One of my pet peeves is when a small business owner tries to pack everything they can possibly think of into their brochure, then they sit back and wonder why their brochure isn’t earning the return on investment they’d hoped for.
You see, they mistakenly believe brochures are printed to inform customers.
The fact is that brochures are not tidy little information-givers. They’re marketing tools and should be strategically designed as such. That’s why less is more when it comes to printing brochures: less clutter, more sales.
Your brochure should have a singular and definitive goal, and that goal should be designed before you jot down the first line of copy. Your goal might be to motivate customers to call you for a demo, visit a website, sign up for a newsletter, make a purchase or visit your retail location. You can answer all their questions when they follow up.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t give any information; but it does mean you should only tell your customers what they need to know in order to be motivated to take the next step in the purchasing process.
Tell your customers:
Anything else is extraneous information that gets in the way of your marketing pitch. Naturally, each of these points manifests itself differently for every individual company and campaign. One company might promote itself as trustworthy because it is a family business with decades of experience, while another in the same industry might promote its trustworthiness by explaining the benefits of a new cutting-edge technology. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes to determine what would motivate you to buy. That’s what your brochure should contain, and nothing more.
Ask yourself: Is this information going to help me make a sale? Why? Justify every aspect of your brochure by demonstrating how it will help you make sales; if a block of text or design element has no sales purpose, cut it. Don’t let your pride get in the way of profits.
Employ your graphic design prowess to draw customers in to your key selling points, offer, and call to action; but don’t clutter. White space is inviting space, it helps customers focus their attention, and it’s comfortable. It can be your best design and marketing tool because it frames your other elements, without the need for frames.
The fact that we live in an increasingly technological world is not a groundbreaking idea to most. This trend, of course, also applies to the business world. It is an undeniable fact that almost all data, including contact details, are stored electronically nowadays. Regardless of how technologically-based business has become, the fact remains that plain old business cards can still be relevant.
Below are some reasons why business cards are still important even in 2012:
Business Cards Increase Name Recall
Simple truth: Human beings (this includes your potential customers) does increase the chances of being remembered – no matter the actual physical layout of the card or what kind of work you’re in. Wouldn’t you rather see a customer walking away with your business card than walking away with nothing? Business cards really do help a person stand out and be relevant.
Business Cards Are Easier to Hand Out in Large Crowds
Given the technological savvy of most consumers these days, business cards should theoretically have been phased out. After all, you could simply store names, addresses, and phone numbers on your phone now. As is true with a lot of other ideas that SEEM like they should be true, this is not always the case. Storing numbers electronically is fine when on a one-on-one setting. But imagine the horror should you find yourself somewhere like a business convention. Who has the time to store every number in your phone? And after it’s all said and done, would you even remember who these new friends are with nothing but a name and a number to help you?
With business cards, you can continue giving your pitch to that important investor without that awkward pause whenever he tries to type in your contact info into his smartphone – he could do that at a later time like, you know, when you’re done talking.
You can literally throw business cards around a convention and someone will surely pick one up. While that last statement sounds ridiculous (and not something I’d recommend you try; but hey, they’re your business cards so do whatever you want with them), I’d say it’s still better than introducing yourself one person at a time hoping someone actually stores your number for reference.
But if you’re all about technology – you know, the kind that can barely watch TV shows on a TV anymore, fret not. Business cards can be modern too…
Business Cards Can Be Customized to Fit Your Market
Your business cards don’t have to be dull. Try to be creative so you can have business cards that are custom built for your customers. You can print business cards in custom shapes. You’d be surprised by the variety of business cards out today. Again, you are only limited by your imagination. Use your cards, not only to provide contact information, but to also promote your company and brand.
Business Cards Are Good for SEO
I know how much marketers have thrown the term “SEO” around and for good reason. These days, almost everything is done online. Even if you’re not running an e-commerce business, there’s a good chance you still have an online presence (you should have at least a Facebook page). Having those URLs in your business cards will help boost your inbound traffic.
There you have it. These are just a few of the reasons why business cards are important.
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