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What is a brochure?

23 Nov 2018 | Tags ,
Tri-fold brochure.jpg

What is a Brochure? How to Design a High Sales Conversion Brochure

Unfortunately, most brochures are destined for the trash. Our role as creative designers is to change the course of this disastrous fate against overwhelming odds.

This peppermint guide is aimed at creative designers who want to avoid mistakes that make brochures a boring and unattractive mess. We will shed light on some powerful marketing strategies that will help you design brochures that leave a lasting impact on your audience.

This may sound like an uphill task, but it’s not. It’s quite easy if you follow the tips and strategies we’re going to mention in this article.

But before we get down to business, let’s brush on our knowledge of the basics.

So, what is a brochure?

Unlike a leaflet, which has a single fold, a brochure has multiple folds and is one of the most adaptable and cost-effective marketing tools to target audiences.

And, what is the purpose of a brochure?

A brochure can serve many purposes. Some of them are outlined below.

  • A brochure can throw light on your company’s services and products. It can come in handy when you’re doing a presentation for your potential customers. It can provide visual support in employee interviews.

In general, it is extremely useful in situations when you want to familiarize people with you or your brand. If you have difficulty explaining your company’s core values, its mission, and services, in two to three simple sentences, you should definitely consider making a brochure.

  • A brochure can also serve the purpose of a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions). If your product or service is hard to understand and you’re tired of customers asking questions like “am I eligible for your service?” consider designing a brochure. It can significantly reduce the number of questions aimed at you like an uncontrollable water hose.
  • A brochure can also convey a step-by-step guide or a tutorial to educate your audience about a certain service or product. For example, if you want to teach people how to preserve wildlife or how to evacuate a building during an earthquake, you can do so effectively through this marketing medium.

Health professionals can spread awareness about the various causes of Malaria and other diseases. Similarly, a series of brochures, one on Malaria, another on a cardiovascular disease can be made.

  • You can also use a brochure to attract volunteers for a campaign. Most of us have this drive and passion for charity.

So, if you’re an organization, in dire need of good men and women, to help kids in an underprivileged area, outline your contact information, social media links, and other ways to get in touch with you in a brochure. This will give a way to your intended audience to act.

  • Are you planning a concert or an art exhibition? A brochure can spread the word about its whereabouts and other details. You can even expound upon the events in your designated program.

How are Brochures Used?

Sometimes, you send brochures as direct mail to your audience. It has an intimate effect on their psyches. They feel valued and personally cared for. Sometimes, brochures are deliberately placed on shelves at places your target audience is likely to visit.

You can also divide the message of your brochure to target a range of potential audiences.

Brochures can accomplish all that for your business ― and without breaking the bank. So, why are people missing out on this powerful marketing messenger? Well, because it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Not everyone can do justice to its format.

That’s why we’ve outlined everything you need to cater to before jumping on the tricky process of brochure designing.

 

RELATED: What is Brochure Design?

 

Getting Started with Your Brochure Design

Know the Purpose

You should have clarity about what purpose your brochure will serve. Doing so will pave a smooth path for making informed decisions on the design and layout and everything in between. It will help you choose the appropriate text, the images, and various other aspects.

So, ask yourself: why make the brochure in the first place?

Am I doing this because…

  • I want to invite people to an event?
  • Introduce potential customers to a new product or a company?
  • Educate the people about a product they know nothing of?

Answer these questions and then proceed to work out the mechanics of your copy.  Some sale propositions are technical, while others are aimed at evoking a certain emotional response.

Decide the Number of Folds

Knowing this will help you decide the kind of vocabulary and wording that you’re going use and the number of folds your brochure is going to end up with.

And folds, especially, are important. Here’s how…

  • Bi-fold brochures are used when your sales proposition isn’t too complex or lengthy. Graphics and photography are high quality and dominate and supplement the message of the minimal copy.

bifold brochure - what is brochure

Source

A bi-fold brochure is suitable for a business like a rodent removal company. The job they do is fairly simple ―rodent inspection, control, and removal. This removes the need to excessively educate their potential customers about their methods and techniques. Their main focus is to adorn the brochure with compelling photography and images and minimal but effective text to really stand out among the competition.

 

  • Tri-fold brochures, on the other hand, come in handy when:

 

  1. You want to shed light on the different facets of your business
  2. You’re detailing the technicalities of a product or a service.
  3. You are giving a step-by-step guide of a process.
  4. You’re using it as a component of a direct mail campaign.

A company selling washing machines may opt for this format. They want their audience to know why their machines are superior and why they should buy them.

Although the photography will have a certain importance, it’s the text that will make the pivotal difference in this format. Also, in the case of a visit to an industrial facility who wants to buy the washing machines in bulk, the brochures can work as leave-behinds.

 

trifold brochure - what is brochure

Image Credits: Najmus sakib

  • Z-fold brochures make the cut when:

There is the question of accommodating massive photography and images since this format folds out into one big page.

 

z fold brochure - what is a brochure

Image Credits: Gio Blush

How to write a brochure

Most studies have suggested that you have a window of a mere 5 seconds to captivate your reader’s sentiments. After that: the opportunity is gone.

To start on the right foot, lay the brickwork for your company’s message from the outset.

Additionally, you will also have to learn how to squeeze the best out of your brochure’s format. This can take some doing.

Basically, you have to segment the design elements of your brochure properly. Here are some pointers.

Narrow down the Message

One fold of the brochure will create one panel. A bifold will have 4 panels, whereas tri and z-folds will have six.

Before writing anything on these panels, figure out the message each of them is going to convey. Is it going to answer something about your product? Is it going to include a call-to-action? And Is it going to integrate a stunning image?

 

RELATED: How Much Does it Cost to Have a Brochure Designed?

 

Think of a Tagline

Most brochures have a bland and text-lacking image positioned on the first panel. Think outside the box. Create a compelling tagline to accompany your flagship image. Don’t underestimate the power of words.

 

think of a tagline

Image Credits: Kurt weaver

Include your Contact details

Your brochure should be short and to-the-point. Nothing too extravagant or fancy. Each segment should contain only the information that your prospects need.

And don’t forget contact information, including address, social media details. Place them on your back panel to drive proactive customer-action.

Keep the Wording Simple

Once you’ve figured out what goes where ― done all the mental mapping ― it’s time to pen down the actual words. Now, I would advise you to hire a professional copywriter.

That’s the only right way to go.

But if you think you’re capable and can actually spare some time from the time-consuming affairs of your business, without jeopardizing it, here are some tips to help you nudge in the right direction.

Keep the language simple. Big words are impressive, sure but they go over the head of most customers. Use straightforward and direct sentences that make a mark.

Remember you don’t have to adhere to every grammatical rule. Most impressionable advertisements don’t. For instance, Nike’s tag line: Just do it, is a fragment. But as long as it makes sense and is short, it works.

Be Direct and to-the-point

Don’t beat around the bush. Address the customer directly, in the first person.

Keep the paragraphs short ― two to three lines at most. Use bullet points and sub-headings to break down content and help ease navigation.

Proofread the Brochure

Read the brochure aloud and ask for a second opinion. This will help you narrow down the mistakes, typos and other glitches.

 

How to design the Brochure

You’re halfway through. You’ve chosen the words that you think your audience will like to hear. Now it’s time to decide the design elements and make them appealing. But before you make these sensitive choices, you have to take two things into your consideration.

Create A High-Resolution logo

Designing a logo on Adobe Illustrator, Adobe reader, and of course, the enormously popular Adobe Photoshop is your best bet. If you opt for some other software, make sure the logo is 300 dots per inch (DPI).  For further guidance, a logo with 3 inches in the final print dimensions will be 900 pixels wide.

Choose HD Images

Never compromise on the quality of your photos. They should be strictly high definition. With all these expensive phones, equipped with amazing cameras, it can be tempting to take a photo from your phone. I understand where you’re coming from.

But trust me; nothing comes close to a proper digital camera. If you don’t own such a camera, hire a local photographer. It’s worth the investment. Ask him to create tons of images that will last you months or years.

RELATED: How To Design A Brochure?

Alternatively, you can also visit websites, such as unsplash, pixabay to get your hands on high quality royalty-free images.

 

choose HD photos

Image Credits: Exodus Travel Brochure

Pick minimal fonts

Now onto the choice of fonts.

Keep the number of fonts less than three. The more the varieties of fonts, the more likely they will get on the nerves of the reader and confuse him.

If your company has a signature font, stick with it. It will help your customers recognize your brand.

Keep the Layout Simple

Simplicity is king. Sophisticated layouts will overwhelm and boggle the reader. If you’re not getting your message across, your creativity isn’t worth a grain of salt.

Think of the Presentation

One thing more to consider is the presentation. Is your brochure going to rest on a flat desk or place inside a holder shelf? Is it going to be placed into a presentation folder or personally handed out? Answering these questions will help you choose the look of your front panel.

Choosing the right paper stock

Most people make the mistake of choosing a paper that’s readily available. The stock has a final say on how your design is going to appear. You can’t just choose a low-quality stock and hope for your design to come out as neat and smooth as it was displayed on your digital machine. It doesn’t work that way.

Each paper has its pros and cons that can either accentuate a design element or downplay it.

  • For instance, glossy papers are ideal for situations when you want to use glittering colors and massive photos. However, the immense reflectivity of this stock can decrease visibility in bright light.
  • For black and white enthusiasts, matte paper is the go-to choice. It gives a more professional and sleek look than the fancy glossiness of a glossy paper.
  • Uncoated paper is raw and pulpy. If you’re a sucker for earth tones, it can nicely complement your final design.
  • For eco-conscious people, and I believe every one of us should be without question, a recycled paper stock works best. It’s quite similar to uncoated and is comfortable to write and read on.
  • Those who want to lessen their environmental impact should look at the recycled paper stock that companies like Vistaprint offer. Much like uncoated, it’s easy to read and write on.

Getting the most out of your brochures

To improve the impact of your brochure, here are some tips.

  • Leave-behinds: Leave brochures after an important business meeting or on doorsteps. Leaving behind brochures, especially after a business meeting, can help snatch common customers.
  • Personal handouts: Distribute brochures when making sales calls, visiting a conference or a gathering of your target audience. You can hand them door-to-door, but that sometimes seems creepy and outdated. You can also use handouts as visual support while giving your sales pitch.
  • Trade shows: Making specific brochures for specific events to target specific audiences is another great way to maximize impact. Keep a supply of brochures, ready for distribution, on your table in trade shows.
  • Direct Mail: Direct mail brochures are one of the best ways of converting customers. Fit one in a business envelope and mail it to a well-thought-out mailing list.

Conclusion

In the end, everything hinges upon the selection of your message. Regardless of your target audience, make sure your brochure is the best possible representation of your product or business and has a unique selling point that raises you among the common herd.

 

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