Marketing is done online these days. At least that's what many copywriters say. This isn't true, though — tried-and-tested mediums, like print, TV and radio, are still highly effective. Now, I'm not saying don't market online. Rather, how you choose to market your products or services should be determined by who your customers are. Pretty simple.
For example, some of my work is in the charity sector — a sector which relies heavily on direct-response mail. Why? Simply because those in a position to give to charity often fall into an older age group — they prefer to receive a letter they can hold in their hands.
I recently worked for an online-based technology company. Now, you'd expect them to favour online methods, like SEO and PPC advertising, and they do. However, after conducting a focus group for one of their products, they discovered the best way to reach their customers was by way of a printed brochure — they were as surprised as anybody.
Do your customers respond best to printed brochures? In this post I outline the elements required for a brochure to be effective. If you find this useful please share. I also welcome your comments.
So, to write a sales brochure like a copywriter, here are 6 steps:
1. The front cover
The front cover is what people see first. So, it must give them a good reason to read further. For this reason, it's important to make the most of this space. Some businesses feature only their logo; others display a picture of their building. That's boring. What do your customers really want to see? I'll tell you: they want to see what you can do for them. So, featuring your most popular product or service in action usually works. Also, include a headline that encapsulates your key selling point.
2. Easy to read
Your brochure must be easy to read — no one wants to invest too much effort reading it. So, how can you make life easy for your readers? Here are some suggestions:
- Headings — use plenty of headings that explain what the following text is about. This enables people to scan for what they are looking for without reading all the text.
- Short sentences and paragraphs — this creates plenty of white space and makes the text appear less daunting.
- Bullet points — the use of bullet points is an efficient way to highlight key information and leave plenty of white space.
- Avoid industry jargon — avoid industry jargon unless you know for sure that your readers will understand.
3. Focus on benefits
What's in it for me? That's the question your readers will ask, so you should ask it too. Don't dwell on features; highlight the benefits instead. What's the difference between features and benefits? Well, features describe a product or service; benefits explain how a product or service will help your customers. For example:
- Feature — Our boots include rubber soles with sealed seems that make them water tight.
- Benefit — You will never get wet feet if you wear our boots.
If you're tired of getting wet feet, which line would get your attention?
4. Make it personal
Talk directly to your readers; use works like I, me, you and your. This is more personal and enables you to establish a rapport with your readers.
Testimonials from happy customers are powerful for supporting your claims. Don't make them too vague, though, because they'll look made up. I always include the customer's full name and the company they work for.
6. Call to action
It is imperative you have a call to action (CTA). What do you want your readers to do? Phone you? Visit your website? Come to your showroom? Whatever it is, tell them.
What makes a good call to action?
- Be specific — tell your readers exactly what you want them to do. Stick to just one action; don't ask them to do multiple things.
- Include a benefit — give your readers a reason to act. For examples, you could say, To ensure you never again get wet feet, call now to place your order.
- Tell your readers when to act — don't let your readers go away and think about it. In the example above, the CTA tells the reader to act now.
- Tell, don't ask — don't ask your readers to act, tell them. It may seem bossy, but it works.
What do you think? If you found this useful please share. Also, I welcome your comments.