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Direct-mail brochures can be powerful marketing tools if you have the right list, the right offer and the right creative. Direct-mail brochure design varies greatly, so it can be difficult to fine-tune exactly what makes for the best creative work. Many direct-mail brochures rely on compelling headlines and can't-refuse offers up front to encourage customers to turn to the inside panels and, ultimately, generate response. These are excellent tactics that should be employed; for more profit-boosting techniques, read on to learn about three new direct-mail brochure tricks.
1. Include a letter If you're going to send brochures, folded and stuck shut without envelopes, know that you should include a letter in your brochure folds to maximize your return on investment. By and large, brochures serve as reinforcing materials and not necessarily your main pitch. Customers find letters to be more personal, so when you couple a direct-mail brochure mailing with a sales letter you can practically guarantee a higher response rate. In addition, a sales letter allows you to target specific sub-segments of your customer base without changing your brochure. This is great news for budget-minded small businesses, who find it easy to type new letter copy on letterhead but difficult to justify additional rounds of brochure design and printing – especially if entering new and exploratory markets.
2. Lead off with a running headline Direct-mail brochure copy should be short and sweet, as your recipients won't be inclined to spend too much time reading what you send. A running headline, spread over multiple panels that are revealed as your brochure is unfolded, can keep your customers reading and engaged in your direct-mail brochure. For example, a pet grooming service might have a running headline that goes something like:
Front: “Wouldn't it be great if your dogs never shed ... and it only cost FIVE DOLLARS A MONTH ...
Panel 2: ... to eliminate unattractive pet hair on your clothes and furniture ... ... to NEVER have to sweep or be embarrassed that your guests might get dog hair on their pants ...
Panel 3: ... to reduce pet allergens and dirt in your home forever?”
3. Print an odd-sized brochure Simply put, the 8.5-inch by 11-inch tri-fold is old news. Instead, try a four- or six-panel brochure, printed on 11-inch by 17-inch (or larger) paper. It's no secret that oversized direct-mail brochures command far more attention than traditional tri-folds, so print bigger for a better response rate. You should also choose a premium brochure paper, such as 100-pound gloss or 80-pound recycled matte cover stock for thick brochures that gleam with brilliance. Sometimes, image is everything – so if you can wow your prospects right at the mailbox, they'll be enticed to take a closer look at your brochure and your offer. Remember that the first job of any direct-mail brochure is to attract attention, so no matter how great your pitch is, if it is never read it won't do you any good. Put your design skills to good use, and craft a brochure design that's impossible to ignore.