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Is a Brochure or Sales Sheet Better?

 

Sales Cycle - When to use a Brochure or Sales Sheet

That is a good question. A brochure and a sell sheet have different purposes.

The best uses of sell sheets and brochures really break down to their purpose in the cycle of a sale and both have a part in this sales cycle. Every sale your company makes is really a cycle. Knowing the cycle of a sale will help you create more effective materials to promote your business and sell your products.

Here is what I mean by the sales cycle, it starts with first getting the attention of the prospect, then creating an interest in your product and service, which results in the prospect having questions about the product which get answered (or not) causing a desire for the product which usually results in the prospect buying the product or service. Though maybe not buying from your company.

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A sell sheet is usually simply a one-page flyer with product information. It can be printed as a full color sell sheet or a simple black and white printed sell sheet. A sell sheet is best used at the beginning of the sales cycle to get the attention and interest of the prospect.

Sell sheets, by design only, give enough information to create interest and questions so the prospect will call and want more information. The sell sheet is designed around selling one or two key product feature and benefits, giving only enough information to keep the prospect reaching with more questions, but not so much information you kill the prospects reach by answering all their questions, or worse confusing them with too much information. Sell sheets are made to be inexpensive and to be passed out like tissue paper. The purpose is to get noticed and create interest.

A brochure by definition is a small booklet, catalog or magazine containing information and photos about a product or service. A brochure can be 4, 8 or 50 plus pages printed in full color. A trifold brochure is an abbreviated form of a brochure as it is a single sheet of paper but gives you 6 panels to work with.

A full color brochure gives a prospect or customer a lot more information on a product or a series of products and services. A brochure should be used as a tool to help move a prospect along in the sales cycle by demonstrating features and benefits of your product or services more fully and with color graphics and style. Brochures would be given out to prospects that have moved through the sales cycle to the point of being interested and wanting more information. A brochure is a tool to answer questions and close sales.

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There are 4 to 6 standard objections, which are similar to every product or service sold today. These objections are really questions revolve around price, dependability, performance and warranty.

Your brochure should be designed around answering these questions/objections. If your brochure is created properly it will walk an interested prospect through his questions to a buying decision. If you have a team of sales people or a single sales person, a brochure will help them close more sales. Some in business today try to cut cost buy emailing electronic brochures via email. This is fine is not as effective as a printed piece of promotion in the hands of a prospect.

A note on uses of Brochures and Sell Sheets:

Let’s say you are at a conference or a home show and a prospect asks you if you have any literature on your products and services. QUESTION: Do you reach into your bag of tricks and produce a brochure or a sell sheet?

Brochures and sell sheets are both powerful marketing tools, but sometimes it’s hard to know which one to use when. Hopefully the following will help clarify that for you.

The answer to the above question depends on where the prospect is in the sales cycle. Have they gotten to the point of being genuinely interested in your product or service or are they tire kickers? If they are genuinely interested, you should give them a brochure. It they are a tire kicker they have not come up to the point of genuine interest and will probably not read the brochure. Tire kickers should almost always be given the sell sheet.

The business trend today has been to have less and less interaction with prospects and customers. Many think they can put up a website and simply take credit card orders. This model may work for some businesses, but most of us need to have interaction with our customers to make a sale.

The simple fact with your business and most businesses is that nothing happens until someone talks too, handles and sells something to someone else. Most products and services require human interaction to do that. Someone who is selling a product or service is really answering questions and the more tools they have to do this, the more sales they will make.

QUESTION: What tools do your front line troops have to enlighten and sell prospects? When was the last time you updated your brochures or sell sheets?

Here is the killer question: do you have boxes of brochures or sell sheets sitting with an inch of dust on them? If you do, it’s a safe bet they either cost you a fortune and you are using them sparingly or they are ineffective. Promotional pieces sitting in a box are wasting your money. The more promotional materials you get out the more business will come in your door.

Today with the advent of digital printing it is very affordable to create high quality full color brochures and full color sell sheets in lower quantities. Brochures and sell sheets are vital tools—if you don’t have them or are not using the ones you have, you are losing business!

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I want to ask you one more question, what you are really selling? Are you selling cleaning supplies? New cars? Spa cover? Or cake mixes?

May I be so bold as to say, no, that is not what you are selling. If you sell cleaning supplies for example you are really selling help in getting clean floors. Or with cake mixes you are selling help in creating great memories with family and friends. My business for example, you might think Wilson Printing USA is selling paper and ink. That is not true, what we are really selling is “help” to solve marketing or customer service problems for our customers.

If you really look at it, your business is selling “help” too. Really look at what problem you are solving for your customers. Doing so will aid you in identifying they type of “help” you are selling. This information will help you create more effective brochures and sell sheets and your business will grow to levels you may have only dreamed of.

Mark Hale

CEO

Bulk Mail Tips – How to Save on Direct Mail Marketing

Saving Money on Direct Mail Marketing

You want to get the word out about your business. What is the best way to promote a small business? Or, for that matter to promote a large business?

Direct mail, isn’t that old fashion? Besides, postage costs seems high, is there a way to save money on direct mail postage?

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In today’s fast paced electronic age, direct mail is still one of the most effective ways for you to acquire new customers for your small business. Your message goes directly to your target market, and they will see it. There are still no spam filters or remote controls on your mailbox and the United States Post Office delivers regularly and reliably. This makes direct mail one of the most effective ways a small business can promote. There are only three things that can affect the response of a direct mail campaign. Other forms of advertising have many different factors that can affect response. Direct mail is by far the easiest form of advertising for success and results.

Postage cost is easily your biggest cost of direct mail marketing. Having a understanding of how the post office sets postal rates will help you to get the lowest postal rates.

Bulk mail, as defined by the United States Postal Service, is “quantities of mail prepared for mailing at reduced postage rates.” The key word here is “prepared” because essentially we do the work for the USPS, and in return they give you a break on postage. Bulk mail provides the lowest postal rates for you, but still the mail has to be prepared to get these rates. There are two ways you can prepare direct mail:

  1.      Use a Direct Mail House

A direct mail house is a business that has the equipment and expertise to sort and process your mailing list and mail piece to get the lowest possible postage. There are many guidelines to follow and requirements to meet before your mailing qualifies for discounts. A direct mail house knows the guidelines and how to get you the best deals on postage. Wilson Printing USA has a division or our company that is a direct mail house.

  1.      Go Your Own Way

This means you are going to do the sorting, labeling and paper work the post office needs. Going your own way will save you the money the direct mail house will charge for this service.

If you are really going to do this, understand it will take several hours to get the work done depending on how many pieces you intend to mail. You may need an employee specifically to handle the direct mail for your company. Or you can get your whole crew to stay late and have a bulk mail preparation party! You will also need a mailing permit from the post office.

Usually if you are going to mail 1,000 or more pieces it is worth the investment to hire a direct mail house like Wilson Printing USA to sort and process your direct mail for you. If you go it on your own you will need to get a mailing permit, buy mailing labels and stick the labels on your piece.

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Understanding the basic types of bulk mail postal discounts:

Standard Presort

Standard presort letter rate will average between .26 – .30 cents per letter or postcard. Your postal rate mostly depends on the number of zip codes you are mailing and the number of zip codes you mail to. The piece will need to have a standard mailing indicia and be bar coded. The standard delivery time is 7 to 12 business days. You will also get no returns of undeliverable postcards. The minimum number of pieces the post office requires is 200.

First Class Presort

First Class Presort postage will average between 33 to 40 cents per piece. The delivery time is 5 to 7 business days. Once again the amount of postage depends on the number of zip codes mailed to and the number of pieces mailed to each zip code. With first class presort you will get returns of the undeliverables.

Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM)

EDDM, as it is called, will give you the cheapest postage rates. Postage will run 17 to 20 cents per card. You also do not need a mailing list with EDDM. Read the related article on EDDM for the pros and cons of this type of mailing

There are other types of discounts, but the above three are the most common for most small business marketing. The types of direct mail pieces you can use to promote your business are very large and will be the subject of a future article.

I hope this article helped you to promote your business.

Mark Hale

CEO

Keep in Touch with Direct Mail Postcards

Happy People using direct mail postcards

Your best source of increased sales is from your current customers. The people most likely to purchase your products and/or services are the ones who have paid for them before. They know you. They were happy with their last purchase and you got to bypass that whole “get to know you” step you typically go through with new prospects.

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It also costs you far less money to keep a customer than it does to go out and get a new one. The above are the main two reasons that using postcards to keep in touch with your customer database is a must.

The following are tips to help you get the most out of your direct mail postcards marketing program for existing clients.

Rule #1: Make sure you get all your customer’s data.

It sounds like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at how many businesses do not collect the most basic information from their customers. The more basic rule here is that the more information you have on your customers, the easier it is to market to them. There was a book written by Harvey Mackay who ran a large business envelope manufacturing company. Harvey had what he called the Mackay 66, which basically was 66 pieces of information that they had collected on all their customers.

Rule #2: Don’t treat your customers like prospects.

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A customer is different from a prospect and a suspect is different from a prospect. Differentiate between people who have placed an order in the past and people who have not.

It is bad PR to send a customer who has placed a few orders a “10% Discount for First Time Buyers” postcard. It makes you look like you do not know what is going on in your own business. Customers will feel unappreciated. Bottom line, if they don’t qualify for an offer you are sending out, do not send it to them.

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Rule #3: Don’t let your designs get old and stale.

When you are mailing to databases of people that you have never spoken to before it is OK to send them the same postcard multiple times, repetition sells.

Repetitious mailings will help to increase recognition, making people aware of your business and it will eventually increase your response rates too. However, in dealing with customers and prospects that you have already spoken to, you should mix things up a bit. The first rule of marketing is to get noticed so you want your postcard mailer to get attention and also be informative.

If the promotional mailers that you send to your database get too repetitive, your customers will lose interest and at that point you are just wasting your money on postage because your postcards will not get the attention that you want them to.

It is a dog-eat-dog competitive market place out there and just being great at what you do is not always enough to keep the customers that you have already earned. You have to find ways to constantly remind your customers that you are the best at what you do. Direct mail postcards are the best way to give them that reminder. We have other tools you can employ to stay in front of your customers as well.

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Personalize everything that you can and make sure that what you are sending to a past client actually pertains to them or their company. There are several unique direct mail programs we offer that are personalized and attention getting. If you would like samples or more information on these unique direct mail programs please contact us.

How to Get More Business from Home Shows and Trade Shows

Home Show Success

Home shows and trade shows usually represent a big investment of your time and money. Are you getting enough business from your participation in home shows or trade shows to justify the amount of time and money you invest in them?

There are lots of ways to improve the success of your trade show participation, for instance, you can increase your returns from buying a snazzy display or by offering product discounts and employee incentives. But many of home shows and trade shows improvement methods come with hefty price tags.

The follow are 20 ideas you can use to pump up your trade show sales performance without breaking the bank:

1. Research the trade show before you commit:

  • Does it attract a large number of people from your target audience?
  • What type of audience does the show attract?
  • How are the organizers promoting the show?

This seems pretty basic, but the more information you can get about the show in advance will help you tailor your display and offers to the attendees.

2. Give yourself enough time – planning and preparation for a major trade show can take four to six months, for a home show or small trade show you can pull together in four to six weeks if you have a plan:

  • What types of full color printed sales flyers, brochures and catalogs do you need for the show?
  • Do any of your printed sales materials need to be updated?
  • Do the people going to the show need business cards?
  • Do any of the panels in your booth need updated?
  • What type of promotional products do you need for giveaways?

Looking at this in advance will save you last minute headaches and stress.

Click Here for Pricing on Flyers & Brochures!

3. Send e-mail reminders to loyal customers and strong prospects before the show, urging them to stop by your booth. The more self-promotion you do in advance, the better.

4. Define and write down your goals and objectives for your home show participation. Goals give you something to shoot for and without them you have no direction.

5. Share these goals and objectives with your booth staff. They can’t help you achieve your goals and objectives if they do not know what they are.

6. Make sure you have enough manpower to work the booth. Ask organizers what the peak days and times are for traffic. You do not want hundreds of prospects walking by and you have one or two people in your booth.

7. Give each person you have manning your booth a specific role, with job expectations clearly spelled out. It is also a good idea to give each person a specific quota.

8. Drill the traffic flow through the booth; everything from how to greet people, polite manners, appropriate body language and how to get a person interested in your product or service. Manners and body language are extremely important. Have you ever walked past a company’s booth and the personnel in the booth are sitting there slouched, looking bored and totally uninterested in what’s going on around them. What kind of impression does this give of your business? Are people more likely to stop or walk by?

9. Take the time to familiarize your team with the lead collection technology you’ll be using before the trade show. Is it a simple enter to win fish bowl? What type of information do you want to get from prospects?

10. Make sure at least some of the people going to the show are prepared to answer technical questions. (This is part of step 8)

11. Send friendly, personable people with a genuine enthusiasm for your company, its products and its services. These may not be your most senior people; make your choices based on effectiveness, not seniority.

12. Check in with your team throughout the trade show to assess performance, reward positive behaviors, and stop negative trends before they get out of hand.

13. Establish a dress code for your staffers: They’ll look more professional and act as better ambassadors for your company.

14. Don’t forget the shoes, hair, and accessories: people notice the details.

15. Two words: Breath Mints. I don’t think I need to say more on this.

16. Drill asking qualifying questions with your booth staffers. The more information and the better you qualify the prospects, the better your returns will be.

17. Product demonstrations are a great way to draw a crowd. Make sure your team knows how to give an effective, engaging presentation by having them practice before the trade show.

18. If you are sponsoring entertainment, a speaker, or other event, make sure your team knows what to do during this time. From working the crowd to collecting leads, there’s plenty they should be doing to promote your company’s name and image.

19. Put someone in charge of the booth. This person is the “go-to” person to act as a liaison for trade shows management. The better your relationship with management is, the better your show experience will be.

20. Establish a follow up protocol for hot leads, promising prospects, and likely customers. Use this protocol to turn leads into sales.

©2005-2014 Mark Hale, All Rights Reserved

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