WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Postal Service (USPS) has launched a new promotional campaign called “Getting Started in Catalogs” that shows online retailers how to increase their sales through the use of direct mail catalog marketing.

Businesses can visit the USPS website and order a free DVD called “Catalogs and E-Tailing: Reaching Customers Beyond the Web.” The DVD contains case studies from successful retailers who have expanded their online business with direct mail catalogs.

Also, the USPS is offering a series of free webinars on the subject:

  • Getting Started in Catalogs and Magalogs is scheduled for Tuesday, July 20, 2010, 1:00pm ET. The presenter is Greg Carter, SVP Client Services, SolutionSet.
  • Catalog Creative That Sells! is scheduled for Wednesday, July 28, 2010, 1:00pm ET. The presenter is Lois Brayfield, President, J. Schmid & Assoc.
  • Driving Web Sales through the Use of Catalog & Direct Mail is scheduled for Tuesday, August 24, 1:00 pm ET. The presenters are John Lenser, President, Lenser Multichannel Intelligence, and Michelle Farabaugh, Partner, Lenser Multichannel Intelligence.

The first of the webinars will have tutorials on catalog production and go over the smartest and most cost-efficient ways to produce a catalog. Follow-up support will also be available from with USPS sales personnel.

USPS Offers Free Webinars and DVD

Businesses can sign up for the webinars and free DVD from this page at the USPS website.

The USPS points out that a recent market study by comScore showed that for visitors of online retail websites, the online conversion rate was doubled if the visitor received a catalog. Twice as many of those who received catalog made a purchase as compared to those visitors who did not receive a catalog.

Catalog Marketing Will Increase Revenues

Also, the report shows that businesses who mail catalogs showed an increase in total items ordered plus revenue over those who did not. The comScore study shows that catalog recipients ordered 28 percent more items with a revenue increase of 163 percent for purchases and money spent by catalog recipients versus those who did not receive a catalog.

In a press release, on July 19, 2010 the USPS announced the promotional campaign and explained how catalog marketing prompts customers to place orders.

Catalog Marketing Surpasses Online Marketing Alone

The USPS has found out that online retailers who have taken advantage of direct mail marketing and use of their mailing list through catalog marketing have surpassed those businesses whose growth was limited. They point out that companies like Zappos and Dell increased their online sales by utilizing catalog marketing.  They expanded their online businesses by using mail order catalogs.

Although this may seem odd at first, it actually works and makes good business sense.

This is good news for the US Postal Service because it shows that despite the fact that last fiscal year it had a net loss of $3.8 billion and has recently asked the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) for permission to increase postal rates, it is doing the right thing by providing good advice and guidance to struggling businesses. It sounds like a win-win situation for the USPS and for businesses.

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