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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
John McWade at LinkedIn Another source for quality design ideas.

Let me know what you think.
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Mike Deuerling

aka: MarketingDoc
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Is email a first, second or last customer contact?

Before you answer that question, here are a few more to ponder.

  • Do you use an email newsletter to maintain contact with your customers, past customers and prospects?
  • If you answered yes and provide for the B2B market, what type of email do you use? Is it promotional, informational or a product announcement?
  • If you answered yes and exist in the B2C market, what type of email do you use?
  • When you receive an email from a B2B or a B2C do you look for great copy?
  • Does the design of the email entice you to look closer?
  • Or maybe there is an offer that grabs your attention?
  • What other communication channels does the sender use? Do they drive you to a web site? Or a video on YouTube? A business Facebook page?

I’m sorry about all of the questions and yes, this is not a test.

When planning an email campaign you do have a lot of options. The questions above are just a start and should be in everyone’s planning strategy for email marketing.

  • Do your email recipients know who you are?

A strong from label is just like seeing and greeting a friend on the street. So the from label in your marketing email needs to be recognizable.

I’ve seen this one overlooked many times. Recently, I downloaded a white paper from a company I was not familiar with. I had received a few emails from them but simply ignored them because I did not recognize the sender and the email address. The introduction is very important if you want the contact to read and act on what is written in the email.

Even if the receiver makes it past the from label, the next important component of your email is the subject line. If you don’t give them a reason to open your email, all your back end work is wasted.

I’ve experimented with short and long subjects, but if your subject line is catchy and works well with the content, it may not matter. It’s what you say that gets the reader’s attention.

There is obviously more to a successful marketing email, but these two seem to get overlooked the most.

On a final note…

Your list of contacts is the most important part of a marketing campaign. There are many ways to get email addresses, but buying a list of email addresses is not one I would recommend.

Make sure you have the “sign up to my email list” posted very prominently on your web site. Use the archive email program and remind web visitors to read past issues and sign up for future emails.

If you want more information on using your web site for lead generation, request my FREE informative article, “Web Site Checklist – Lead Generation,” Report# MCG265. After reading my article, if you feel you are doing everything in the checklist, send it back to me with your answers, and I’ll give you a grade!