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Vol. 1 issue #34 Oct 23, 2002


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Keeping Your Brochure Out of the Trash
 2002  by Cathy Kessler


Brochures are one of the most popular marketing tools.  They have the potential to be highly effective.  However, let me share a startling piece of information with you.  It is estimated that over half of all brochures end up in the trash without ever being read.  Considering the cost involved with printing brochures, it is important that every effort is made to gain the attention of the reader immediately and to provide information that will cause them to act.


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There are several key elements to consider when planning your brochure.  You may choose to use the following list of "do(s)" and "don't(s)" as a checklist during your next printing.


1)  Create an innovative, interesting, and applicable cover for your brochure.  If your business centers around allergy-relief products, you might consider placing a photo of a mother comforting her daughter as the child sneezes, or a man slumped over his desk with watery eyes in place of your company logo.

2)  Use photos on your cover if at all possible.  Photographs can be costly, but they are huge attention-getters.  Visit "stock" photo sites such as www.photospin.com to find professionally taken pictures costing between $9.95 - $75.00.  These types of sites offer a wide selection of photos for use at very reasonable prices.

3)  Use full color on your cover.  Why all the attention on the cover?  It is the key to having your brochure read.  If the cover does not catch the eye of your prospective client, the rest of the material will go unread.  For this reason, spend the additional money and have your printer use full-color processing.

4)  Use your copy space wisely.  Most tri-fold brochures offer limited space for copy (text), so be sure to use that space wisely.  Focus on benefits to the customer, use definitive calls-to-action, and leave at least one key piece of information out of the copy (such as the price or the size) so that the reader will be more likely to contact you.

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1)  Print "homemade" brochures.  Brochures that do not portray a highly professional image are received with a bit of scepticism. The low quality presentation of a homemade brochure immediately gives the impression that your business is of low quality, too.

2)  Skimp on proofreading.  This is without a doubt one of the most common errors novice marketers make.  Typos, the misuse of words, and blatant grammatical errors are very damaging to your reputation.  While most programs now offer a spell-check feature, these tools can't differentiate between words like your and you're, no and know, or peek and peak.  Not to mention, their ability to check for mistakes in grammar is inadequate.

3)  Try to close the sale from your brochure.  Most brochures are simply not designed to take the customer through the buying process and to the point-of-purchase.  That's not their purpose at all.  Brochures are designed to give enough information to spark the interest of the readers and to cause them to ask questions and want further details.  If you attempt to include every ounce of information about your product or service in your brochure, most likely it will be too crowded and overbearing to bring about positive results.

Concentrate on creating a brochure designed to do its job and present your company attractively.  By enticing your prospects, and then providing excellent contact information, you will soon find that your brochure will open the door to many more sales

Cathy Kessler is a Certified Professional Virtual Assistant specializing in proofreading, copyediting, and research. Do you have books, ebooks, brochures, websites, articles, newsletters, or other documents that need to be proofread or researched? Visit http://www.kesslerva.com today for additional information, or contact Cathy directly at mailto:cathy@kesslerva.com.

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