UPDATE: U.S. Magnetix Pulls in Sales With First Catalog

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With the unveiling of its first catalog, U.S. Magnetix has generated $500,000 in orders from nonprofits and businesses looking to promote their products and services. The success of that catalog has the company reprinting more copies for distribution this winter.

The manufacturer of promotional magnets and magnetic-based retail products started generating the volume in March, a month after the catalog made its debut. The sales total includes business generated through September.

Steve Cieslukowski, director of marketing at U.S. Magnetix, Minneapolis, said 5,000 catalogs were mailed from February through April. The first shipment of the 16-page catalog produced 500 orders with an average order size of $1,000. About half the catalogs were sent to existing customers and the rest to various promotional businesses throughout the Midwest and West Coast. U.S. Magnetix obtained names from the Advertising Specialty Institute, Langhorne, PA, a provider for the promotional products industry, Cieslukowski said.

"We're hoping it will increase our efforts into penetrating more and more into [the] marketing and communications and advertising [arenas]," he said, adding that the company created the catalog to increase sales as well as use it as a vehicle to assist existing customers in choosing products.

U.S. Magnetix is building a database of names and will send catalogs to existing customers, inquiries and companies interested in promoting their products or services in the next mailing. The company is preparing to reprint between 5,000 and 10,000 catalogs that will be sent out in December or early January.

The catalog costs about $4 a copy to produce. The company also has a Web site, www.usmagnetix.com, where prospects can get additional information. The site is not e-commerce enabled.

U.S. Magnetix began working with retail clients when the company was created five years ago. During the last two years, it has worked primarily with public relations, marketing and communications and advertising companies. Clients for which custom-made promotional magnets have been developed include Haagen-Dazs, Titino's Pizza and the St. Paul Saints, a minor league baseball team in Minnesota.

Cieslukowski said U.S. Magnetix assists companies that want additional market visibility through promotions.

"[U.S.] Magnetix helps to keep a message alive," he said. "People are five times more likely to keep a magnet than they are some other promotion material. A lot of times, if you send a customer a postcard of information, they may or may not read the postcard and then throw it away. People tend to keep magnets. They have a value to people. It has a longer shelf life."

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