How To Make A Super Brochure
Or Mailing Piece


by Tom Egelhoff

1. Put your selling message on the cover.

This is the most important rule of all and, curiously, one that is rarely followed.

The cover of a brochure works like a headline of a print ad.

Four out of five people never get beyond it.

If you depend on the inside pages to make a sale, you're wasting 80% of your money.


2. Insist on a "family resemblance" with your advertising. Develop a theme for your marketing plan and carry it throughout your ad campaign.

Pictures, colors, type styles and sizes all contribute to a successful mailing piece.


3. Use a single illustration on the cover. Research suggests that one large illustration is more effective than several small ones.

Use a single illustrations with story appeal that involve the reader and add impact.

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4. Select pictures that tell a story. The right photographs can often express your positioning better than words.

A picture truely is worth a thousand words — if it's the right picture. Find the best one that really tells your story.


5. Always caption photographs. Next to the cover, captions are the best-read element of any brochure.

Captions should add information and impact to your business story.


6. Don't be afraid of long copy. If people have bothered to write or express an interest in your brochure, they are prospects for the product or service you are selling.

Tell them everything they need to know.

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7. Spotlight the important facts. Remember that one of the most frequent criticisms of brochures in general is that they "do not give enough facts."

Tell consumers what's included, what the costs are, what the hours are.

Graphic devices can help to spotlight important information. Bold, Italic, reverse type (white text on a black background) are good examples.


8. Use photo's instead of drawings. Research says that photographs increase recall 26% over drawings.

Photographs suggest reality in the readers mind. The reader will place themselves in the story using the product or service when pictures are used.


9. Make your brochure worth keeping. Give your piece longer life, and longer selling power, by encouraging the consumer to keep it handy.

Include a coupon, special offer, or call-to-action. Something that makes it too valuable to throw away.

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10. Give your product a first-class ticket. In many cases, the brochure is your product; the "salesperson" who represents you to the customer.

Make it as good as your finances will allow.


11. Ask for the order. What action do you want the reader to take?

Write, call, return a card? Every piece of literature must contain a clear call to action.

If the customer doesn't act they lose something valuable.

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For more on brochure design and mailing see:

How to Design A Basic Brochure

How To Market Your Business With Your Brochure

Direct Mail: What It Is And How To Use It

Return to the "How to Start a Business" Directory


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