Print is Still Effective
Your customers are a tactile group. No matter what the business, product or service, print literature, or collateral, will play an important role in creating, sustaining and/or growing a profitable relationship with them. Beyond a personal sales pitch or event, a print piece will extend, assure, confirm, validate, and/or reinforce your message, with greater shelf life. It will help drive response while shortening the sales cycle. Having the right collateral that achieves marketing success is therefore imperative.
Print brochures or flyers should be considered persuasive, sales pieces. By using captivating images, and clear, concise and compelling copy, the reader should be lured into a profitable sale. They should tell a story and suggest a response, with confidence, supporting the company-customer relationship. Think of it as a version of a love letter where true intentions are communicated, with extraordinary shelf life and special emotion each time it is accessed. Print collateral can be used as a reference piece, an ongoing top-of-mind reminder for why, what, when, where and how a customer is or should be doing business with you.
Tips for creating Print Collateral That Works
Following are a few tips to be sure to consider when developing your next print collateral piece:
- Know your specific marketing objective(s). How will the collateral be used? As a lead-generator, leave-behind and/or sales closer. Understand where the collateral piece fits in your own sales process, how it will be distributed and who will read it.
- Understand your customer and speak to each one directly. Know who they are and what they want. What questions will this piece answer? Communicate the problems you are solving. Be personal. Use messaging that talks about them and their needs and not so much you.
- List features yet sell with benefits. Understand the difference between features and benefits and lead with your benefits in order of priority. Clearly communicate your unique selling proposition. Remember you’re solving a customer’s problems.
- Establish credibility and speak with confidence. Buyers want to be assured they’re making the right decision with your business, product or service. Use testimonials, images of successful use cases and competitive points that drive this home.
- Use professional images to captivate a reader’s attention. It’s usually the first thing they will look at and a make/break point for whether or not the piece will avoid the trash can (as my dad would say it “File 13”).
- Solicit a strong call to action with a sense of urgency. Make it clear what you want the reader to do next, how to respond and when. Make it easy to find that information and give the impression you’re accessible and waiting for their response. Remember it’s a persuasive sales piece.
Common Questions About Print Collateral
What size should my print collateral be?
Most collateral pieces are standards sizes of 3 x 8, 5.5 x 8.5, 4 x 6 or simply 8.5 x 10 (for more see modernpostcard.com). However, if you want to get noticed and have greater shelf life you might consider a customer size or cut. According to Julie Hyde in “Brochure Marketing: 12 Tips on How to Do It Effectively” she writes on the topic “Who says a brochure has to be A4? Selling sandwiches? You can design a brochure in the shape of a sandwich. Season tickets to soccer matches? Design it in the shape of a soccer ball. Using your imagination when designing your brochure can produce better than average results. According to Direct Magazine, a recent mailing by CSi, a company that conducts customer satisfaction surveys for automobile insurance firms and repair shops, got a 15% response rate with a brochure delivered in a 32-ounce squeeze sport water bottle. The headline read, “Thirsty for more repair orders?” Try tall and slim, square, oblong. Whatever you like. The only limitation is your imagination, and, of course, your budget.”
Should I include pricing in my brochure?
Freelance Copywriter, John Kuraoka answers this: “The answer depends on many factors, the first of which is your brochure’s purpose. If it’s to generate leads, then it probably would be premature to include prices, rates, or fees. If it’s to close sales, then providing prices may be essential to moving your sales process forward. If your prices are substantially lower than your competition, they may belong in your brochure, especially if your brochure’s concept highlights value or savings. But, your brochure copy should strongly establish the value of your product or service beyond the cheaper price.
An important strategic factor is the length and complexity of your average sales cycle. If it tends to be shorter and simpler, that points to providing more-complete information including pricing. If it tends to be longer and more consultative, that points to pricing being put off until you’ve gathered enough information about the potential customer and customer needs to provide a realistic estimate at the appropriate time.
Finally, if you include prices in your brochures, they may have a shorter shelf life than you’d like. If you decide to include a price list in your brochure, I recommend that you have it quick-printed or laser-printed on a separate insert sheet. That way, it’s easier to update, customize, and even test. Price lists often get separated from brochures, so make sure the copy on your pricing insert contains a summary of your competitive differentiators, the date and any expiration date, and all your company contact information.”
Successful print collateral is “a keeper” for your existing and potential customers where they refer to/access it often, pass it along to others and/or value it for the information contained and communicated. Plan ahead, be clear, consistent and concise. And, be sure to execute efficiently. Solicit the expertise of an outside marketing firm to optimize your efforts and get the most marketing return for your investment.
About the Author
Angelo Biasi is General Manager of SMART Marketing Solutions, LLC, a leading full-service integrated marketing company in Florida and New York since 2001. He has helped create and execute marketing plans and integrated marketing solutions for companies such as Playtex, Bic, Rogaine, Tauck, and over 35 colleges and universities, to name a few. Angelo has an MBA in Marketing from the University of Connecticut and teaches Marketing at New York University where he has for over six years. He has been quoted and/or featured in USA Today, Mobile Marketer magazine, Mobile Commerce Daily, Luxury Marketing magazine, BNET TV and Business Currents magazine, to name a few. For more information or to learn more, email him at abiasismartmarketingllccom (abiasismartmarketingllccom) , visit www.smartmarketingllc.com, call him at 239.963.9396 and follow him on Twitter @angbiasi.