg Iott, 4imprint's vice president of business development. The circulation rise is an attempt by the cataloger to be more aggressive in acquiring new clients.


"We've done some things over the last year in terms of looking at responses to [various] lists," Iott said. "This is a continuation where we're expanding the mailings from lists that have proved successful for us."


The business-to-business catalog, which provides promotional products such as pens, mugs, calculators and watches, rented lists from MeritDirect, Stamford, CT.


"The catalog isn't just sent to one person in a company," Iott said. "There may be multiple contacts in a company that would receive it. Marketing people use [products] for trade shows; sales people use [products] as giveaways to customers and clients; training people use [products] for training and safety programs and human resources use [products] for recruiting."


Along with acquiring new clients, the campaign's primary goal is to introduce and test 114 products the company is showcasing in a six-page spread. Items include palm watches, Nike golf balls, leather passport travel wallets, leather belts and piggy banks.


"We're also at the point where everything in the book is paying for its space and we had to add new products," Iott said. "It's also a way to keep the book fresh."


The catalog cost 62 cents per book to produce, and the average sales order for prospects is about $640. Iott declined comment on the anticipated return on investment and the customer lifetime value to the company.


4imprint, Oshkosh, WI, is doing more to emphasize its selling points. The catalog's front page not only showcases samples of items in the book, but it also features guarantees for free orders if not shipped on time and for having the lowest prices compared with other promotional-product catalogers.


"We're emphasizing those unique selling propositions more heavily," Iott said. "Most of our products tend to be purchased for specific events or trade shows, and it's very critical for us to meet our performance standard in terms of shipping and delivery to our customers. We also work with vendors that give us a good value equation so we can guarantee that we won't be undersold. These are things we want to push, and felt the best way to do that was on the front cover."


The 68-page catalog is done on 45-pound paper and has more than 500 items. Each page has three to eight items -- some are multiple items of one product. Next to each product description is the time span of when the item is produced.


Every right-hand page also features 4imprints' toll-free number and Web site, 4imprint.com.


Merchandise ranges from 9 cents each for 25,000 9-inch standard balloons to $137 each for two Sheaffer Intrigue pens - or $117 each for a package of 25 pens.


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