14 Powerful Tips To Fire-Up Your Brochure

    October 24, 2002

I’ve done a lot of research to discover the best and most powerful methods to increase the readership of your brochure. Here are the 14 tips that I believe will have the most impact.

1. Focus on a target group. You don’t want

your brochure to be picked up by just anybody. You want it to

be picked up by qualified prospects. People who might be interested

in purchasing your product or obtaining your services. Therefore,

if your product is intended for bikers, include a picture of

a biker on the cover. Include the word bike or biker in the

headline. This will grab your target groups attention and avoid

the readers who might use your brochure as entertainment during

a bathroom break.

2. Use only a single visual on the cover. Research

has shown time and again that one larger visual works much better

than several smaller ones. Too many visuals clutter the cover

page and reduce the chance that the visual will catch the prospect’s

eye. And draw them into your brochure.

3. Photos of people using your product work

much better than photos of the product by itself. And if you

think about it. It makes sense. If you were a biker that had

dreams of owning that amazing, full-suspension, downhill bike,

what would catch your attention more? A picture of the bike

sitting in the shop? Or a picture of someone else using your

dream bike and screaming downhill at break-neck speeds with

a smile plastered all over their face? The second photo awakens

your emotions and increases your desire to buy. That ‘s what

you want on your brochure cover.

4. Do not use smaller than 12-point fonts.

Some marketers might say you can go below this, but the standard

for business communications today is 12-point font. This font

size is the easiest to read without being so large as to make

it impossible to fit in your brochure. I do not receive a single

business communication today that is smaller than 12-point font.

And if I do, I feel it was inconsiderate of the company to make

me squint to read their message.

5. Use captions under all of your photos. Research

has shown that people read photo captions without fail. Use

this bit of knowledge to your advantage.

6. Put your captions in a different typeface,

a smaller font size, and in italics. Space can be tight in a

brochure and differentiating caption text from body text improves


7. "Using quotation marks around any text

increases prospect recall greatly." I’ll bet out of all

these tips, you remember this one best.

8. In-set panels called sidecars can draw attention

to text. Remember, you want your prospects to read your text

in a certain order. Control where your prospect’s eye goes by

highlighting important body text with a sidecar. Eyes tend to

read headline, sidecar, and then body text on any given brochure


9. Keep your headlines short. Less than 10

words will keep readership high. Anything more can intimidate

the reader and leave your brochure on the shelf.

10. Your lead paragraph should not be longer

than 12 words. People need to be eased into reading your brochure.

Having a long paragraph will ensure you lose another prospect

for every word you write beyond the twelfth.

11. Dingbats – or bullets, hyphens, etc. –

work to draw the reader’s eye. However, you need to be aware

of overkill as this can slow the reader down. If your brochure

is hard to read, it will be abandoned half-way through.

12. Bold and italics work well for drawing

attention too. but overkill can again be your ruin. I recently

read a brochure than was so full of dingbats, bold and italic

text, that my eye started to get drawn to all the normal body

text. Unfortunately for the brochure maker, all of the normal

text was feature-heavy, unemotional, and boring.

13. Use bar charts, not pie charts. Bar charts

are straightforward and easy to interpret. Pie charts ask the

prospects to judge relative amount at strange angles and do

not quickly add to the prospect’s understanding of your material.

14. Icons can quickly draw attention to your

phone or fax number. As well as your mailing or email address.

Make it as easy as possible for prospects to get in touch with

you. After all, the easier it is to contact you, the more likely

they will.

Aran Kay is a marketing consultant and freelance copywriter with experience working for Nintendo, Direct Energy, Kellogg’s and more. He has written numerous marketing articles and includes a selection of them on his web site. www.ProfessionalCopy.ca is also your source for “The 52 Best Marketing Web Sites.” It’s a great resource and yours FREE just for visiting his web site. Web Site: http://www.professionalcopy.ca E-mail: copywriting@professionalcopy.ca