Creating a Better Brochure
The brochure serves as a muted liaison between your client and his customers. Without a spoken word, gesture or even so much as a grunt, the brochure seeks to entice prospects to take the next step in the purchasing lifecycle — but that doesn't mean your client's brochure shouldn't say anything at all. The brochure works the hardest of all marketing materials — it induces intrigue, begs to be opened, delivers a great offer and motivates through a compelling call to action. If your client's brochure is weak in even one of these links, he will be missing out on valuable return on investment.
The following four tips are your key to creating a better brochure:
To be frank, your client's customers don't care about how many awards his company has received. They only care about what your client can do for them. Too many brochures contain copy that ramble on about the company's corporate offices, sales staff, history and other things customers could care less about. Brochures have only so much real estate, so use it wisely: approach your copy from your client's customer's perspective and solve a problem for them. If they don't have a problem, create one. Then focus on how your client's company can make their lives easier.
Once you convince them that your client can help, give them an offer they can't refuse. Discounts and freebies almost always work as long as what your client is giving away has inherent value to the customer. Tell them why now is the time to buy, and make the incentive contingent on their fast action — this is your client's call to action. The offer could be a free download from your client's website, for example, which is available only for the next 24 hours in exchange for signing up for your client's monthly newsletter.
Don't just tell ... show!
It's no secret that great designs turn heads, yet still many designers rely on old, tired themes to help their clients stand out from the crowd. Be creative with your use of colors, lines and shapes; and don't be afraid to stray from the norm. You might think a law firm with a reputation for being aggressive and winning high-profile cases needs the standard photo of partners in front of a court house or their offices, for instance; but the brochure — and the sensations you're trying to evoke — would have more impact if it depicted a tiger stalking it's prey.
Great copy and superb design are wasted if your client's brochure is printed using inferior materials. Online printing companies such as PsPrint offer excellent papers and inks printed on state-of-the-art presses for high-quality brochures that say your client's company is high quality, too. Don't let your client cut corners on brochure printing — go with 100-pound gloss text or cover or a nice 70-pound or 80-pound paper stock. Your client might also want to add a finishing touch such as die-cut rounded corners or an oversize brochure — the bigger the brochure, the better, since it attracts more attention faster.
On a final note, keep in mind that your client's brochures are advertisements just like any other marketing material. Therefore, return on investment is the bottom line. Remember that printing in bulk can significantly reduce your client's cost-per-piece, which means that each brochure that helps land a sale has a higher return on investment. Take your time and help your client figure out what his best printing options are, and he'll also keep you in mind when he needs the next brochure designed. Follow these tips and you'll be well on your way to creating a better brochure for your client and securing repeat business for yourself.