How to Create a Powerful Printed Brochure

Get Them Reading AND Buying

Male fashion designer working in an office
••• ONOKY - Eric Audras / Getty Images

Even in this day and age, when tablets, laptops, and phones dominate the advertising and marketing world, there is still a place for a brochure. 

Brochures can be a very effective selling tool, and should not be abandoned. In fact, you can create a printed brochure that can also live as a PDF online, giving you more bang for your buck. But, although you may know how to plan your brochure, and may even be familiar with the five types of brochures, the actual creation of this tactic may be unfamiliar to you. 

Promises, Promises...Right on the Cover

How many times have you been at one of those display racks with tons of brochures about tourist attractions? What made you pick up certain brochures and leave others behind?

It was the statements made on the cover. 

You have to put a strong selling message here (and not just a pretty picture). Promise your readers a benefit or reward for getting them to flip open your brochure. Entice them, without telling the whole story. Give them enough sizzle, without the whole steak. That's what you can serve up later when they open it up and begin to read. 

Make It Easy on the Eyes

A massive wall of copy is the last thing you'd want to read is a magazine. Pages and pages of heavy text are daunting to any reader unless of course, they are about to read a novel. But it's rare that anyone wants to dive into a book of advertising messages and descriptive copy. 

Think of your brochure in the same terms. Short sections, broken up with a headline and a subhead, invite your potential customer to read on instead of scaring them away.

Even if they don't read your entire brochure, they get the gist by browsing through it. But make sure to write headlines and subheads that explain that particular copy block. Again, this is important for a number of reasons but especially if your reader is just glancing at your brochure.

Use Vivacious Visuals

They say a picture's worth a thousand words. So why not tell your brochure's story with visuals? But not just any old picture will do. You need visuals that will show the reader how your product works. People pictures work best as long as these people are demonstrating how your product is used.

Even artwork, such as drawings, maps, and graphs are beneficial as long as they illustrate the product or its benefits. If it's a digital brochure, you can add embedded videos and animations, which can further engage the reader. 

You can use a wide variety of visuals such as photos of the product, people using the product and/or photos of your company's headquarters. You can also use a map to show where your company is located, tables listing the various products with their features and/or proof of performance graphs to present factual information about your product.

Close The Sale

You've already figured out where your brochure fits into the buying process from Five Essentials for Planning a Brochure. Now you have to turn that potential customer into a paying customer. Your closing message has to be powerful.

Too many times brochures fail to be effective because they don't contain one vital piece of information: A call to action. You have to tell your potential customers that they have to act now/call now/buy now.

No matter what you are looking for (typically, a website or URL, a telephone call for more information, or an on-the-spot sale), you have to let people know what you want them to do. Always ask for their order but at least ask for contact information. It is essential for follow-up messages and remarketing.

Be Easy to Find

There's another vital piece of info that seems so obvious, yet in the creation process, it's sometimes left out. Your contact information.

Make sure you include your company name, logo, address, website, telephone number, and email address. Also, a Facebook and/or Twitter account can be invaluable. And, give directions to your location in your brochure so if you have any business customers they can come too. Make it easy on them too.

If you're located next to a landmark of some sort, tell them that as well. That way, they have a mental picture of your whereabouts. Other factors to consider for your brochure might be prices, store hours, instructions for placing orders by mail, phone or on the Internet and product guarantees.

Give Your Brochure Longevity

Make your brochure worth keeping. Give them a reason to hang on to that brochure - even if they decide not to call or buy right now.

For example, let's say you have a dynamite brochure about your company's travel packages. Your travel agency offers a getaway to the Bahamas in May and June, but in July and August, you offer a package to Hawaii. While your potential customer may be very interested in your travel packages, they're not ready to think about vacation because they're still trying to pay off Christmas debts.

But they decide to save your brochure. After all, your travel agency offers packages all year long, and they might just decide to take a week off in June. So they're interested. Just not right now. Brochures can help boost your company's sales...both now and in the future. Use these tips now, and you'll get the most out of your brochure in the long-term.