With the rise of the Internet and online shopping, it's easy to think that mail-order catalogs would simply disappear. However, mail-order is still a viable and smart way to sell products. According to Lois Geller, a contributor to Forbes, catalogs will probably be around for a while for a number of reasons, starting with the fact that people just like a tangible item. In fact, 95 percent of people actually prefer a printed catalog to a digital one. 

What's more, catalogs and the Internet can work together. Customers will browse the catalog and then go online to order what they want. Before the Internet, people could only order by phone, mail or by actually going into the store. Now, mail-order and electronic payments can work in concert.

Mail-order is easy to control
One of the best things about mail order is that it is easily directed and focused. If you want to target certain people, all you need is their address. This means you can target specific geographic areas very easily, making regional campaigns much simpler to accomplish. 

Geller pointed out there is a spike in online sales whenever a catalog goes out. This makes mail-order catalogs an effective marketing tool, particularly when new products are released or during busier shopping periods, such as during the holidays or back-to-school season. 

The mail-order market has changed
While mail-order will likely continue to be around for quite some time, the market itself has changed in the last 10 to 15 years, according to Entrepreneur.

In the past, mail-order was successful in part because it was a way for companies to serve customers who didn't have a physical location near them. Now that the Internet has changed the market, companies who do mail-order need to specialize to stay relevant. People can get anything online, so a department store selling a lot of different things isn't going to have much success if its trying to sell everything via a printed catalog. However, a company that sells one specific kind of product can have success by mailing interested parties a catalog. 

While paying for qualified leads can be a good way of finding new people to engage with catalogs, it's current customers that you should be focusing on. They have already expressed interest in your products at some point, and it's much easier and cheaper to keep a customer than it is to acquire a new one, according to Inc.

Brought to you by PacNet Services, your one-stop global payment processing solution.