THE LEVISON LETTER
Action Ideas For Better Direct Mail,
E-mail, Web Sites & Advertising
Ivan Levison, Direct Response Copywriter
September 2006 Volume: 21 Number: 9
Eight Ideas For Better Brochures
If you're going to produce a brochure to help market
your product or service,
you'd better know what you're doing.
Unlike a humble flyer that doesn't cost very much and
can easily be reprinted,
a full-blown brochure represents quite a little investment. Even if
two- or three-color, you'll pay plenty after you're finished with
type, printing, binding, and so on.
In order to help you get the most for your money, here
are some practical brochure
tips and techniques that you can put to work next time around:
1. Keep the cover simple. Forget about trying to do
too much on the front cover.
All you need on that surface is one clean, clear concept that positions
that's about to follow.
Stay away from the clichés that everybody else
is cranking out. Please, no
more "committed to service," "dedicated to meeting
your needs," etc.
2. Consider keeping the inside front cover empty.
It gives a brochure a nice, open look. White space never killed anybody.
You don't have to jam in a message every chance you get.
Besides, since the reader holds that easily-curved cover
page at an angle
when reading, it's not the place to go into excruciating detail about
product or service's many benefits.
If you DO keep the inside cover clean, the facing page
(page 3) is a great
place to write some introductory, lead-in copy. It's the perfect spot
to do a
welcoming message, or provide a brief overview of what lies ahead
in the piece.
Keep the copy here short. No one reading your introduction
wants to dive
into Moby Dick.
3. Deal in spreads, not individual pages. With a nice-sized
piece you can
run your graphics across two pages and make use of the sweeping scale
brochure spread provides.
Why organize your piece around individual pages when
you've got visual
impact built into the medium? Again, don't be afraid of white space.
Your designer will love you!
4. Don't forget the subheadlines. They're a great way
to break up copy
and give the reader a chance to see where you're headed should they
want to read every single word of body copy.
A subheadline can make an emphatic statement, ask a
question, or be
playful or dead serious as the situation requires.
5. You can use a box for added impact. Everything doesn't
have to flow
in long columns of type. It often makes sense to drop some information
a one-point fine-ruled box. It gives the piece some extra visual interest.
6. Don't forget the questions and answers. As I've mentioned
in past issues,
a Q. & A. section is an excellent way to handle the questions
that really trouble
the reader. It's a way to deal with their concerns or resistance points
What's the right length for a Q. & A. section?
Here's the exception that proves the rule. One page
is almost always enough.
Five to eight questions ought to do it nicely.
7. Don't forget to sum up. It's the old story . . .
"Tell 'em what you're gonna tell 'em, tell 'em, tell 'em that
you've told 'em."
It is very important to summarize the points you've
been trying to make.
Otherwise your brochure just sort of trails off, leaving the piece
sense of structure. You want to control your reader and score solid
A summary can drive your major points home.
8. Remember the call to action. Shocking to say, but
many writers forget to
tell the reader what to do! Do you want people to call a sales center,
an appointment, fill out and return a postage-paid business reply
a phone call, or place an order?
Hey. You can't make them guess. You have to tell them
and provide them
with motivating reasons that will get them moving. This is where you
(tastefully) apply direct selling techniques in a corporate identity
How To Get In Touch
Direct Response Copywriting
14 Los Cerros Drive
Greenbrae, CA 94904
Phone: (415) 461-0672
Fax: (415) 461-7738
Web Site: http://www.levison.com
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