Brochures - The Ultimate Guide For Small Businesses
Design & More!
not a vestige of
Think back to the last time you were at a hotel
on vacation. Somewhere there, perhaps inside
the vending area, was a kiosk filled with
brochures. Maybe it caught your eye and you
grabbed a few.
When done correctly,
Whether you use brochures as a mini-catalog of your services, or
to provide answers to frequently asked questions, the end result
an effective brochure campaign will be a more developed
relationship with your customer.
brochures can provide value to your customers
and validate your usefulness to them.
Brand Awareness and
Selling a Service or Product
The two main uses of brochures are
Use brochures to provide enhanced
information about your company.
Provide an overview of your company. Talk about industry awards you
may have received. Mention special ways your company gives back to
the community. Include behind-the-scenes images of your team
sponsoring charity events.
One great advantage of brochures is that they stand
out from other types of promotional pieces.
It requires a decision to throw away a brochure, and it’s rare for
someone to throw away a brochure without at least a cursory look-
through, especially if your brochure cover is appealing and attention-
Sell A Service
If you want customers to know
about a particular service or
package, print it up in a brochure
and hand it out.
This is especially useful with new services that
you’re hoping to market. Simply positioning the
brochures near your point of sale can spark
High Pressure Tactics
Brochures are the antithesis of
and are particularly effective for those who don’t
respond well to aggressive coercion.
Easier and More Difficult
With so many choices available, designing a brochure
has never been
Sometimes, more choices make it harder to figure out what is truly
necessary and effective, and what will detract from the brochure. That’s
why we created this ultimate guide–to help you make the best choices for
The first step
is finding the customer’s problem.
Why are they coming to you? What value can you add to them? Once you
discover that answer, you can build your brochure’s story around it.
Let’s start by discussing the
Every brochure should include.
Must Be Catchy
If your brochure doesn’t immediately attract
attention, it might as well not even exist.
Here are some important things to keep in mind
when it comes to design:!
• Include Large Images
• Provide the Perfect Font
• Select Inviting Colors
• Make Room for White Space
Must Be Informative
It should identify what’s wrong and then provide the solution quickly. If
the answer is not immediately evident, the reader will lose attention.
Aim to provide core, useful information to the reader.
Be Sympathetic to
Reader’s Point of View
The most effective marketing strategies are focused on customer
experience. See how the customer sees the problem, not how you see it.
Explain the problem, from the customer’s perspective, it will validate the
customer’s experience and provide them with enhanced incentive to
When you see the problem,
Your Brochure Must Be
Highlight the most important features and answer the most commonly
asked questions, and provide a way for customers to speak to you
directly about any other questions or concerns.
Not sure if you should include it or not? Refer back to the previous
point–would the average customer care about this information? Don’t
try to appeal to every single customer, just appeal to the average one.
Make use of white space and avoid crowding your
brochure with extraneous information.
Be High Quality
Avoid the temptation to go cheap with your brochure. After all of the
time and money you pour into your design, you don’t want it to end up in
the trash. It’s much more likely to end up in the trash than a full color,
laminated gloss. If it feels rich, it’s less likely to be treated like trash.
A brochure can be any length, but the most effective are under 30
pages. The length will depend on the topic of your brochure. On the
other hand, you may be able to get everything you’d like to say on one
8.5” x 11 tri-folded page.
Weight is often overlooked when it comes to brochure printing. For a
brochure, the best weight is between a standard office copy paper and a
If you are handing out promotional information at a tradeshow, you
need those brochures to be substantial. Giving out a weighted brochure
gives your company presence, and it sends the impression that you
have invested in your own business.
Choosing the weight of your brochure depends on
its intended distribution.
You should also add contact details so that customers know all the ways
to reach you. You can’t rely on the fact that you distributed the brochure
to your customers in store. Cover all your basis and provide your contact
information for multiple channels.
Another great feature to include on your brochure is a QR Code. QR
code is short for Quick Response, and is a square-like barcode that you
can place on your brochure. Users with QR code reader apps on their
smart phones can scan the code and be automatically linked to a web
address of your choosing.
Generating a QR Code is fairly straightforward. You can visit Kaywa QR
Code or Visualead or a myriad of others to create and download a code
This opens up the perfect opportunity to expand
on the information presented in your brochure.
Call to Action
The final, most important part of any brochure is the call-to-action. At
the end of your brochure, don’t just hope for the best–prompt readers
Referring back to the two types of brochures, your brochure’s purpose
is either to promote products/ services or to evangelize your brand.
The purpose of your brochure will
inform the appropriate call-to-action.
your call-to-action may be a promotion code that’s only available for
orders over the toll-free number, or ask them to sign up on your website
for a free resource guide or eBook. You can also ask them to like you on
Facebook for additional coupons.
If you’re promoting a
product or service,
Or enhancing your brand’s credibility avoid promotions because it will
cause your readers to focus on price and not quality. This is especially
important when promoting your brand.
If you’re increasing
WE ARE THE
Where you distribute your brochure is just as
important as having a brochure to begin with.
Your original purpose in creating the brochure
will guide your distribution. For example, if
you’re courting new business, it would be less
effective to distribute your brochures to your
existing customer base.
Let’s take a look at 6 avenues for distribution:
1. Trade shows, Conferences, and Events
2. Point of Sale
3. Waiting Area
4. Direct Mail
5. Client Meetings
What you say in your
brochure depends on your
Always keep in mind who you are speaking to and
who will be will buy your product or service.
All brochures should communicate
who you are and what you do or offer.
A logo is not sufficient as a brand message, no matter how recognizable you
may be. Even Coca Cola feels the need to explain who they are inside of their
brochures. Take the opportunity to introduce yourself in your brochure.
This brochure by
The Coca Cola
Your brochure should also
include between 1-3 reasons
why the reader should do
business with you.
Understanding your target
demographic will help you tailor this
message just for them.
Let’s take a look at 3
examples of small
businesses and what you
could potentially include in
each type of brochure:
Auto Repair Company Brochure:
Include a satisfaction guarantee, a list of services, a coupon,
Auto Repair Company Brochure:
Include a satisfaction guarantee, a list of services, a coupon,
Family Dentist Brochure:
Include dental care facts, FAQ, services offered, a list of accepted insurance
providers, customer testimonials, and before & after images of smiles.
Include local favorite menu items, lots of large images of the food, a price
list (because restaurant brochures are widely distributed and price is a huge
motivator), and a map.
Although tri-fold is most widely associated type, brochures come in a
wide variety of presentations. The three most popular types of
presentation are folded, saddle stitch, and perfect bound.
Let’s take a look at the most popular fold types.
Saddle stitch is next in line. This type of
binding is stapled at the fold of the spine.
Rounding it off, we have perfect binding. In this type of binding, glue is
applied to the left edges of the paper and they are bound together. Next,
a spine cover is glued to the edge block.
(Images courtesy of psdcovers.com)
Should you do your own brochure or hire someone
else to do it? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. It
will depend on your skill level and your available
time, along with other considerations.
Let’s take a look at what it takes to do both.
If you’re artistically inclined, doing your
own brochure may seem like a no brainer.
It’s a good idea to have access to Adobe Photoshop, Indesign, or at
least the Photoshop-alternative Gimp. Many print shops provide
downloadable blank templates for you to work on.
You should definitely take full advantage of
royalty free stock images.
There’s many great options available, including Shutterstock and
Dreamstime, but I also like Pixabay for free images.
Also, it’s important to consider your font.
Chose a font that’s great for tiny print. Here are my top 5 selections:
Next, you’ll need to consider your printer.
If you’re DIYing your brochures, you should have access to a high
quality printer that’s able to handle color printing and heavier paper
weights. You’ll also need to invest in high quality, heavy weight paper.
Look for 80 lb or 100 lb paper in matte or gloss.
If you’ve decided to hire someone else to do the brochures, there’s
a lot to consider. The very first thing you should think about is
whether to hire a designer or purchase a premade template.
Purchase a template from Graphic River or Inkd and then upload it
to the online printer company of your choosing.
Let’s briefly review 3 printer companies
with the following parameters:
1000 8.5” x 11” 100lb Gloss Brochures
Offers instant pricing, helpful customer service, and fast same day
turnaround on 100lb gloss text and 10 pt gloss cover stocks. They
do not offer pre-made templates.
For the previous specifications, Print Place charges
$212.50, or .21¢ per brochure. Shipping is $15.08.
For 5000 brochures, the price is $424.00, or .08¢ per
brochure. Shipping is $54.23.
offers the entire gamut of folding choices, from tri-fold to double gate
to z-fold. They have a design department who can create designs for
as little as $15.
For the previous specifications, UPrinting charges
$202.13, or .20¢ per brochure. Shipping is $18.78.
For 5000 brochures, the price is $486.79, or .09¢ per
Provides fair customer service, but has a wide library of pre-made
templates to choose from.
For the previous specifications, VistaPrint charges $350,
or .35¢ per brochure. Shipping varies depending upon
delivery date, but ranges from $12.99 to $34.99.
For 5000 brochures, the price is $700, or .14¢ per brochure.
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