Discover how you can effectively communicate with your catalog customers and prospective customers!

How a Simple
Print Newsletter Saved a Catalog Marketer...
As a catalog marketing consultant, I did some work for Progressive Energy Corporation. Helping with redoing their catalogs, copywriting and figuring out how they could get better results.
Patrick Killeen had an interesting niche for his catalog, a selection of auto additives and small accessories. 

Here’s a marketing story that goes back a few years, but the message still applies today, and could just make you a lot of money!
The woes of marketing Slick 50!

Then one evening I get this call Patrick, he was obviously very concerned as he explained his dilemma. He had several sleepless nights. The story is that his main product, and the one that he built his business on, was an oil additive called Slick 50 and he had a loyal following of Slick 50 customers. He wasn’t sure what they did with it all, but they kept buying it from him.

So now all this was about to end. It was now starting to be sold by all the big boys, such as Sears and Walmart. Not only were they selling it cheaper, but the distributor wasn’t too anxious to sell to him anymore.
Yes, he had a serious problem!
He had located another oil additive he could offer his customers, Flurocote, which actually turned out to be a better product than Slick 50.

So what should he do now?

That was the reason for his phone call. He was hoping I would have some advice for him.

Should he just start quietly start selling this new product, Flurocote, to his customers like nothing happened? How could he just stick it in his catalog? He spent several years touting Slick 50, now he was going to lose his credibility by telling his customers that Flurocote was a better product. Was this the end of his business?

The answer was obvious!

Gil to the rescue! After all these years in business and having my share of dumb mistakes, I’ve learned that it’s always best to be completely honest with your customers. And if you are honest with them, they’ll side with you.
Plus, I’ve learned that no matter how bad things look, there’s always a way to turn things around and often things will work out better than before.

Listening to the sincerity in his voice as he related his tale of woe, the solution was obvious, we would capitalize on this disaster, turn it around by being leveling completely with his customers.

I told Patrick “That’s it! We will take your conversation, with all it’s sincerity, and present it just like that it to your customers!

We needed to get this message out right away, before any more Slick 50 orders came in from his last catalog mailing. My suggestion was a newsletter that could offer Patrick’s story and offer the new product.

As you can see, it was a simple 4-page newsletter I put together very quickly, nothing fancy. And very inexpensive to print. But I have to brag a little, the copywriting was priceless! It was actually a unique message and marketing effort.

Did it work?
You bet it did! Patrick later told me that this inexpensive mailing took in a lot more money than any of his previous costly catalog mailings offering numerous products! Later this newsletter format was used to introduce other new products.
Ready to take a peek at some of the copy?
It started out… 
“New Discovery Shocks PEC…
FLUROCOTE has 50.07% more “POLY” than Slick 50”
“Greetings my friend, I’m Patrick Killeen and I have some amazing news to tell you!
 For years you have been a great fan of Slick 50. Sure, you’ve seen it increase performance and save fuel while it made engines run quieter and longer. And I’m sure, if you used it long enough, you’ve seen some of those cars and trucks that just kept running… running a lot longer then they were expected to. 
Now there’s something better… it’s Flurocote Engine Treatment! So much better that I have to figure out how to convince you to use it.

Hey, aren’t you the guy that’s been pushing Slick 50 all these years? What’s going on?
Yes, that’s correct. For 9 years I’ve been promoting Slick 50.

To be honest, with you, I’ve recently had a lot of sleepless nights as well as lots of soul searching.

You see, Slick 50 has been the main part of my business all these years. And when I discovered how superior the Flurocote Engine Treatment was, I was shocked!

Sure, Slick 50 is a good product. The fact is Flurocote is better.

I consider you, as well as the rest of my loyal customers to be like family. And how could I keep such important news from you?

So I made the decision to promote the Flurocote Engine Treatment because it’s the best engine wear protector on the market!

Did I make a poor business decision? Am I risking the loss of all my customers by doing what I feel is right? Will you be unable to switch from Slick 50 in spite of all the facts?
I took a chance, will you?
Have I misjudged you? Are you really going to stick with Slick 50 in spite of all the facts that convinced me to switch to Flurocote Engine Treatment? 
Will you switch to Flurocote with me? I sure hope so! In order to make this a success I need you. Honestly, I really do!

That’s why I’ve taken the time to put together this letter to let you what’s going on.  And That’s not all… I figured that in order to convince you, I had to lay all the facts on the line and then make you the most exciting enticing offer possible. More on this exciting offer later. Let’s take a look at all the facts first.” 
. . . . .
We’ll that’s the story I had to share with you, thanks for listening. Just remember that there’s more to getting good results than spending money on fancy, expensive printing. You need to communicate, cut out the barriers between you and that customer. And be sincere with an irresistible offer!
Marketing with newsletters is covered in my special report: 64 Catalog Marketing Response Ideas and there are still 63 more ideas waiting for you!

Gil Carlson
Gil Carlson famous catalog copywriter, marketer & designer
Progressive Energy Newsletter page 1 - Great idea for catalog marketing!
Progressive Energy Newsletter page 2 - Great idea for newsletter marketing!
Progressive Energy Newsletter page 3 - Great idea for catalog marketing!
Progressive Energy Newsletter page 4 - Great idea for newsletter marketing!

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CATALOG MARKETING IDEA: Newsletter Marketing 
CATALOG MARKETING IDEA: Newsletter Marketing