Good brochures can be powerful advertising tools that help persuade prospects to do business with you. Here are some of the benefits of brochures, their disadvantages and a 9-step process for creating your brochure.
Benefits of Brochures
These days, brochures and information packets are a requirement for any type of legitimate business. Let’s look at a few of the benefits of brochures.
- Credibility – Very few businesses today operate without some type of brochure describing their services. In a world where anyone can spend $50 on letterhead and business cards, a brochure proves you are in business and are more than a fly-by-night operation.
- Save time – It would be too time consuming for you to type up individual letters to every prospect that showed interest in your offering. The solution is to collect your basic information into a single brochure that prospects can take with them and read at their leisure.
- Reinforce advertising and direct mail programs – They are a handy way to tell prospects the essentials of your business including how your service works, what your solutions will do for prospects, and how prospects can take the next step in working with you.
A good sales brochure does more than explain and inform. It also persuades. It translates your facts and features into customer benefits and sells your services.
Disadvantages of Brochures
While brochures have many benefits, they also have a number of disadvantages. For example,
- Brochures rarely close the sale. - Brochures can be effective at generating interest in your products and services, but unless you are selling a low-cost product, they rarely will close the sale for you.
- Brochures are expensive to print. – If you anticipate changes in the future, printing up a few hundred copies doesn’t make much sense. In most cases, you benefit from economies-of-scale with printers, so the more you order, the less each cost-per-brochure is. It can be tempting to print up more than you need to take advantage of the cost savings.
- Brochures are expensive to change. – Despite your proofreading efforts, occasionally a typo will go unnoticed until the brochure has been printed. If you want to reprint the brochures, you have to shell out more money to get them fixed.
- Some prospects will ask for a brochure when they want you to go away – When a prospect asks you to send information or leave it behind, often they are doing so to get rid of you. Asking for a brochure is a polite way of telling you they aren’t interested.
For small-businesses, sometimes creating a presentation folder is a better alternative to a brochure. With a presentation folder, you can assemble flyers, data sheets, articles, and case studies that are most relevant to your prospects without the high cost of printing up generic brochures.
9 Steps To Creating A Great Brochure
If you have decided that a brochure is right for you, here is a simple step-by-step process for creating your brochure.
- Determine your brochure’s purpose. Why are you creating this brochure? Is it to provide product details? Establish your company’s credibility? Get prospects to call you or arrange a meeting? Distribute news? Sign up for a free trial? Purchase a product? Before you can create an effective brochure, start with one clear purpose. Think about how you will use it during your marketing and sales process. Rarely will one brochure be effective as a prospecting, lead generation and sales tool, so define how you will use this brochure and stick with that purpose.
- Identify your target audience. Who are you creating this brochure for? What do they want to know? What questions do they have? What would they find interesting or informative?
- Decide on your budget. How much can you spend on the brochure? Will you hire a copywriter? A designer? Do you have enough money budgeted for full-color printing?
- Decide on your time frame. Plan ahead. Great design and copy take time. If you need something for tomorrow’s meeting or the trade show next week, you will sacrifice quality for fast turnaround and you are much more likely to miss typos and other errors.
- Create your brochure’s contents. Choose the top two or three problems most people who use your products and services face and describe them in your brochure. Then, provide examples of how your product or service solved those problems along with case studies, testimonials, and other credibility boosters. Don’t try to cram your entire sales pitch into one brochure. Keep it simple.
- Create the brochure’s design. It’s much easier to create the brochure’s design if you already have the content. If you have a low budget, consider purchasing a template from StockLayouts.com. Otherwise, consider what type of design you prefer from your graphic designer. Collect samples of competitors’ brochures and provide detailed feedback about what you like and don’t like. If you have ideas for placement, colors, and images, be sure to tell your designer.
- Edit. Despite your best efforts, inevitably, you will need to tweak your content to fit the design layout. Some sections will be too long to fit on a page. Others may be too short. Work with your designer and copywriter to find a balance between design and content.
- Proofread. Once the brochure is finished, proofread it at least three times. If possible, get three other people to proofread it as well.
- Send to the printer. When you are happy with the design, content, and revisions, send the brochure to your printer. The printer will likely give you a final proof to look over before they print the document. Again, proofread this carefully to make sure all images are in place and the right fonts are used. When you are happy with the proof, give your final approval.
As you create your brochure, avoid the temptation to make it all about you and your company. Instead, focus on your prospects’ problems, the benefits your solutions offer, and include a call to action.