Creating brochures and flyers that sell

It’s one thing to create a flyer or brochure that looks great. It’s quite another to create a flyer or a brochure that gets results.

If you’ve created one of these before, you’ll know what we are talking about. A task that seems simple at the outset brings up so many questions:

  • What do I want to say?
  • What should it look like?
  • How much copy is too much?

Yep, don’t let their small size fool you – flyers and brochures need time, thought and love in order to be successful.

So what’s the secret to getting it right? The following step-by-step formula is the one we walk our clients through to ensure their business goals flow through to the design and content of their marketing materials. It works for pretty much anything you are creating for your business – from business cards to websites and press ads – but in this example we’ve drilled down into a lot of the common hurdles our clients have faced when trying to promote their business in print.

When you get the planning right, the rest is easy.

The paperless age is yet to dawn, because customers still love things they can pick up, hold and come back to without wading through their internet browser’s bookmark bar. So if you’re wondering whether a brochure or flyer could be the missing ingredient in your marketing plan, here’s how to get started and create an effective piece of sales material for your business.

Step 1

Be clear on why you’re creating a brochure or flyer

Like anything in business, step one is to set an objective for the project.

So, for example, if you have decided your overall objective for this year is to push a specific service, it makes sense to create a brochure or flyer to help promote that particular service and fulfill that business objective.

Alternatively, you may be attending a trade show and need something to give to people to prompt them to visit your website after the event. This might even include a special offer just for those who attended the trade show, in order to make you stand out from other exhibitors.

Setting objectives will also help you to answer the questions we listed above, so that the final product has a clear message for the reader. This ensures they know exactly what to do once they’ve finished reading – whether that’s booking an appointment, passing the flyer onto a friend or visiting your website for more information.

Other examples of objectives include:

  • Push a special promotion
  • Promote a menu of services
  • Generate enquiries after an event
  • Encourage people to visit a website
  • Create a professional impression for new clients

Step 2

Make a distribution plan

How will you get your brochures and flyers out into the world? Options for this include letterbox drops, client meetings, displaying them in your business premises, taking them to networking events and using them at business expos.

Knowing how you will distribute your brochure or flyer will help you to decide what format it should take. For a big print and distribution run, a simple double-sided flyer will be a more cost-effective option. But if it’s something you want to leave with a client, then a larger brochure will make more of a lasting impression.

This also helps you to decide what format is best for you. For example, if you’re planning a letterbox run, you don’t want to design a large brochure that won’t fit in a small mailbox.

When working with a designer, these are all considerations to discuss with them to ensure that you get a solution that’s within your budget.

Step 3

Think of your audience

This is our golden rule. We are constantly asked how we know where to start a new design and the answer is always the same – we think of the person who we are designing for and what is important to them.

In fact, we’re kind of like Helen Lovejoy from The Simpsons, but we’ve replaced ‘think of the children’ with ‘think of the audience’.

So when you deciding what content to include in your brochure or flyer, ask yourself what the reader wants to know.

Questions to ask yourself include:

  • What interests them in my business?
  • What essential information do they need to know?
  • What key concerns do they have around using my products or services?
  • What will make them want to take the next step and buy from me?

This helps you to decide what information to include and what to leave out – space is precious real estate, so you need to use it wisely. And remember, you can use your brochures and flyers to direct people to your website, so there’s no need to overwhelm the reader by cramming in more information than necessary.

An example of how this process works is designing a takeaway menu for local letterboxes. Essential information includes prices, contact information and opening hours. A potential concern your reader may have is dietary requirements, so highlighting which meals are vegetarian, gluten free and dairy free is a simple way to keep them engaged. Encouraging them to take the next step could be offering a discount for first-time customers or highlighting how easy the ordering process is.

Once you know how much information you want to include, you can decide which format your brochure or flyer will take.

Step 4

Decide whether you need a brochure or a flyer

By this stage, you have everything you need to decide whether you need a brochure, which is larger, or a flyer, which is smaller.

Budget, distribution and how much copy you need to include will give you a good snapshot of which is best for you. A flyer is generally a two-sided sheet of paper, while brochures can vary from a folded down A4 sheet of paper through to larger catalogues of information.

Step 5

Have a clear call to action

This is the second golden rule of creating an effective brochure or flyer. If you want it to do the work of selling on your behalf, you need to tell people what to do once they’ve finished reading.

Examples include:

  • Claim an offer by a certain date
  • Visit the website for more information
  • Book a complimentary first appointment
  • Visit the business during a special promotion period
  • Request a quote

This brings them a step closer to purchase. To see examples of this in action, take a look at the flyers below. They have a variety of specific calls to action, including:

  • Organising a return pest inspection visit
  • Requesting a free car air-conditioning diagnosis
  • Booking a restaurant table during the festive season

Once people know the best way to engage with your business, they are more likely to take action. In situations where the reader is likely to want more information, you need to make it easy for them to find these details.

That could mean directing them to your website or a targeted landing page that has information specific to the promotion you are running. Plan this ahead of time to ensure everything is ready in time for the start of a promotion, an event or your scheduled distribution run.

Getting started

We hope we’ve got you thinking outside the box. Find more ideas by seeing other brochures and flyers we have designed, or contact us to chat about bringing your ideas to life.

We can help you hone in on your messaging and creative ways to make you stand out from the pack.