Brochures and Leaflets – Ten Simple Steps to Success!

Leaflets and brochures have been a staple of the business community almost since printing began. But in a case of familiarity breeding contempt, they are often dismissed in today’s online-oriented world as out of date and ineffective.

The truth is that they remain an integral part of the marketing mix. Call them brochures, leaflets, pamphlets or postcards, thanks to improvements in technology and marketing acumen they have never been more affordable and effective in reaching a targeted audience.

An example of a Snap South Brisbane leaflet

Maximise the return on your next brochure by undertaking these ten simple steps.

1. Raison d’etre – Or Why do You Want a Brochure Anyway?

There is no point in producing unnecessary literature. It’s not even brand awareness, unless you want to be known for annoying letterbox stuffers.

So before you even start, consider what the reason for this leaflet is. Ideally define a problem that your prospective audience can relate to, and that you can provide a solution to. Preferably a solution that is unique to your company. Stick to that theme throughout, and you’re a long way to getting a solid response.

2. You Need Professional Help

Sure, you can knock out a mean party invitation for your kid’s birthday in Publisher, but this is your business we’re talking about now. Employ a professional to design your brochure, especially if it involves folding, perforating or other finishing.Example of brochure folded from A4 to DL.Remember, people buy on trust, and if it looks like you cut corners in your business, then you’re not likely to see a decent return on your investment. Doing it yourself is not a saving; it’s more likely to be an embarrassment, multiplied by however many you just printed.

While we’re talking design, it’s vital that the ‘look’ of your brochure is consistent with your branding. Make sure that your brochure stays within the style guide of colours and fonts that identify your company.

3. I’ll Give You to the Count of Ten…

Remember that line from “Home Alone”? Well, that’s about how long you’ve got to grab a prospect’s attention. Make sure you have a strong cover with a great graphic and snappy headline, or your brochure is headed for the bin in less time than it took you to read this paragraph.

Don’t lessen the impact of your brochure by printing on cheap paper either. Just like a handshake is seen as indicative of the person, much can be made of the tactile qualities of your treasured piece. A reasonable weight to ask your printer for is 150gsm (grams per square metre) paper in either gloss or satin finish. Colour printing is much more effective than  black too.

4. Do you know AIDA?

We’re not talking opera here. And it’s not an incurable condition affecting your cat.

AIDA is an acronym for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. To get the most out of your brochure it needs to grab the reader’s attention, get them interested, make them desire your product or service, and drive them to take a specific action – “Buy before it’s too Late!” or maybe “Call Snap South Brisbane NOW and make an appointment”…I’m waiting…

5. It’s What’s On the Inside That Counts

A brochure is not an encyclopaedia, so don’t be tempted to write everything there is to know about your company or product. Keep it short and punchy, with clear photos and/or graphics. Don’t use jargon, and avoid long words. WIIFM

6. It’s Not You, It’s Them.

Portrait DL leafletWIIFM. It’s another acronym.  It stands for “What In It For Me?” Because the person reading your tri-folded literary masterpiece really doesn’t care about your business or how clever what you’re selling is. They just want to know how it will benefit them. Telling someone how the all-new innovative suspension on the bike works isn’t as effective as simply saying how smooth it rides over bumps.

Adding an offer is also a great incentive to entice people in to your business, or to try your service for the first time. Think “Money Back Guarantee”, “50% More with your First Order” or “Free Coffee with this Coupon”.

7. Do I Know You?

Personalising your brochure is probably the best thing you can do to increase its effectiveness. And thanks to the advances in digital printing it’s not expensive, especially since it allows you to target your message to your audience.

So if you’re a travel agent, you can send mountain climbing brochures to those people on your database with that interest, and not make the people who only go on cruises feel like you’ve never done business with them. No more wasting dollars sending out irrelevant information to people who aren’t interested. You’re helping to save the planet from landfill. You’re a hero dammit! Take a bow!

8. Don’t Leave them Dangling.

It’s one thing to hook a fish, quite another to land it. Now you have your prospect interested, make it easy for them to take the action you want. In fact tell them what you want them to do! It’s not known as a ‘call to action’ for nothing.Example of a double-sided DL lealfet

If you want them to phone you, don’t be shy; say “Call Now!” And make sure your phone number is right there. If you want them to visit your store, then provide a map, with your operating hours. And your phone number in case they have a query. If you want them to book…well, you get it now.

Never assume the reader will look back through your brochure for details. Make the action obvious, and easy to do.

9. Make the Most of Both Worlds

Don’t expect your brochure to do all the work. Make the most of your brochure by having it as part of an integrated campaign, one that aligns your website and your printed material. The best way of doing this is to add a QR code that links to a dedicated landing page in line with your brochure’s spiel. Don’t make the mistake of sending the prospect to your home page and expect them to find their way from there – be targeted and make it easy for them to deal with you. They’ll thank you with their custom.

10. Deliverance

No, not the movie. Rather, how will you get your printed items into the hands of prospects? Below are some of the more popular methods used to distribute printed material.2pp-DL-Landscape leaflet

Blanketing or Unaddressed Mail is where you distribute leaflets, on their own, via a letterbox drop to all residences and buildings within a selected postcode range. Your local post office can help you organise this and give you an idea of the costs.

  • Shared distribution is where you batch your material with other items planned for letterbox distribution such as local newspapers and other advertising.
  • Taking it to the streets – handing out leaflets on the street is a tried and true method that can work well with the impulse-buyer, for example handing out menus or meal offers outside a restaurant.
  • At events – if you’re attending an industry or trade forum as an exhibitor you can leave your  customers with something to remember you by. Much better than asking them to remember your web address. And more informative than a business card.

So there it is, your definitive tear out and keep guide to producing brochures and leaflets. I’d love to hear you’ve used them in your business!

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About Jeff Polley

I'm interested in life and making the most of it. I have a fondness for good coffee and scintillating conversation. I don't act my age. For more you can follow me on Twitter - @xmpieman
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