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How to Use Story Telling Within a Brochure and…

other channels to enhance the impact.

Brochures use to be the workhorse of marketing and selling. They were handed to prospects, distributed to trade show attendees, offered on a website, inserted into product fulfillment packaging, and so on. Today, you’ll need great copywriting and ways to make contact than what was in a typical brochure used 20 years ago.

If you plan on sending brochures in your direct mail, it’s important to make sure they are created to work in that environment. The story within the brochure does all the heavy lifting but the copy must be short and to the point, quickly.

Next, make sure you carefully put together the list of names, the creative design is attractive to your readers, and reaches your special offer, within eight seconds, and leads them in one click to the company’s landing page.

Here are 8 tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of your direct marketing mail brochures and its supporting cast of channels.

  1. When you decide on using direct marketing and mail, make your brochure “tells before sells.” Remember that in direct mail, it’s the letter that makes an offer and does the selling. The job of your brochure is to back up your letter and fill in the details of your story. The old saying is, “the letter sells and the brochure tells.” You do this by illustrating the use of your product, by listing features and benefits, and by including photos, illustrations, diagrams, charts, tables, and other visual aids that “wow.”
  2. Design for easy reading. While you may want to impress your potential buyers, never let ego get in the way of legibility. Use easy-to-read type, short paragraphs, bullet points, photo captions, bold headlines and subheads, and drawings within the design techniques of the letter and brochure.
  3. Use descriptive headlines. A header for a section with testimonials that read, “Why our customers love us” says nothing. But a header that reads, “We’ve saved money for more than 300 customers” delivers a clear message. Since people tend to scan literature, it’s important for all your headers to be complete and descriptive at a glance. The story may be the “how” a portion of customers saved money. Pick a problem in your industry which is familiar with many companies in the industry, but your solution is your bread and butter.
  4. Don’t waste your cover. You should start strong on the cover with a big benefit headline. This draws the eye and gives people a reason to open your brochure and start reading. Use a design or two from your website.
  5. List features and benefits. Features are the characteristics of the product or service you’re selling. Benefits are the explanation of how those features are relevant; they answer the question “What does this mean to me?” Generally, benefits relate to how something will save time, generate money, or solve problems.
  6. Highlight your guarantee. This can reduce perceived risk and remove objections. Potential customers are always thinking, “What if this doesn’t work? What if I don’t like it?” Use a story to depict the most important value added option within the guarantee and add a testimonial.
  7. Include testimonials. Positive remarks from satisfied customers or clients help support your claims and act as proof that your products or services are of high quality.
  8. Add complete contact information. Brochures are often the one-piece people keep or pass on to others. So, add a landing page on your website supporting the brochure. Use similar designs from the brochure and redundant copy. If your company is using social media or wants to test the waters, this is a great time to add another channel or two. It’s never too late for using digital marketing.This is a great opportunity for a visitor to finish the brochure story. Make sure the visitor has an opportunity to act with your landing page. Maybe a game. A true or false test. A quick video, depicting your product in use. Accolades from other companies. The list can be endless but keep away from boredom or too much of a good thing.

Three more ideas on brochures and sales letters:

How to write the perfect sales letter…

5 Ideas to Increase Engagement Using Landing Pages With Direct Marketing

Visuals attract and make the reader pause…

One From Adobe https://blogs.adobe.com/creativecloud/make-a-lasting-impression-with-these-tips-for-designing-a-brochure/?trackingid=8WLD55GN&mv=email
John McWade at LinkedIn Another source for quality design ideas.

Let me know what you think.
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Visuals attract and make the reader pause…

now pounce on them with an offer they can’t refuse –  but be nice.

Direct and digital marketing is a combination of words and pictures and ideas. A great idea without compelling words often goes unnoticed. Great words without the ability to attract the consumer’s attention often doom those glorious words to oblivion. Great visual images without substantive words and ideas often diminish the outcome. For example:

  • Give me a call regarding our new pricing for prospects. Change to ring.
  • Would you like me to add you to our customer care weekly email?
  • Visuals attract and make the reader pause…
  • The weekly business after hours is a great place to meet and network with people looking to sell and buy. Build on relationships.

At times, your audience may not understand a visual. Many have heard of the Pareto Principle, but after seeing in use within a post or an article, you deserve a trip to Google to answer all questions.

This is another pause visual to slow or stop the reader to check it out. Make sure the post or article opens in another page so the trip back for the visitor returns to the original page. Also, this is a good way to aid in the definition of a word or phrase.

“Now, why didn’t I think of that?” Or, “the competitor’s new product will kill us.”

Do you know who your audience is, direct or indirectly?

Each is important, but prospects and customers will overlook the best words and most monumental ideas unless something grabs their attention. Coming up with “grabbers” work well with just about any communication channel today.

The grabber for direct mail is the design. It’s the proper blend of color, shape, size, illustrations, photographs, and typography.

I know what you are thinking. If you said our digital and social media communications could use a design makeover, you are right. Try it. You’ll not be disappointed.

A good headline accentuated with a photo or art is – 

“a double whammy, thank you mam.”

Bright colors and bold graphics set your work apart. Illustrations are easily editable to fit your brand, and can even be more universal than photography. Let vector images help your next project pack a punch.

Focus on creating a “how-to” or “why” or a “number series” while adding value and/or providing entertainment in the form of a photograph, vector image, or even a short video or GIF.

As I learned in Direct Mail 101, the how-to is very powerful because it engages the prospect on a deeper psychological level. It’s self-centered and most of us pay more attention when we hear “how-to and whatever follows after it.”

Try using a catchy relevant headline in the email subject line and see your open rate increase.  Go one step further and add vector images or photos with copy.

Headline example:

How to Reach a Qualified Target Audience… and motivate them to seek you out!

Photo example:

Momentum by definition, is not only a powerful force, it can keep people in motion. Eventually, when focused on a segment of your contacts, such as prospects, you will learn how to qualify them.

The copy and the photo is enough to draw the reader in to the post. The copy should appeal to a human emotion.

Ask a question in the headline.

What marketing communication channel delivers over 700 million messages each day?

Curiosity can draw many reasons to find an answer.  A good copywriter will add more subtle information. Such as, in…

Subhead. Hint. Something you do outside the box?

The answer is 700 million of letters and parcels are delivered daily by the United States Postal Service. When you decide to use the US Mail channel, it’s a pretty good guess the contact will get what you sent, in his or her hand, and open it?

Thinking of using direct mail?

When designing direct mail, many people tend to be overly concerned about the individual design elements in the piece. Such as:

  • How does the headline look?
  • Should we put a few bullet points here? How about some additional color here?
  • Stop! Always try to look at your design. Stand back from your ideas and look at it as you would a fine piece of art.

Imagine the blocks of text, the headlines, and various color blocks and photos as design elements – squares, circles, rectangles. See what stands out and what does not.

Summary

If you want to learn more about this channel, direct mail, visit our Direct Marketing and Mail website. On the first page is an Infographic on our journey using direct and customer focused marketing for small businesses.

Then click on the publications tab. The tab is the gateway to learn about direct marketing mail, a very important part of multi-channel marketing. Download a copy of Direct Marketing Success and sign up for our monthly email newsletter.

One last point – visit the blog tab. There are over 300 articles on direct and customer-centric marketing.

Thanks for reading! Life is too short to use disruptive and one-channel communication to try and build your SmallBiz! Give us a –

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Thanks for reading.

Mike Deuerling. aka: MarketingDoc

 

Don’t procrastinate, eValuate.

At times, some of the smallest changes in your small biz marketing, have the greatest impact.

 

 

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© 2017 by the Marketing Communications Group, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or reproduced in any way, including but not limited to digital copying and printing without the prior agreement and written permission of the publisher. Photographs are purchased from such companies as I-Stock, Windows Clip Art, HubSpot, PhotoPin, DepositPhotos, Solid Stock, Unsplash or John Deuerling.

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11 Simple Techniques to Improve the Visual Impact of…

your direct marketing, mail, and digital communications.visualdesign

Direct marketing, mail, and digital is a combination of words and pictures and ideas. A great idea without compelling words often goes unnoticed.

Great words without the ability to attract the consumer’s attention often doom those glorious words to oblivion. Great visual images without substantive words and ideas often diminish the outcome.

Prospects and clients will miss the best words and most monumental ideas unless something attracts their attention!

The “attraction” for direct marketing, mail, and digital is great visual design!

  1. Good design is the proper blend and balance of color, shape, size, illustrations, photographs, and typography.
  2. Usually, one large, central graphic has more impact than many little ones.
  3. Let your design direct your readers’ eyes. Because people read from left to right, the eye typically catches the first few words of the headline, moves across the top of the page from left to right, down to the lower left corner, then right again. Picture a big letter “Z” and you have it.
  4. The eye moves from dark to light, from large to small, and from bright to drab. It notices things out of place — unusual sizes, colors, or shapes.visualdesignpart2
  5. In body copy, small type is easier to read than large type. The old stand-bys of 10-, 11-, or 12-point type are about as big as you ever want to get for running copy in the body of your solicitation. Paragraphs and sentences that use larger type sizes make the reader work too hard. There is just too much eye movement back and forth.
  6. When you have six ducks in a row, all the same size and color, facing the same direction, except one, what do you see? Correct! You see the one duck that’s facing the wrong way.
  7. Good design means showing restraint. Eliminate color, visuals, and unnecessary backgrounds around important text blocks. With the ease of designing on a computer, it sometimes becomes too tempting to “throw in” some color or borders or special effects. That extra color may hinder your ability to attract attention and lead your reader.
  8. Put the product close to your reader. Make photos and illustrations large. By cropping photos, you direct your readers’ attention to exactly the part of the photo you want them to see.visualdesignpart2
  9. Outline product photos to remove unnecessary or distracting backgrounds, except where you show the product being used. Then, you want to bring it to life with a background that relates to your product.
  10. Tone down your graphics. Words lose their impact when they are overpowered by unnecessary graphics.
  11. Avoid bouncing around with many different design elements — be consistent. In most cases, when you hold to this very simple, effective design strategy –– that we call “Choose one!” –– your finished design will look extremely sharp.
  • Choose one typeface style for your headlines.
  • Choose one typeface style (the same or an alternate style) for your body copy.Graphic
  • Choose one style of border.
  • Choose a three-color color palette.
  • Choose one thickness of line for boxes or rules.
  • Choose one style of art… that is either photographs or illustrations.
  • Then, stick with what you choose!

PrintingConclusion: A strong design improves your ability to attract attention and obtain a response. You can achieve both more readily when you turn to a professional direct marketing designer that has experience and resources readily at hand.

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DocTake4WebWant to learn more about direct and customer-centric marketing strategies and how it can add customers to your QuickBooks?

I call this learning experience, “All Marketing is Direct to your Consumers.” I present my marketing methodology that I have used over my career. On the landing page, there is a (1)short, (2)medium and (3)large journey to take. There are many examples, ideas and techniques of the direct marketing to aide in your learning.

Check out are marketing evaluation program specifically designed for a small business.

We’ll examine your present marketing, learn your goals and aspirations, and prepare a marketing plan for your company based on your information. There is a special introductory price for our Marketing mcg e-Valuation. Check it out today!

Thanks for reading. I hope to see you on a journey. Mike Deuerling. aka: MarketingDoc

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Don’t procrastinate, eValuate.

At times, some of the smallest changes in your small biz marketing, have the greatest impact.

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© 2016 by the Marketing Communications Group, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or reproduced in any way, including but not limited to digital copying and printing without the prior agreement and written permission of the publisher. Photographs are purchased from such companies as I-Stock, Windows Clip Art, HubSpot, PhotoPin, DepositPhotos, Solid Stock, Unsplash or John Deuerling.

 



When looking for a graphic design concept, remember this old rule…

GraphicChoose one and only one!

With all the personal computers, tablets, smart phones, apps including design and graphics, everyone has an opportunity to become a graphic and digital designer literally overnight.

For example, anyone can visit a royalty free photo site, pick up a copy of Photoshop, check out some nice typestyles on their computer, PC or Apple and even select a Google Font or two, CreativityWeband design away. Easy to acquire. Now comes the hard part.

Wait a minute. This can’t be right.

The above is truer today than ever before. The ease of accessibility of design elements often brings with it the temptation to use everything available. Yes, even the kitchen sink.

Yielding to this temptation is okay, as long as you do not try to use it all on one direct marketing channel. When desktop publishing was all the rage in the mid-nineties, our graphic designer adhered to a very simple, effective design strategy called “Choose one!”

  • Choose one typeface style for your headlines.
  • Choose one typeface style for your body copy.
  • Choose one style of border.
  • Choose one thickness of line for boxes or rules.
  • Choose one style of art, photographs or graphics.

Then stick with what you chose.

Check out this type style example from the archives.

BrandingIf you decide to use Garamond for your headline, stick with Garamond for all your headlines and subheads. Use Garamond Extra Bold for the main headline. Garamond Bold Italic for call outs and Garamond Medium in all caps for headlines.

Then keep all your main headlines in the same type size. Do the same for your bold italic callouts. Always remain consistent and avoid the temptation to try different design elements.

If you have questions on font selection, take into account the intended audience, your own brand identity and the surrounding color and design.

So, unless your document will be read only in print or on a PDF, keep it simple and only use widely available fonts.

Many of the best designers are simply the best because they show restraint and discipline by adhering to this principle.

The beauty of this tip from the past is that it is so simple. Try it the next time you design something for a direct marketing or mail offering on your own and see how it gives you a more professional look. Your response from the mailer may reach new highs as well.Printing

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Don’t procrastinate, eValuate.

 

At times, some of the smallest changes in your small biz marketing, has the greatest impact.

Need more information on direct and customer-centric marketing? Sign up today for our monthly email, All Marketing Is Direct. 

Or, grab a free copy of Direct Marketing Success today!

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© 2016 by the Marketing Communications Group, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or reproduced in any way, including but not limited to digital copying and printing without the prior agreement and written permission of the publisher. Photographs are purchased from such companies as I-Stock, Windows Clip Art, HubSpot, PhotoPin, DepositPhotos, Solid Stock, Unsplash or John Deuerling.

 




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