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Brochures and Prospects

ANDY W. RICE

For many years, brochures have been important marketing tools for businesses to reach prospects. Certainly, sales letters, print, TV and radio ads sell, but a brochure contains much more information and photos intended to attract potential customers.

In a print brochure you put information on your products and services, and let readers know who you are, what you sell and how to contact you. After reading your brochure, prospects must be familiar with your company name, and logo, and they should know where to find your address, telephone numbers, fax, email and web address. It's also a good idea to give directions to your location in your brochure.

Obviously, it's acceptable to print prices, instructions for placing orders by mail, phone or on the Internet, product guarantees and business hours.

According to Jay Levinson and Seth Godin, authors of The Guerrilla Marketing Handbook, "brochures lend an aura of credibility to a company if they are professionally written, designed, and produced."

They also suggest to use brochures "to give testimonials, illustrate benefits, and communicate verbally and visually". To Levinson and Godin, more prospects will be converted if you ask them to take a few tiny steps rather than one giant leap. So most people will be more receptive to your pitch if you say, "Take a small step and read my brochure. Now take another small step and talk to me on the phone. Then take one last step and buy something from me."

Marketing expert Julie Hyde wrote in About.com that a print brochure is also important for online vendors. According to Hyde, "there are thousands of potential customers that are extremely cautious about placing important business or buying an expensive item from an unknown online vendor. That's one of the reasons why, in order to succeed, EVERY online company must have brochures and other forms of printed sales literature to hand out to customers and prospects."

Hyde says there are two reasons for an online company to have printed sales literature: credibility and time saving. In regards of credibility, Hyde says "people expect a 'real' company to have printed sales literature." About time saving, "people want printed material to take home and read at their leisure."

Some brochure tips published in WikiHow.com, suggest businesses not to ruin a great layout with boring text. "Your text should sparkle and entertain. It should tell your story and your business approach, in an inviting tone."

Other benefit is that brochures can be timeless, so prospects can read them again and again.

(Rice is a freelance writer and an expert in marketing and advertising)

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