LETTERS OFFERING AND ACCOMPANYING WEEKLY LISTS, CATALOGITES, ETC.
THE question of sending out a letter with every catalogue or booklet is sometimes difficult to decide, and must depend in the majority of cases upon the size and expense of the booklet and the number of copies that are to be sent out. An accompanying letter adds slightly to the expense of the circularising, but nearly always it adds very considerably to the effectiveness of the booklet, and it is safe to say that while in the case of any but the cheapest of circulars it is wise, whenever possible, to send out such a letter, it should certainly be done if the book is in any way an expensive production.
Sometimes, indeed, it is wise to send a letter in advance of the book. Moreover, when the catalogue is a particularly expensive one, and it is desired to avoid any waste, it is sometimes a good plan to send a circular letter in advance asking for the return of a postcard, upon receipt of which the catalogue will be sent. When the catalogue is not so expensive, more names will be obtained if the postcard is only asked for in the event of the catalogue not being wanted.
Even where a letter is sent in advance, it is wise to accompany the cata logue by a further letter.
Another successful method of obtaining names to which to send a catalogue is to write to customers and ask their advice on the matter, inquiring whether they think that such a booklet or catalogue would be interesting. Such a letter will receive a fair number of replies, but it will, of course, be the intention of the retailer to issue the catalogue in any case. This plan of taking advice from customers is particularly suitable for weekly or monthly lists.
Curiously enough, it is sometimes found that the effectiveness of an expensive catalogue is increased considerably if a letter is afterwards sent asking for its return on the plea that the retailer has none left for customers who have asked for further copies. It seems that the very fact that the catalogue has met with such a demand that the retailer has to ask his customers to return their copies, makes the recipient of the letter realise that the catalogue must be interesting. Such a letter, however, can only be sent out very occasionally by the same firm, and must be worded with the greatest care, so as to ring true and to avoid giving anything in the way of offence.