Posts Tagged ‘Marketing collateral’
Developing an effective sales brochure can help you to communicate your product or service benefits to your customers and as a result increase sales success rates.
Producing a brochure or piece of sales collateral is a fairly common business task; however in my experience many businesses struggle with this aspect of marketing. There are a number of reasons for this difficulty and they can vary case by case, including access to the right skills, limited budgets or the ability to convey technical messages.
When you develop your next brochure consider these 10 steps:
1) Benefit based headlines
Creating an effective headline is the first step to producing a successful brochure. The headline communicates “what’s in it for the customer” and should be engaging and describe the value or benefit your customer will receive from your product or service.
2) Sell the sizzle
When developing your sales message it’s always good to remember to:
Keep it simple – so it can be understood clearly
Keep it short – so it can be understood quickly
Stress the benefits – sell the ‘sizzle’, not the sausage
3) Customer focused
Define your benefit statements in terms of the customer. Remember it is about your customer not your business – Use “you” and not “I” or “we”.
4) A unique selling proposition (USP)
The USP is central to your brochure and to your sales communication strategy. The development of an effective USP gives you the ability to focus your messaging and sales pitch around what you are really good at. This process will help you distill the key sales messages in your brochure.
Your USP might be specific to your product or service, or an overarching aspect of your business, giving you a competitive advantage. Look for all aspects of your offer that makes your business unique or different. Ask yourself why the customer should buy from you and not your competitor. If you would like to know more about developing your businesses USP see our post on developing a unique selling proposition.
5) Fit for purpose
When developing your brochure bring your sales force into the design loop and involve the people that will use your brochure as they will often have key information. Giving your sales people some project ownership is a good idea and can make a real difference in sales tool adoption and use rates.
Those companies that produce effective sales brochures and collateral often use a user centric development process which means that the company’s customer experts (sales people) are involved right from the start of the development process.
6) Engaging and relevant content
When producing your brochure, remember that the primary goal is to communicate effectively and get your message across. This will allow your customers to make an educated buying decision.
Don’t get sidetracked by design and creative style. Ultimately your brochure contains text and it is this text that will convince your customer that what you offer is too good to miss. Imagery is of course important and supports you’re messaging, however using the right tone of voice and effective copy should be your focus.
Your ability to create effective brochures can be greatly improved with the knowledge of how we read and perceive typography and copy styles. We discuss how using different type styles and layouts can directly affect your success in our post on effective copy.
Endorsements or testimonials reduce the customer’s perceived risk and can provide them with confidence that your business is capable of delivering on your promise.
A strong customer endorsement is hard to beat when it comes to marketing or sales communication. You do however need to make sure that your testimonials are relevant to the product or service area and that they are up to date and well written.
Companies that make endorsement collection and utilisation a key part of their business processes tend to prosper.
8 ) Reduce the barriers
Barriers to customer purchase or action vary depending on your product or service type. Barriers can be created around high price/risk, geography, service levels, complexity or anything that gives the customer reason to take stock.
Reducing barriers or eliminating them can help to improve your sales conversion rates and this applies also to your brochure. Providing guarantees, free phone numbers and support services can help to smooth the customer decision process. You can include additional information on the inquiry process, purchase or business process to create greater customer confidence. Allow the customer to understand what is required of them and what the next step is likely to be.
9) Call to action
Remember that the sales brochure is not just a customer information resource; it can also be used as a tool to encourage customers to take action or make contact with you. Make sure that you have all the relevant contact information included and consider incentivising actions with a special deal or offer to motivate the customer.
10) Measuring success
Finally make sure that your brochure has some form of measurement or tracking system so you can measure its success. Use a specific phone number, email or mail address to measure response and conversion rates for a specific brochure. This strategy will allow you to gain a clearer idea of your return on investment.
Why not let us produce your next sales and marketing brochure and remove the frustration. For further support in developing your next brochure or to discuss an effective marketing programme contact us or visit our website.
The ability to create effective marketing collateral can be greatly improved with the knowledge of how we scan and perceive typography and copy. Making the right choice of type face, use of colour and layout is a key step to success.
In this post we again take a look at eye tracking research by Professor Siegfried Vogele of the Institute for Direct Marketing in Munich. To see our previous post on eye tracking and the use of imagery view here.
Choose your type face wisely so that it enhances the readability and comprehension levels of your collateral or direct marketing piece.
The choice of font styles can make a big difference to how people perceive your service offering. Create trust in a dentist’s abilities with a formal style while a relaxed font can create the perception of freshness.
Put these two styles in reverse and you get a completely different opinion of the product and service offering. Would you put your trust in this dentist?
When choosing whether to reverse out your body copy consider the following comprehension levels before using colour and moving away from black on white.
Here are some basic tips to remember about visual priority when developing your layout and content structure.
- Short paragraphs over longer paragraphs
- Short words or lines over long words or lines
- Copy inside a border over open text
- Numbers over words
Avoid lines shorter than 20 characters because reading involves vigorous eye movement.
Avoid lines longer than 52 characters because readers will be turned off.
Colin Wheildon’s US research shows that copy which is left and right justified has a comprehension level of 67% while just 38% for left justified and 10% for right justified.
Effective letters for direct marketing
Research by Vogele into how we automatically filter the information in a letter can provide us with a much greater understanding into which elements are viewed first and how to avoid the waste paper basket. You can view this research here
Using colour in body copy can have a real negative impact on your readability and comprehension. Give consideration to this when developing you materials.
The use of colour in headlines can also impact on the body copy readability and comprehension rates.
By combining this understanding of typography and copy style with effective use of imagery you have the ability to compete against your rivals and get your message across.
For additional information on improving your typography for the web, visit Net Tuts+ 6 Ways To Improve Your Web Typography
The art of effective online and offline communication has benefited greatly from eye tracking research. The study of how the human eye registers and perceives visual communications has delivered some fascinating insights, especially on how we automatically filter the information. Research by Professor Siegfried Vogele of the Institute for Direct Marketing in Munich revealed that 100% of the individuals tested applied a common method of visual scanning. Vogele’s findings validated that a consumer’s focus could be affected by the placement of imagery and graphic elements. The results of this study have great implications for the design of effective marketing communication.
In my experience the process of commissioning new marketing materials through a creative agency seldom involves reference to valuable eye tracking research. How many designers out there are aware of Vogele’s research when they produce a design layout for a flyer, brochure, website or direct mail piece?
Some of the research findings:
In the case of a single page the human eye tracks top left to bottom right.
The hot spots where the eye will pay most attention are depicted by the orange circles.
With a double page the eye tracks top right to bottom right, via the centre of left.
The hot spots on a double page with a cold spot on the centre left.
To avoid cold spots use an attention grabber on the far centre left, this drags the eye over more of the page.
Locating an attention grabber in the wrong area can risk creating dead space.
Attract the readers attention using the following results:
Circles are better than squares.
80% of people will look at a vertical shape before a horizontal.
A colour image is more effective than black and white.
A group image is more effective than an individual.
A larger image is more effective than a small image.
Eye contact is more effective than everything else.
When cut-through is paramount in today’s information overloaded society – key research such as this has a big role to play when creating design concepts and layout that have maximum impact. Stay tuned for my next post where I cover typography and copy styles and its importance in creating effective marketing materials.
Find out how we can add value to your marketing efforts – check out our website.