The goal of a sales brochure is to generate sales, but secondary goals include building awareness of your products or services, setting you apart from competitors and enhancing your overall brand image. To meet those goals, a great brochure is professional and visually appealing, draws the reader in, delivers a specific message and meets your audience’s needs.
In short, think of a sales brochure as having two purposes, depending on your customers:
- A customer with an immediate need will review the brochure and contact your firm for goods or service; thus your brochure generates a relatively immediate response.
- A customer does not require your goods or services at this time, but may later on; so your brochure creates market awareness for future purposes.
Because a solid sales brochure should satisfy the needs of both audience types, developing your materials requires planning and thought. The key is to answer a few basic questions before you get started – the answers will help you develop your message:
- Who is my audience? What are their needs? What problems can my business solve for them?
- How can I best get my audience's attention? Are they more concerned about price, service, delivery, or other factors? What are their "hot buttons"?
- What materials – especially in terms of brochures – do they typically receive? Are those materials high-quality and relatively sophisticated? How can I make sure my brochure stands out and enhances my professional image?
Then develop the basic elements of an effective brochure:
- A great headline. The main message of your brochure should address the interests, needs and problems of your audience and how you will address those issues. Focus on your customers, not on your company. Customers don't want to know what you do, they want to know what they will get.
- Appealing visuals. A great brochure catches the eye. Make sure photos and graphic elements enhance rather than distract from your message. Ensure that the photos you include support the story you tell readers. For example, a picture of a person cutting grass may certainly explain what you do, but one of a delighted homeowner looking at an amazing lawn explains the benefits of what the customer receives.
- Logical groupings. Make it easy for readers to scan your brochure. Provide service descriptions in one area, contact information in another, background information on your company in yet another. Your layout should be clean, simple and easy to follow. The readers should be able to quickly locate information they are seeking.
- Simple descriptions. Unless you provide highly technical or sophisticated products or services, keep descriptions brief and to the point. You may be tempted to squeeze in as many product and service descriptions as possible. Don't. Focus on what interests your audience and provide that information in a concise way.
- Clear call to action. Offer incentives for a particular action. Provide free quotes. Provide free samples. Entice your readers and give them a reason to take action. Keep in mind, though, some brochures may be filed away for months or even years; if you include a special offer, specify when that offer will expire.
Once your content is ready, consider using a professional designer to create the actual brochure. Design is a specialized skill. A good designer can make your text and photos shine. After you've worked hard to identify your audience and speak to their needs, don't let a bad design dilute your great message.
Next, use quality materials. Good paper and superior printing enhances both your business image and product/service appeal. If nothing else, a beautiful piece is much harder to throw away.
As a final test, imagine handing the brochure to a potential customer. Will you feel proud? If not, head back to the drawing board. No matter how you distribute your brochures – by mail, in your media kit, at trade shows or inserted in packaging – you should always be pleased with what you have created.