Even in this day of websites, many customers want to look at a brochure or other form of hard copy. It's important therefore that your brochure tells the customer all they need to know.
*It can be handed to the customer or used for direct mailing
*It gives the customer much more detail
*Confirms what you've discussed
*Gives your business credibility and status
*Can help break the ice before you meet the customer
The elements of a successful brochure:
#1 It must have a call to action - You must ask the customer to do something after reading your brochure (particularly if you use it for mailing) - place an order - request more information - arrange an appointment.
Make them an offer they can't refuse - an early-bird discount - a special price - a never to be repeated offer. It needs to have a Free-phone number or a tear off coupon or an enclosed order form.
Remember - this is a sales document, its purpose is to get you more orders not just to fill peoples head with information.
#2 Think about the customer - Your brochure must talk in terms of the customer's interests - not yours. (Don't let your ego run away with you) It must explain how it solves the customer's problems and has benefits for him or her.
#3 Testimonials and endorsements - Include all the statements that other people have said about your product or service. They must be real statements giving the persons name and their organisation. People wont believe statements such as - “This service is second to none" - Sales Director
#4 Specialise - If you're targeting a particular market, your brochure needs to reassure the customer that you understand and have expertise in that market. You then need to give examples of how you've solved specific problems in that market.
#5 Make them want to read more - The front of your brochure must have a headline that grabs the customer and encourages them to read more. It needs to include a strong benefit or a way to solve a problem. For example - I might produce a headline for one of my brochures that says - “Customer Service Training for the Retail Industry" It would be far better if I went to the heart of the problem and used the headline - “How to stop customers walking out of your store and buying from one of your competitors. "
Think about the problems that your customers face and how your product or service resolves them - then write your headline. The most powerful words you can use in a headline are - “How To". It immediately grabs the reader's attention if it's relevant to them. Other great words to use are - “Free" - “You" - “Secrets of" - “Discover" - “New" - “Announcing. "
The headline needs to be:
*Believable *Appealing to the emotions *Not more than sixteen words *In upper and lower case letters, not all caps *In quotation marks *Easy to understand
#6 Make it easy to read - People want to gather information quickly and aren't willing to plough through lots of text - use bullet points. You want a clean uncluttered look. Also - watch out for jargon, buzz words and technical terms. Remember the selling acronym - KISS - keep it simple stupid.
#7 Doesn't need to be expensive - It obviously makes sense to use good quality paper and it's best to stick to white or cream semi-gloss or glossy stock. Your brochure needs to feel good in the customer's hands - classy - quality image. It can contain as many pages as you like but why not consider a “one-page" which obviously has two sides.
You could have several “one-pages" produced, each relevant to the market you're targeting. You could also produce individual one for each product or service that you provide. I have searched, frustratingly, through many a brochure trying to find specific information on a product or service.
#8 Laminate - buy a laminator (they're not expensive) and laminate one-sheets or pages from your brochure. They make the information look and feel much better and encourage the customer to hang onto them for longer.
#9 Friendly - Your brochure should give the potential customer the feeling that you're business is friendly and interesting to deal with. Depending on what business you're in, you might want the customer to know that you're also “fun" to deal with.
Don't make your brochure too businesslike even although you're selling a technical product; remember you're communicating to a human being who is primarily driven by their emotions.
It makes sense to build a relationship with a graphic designer who you like and who understands what you're trying to achieve. However, if you want to have more control, there's software you can buy and internet sites where you can create your own stationary.
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