Add Punch To Your Brochure By Formatting For Results
Mark Hale ‐ October 25, 2013
You can waste a lot of time trying to design a brochure and the end product of all your work being wasted if you are not aware of how to format it. The proper format can ad punch to your brochure. A good graphic designer can take the basic data you provide and using their skills create a design that will guide your customers and prospects to buying from you. The entire process starts with you. It will help you to know the basic elements the designer will use. Targeting the message in your brochure is important and should be kept in mind while pulling together information.
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Format the Brochure
A brochure’s design may vary, but its components are usually the same. They are:
- Front cover headline. Purpose to get attention and to get the reader to open and read more.
- Inside subhead. Purpose to pull the reader along and direct readers attention to important sections.
- Body of the brochure. Purpose to provide data and fill in the blanks from the headlines.
- Introductory paragraph
- Identification of your product/service
- Benefits of your product/service
- Your competitive edge
- Testimonials, client lists, awards and honors
- Back cover company information, if self mailing brochure be sure to include mailing address and a place for a stamp.
Results-oriented brochures must start with a great headline. The headline needs to scream a benefit to your target customer. The headline is the most important parts of your brochure. If it is enticing, the customer will read on. If it lacks luster, you’ve wasted your money and maybe lost a prospective customer. Your headline needs to catch the interest of the reader by providing the answer to their question of “What’s in it for me?”
The best headlines either address a solution to a problem or state a problem.
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For example, “Reduce Your Financial Worries,” or promote a benefit, “How To Live Longer and Healthier.” However, you must immediately and specifically target your audience to clearly identify the benefit or solution you are offering. Headlines can ask a question, “Do You Want to Gain Financial Freedom?” or, “Would You Like to Lose 10 Pounds?” Questions will immediately target your audience (if the answer is “no,” the reader is not a valid prospect, and, in turn, will not open the brochure).
Now list the top four benefits your business offers.
Write The Inside Subheads
The inside subheads must get the prospect’s attention and reinforce your cover headline. Frequently, the subheads describe the components of the body copy – your products/services, benefits, competitive edge. For instance, if you own Green’s Landscaping, your subheads might be, “Don’t Be Green With Envy” (followed by your product/service description), “We Save You Greenbacks” (which heads a list of benefits), and “We’re Greening America” (which describes your natural, environmentally friendly competitive edge). Subheads should be kept concise and, when appropriate, interesting.
Write The Body
Your introductory paragraph should address the issue presented on the cover. If you asked a question “Would You Like to Lose 10 Pounds?”, you must answer it, “You Bet!”. Entice your prospects, but don’t overwhelm them with thesis-length sentences. Most important, the introductory paragraph should establish the need for your product or service. If your product or service does not fulfill some type of need, then it has no value, and you have no customers. You must be able to describe in your introductory paragraph why customers cannot live without your product/service. You can’t bury this in the body copy. If you don’t tell them immediately, few will read on.
Going back to Green’s Landscaping, the introductory paragraph might begin:
“Have you ever longed for the day when your lawn rivals that of a golf course, but you haven’t even disposed of last year’s leaves? Most of us don’t have the time anymore to do the things we like much less do those chores we detest. At Green’s Landscaping, we”
The body copy must include a description of your products and services, their features and major benefits, and that which sets you apart from your competition. Again, when writing the body copy, remember your target market and the message you’re trying to get across. Be selective, you do not want to be exhaustive when developing your benefits and competitive edge. List only those that are relevant to the prospective customers you are trying to reach. If you try to list everything, the most important features may get lost.
If you have trouble getting started, on a separate sheet of paper, make an outline of your products and services, your benefits and your competitive edge. Then, go back and fill in the words later. Keep your sentences short and concise. The inside panels of the brochure should promote your competitive edge, the benefits of doing business with your company and a description of your products or services.
- Be Creative. Use adjectives that best describe your business. Are your products one-of-a-kind, exciting, innovative, high quality, cutting edge, results-oriented, creative, dynamic or distinguishable?
- List and/or describe only your primary products and services. Don’t provide a laundry list of all the things you do. State what you do and why you do it best. Sell yourself and your business.
- People buy a product or service because they either need or want to. In order to create a need or a want, you must promote the benefits of using your product or service. Many business owners advertise the features of their business and neglect to promote how the product or service will benefit the customer. Features enable the product or service to perform its function. Benefits are the results a person receives from using the product or service.For example, Nike and Reebok don’t advertise the actual features of their shoes. They don’t mention what the shoe is made of or how it is constructed. Instead, their commercials advocate that you will jump higher, run faster and play better. Similarly, Volvo advertises the safety of their cars, not necessarily the design features that make their car safe.
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