In Design Tips, Direct Mail Boot Camp, Direct Mail Copywriting

A nice brochure can grow your leads’ interest in your business, but a well designed and professionally printed brochure can close the deal! Producing an original brochure is not a quick, inexpensive task, however. So keep things simple by sticking with the classic trifold, rather than the more complex eight or sixteen-panel options. Here we have compiled six basic steps to create your own original trifold. Let’s get started!

1. Set a clear goal

Start your project with a creative brief that will set up your project for success.
First, set clear goals for your brochure. Not having a clear purpose will result in a vague message, while having too many goals will confuse your readers. What response do you expect and what actions do you want your readers to take? What should your ad make them think, feel and do? Here are some examples:

  • Remind your old customers about you and entice them to come back with an attractive offer;
  • Drive them to your website where they can learn more about your products and services;
  • Build a buzz around a new product launch;
  • Support the selling efforts by helping to overcome objections.

Whatever your goals are, write them down and limit them up to three, your brochure can’t accomplish more than that.

Step 2. Set a Budget

Second, set the budget limits and constraints. For a friendly budget brochure marketing you need to:

  • Estimate a reasonable price for the copywriting. If you’re not comfortable writing it by yourself, consider hiring a professional writer. Expect to spend from $100 to $300 for a professional copywriting.
  • If you aren’t a professional designer, don’t overestimate your graphic design skills. Your business will rather lose than win with ineffective brochure design, so hire a professional designer. By the way, our design services start at $55 per hour.
  • If you’re designing your own brochures, you can give your brochures a professional look by using free design templates. Canva and  Lucidpress offer thousands of tailor-made templates for you to choose from. Select one that is closer to your brand’s identity to make things simple. Or make extensive alterations by experimenting with colors and typography. Upload your logo and the images of your company, personalize the text, and you are ready to go.

Step 3. Know your Audience

While you’re creating a piece of content or design, keep your customers in mind.  Who are they? Sketch a customer profile by thinking of their gender, age, stage of life and location. Refine the profile by adding the lifestyle criteria: their daily activities, interests and hobbies, values and beliefs, goals and challenges.

The better you know your audience, the more effectively you can create appealing content ideas, make formats decisions, handle positioning and placement, and promote the content.  Forbes

Step 4: Choose the Brochure Size

When choosing the size for your trifold, consider its purpose. The standard 8.5”x11” size is commonly used by businesses to promote their products and services. This is the most popular size for tri-folds because it is able to easily fit into a standard envelope when folded. It is also one of the cheapest sizes to produce. Though you can order them in other sizes such as 8.5” x 14”, 11” x 17”, and 11” x 25.5”. So ask yourself, will your trifold be mailed or exchanged hand to hand? How much space do you need for the information you include? And finally, what does your audience need? For instance, you might use a larger brochure with big type for a target audience with eyesight trouble.

Step 5: The Copy and Images

Knowing the size of your brochure will help you to decide on the text and images needed for the project. Prepare your text and images before creating your design in order to determine your layout, fonts, and overall color scheme.

Compose your main points using bold headlines and subheadings, this will enable your readers to easily determine what the most important information is. Building a solid structure will also make it easy to organize topics and ideas so that the reader can easily pick out the information that is most important to them.

Grab your reader’s attention right away with bright colors, or beautiful imagery, but make sure that your content is substantial. Avoid using phrases that come off as sarcastic, jokey, or industry jargon.

Use graphics and photos that compliment your copy, by highlighting the important points you are trying to make. Make sure not to use images that are low resolution, or the wrong size. Photos for print should always be at least 300 dpi.

Step 6: Filling the Template

If the front cover is the title, and the back cover contains the contact details, then the inside should tell the story.

The front cover should be the most visually appealing and invite the reader to open it and find out more. Keep the front simple: just your logo, name, and an interesting tagline to summarize your offer.

The back cover is the perfect place to include your contact information: phone number, website, address, and social media. It is also a great place to add coupon or QR code.

The inside panels of your brochure are the most important. Here is where you should put:

  • Testimonials from past clients.
  • A short description or history of your company.
  • List of your products and services
  • A short sales pitch or your company motto.
  • Some details about how you interact with your clients.
  • Instructions on how to get started.
  • Call to Action: ”Give us a Call Today” or “Visit www.mywebsite.com.”

Step 7: Tweaking Your Design

Use easy to read fonts like Helvetica, Times New Roman or Garamond. Use sans serif fonts for the body text and serif or script fonts for the headline and subheadings. Choose complementary fonts that still contrast enough to look distinctive. Limit your font choice to a maximum of three. Using too many fonts can make your brochure look messy.

Emphasize important key messages by highlighting them in bold or italic, or using bigger size fonts. But use big fonts for the headline and call to action. Adjust the font size to match the importance of the information.

Break longer block texts into bullet points that are easier to read. Align design elements properly for a neat and tidy layout. Balance block texts with negative space to avoid overwhelming your reader.

Step 8. Choosing a Printer

The quality of your marketing materials affects the perception your audience has of you and your products. A trifold printed on a thin and flimsy stock will give the impression that the producer is cheap and uninvested. While a heavy, matte stock with vivid colors will make a good strong impression.

So, what are your printing options?

Digital printing is best used to deliver quick, small runs. It has the ability to produce metallic colors, and print on a wide variety of stock coatings.

Traditional offset printing is suitable for simple, high-quality prints with consistent color and large runs over 2,000 pieces.  Also, it supports a large variety of paper type with custom finishes.

While digital printing is more advantageous for short runs, with offset printing, the more you print- the cheaper is the price per piece. As a general rule, if it’s under 2,000 pieces, it will be cheaper to produce on a digital printer.

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We hope that the information provided in this guide is helpful in creating your own trifold brochure. If you are interested in having a design created by one of our professional designers, give us a call! We have creative professionals who will design any type of brochure that is sure to attract your audience, as well as high quality digital and offset printers, for a professional finish.

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