Using Brochures to Increase Sales

By Chris Wadsworth

Published in The Source issue 16

In a world of digital communication there is still an important place for printed brochures to promote your company’s products and services.

I was reminded how important brochures are when I was interested in the products of two different companies at a trade show I recently attended.

From the first company I was handed a CD which contained information on the product I was interested in – I never did get around to popping it in my computer and it ended up in the bin.

From the second company I was handed a brochure which I filed and to which I recently referred to obtain a quote for a product I need.

If the first company had given me a brochure I would most likely be getting a quote from them too but now I can’t even remember their name.

When are brochures useful?

Trade shows are not the only time brochures are a useful communication and promotion tool.

Product brochures at point-of-sale can be particularly effective. They provide instant information about the product in-store and are also a reference and reminder if the purchase is left for a later date.

At other times brochures can be designed for sales support where they become a selling aid during a sales presentation. Brochures can also be used as a leave behind after sales presentations to keep product and service information front of mind.

Direct mail is another way of delivering information in a brochure format. These brochures should be written and designed specifically for the purpose of direct mail to help maximise the amount of responses.

Another type of brochure delivered by mail is for a response to enquiry. These differ from direct mail because the recipient is already interested. They are support material after other promotion has engaged the prospect.

Plan your brochures for maximum success

The information you have in your brochure and its design are influenced by how you intend to use the brochure. You may need a range of brochures depending on their use and target audience.

Leave behind brochures should include the main sales points used in the sales presentation. They are a reminder of the benefits of your product or service and the main reasons for purchasing from you rather than your competition.

Sales support brochures have similar information to leave behind brochures but designing them with larger pages and imagery can have benefits during the sales presentation.

Point-of-sale brochures are best to focus on one product or service or at most a specific range that are closely related. They are usually smaller documents so they are easier to display and take away.

Respond to enquiry brochures are for prospects who already have an interest in your products or services but want more information. They provide an overview of what is on offer and can be supported by other brochures that are designed for specific products or services (like point-of-sale brochures).

Direct mail brochures need to get attention and the design needs to focus on this. The specifics of the promotion need to be communicated clearly so it is best to include only what is important. A call to action is essential to make it easy for those who are interested to take the next step.

Some advice when creating a brochure

Remember that you control the flow of information when you make a brochure. Brochures are often read from the cover to the end so make sure information is ordered effectively.

A good brochure should look inviting and be easy to read. Don’t cram too much copy into the brochure. If you have too much information for the size of brochure intended you will need to either make the brochure bigger or edit the text.

As with any written communication it is important to proof read the text. Unlike a website it’s not possible to change things after a brochure is printed.

Quality production for any communication is important but even more so for something as tactile as a brochure. Make sure that you use a quality paper stock and that the printing is good quality.

There was another company at the trade show I attended that had a product I was interested in. Their product was high end and the price was too. Their brochure was badly designed and printed poorly in just black and white on thin paper stock. It did not reflect the product being sold and made the company look cheap. As a result they lost my trust in the company and their product.

It is not just about having a brochure but about getting it right too.

Posted 7 May 2013

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