The humble brochure is the Dodge Caravan of today’s direct marketing environment. It’s old, it’s boring, it’s a relic of times long gone. Who looks to a brochure to generate leads, let alone to help sell prospects on a product or service?
All too often, we see brochures as something to skip over — perhaps a rack brochure at a rest stop will catch your eye on vacation, and you’ll skim quickly through it, looking for exciting pictures or to see if there is a coupon on the back flap. Then you set it down, or toss it in the trash can, and never think about it again.
But are brochures really a thing of the past? I don’t think so. The old standby 8×11 trifold brochure may be commonplace, but its simplicity is its strength. As is so often the case, the content makes all the difference.
Too many small businesses are guilty of trying to use a single brochure to tell their whole story. They believe that because their marketing budget can only accommodate a single brochure, they should cram into it as much information — or more accurately, generic marketing speech — as they can. In a pre-internet world, this might have made sense. These days, it’s nothing but a lack of planning.
A valuable brochure should whet your prospects’ appetite. Nothing more, nothing less. You need to offer enough specific information that people become intrigued and want to find out more, then give them a way to contact you for the extra information. That might be a web address, or a QR code, or a free report, or a coupon – there are a lot of options, but they all involve getting your customers to take the next step and interact with you further. If your bland brochure leaves them feeling like they know — and are already bored by — everything you do, why would they want more?
Want to write a brochure that will really leave your prospects hungry for more? Try these simple steps:
- Start with a catchy title that offers a benefit prospects desperately want, or asks a question that’s been plaguing them.
- Instead of asking your brochure copy to offer a superficial view of nearly everything your business can do, use it to tell an in-depth story about just one of your strengths.
- Provide a call-to-action and a way for prospects to get in touch – a QR code, a web address, a phone number.
- Finally, follow up! Mail your brochures to targeted prospects, and follow with a phone call or email a week later to see if recipients have any questions.
The next time you’re searching for a simple, cost-effective way to get people interested in your project, consider the humble brochure. With some solid copywriting and a focus on telling a great story, it can go from a marketing afterthought to a lead-generating dynamo.
Image credit: ewen and donabel, flickr