Sales Strategy: How Product Catalogs Hack the Holidays

Sales Strategy: How Product Catalogs Hack the Holidays

It happens every year without fail: The first leaf falls and the countdown to the gift-giving season suddenly begins. And as the search for the right gift ensues, your customers’ need for a convenient shopping experience becomes even more clear. Whether you specialize in artisanal crafts or mass-produced wares, product catalogs with Saddle Stitch Booklets or Brochures is the strategic gift that keeps on giving.

A stack of custom holiday catalogs printed with two hands holding a stocking on the cover.


A holiday catalog laying open to images of custom stockings and measuring cups.

Purchasing Power

Endlessly customizable, custom catalogs showcase your seasonal and holiday products, while telling your story and cementing brand recognition at the same time. Our saddle stitch booklet printing lets you present your products in a way that makes the most sense for you – and the most profit. Kate Stewart, founder of Bauble Stockings, lets big, beautiful imagery do the talking for her wholesale catalog.


“Having professional photography is the number one best investment to grow your business and helps people believe in you as a brand,” Stewart said. “Having a catalog to showcase this is the most effective way to talk to clients across the country and make the most of your investment.”

A custom catalog laying open to images of maple syrup jars, candles and salt.

Saddle Stitch Booklet with Square Back Binding: 80# Uncoated Smooth White Cover with 80# Uncoated Smooth Text Pages

A custom brochure printed as a holiday catalog with three panels showing products and details.



While Stewart’s lookbook-style product catalogs focus on close-ups of her hand-stitched stockings, Laura Putnam, co-founder of Finding Home Farms, offers background stories, ingredients and suggested uses for products in her lifestyle brand’s catalog.


For Putnam, this essential marketing tool has to accomplish a lot in one piece: “Because our business is primarily focused on selling wholesale to retailers, it’s still a ‘catalog-in-hand’ business.”

A product catalog with a saddle stitch binding and Lake Erie Design Co. 2020 Wholesale Catalog on the cover.


A custom product catalog laying open to images of reporter notebooks and product details.


That “catalog-in-hand” sentiment is a strategy Nikki Castiglione, owner and designer of Lake Erie Design Co., knows all too well. As a design and letterpress studio, her “customers and potential customers expect a printed catalog,” she said. “There’s just something about flipping through a physical catalog that an online PDF can’t replicate.”

A stack of four tiered catalogs printed with a saddle stitch binding and a woman holding a card on the cover.

Saddle Stitch Booklet with Square Back Binding

Options to Flip Through

Traditional yet versatile, product catalogs have remarkably adaptable appeal, even in a digital age. Smartpress’ custom Saddle Stitch Booklet printing highlights your products thanks to pages that stun with superior color and are stapled through the fold line.


That’s exactly what Castiglione did to promote her wholesale collection. “I went with a square spine and am so happy with how that turned out,” she said. “It just elevates the catalog a bit more, giving it more of a book feel without being too bulky.”

Along with creative binding options, our Saddle Stitch Booklets can be customized with UV and Soft Touch coatings that create a polished finish.


For Castiglione, personalizing her product catalogs with all these features has paid off monetarily and aesthetically. “I’ve received a lot of positive feedback on the organization,” she said. “As a graphic designer, that’s extremely rewarding because I spent a lot of time working through the layout.”

A custom brochure printed as a holiday catalog with Comfort and Joy on the cover and product details on each panel.

Brand with Brochures

Booklet catalogs are a proven vehicle for getting your products into your customers’ hands, but they’re not the only marketing tool at your disposal. Custom Brochures can easily ride shotgun in your print strategy with folds that effectively communicate your message. Just ask Putnam.


“We’ve moved to one full catalog per year, so we added the brochure to the equation to focus on our fall and holiday products and our new introductions,” she said. Choosing the classic tri-fold for her brochure, Putnam’s business sense is sound, knowing her customers are “very visually motivated.”

Brochures give you the option to provide a brand overview, preview products with a pricing list, even offer a map to your location. Try an accordion fold for its practical versatility or go for a gate fold to dramatically reveal your services or best-selling items.


Design Tip: Use our Versions feature to print multiple brochures with the same size, stock and finish but with varying seasonal content.

Holiday catalogs laying open in three rows with images of custom made stockings and product names.

Bauble Stockings 2020 Wholesale Catalog

A product catalog laying open to product details and images of holiday gift tags and cards.

Lake Erie Design Co. 2020 Wholesale Catalog

Expand Your Reach

Once you’ve designed your catalog, you’ve got to get it to your existing customers or reach potential new ones. And the sooner the better. Enter: Direct Mail. Both Saddle Stitch Booklets and Brochures can be mailed straight to target audiences near and far.


Our online printing services make it easy with complete mail fulfillment, including list acquisition or processing, addressing and sending. It’s a service both Stewart and Castiglione utilize to get their direct mailings to stores.


“I mail them to other potential retailers who I think would be a good fit for my brand,” Castiglione said. “This has helped me grow my business by increasing my representation in shops across the U.S.”

Custom holiday catalogs laying open to images of stockings, gourmet food and holiday cards.


Though products can be offered online, it’s clear the printed catalog is here to stay. Working with an online printer like Smartpress ensures it provides a tactile element for your customers and shares a piece of your brand. That’s a combination important to Castiglione.


“The best feedback I’ve received is that the printing in my catalogs accurately represents my cards and products,” she said. “I wanted a catalog that mirrored the quality of my line but didn’t overshadow it.”

And with a brand all about creating traditions for generations to come, Stewart agrees: “Having a catalog that accurately represents us helps us tell our story.”


Printed catalogs do it all in a format that generates capital and connection.


Hint: Get more product catalog and booklet printing inspiration:

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