1. Get them intrigued, keep them engaged, make them want to keep it forever...
    So many catalogers keep putting out paper communiqués to their direct marketing list without any direct references back to their interactive programs. While there is an occasional reference to ‘sign up for email,’ or ‘join them on Facebook,’ there is nothing that really drives the consumer to come online.

    I worked with a specialty catalogue on an issue that offered more than 50 ideas to spruce up your yard (even though we are in the middle of winter.) The catalog was divided into five different sections, each led with a lifestyle-based photo followed by product pictures. The copy detailed highlights, great tips and testimonials. We even quizzed you and had an answer on the next page.

    The lifestyle photo, product pictures, tips, and testimonials were provided by subscribers. The expert opinions, and detailed highlights were provided by our product champions.

    We showed off our digital assets (email, mobile, and  social media) on page two and we had references in the catalogue back to the website encouraging the reader to go find more online – further encouraging sign-up. The entire catalog was peppered with references to additional tips and more detail online.

    We were also very prudent to mix it up between different social media channels.

    Our intent to drive people to different social outlets was two-fold. First, we wanted to make sure that we covered different sites. Second, we wanted to track what pictures, videos, or copy actually drove people to the site.

    Here are some other tips.

    Devote a special online only section for your consumers asking them to sign into your community. This should be commercial-free but include the behind-the-scenes tracking so you can see where people visit – that way you can include those items in email, mobile, and social media campaigns.

    Other things that worked were the incorporation of quizzes – we had quizzes in print, and on our community. You should keep these updated as it brings people back.

    Offer a video or photo tie. Ask users to send how they’ve personalized your product, where it’s installed… some may be entertaining. This also helps inspire your copy, focus on the lifestyle aspect and encourage people to read more online.

    Finally, figure out how to tie your channels (regardless of the number), make sure they reinforce each other. My favorite travel club does an awesome job of pushing me to their email newsletter through direct mail pieces.

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  2. 1 - Tell the consumer what information you are capturing about them

    2 - Tell the consumer why you are collecting this information

    3 - Tell the consumer what they can do to "opt-out" or change / correct the information

    4 - Tell the consumer what you are doing to "secure" their information

    5 - Train your service team on privacy rules and concerns so they can converse with the consumers you serve

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