During the Paris World Fair of 1798, the French government distributed paper guides with information and detailed maps of Paris to encourage attendees to immerse themselves in all that Parisian culture had to offer.
The guides were extremely well-received by attendees and businesses alike. When a local businessman saw how popular the guides were, he also saw a lucrative opportunity.
Shortly after the fair, Rumford and Sons printed 50,000 copies of the paper guides and sold them to tourists for two shillings a piece.
And just like that, the first brochure was born.
Physical, tangible, and shareable, a well-designed brochure is still one the most effective ways to build brand awareness and influence the decision-making process.
But what makes for a well-designed brochure? Obviously compelling copy, eye-catching images and interest-piquing content are important. But modern marketing strategies and technology play a critical role in brochure design, too.
In this guide, we’ll cover what marketers need to know about modern brochure design, including:
- Brochure design strategy tips for 2022.
- How to audit your existing brochures.
- Brochure design best practices.
Brochure Design Strategy for 2022
61% of people buy products or services after seeing them in a brochure. In reality, that percentage should be much higher. Unfortunately, when a brochure lacks a clearly defined purpose or fails to address the needs of target audiences, the results are underwhelming.
To ensure you create a highly-converting brochure, it’s important to focus on the strategy behind the brochure first.
First and foremost, it’s critical to understand your audience before drafting copy or designing a brochure. Very few businesses have a one-size-fits-all audience, so you’ll want to segment your audiences as much as possible in order to tailor brochure content to their specific needs.
Start by answering the following questions in as much detail as possible:
- How many target audiences do you have?
- What are the needs of each audience?
- What are the influential factors that trigger them to buy your product or service?
- What are the reasons behind the decisions they make?
- What needs do they have that aren’t being fulfilled?
Once you clearly understand your target audiences, it’s time to nail down the purpose of your brochure.
A highly-effective brochure will illustrate its purpose with ease by following the AIDA principle: Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.
To design an effective brochure, it needs to attract your customer’s attention, keep their interest, increase their desire for your product or service and provoke them to take a specific action.
Since the average reader takes less than eight seconds to glance at the cover of a brochure and decide whether or not it’s worth reading, there’s no time for boring graphics or trite copy.
Instead, use a headline and imagery that will evoke emotion.
This is critical for capturing the attention of target audiences and keeping them interested, so be sure your copy clearly offers a solution to their specific needs right away.
The headline and supporting copy should always aim to help readers:
- Gain a clear understanding of what you’re offering.
- Learn how it benefits them and/or solves their challenges.
- Spur desire to work with your business.
For example, don’t use an image of the corporate headquarters, and a generic or ambiguous headline for the brochure cover.
Your audience won’t respond to trite copy; they are interested in the value your business brings to them and how you can help solve their problems. Instead, use images and copy that speaks specifically to their pain points and that will drive them to take action.
Once you have a rock-solid brochure strategy in place, it’s time to audit your existing inventory to ensure your strategy is consistent across collateral.
How to Audit Your Existing Brochures
If you aren’t already, it’s smart to implement a process for regularly auditing brochures to ensure accuracy and relevancy. When auditing existing brochures, ensure that they ladder up to your brochure strategy and that you can answer “yes” to all four questions below.
- Is the brochure attention-grabbing, or does it blend into the crowd?
- Does the brochure create a positive first impression?
- Is the purpose of the brochure clear?
- Is the call-to-action clear and compelling?
With a solid strategy in place and a thorough audit of current brochures complete, it’s time to bring your brochure to life.
Here are some best practices and modern marketing techniques for a well-designed and high-converting brochure.
Brochure Design Best Practices
People are overwhelmed with advertising on a daily basis. Your brochure needs to stand out, but also be effortlessly easy for readers to digest. Create an attention-grabbing and interest-piquing brochure with these top tips.
Choose Your Fonts Wisely
We know how fun it is to play around with fonts. But, when creating a brochure, you don’t want to get too carried away with fancy (a.k.a. hard to read) fonts. Font choice is extremely important, as it determines your brochure’s readability, sets the tone of the brochure and influences the brochure’s visual appeal.
Look for fonts that are simple, polished and easy to read. Avoid fonts that are overused, outdated or hard to read, such as:
Cursive fonts that are too intricate to read with ease.
Fonts that were popular (and overused) 20 years ago should be avoided, as they can lead some readers to feel your brand is outdated or out-of-touch.
Fonts that are ubiquitous, such as 12-point Times New Roman. While easy to read, the font is used everywhere. You may want to find a different font that showcases your brand personality and that isn’t the national standard for high school and college essays.
Use high-quality and relevant images.
It’s 2022 and people notice pixelated, low-res or blurry images. For effective brochure design, use high-resolution photos that are relevant to and support your overall brochure strategy instead of outdated photos that provide no value to your prospects.
Dedicate time and resources to finding the perfect images for your brochure. While a professional photo shoot will cost more than downloading stock images, the authentic images of your employees, products, and services will humanize your brand, build trust and grab the attention of your audience.
Leverage the tangibility of print.
The tangibility of print allows for a longer exposure to your brand. In other words, make a brochure that readers can’t throw away. Unlike digital content, brochures can be saved, shared and referenced over and over again. Think of your brochure as a valuable resource that target audiences would want to “bookmark.” Keeping the needs and preferences of target audiences in mind, flex your creative muscles here and think of ways to make your brochure a high-value resource that readers want to reference over and over again, such as:
- Including a “checklist” or “how to get started” page.
- A glossary of terminology (this works well in complex industries or those with a lot of acronyms).
- A resource page with a library of resources that readers can easily access via QR code.
Use a strong, brochure-friendly CTA.
A website URL and social media handles on the last page of a brochure are not the same thing as a relevant and compelling CTA. Tell readers why they should contact your business with an offer they simply can’t refuse.
Don’t forget to track the performance of your brochure’s CTA. QR codes make tracking easy and should be reported on a regular basis regularly to monitor usage, conversion rates and ROI.
>>>Related Resource: Guide to using QR codes in print and direct mail.
Harness the power of personalization.
People expect businesses to communicate with them on a personal level and will respond favorably to those that do:
- 93% of businesses increased revenue after implementing a personalized marketing strategy.
- 84% of people are more likely to buy from brands that treat them like a person, not a number.
- Consumers are more than twice as likely to respond to personalized offers.
Using prospect and customer data from your CRM, businesses can tailor the content of a brochure with information that addresses the specific needs of each audience segment. You can even tailor each brochure to the needs and preferences of individuals.
After all, you don’t have a one-size-fits-all audience, so why would you create a one-size-fits-all brochure?
Don’t worry, we’re not asking you to create a different brochure for every single prospect. Modern printing technology, known as variable data printing, allows businesses to personalize the content of every brochure in a single print run. In other words, you can personalize 250,000 brochures just as quickly as 250,000 generic ones.
One of the best features of variable data printing is that nearly every part of a brochure can be personalized, including:
- Images, colors and logos.
- Location, pricing and contact information.
- Copy, headlines and CTAs.
- Special offers and taglines.
- Recipient names, titles and logos (for co-branded brochures).
>>>Related Resource: Learn more about the power of personalization.
Marketing Fulfillment Solutions for Brochures and Beyond with Jet Mail
Since 1993, Jet Mail has partnered with businesses across the country to create, print, manage and distribute high-performance marketing campaigns. With all-in-one marketing fulfillment services under one roof–including a commercial mail-house, state-of-the-art print shop, 80,000 square foot fulfillment center and a global distribution network–you can rely on the Jet Mail team for all of your marketing fulfillment needs.
Contact our team of experts today to get started!