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Catalog Copy

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Catalogs are different than most advertising mediums because you're explaining numerous products with short descriptions. Your purpose in writing catalog copy is to get people to order your product directly by calling customer service or filling out an enclosed order form.

Writing for catalogs is an art form of sorts. Use the following catalog DOs and DON'Ts and you'll be on your way to painting a Picasso!

DO Write a Catchy Headline
No matter what your space constraints, do write a snappy headline. Even a couple of words will do.

DON'T Write a Product Description in Your Headline
Be creative in your headline process. If you're selling a diet pill, don't use DIET PILL as your headline. How about "Lose Weight Fast!"

DO Include a "Letter from the Manufacturer"
Flip through your favorite catalogs and you'll probably notice a letter from the company's president (usually located on one of the pages in the front). The letter explains the company's quality of products, the company's commitment to customers as well as the company's customer satisfaction guarantee. Sometimes the letter may even be used to call attention to a specific product line.

A personal letter from the president adds a friendly touch that gives customers that warm, fuzzy feeling. Letting them know there's actually a human being behind the company can make a big selling difference.

DO Give the Facts
Just the facts ma'am, as they say. You're ultimate goal is to get customers to buy from your catalog. So your catalog descriptions have to be as complete as possible.

From sizes to colors, materials to exact specifications - the copy should still be brief but contain enough essentials that the potential customer isn't left to wonder whether she wants to buy it. By the end of the copy block, they should have enough information to make a buying decision.

DON'T Chop Your Pages into Equal Parts
Got a bestselling product? Give it more space than those that don't sell as much.

Try a half page or a full page close to the front of the catalog. Your lesser-selling items can be placed toward the back.

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