Brochure Do’s and Don’ts
A brochure can be a powerful marketing tool. On the other hand, an ineffective brochure can be a waste of your marketing budget and hurt your credibility. Here are some tips to make sure your brochure meets its objectives and becomes an important component in your lineup of marketing tactics.
Do This (or at least consider it)
Well in advance, determine the purpose of the brochure. Don’t set overly ambitious goals. Brand awareness or product sales are reasonable expectations.
Keep your customer in mind. Know who you are aiming your brochure at. Make sure it relates directly to them – how the product or service can satisfy their needs.
Give the cover considerable thought so it attracts attention. This is the first part that your audience will see. It must motivate the target to pick it up and read it.
Make the cover visually stimulating with photos, illustrations or graphics. These elements raise the cost, but they are worth it. Make sure the photo, if not your product, relates directly to your product.
Go for full color all the way. You won’t save any money choosing black & white. You’re competing with a never-ending array of other brochures. Make yours as good as it can be to stand out and get noticed.
Make the copy count. Once somebody has picked up your brochure, give them the information they want. Tell them the benefits. Describe how their lives will be better. Include a call-to-action to buy, or at least get more information or make an appointment.
Make it easy to read and use. Don’t make it complicated to unfold and follow the story. The type should be readable. They layout should direct the reader. The photos should help answer questions in the mind of the reader.
Do Not Do The Following
Don’t shortchange yourself. If you are serious about your business, use professional talent to write and design your brochure. And make it a reality using a quality printer. A do it yourself project will look exactly like that and undermine your image as a professional.
Never make the mistake of thinking you can proofread your own writing. Spotting your own grammatical errors and typos is difficult. While word processing software has spell check, it doesn’t differentiate between know and no, there and their, sale and sail, etc. A fresh set of eye will be a vast improvement in the process.
Don’t expect your brochure to close a sale. A customer needs to take a journey from product awareness to purchase. A brochure is at the product awareness end of the spectrum. A brochure can prompt a reader toward the next step to purchase.
Don’t attempt to tell everything in a brochure. While a brochure allows you to provide more details than a print ad, you can’t include every last detail. The result will render the brochure a useless expense. Remember, it must be readable and you must be reasonable in your expectations of how much time someone will want to spend with your brochure.
Don’t reinvent the brochure. People have certain expectations in a brochure – for example the size. Stick to standard sizes such as full page (8-1/2” x 11”) or slim jim (3-2/3” x 8-1/2”). People are not as likely to hold onto odd shapes and sizes.
If you follow these dozen guidelines, you steer clear of trouble and create an effective communications vehicle that should produce the results you want. The more brochures you create, the better at it you’ll become. Then, it will be your turn to give advice on making effective brochures.