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Mini-Catalogues – Canada Post’s latest economical direct mail product

Fun Fact: Benjamin Franklin invented the catalogue in 1744 to sell science books.

Good old Ben had no way of knowing how his invention would revolutionize retail sales over the coming centuries. Or how many kids would spend countless hours in the run up to Christmas or their birthdays pouring over the pages of catalogues dreaming of cool gifts.

And it would seem, even in the age of iPads and online shopping, the humble catalogue still has some cultural cache.

Recent research quoted by Canada Post found that shoppers spend 15 – 20 minutes with a catalogue, compared to 5 minutes with a store’s iPad app and a miniscule 8 seconds on a marketing email.

Canada Post wasn’t the first to notice this. If you want to have a chuckle watch this video produced by Ikea about its own catalogue.


Now Canada Post has made it simpler for companies to get their catalogues into the hands of clients by setting out new guidelines for smaller catalogs that will have their own special pricing.

The new “Mini-Catalogue” is best described as a machineable catalogue that uses the best of the fast, economical delivery stream at Canada Post.  The new sorting equipment at Canada Post delivers to most places in Canada within 3-5 days. And the cost is as little as $0.45 in admail postage.

The design is not unfamiliar.  It can be any 8 page (4-panel) or greater mail piece that is 6.1″ x 9.6″.  Imagine folding an 11 x 17 sheet in half and then in half again, that is about your typical size.  You could also design a 4-panel foldout mailer that would meet the requirements. We close up two of the sides with clear perforated circular clip seals and address it so that it flows seamlessly through the automated sorting equipment.

Spoiler alert: We are installing a sheet fed full colour inkjet printer in the coming weeks (the first in Canada) that will be able to print these with variable images, addresses, and offers all driven from your mail list data.  Call if you’d like to learn more about that.  And watch this blog for our big announcement in the coming weeks.

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