Six Types of Promotional Brochures

How and When to Use Different Brochures.

Brochure Design
Brochure Design. Getty Images

A brochure is just a brochure, right?

Well, no, not really. Just as there are many different types of TV ads, websites, direct mail packs, and radio ads, there are also different types of brochures. Knowing the different incarnations of brochures, and when to deploy them, can make the difference between a sale, an enquiry, or a lost customer. 

Brochures usually come into play so you can make a smart buying decision.

As someone whose business depends on selling a product or service, knowing what type of brochure you need to advertise your products and services is critical. So, get to know the following five brochure types, and use each according to your sales strategy.
 

Leave-Behinds

This type of brochure is self-explanatory; it's literally the one you leave behind after meeting a potential customer or client. You will already have had a conversation (hopefully a successful one) with the customer, talking about the benefits, pricing, and availability of your product or service. Now, as you exit the door, you want to leave an excellent impression, with a brochure that gives as much information as possible in a convincing way. 

Summarize your sales pitch to echo the one you just gave. Mirror what you said, concisely, and the elaborate on the more complex details that are hard to memorize. This is where you can do side-by-side comparisons of price points, especially between your product and your competitors.

Long after you have said goodbye, the leave-behind has to keep up the work you started, so make it a good one. 

 

Respond to Inquiries

You have sparked the customers' interest, either through a radio or TV ad, an outdoor campaign, or even something on social media. The first step, the hardest, is done.

You got their attention, and they actually want to know more. Now is the time to wow them. This brochure is a hybrid of the Point-Of-Sale and Leave-Behind, and goes out to people known as "qualified buyers."

 

Why qualified? Well, they're a warm prospect, as opposed to a cold one. They have expressed an interest in you, as opposed to someone you have to contact. Since they clearly know a little about you, write this brochure to take your prospect to the next step: the buying process. Hammer home all of your sales points and pack your brochure with facts to convince them they can't live without your product.

 

Handouts

Sometimes, you will not have access to a physical location, like a showroom or countertop. But, you also won't have a customer's contact information, so in that case, you cannot email them a PDF, mail them a brochure, or leave them a brochure after a meeting. When you come up against this problem, you will need to design a handout brochure that can do a lot of heavy lifting. This kind of brochure is not easy. It has to attract people to look inside, so it needs a lot of the wow factor. You may have to spend some money on good paper stock, special printing techniques, and a top-notch designer.

 

However, getting a complete stranger to not only take your brochure, but open it, read it, and hold onto it, is a challenge. That's when a skilled copywriter is invaluable. You need to hold the prospect's attention, from the front cover to the final "contact us" page. Make sure the brochure tells a story concisely, and fill it with powerful imagery and compelling facts and figures. Also, blank space is your friend. Pages bogged down with copy will only make your prospect feel like they have a mountain to climb. 

It's possible you may want to combine elements from some of the brochures on this page to create this handout. A Point-of-sale brochure, combined with a leave behind, will be an effective handout if done correctly. And of course, if you get the chance, employ skilled sales people to actually handout the brochure and engage the prospect in a conversation.

 

 

Point-of-Sale

Also know as "point-of-purchase," this brochure is the kind you will encounter as you enter a building, trade show, or store. It is placed at a convenient, eye-catching height, and is designed to draw you in and make you want to know more. This brochure is not a tell-all story. It's more like a trailer for a movie. It gets you interested, but it's a conversation starter. 

For example, you might encounter several of these brochures, or pamphlets, while standing in line at the bank. They will tell you about free business checking, home loans, auto loans, or special offers for opening credit cards. They are designed to get you to ask a teller more about the services, and they will then turn you over to a specialist who can open a specific account for you. 

You want these brochures to really stand out. Pay close attention to the cover design. Write an enticing headline. Your goal is to get potential customers to see your brochure, be curious enough to pick it up and, most importantly, go on to purchase the product or service. 
 

Direct Mail

For cold prospects, a brochure sent with a direct mail pack is ideal. This is the type of brochure has a lot of work to do. You are talking to someone who has no current interest in the product or service you are selling. It has to work hard to convert people into qualified buyers, and then customers.

You want to concentrate on breaking through the clutter. What's on the envelope? What's on the brochure cover? Do you have something to send that could really spark an interest, or make you more memorable than anyone else? And, when it comes down to it, a great direct mail letter can make all the difference, so learn how to write one. If you can't, employ an experiences copywriter. And whatever you do, don't send junk mail. It will not help your cause. 
 

Sales Support Tool

Here, you are working in a similar zone and a leave-behind. The difference is, this type of brochure can be used as a selling aid. Your salesperson uses these brochures to guide them through their sales pitch. They have larger pages, larger photos and larger headlines.

They are designed to work hand-in-hand with a salesperson's conversations, and should not be overly-complex, or bare bones. They can also be used as a leave-behind, so if you are on a budget, consider how you can combine this and the leave-behind to do both jobs well. You could also use a handout in this situation, although it may be a touch copy-heavy. Ideally, your sales support tool will complement your sales person's pitch beautifully.