When your business has grown large enough that you want to make sales to people who don’t already know you personally, you will probably benefit from well-designed brochures.
Others have said it before, but it bears repeating: your brochure is valuable to your customers, even if they don’t read it. Yes, some of your clients may pore over every word and examine it in detail, take notes in the margin, and call you up with questions. But let’s face it: such clients are the exception, not the norm. Most people glance briefly at the front cover of the brochure and think to themselves that the simple fact that the brochure exists demonstrates that your company is reliable and your product is well-thought-out. Therefore, while the wording of the brochure must be effective, it is even more important for the brochure to be visually appealing. Colorful photos of your product, or pictures of smiling models, convey your message more quickly than any text. The layout, choice of colors, and use of typography may connote meaning even if the viewer barely reads a word.
There are a number of ways to design promotional and informational marketing pamphlets. Two of the most common types are trifold brochures and catalogs.
A trifold brochure is printed on a single sheet of paper and folded in two places (not three, despite the name) to yield a total of six panels: three on the front, and three on the back. A typical trifold design will use each panel effectively to convey a compelling message. The front panel must grab the viewer’s attention with an attractive layout design. The back panel typically provides important contact information for your company (or if the brochure is to be mailed, the back panel is where the addresses and postage go). When the front cover is opened, the inner flap conveys an inviting message. Finally when this inner flap is lifted, a gorgeous three-panel spread is revealed.
A catalog is essentially a long-form brochure. Catalogs typically provide a listing of a large number of items available for sale, along with product photos, a description, and of course the price. An effective catalog must also provide a means of placing an order, as simply and quickly as possible. Include a call to action, such as your toll-free number at the top of every page. Make the action imperative with a limited-time offer, such as a sale or other promotion.