How to Write and Create a Business Brochure to Drive Sales
Business| By Stuart Ridley | July 8, 2020
Here are the important things to include in a business brochure and tips on how to write and design it to ensure you convert potential customers into sales.
Great brochures are like superstar salespeople: they speak to your potential customers in relatable language, they show the most appealing benefits of your product or service to generate interest, they answer a few key questions – and then convert that interest into a sale with a simple call to action. Yes, digital marketing can do those things too, though printed brochures still have a lot of cut-through. After all, if someone has bothered to pick up a brochure, they're already interested in what you're offering. Here are some important things to include in a business brochure and tips on how to write and design a great brochure to maximise your marketing budget and convert potential customers to sales.
Why Print Brochures Work
Printed business brochures are an investment but when well executed your message is – literally – put straight into the hands of potential customers. Graphic Designer for the Officeworks Design Services Department Kirsty Mooy says you can’t ignore the power of physical connection with customers combined with targeted messaging. “Printed brochures are a personal touch that deliver the messaging you want into customers’ hands,” Mooy says. “Customers can take brochures home, read them, absorb them and connect.”
What’s more, Mooy adds, printed marketing brochures feel more trusted and high quality than digital messaging, which can be very general, and, often, websites are so vast it’s hard to find the information you are after.
Science agrees about the power of print connection.This eye-opening study used brain imaging and eye tracking on hundreds of test subjects. They were presented with digital and print brochures to measure three important thinking processes that can lead to a sale:
- Visual attention
- Ease of understanding
- is easier to understand and more memorable than digital media
- is far more persuasive than digital media
- is visually processed quicker than digital media
- is more likely to drive behaviour than digital media
Think Like Your Customer
Before you get into your brochure design, try to think like a customer instead of a business owner.
You can get some great ideas by talking with existing customers. Ask questions such as:
- Why did they choose your business? What attracted them first?
- What they discovered about your product or service when speaking with you (or a salesperson) that made them more interested?
- Was there an incentive to seal the deal?
- How else did you win them over: was it your personality? Great advice? Useful knowledge? Or an interesting anecdote about how the product or service will benefit them?
- What questions did they need answering? (Use these to help plan some of your brochure content.)
Next, write up a list of ideas for what to include in your brochure; information and images that will appeal to your target audience, keeping in mind those three thinking processes that lead to a sale: (1) visual attention, (2) ease of understanding, and (3) motivation.
Mooy cautions that small businesses need to know their customer before embarking on creating a marketing brochure: “Who is your target audience, what do you want to say to them and what’s your call to action (CTA)?”
Choose Words Carefully
Draft short, clear answers to those common questions you've had from existing customers first.
If you're 'selling' something, focus on the benefits for the customer. It's more important you explain what's in it for them, than try to highlight all the different features or options available.
Think, too, about what could motivate a sale. If you're presenting an offer, consider whether it's more or less beneficial – and convenient – for the customer to participate than if they just bought from you without the incentive.You might want data and contact details from a customer in exchange for a discount, but they might not want to share so much information with you.
Mooy says eye catching and smart headlines are also paramount, as is ensuring there are no spelling or grammar mistakes. “A printed brochure is like meeting someone new,” says Mooy. “First impressions count and you need to make your brochure desirable.” And the CTA is a must: “Do you want them to call you, visit your website, go in-store?”
Include Attention Grabbing Images
As the saying goes: a picture is worth a thousand words. But an image that’s too generic won’t do the job. “Images play a vital role in a brochure,” says Mooy. The right set of images will break up text and create much needed white space so your design is not too cluttered. “You need to use standout pics, ensure they are good quality resolution and that they will connect with the customer.”
Use imaging software such as Adobe Photoshop Elements or Corel PaintShop Pro to modify each image so it tells a better story by cropping it, zooming in on a detail or adjusting the colours to suit your brand.
Hot Tip: Note, you need to own the rights to use a picture before you can include it. PrintShop Professional includes more than 260,000 clip art images and photos that are available for use in marketing material.
What Are The Essentials?
Mooy says there are key elements to a business brochure — she sums it up: “Have a target audience [in mind]; keep the layout clean, fresh and simple; avoid too many fonts – two or three maximum; use great images to break up text and don’t forget that CTA.”
Use this handy guide, or download our PDF checklist (below) covering best-practice guidelines to create your next marketing brochure:
- Choose a brochure template that works with your brand (logo, fonts, colour palette, tagline) – PrintShop Professional includes over 6,500 marketing material templates, or you can book professional Design Services through Officeworks, or order a Marketing Material Design Pack to make life easier.
- Choose an attention grabbing cover image. People will judge a book (or brochure) by its cover. Tip: don't make your logo so big it dominates the cover.
- Put a promise or offer on the cover – keep it short and persuasive.
- Promote the main selling points in headlines: it should be possible for a customer to understand your offer, and want to take it up, just from reading the headings.
- Build interest by highlighting customer benefits more than product or service features.
- Outline why people should choose your business instead of a competitor: is it quality, price, presentation, speed of delivery, extra features and/or after-sales service?
- If possible, include short and relatable testimonials, reviews or case studies to highlight real-life customer benefits.
- Divide answers to common questions into short, skimmable sections of text so potential customers can jump to sections relevant to them.
- Give short explanations of how something works (or tasks are performed) and ideally use photos or illustrations to show real life experiences of your product or service.
- Include a clear and compelling call to action, such as an offer, to give your potential customer a reason to act now.
- Make it easy for potential customers to follow up with you: list your opening hours, phone numbers, email, physical location (if customers can visit you), website and social media handles.