Common-Sense Marketing

Get the Design and Copy Writing of your Sales Brochures Wrong...

...and you'll waste thousands of sales opportunities!

So, before you invest in design and printing, follow these critical guidelines:

When it comes to effective brochure design and copywriting, far too many brochures aren't worth much more than the paper they're printed on. They do little to educate prospects, build credibility, or advance sales efforts. And when poorly designed, a brochure can actually do more to kill a sale than close one.

So, how do you make your next brochure more effective?

Top 5 tips to improve your sales brochure

If you already have a company brochure, go grab a copy. As you flick through it, ask yourself these important questions:

Does your brochure clearly differentiate you from the competition?

Do you talk in terms of the benefits to the customer? Or is it intrinsic "We're the greatest" marketing?

Does it grab the reader's interest? And, is every page used effectively?

Is your brochure used successfully in your sales process?

Does you brochure ask for a clear commitment from the prospect?

Is it accompanied by a powerful sales letter?

If you have answered "no" to any of the above questions, your current brochure has probably cost you more sales than you think and could be improved dramatically.

With over 21 years of brochure design, copywriting and production experience, I'd like to share with you my top 5 tips to boost your next brochure's return on investment (ROI). Here we go.

1. Have a plan

Make your brochure an integral part of your sales and marketing strategy. As you write a brief for a new brochure, you must consider the following points: -

Why do you want a new brochure?

  • To promote you company as a whole?
  • To sell a particular product or service?
  • Will prospects read a brochure, or would they much prefer to visit a web site?
  • How will the brochure contribute to the overall sales process?

What is the overall objective of the brochure?

Is it to generate requests for a case study from your portfolio? Or some kind of Special Report, educational information or other kind of soft offer? Or are you promoting a hard offer which leads to face-to-face contact, such as a free audit, survey or demonstration?   Ideally you must include both hard and soft offers, and make it easy for the reader to reply. Your brochure must make the reader some kind of compelling offer that motivates further action. More focus will create more positive results.

How will the brochure be used?

In direct mail campaigns? As the main reply mechanism of you advertising? As a follow-up to a sales presentation? As a drop-off, or as a sales aid during presentations?

2. It must differentiate you from the competition

In other words, it must clearly communicate your USP (the clear advantage the prospect can expect from dealing with your company). However, your USP must be measurable and specific. By trying to stand for everything, you run the risk of standing for nothing.

Test: Put your competitor's logo next to your unique selling messages - (Avoid meaningless statements such as 'quality through commitment' etc.) If it can be applied problem-free, your message will not be consumed, believed or valued by your target market. Remember, you cannot sell sameness.

3. Provide proof to support your claims

Make use of third party customer testimonials that detail the excellent customer service and results they receive from your company. Well-researched and written testimonials are an effective but discrete way of encouraging action.

Also use performance statistics, side-by-side comparisons, case studies and anything else that helps verify your points. Above all, be specific. Use exact figures, not general statements.

4. Follow "Common-Sense Marketing" for your brochure design and copywriting

Use the following guidelines for an effective brochure: -

  • Always write from the reader's perspective. Remember, they are only interested in "What's in it for ME?"
  • Include a headline on the front page. This should compel the reader to investigate the brochure NOW.
  • Promote the benefit upfront and locate it 1/3rddown the page in the reader's immediate eyeline.
  • Keep your logo modest in size, and discreetly positioned. You prospect is not buying your company name; they are only interested in the solution you offer to their problems.
  • Use sub-headings. They enable the reader to scan for the main points.
  • Tell the full story. Copy can never be too long, only too boring.
  • Use short sentences and manageable paragraphs. Make it look like an easy read.
  • Research your target readership and discuss their problems and your solution.
  • Provoke immediate action with a compelling call to action.
  • Include some form of risk reversal.
  • Always use benefit-led captions with images.
  • Avoid lots of reversed-out copy. This dramatically reduces comprehension.
  • Use the correct font. The reader can follow copy lines easier when in a serif-type font, such as Times New Roman.


5. Write a powerful covering letter

Don't worry, if you're realising your current brochure needs updating and improving but you can't make your budget stretch that far, there is a cheaper, short-term solution. Write a powerful covering letter. Research shows that customers respond to letters much more than any other piece of paper.

How often do you receive, or send out a sales brochure with a covering letter that basically says the following:

" Dear Sir,

Many thanks for your valued inquiry. Please find enclosed our Company brochure, which details our ABC services. Our company has been established since 1955, and is committed to providing the highest levels of service in our industry.

If you would like to receive any further information please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely,"

This kind of letter is a huge missed opportunity. By writing a good, effective, compelling sales letter the results you achieve in generating enquiries, and then converting them into appointments or sales, can be dramatically improved.

A good detailed covering letter will out-pull a brochure alone, by up to ten to one. It's that effective because it can be personalised, and will nearly always be read before your brochure.  

Remember, your letter is simply a salesman in an envelope, and to be effective you should follow Richard's guidelines laid out on the sales letters page.

Take advantage of our Brochure Review Service to get an independent analysis of your brochure design and sales copy. Simply send your draft brochure copy (and design, if you have it) to: No cost and no obligation -- just time-proven, practical advice!


Don't spend any money on printing your sales brochure, yet...

  • Before you go to print, take advantage of this free independent review
  • One of Richard's team will carefully check your proposed brochure design and draft copy
  • Within 24 hours you'll receive practical copywriting strategies and sales tactics, via email
  • So you can create many more serious sales enquires, without wasting another penny!

Simply send your draft brochure copy (and design, if you have it) to:

If you don't yet have your brochure copy or design, then submit your web site address and Richard's team will provide you with feedback and lead generation strategies that you can use to make your sales literature a much more powerful sales aid.

No cost and no obligation -- just time-proven, practical advice!


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