A Better Client = A Better Brochure

21 04 2009

When it comes to brochure design, multiple factors can make (or break) the success of the project. This means that you need to be a very thorough and helpful client so your designer can create that perfect look for your brochure. Here are just a few areas in which you can make your designer’s job a little easier.

1. Images
Send all of the images that a designer could use in your brochure, from images of your company to customers using your product to your actual product. The designer may pull from a few stock photos as well, so let your designer know ahead of time if this is something you prefer or not. Also, don’t forget to send all file copies of your logo, as the designer may need the different sizes/designs.

2. Copy
Save yourself both time and money by writing the copy for each section, including the headlines, yourself. The only problem can be that many clients tend to feel possessive of their written work, making the designer’s job difficult. A designer needs the option to rearrange or reword information sometimes to make it all fit into the layout. Be a good client and allow the designer to do his or her job. You can always ask them to change anything that you don’t like once you see the proof.

3. Format
Don’t just assume that a designer can read your mind and choose the format you desire. Remember that brochure printing cn be done in all shapes and sizes, so let your designer know at the get-go the specifications of your brochure. Different sizes and folds mean different layouts, so ask your designer how the format you choose will affect the information you need to send.

4. Branding
You want your brochure to be an accurate representation of your company image, so give your designer all of the information they need to create a design consistent with your brand. Don’t forget about colors, fonts, taglines, and even past designs that represent the look you desire. If you don’t yet have brand information, be sure to communicate the look you are trying to create and any styles you don’t like.

5. Printing
Find out if the designer has a printing company he or she uses. If this is the case, make sure the quality and prices are right for your brochures. You may decide to send the file to a brochure printing company you trust rather than risking an excellent design on poor printing.

The bottom line: communicate with your designer, and not just a little. If you think of something after the consultation step is over, simply contact your designer. They will be more than willing to hear what you have to say to get your design right. Remember, a good client means a successful brochure design. Give your designer all the tools he or she needs and your brochure design is sure to be a smashing hit.


Guerrilla Marketing Brochures: Do More with Less Money

11 10 2008

Guerrilla marketing is all about inexpensive marketing done to achieve high results. Jay Conrad Levinson first coined the term with his 1983 book Guerrilla Marketing. Levinson defines guerrilla marketing: “It is a body of unconventional ways of pursuing conventional goals. It is a proven method of achieving profits with minimum money.”

Levinson contends that you don’t have to hit a home run with every marketing strategy – just getting a single here or there and then getting better and getting doubles and then triples works too. That’s actually how it works anyway.

So don’t expect wonders when you dive into printing tons of brochures without first thinking over how cost-effective you can implement your brochure printing campaign. Chances are you’ll be spending more than what you should be. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to create an eye-catching and effective brochure.

Here are some guerrilla ways to do it:

Use black-and-white printing. Color is indeed an effective way to catch people’s attention, but black and white can do it too, if done tastefully and with interesting graphics. If black and white weren’t an effective combination I don’t think the store White House Black Market would have lasted for over 10 years.

See if you can use just a splash of color. Using just one accent color can turn your brochure into an eye-catching piece as well. Ask your printer how much a 1-color job would cost. Make sure to design this one color into your brochure instead of designing it in black and white and then choosing some aspects to be in the accent color. Color for color’s sake won’t end up saving you any money because it won’t look good!

You can also add color by using colored paper. This is an old and cheap trick for adding color. But it does work!

Use your brochures for referrals. Use the back panel of your brochure for your current customer to put his info. Then tell him (and write it on the brochure) that if a friend brings in this brochure, they’ll both get a discount. You’ll need a way to keep track of who brings in a brochure, which shouldn’t be too hard. Just having a file folder for the returned brochures of those who still need a discount applied to their next order will do. The friend who brought in the brochure should get a discount upon presenting the brochure. This is also a great way to update your mailing list (with current customer info) and add to your mailing list with the new customer’s info.

Include a coupon in your brochure. Use one of the panels as a coupon – don’t make it a tear-out thing so that people will keep the whole brochure. This is a great way to keep the brochure from ending up in the trash – you’re giving people a reason to keep it.

The Best Way To Give Out Your Brochures

6 10 2008

Once you’ve created awesome brochures that are sure to garner attention and make your inbox full of product orders, you need to get those brochures out to consumers. Great-looking brochures won’t do you any good if you don’t get them into the hands of consumers. If you aren’t sure where to start, take a gander at the following brochure distribution ideas that might spark a distribution idea of your own.

1. Include your brochures in your direct mail campaign. Use your existing mailing list to mail out a brochure about an upcoming new product or service. If you were planning on mailing out a sales letter, just slip a brochure into the envelope as well. A nice glossy brochure with great photos will really help your sales letter make its mark.

2. Slip a brochure in with your finished orders. When you ship someone’s order to him, include a brochure or two that features other products that complement the product you’re shipping. Or, just include a brochure on new products that are in the works to pique interest. You can up your chances of getting another order from the customer by including a brochure that has a special offer or coupon inside. Be sure to let the person know there’s a special offer inside by touting it on the brochure’s front panel.

3. Hand out brochures at a trade show, seminar or other industry event. Take along some brochures to hand out wherever you plan to do some word-of-mouth marketing. You can staple a business card to the inside flap of a brochure so that when someone asks you for your card, you can hand them the brochure as well. Be sure to ask for that person’s card in return. You can then use the address on the card to perhaps send a follow-up brochure later.

4. Publish brochures on your Web site. You can create a Web version of your brochure or you can scan a brochure and create a PDF version that people can download to read when they’re away from the computer. This option saves you some postage, and gives people the flexibility of reading your brochure on the computer or away from the computer.

5. Use your brochures in a cross-marketing partnership. If your business and another business already have a marketing partnership going, simply ask to display your brochures in the other business store and offer to do the same for your partner. It’s easy to set up a display rack for your brochures in someone else’s store and you’ll get twice the traffic than you would setting up a display rack at your store only.

6. Hand out brochures to customers. You can either slip a brochure in their sacks with their purchase or you can hand the brochure directly to the customer. It entices the deal if the brochure has some kind of coupon or special offer printed on it.

Another idea is to create a referral brochure in which you hand your current customer a brochure at checkout with that has room for her contact info, and then if she gives that brochure to a friend who comes in the store with the brochure, the original customer gets a coupon or a discount on her next purchase.

Hopefully these brochure distribution tactics has spurred some ideas of your own. It doesn’t matter how you get your brochures in consumers’ and customers’ hands, as long as you get them there. Make sure you target your brochure distribution so that you don’t waste your brochure printing budget.

Keys to a Good Brochure

3 07 2008

Before you print any more brochures, make you are designing some truly effective ones. If you have already used a brochure in the past, evaluate how effective it was for you. Do not keep throwing out the same brochure if it is not working. You should constantly look at your brochures and think about how you can improve them.

Here are some things to think about:

Know Your Customers
You have to know who you are targeting before you target them. Think about this, and think of how you can go about attracting the people that might need your product or service.

Know How to Attract Your Customers
Once you know who you are targeting, you need to figure out how to get their attention. And you have to do that in a hurry, with a very good headline on your brochures. Without an eye catching, attention grabbing headline, your brochure is useless.

Use the Right Kind of Words
Not only which words, but how they are displayed. Do not use all capital letters, because they are difficult to read. Only use bold type on the areas that you are really trying to concentrate on. And be sure to include plenty of white space, in the form of space between words and lines of text. Finally, try to keep all of your sentences short; they are more readable that way.

Always Go With Color
Color text is infinitely more attractive than black and white. Color brochures will attract a whole bunch more attention than black and white ones. Invest in color; it is not that expensive, and the benefits far outweigh the costs.

Focus on Keywords
There are some words that are just more powerful than others. Some of the most powerful words in our language include:

• New
• Save
• Free
• Easy
• Proven
• Now

Keep Things Original
Do not use old, boring clichés in your brochures. Customers will quickly discard any brochure that tries to throw out old useless language. Use only unique, enticing words in your brochures, and in all of your advertising material.

Ask for Feedback
Before you send in your design for printing, give it to people you know and ask for feedback. Try to get honest answers, also. And try to ask people who have some knowledge about your business or industry. They will be able to give you an idea of how effective your brochure will be.

Make Sure They Can Reach You
Always, always, always make sure to include your contact information. Give readers your address, website address, email address, phone number, and fax number. Make it easy for them to get in touch with you.