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Use a Brochure

Although many businesses believe that brochures have given way to the modern e-commerce store, their effectiveness is still impressive.

Many businesses can use a brochure to entice their target audience to investigate further or make a purchase.

Learn why brochures are still useful in today’s online market and how you can increase their effectiveness here.


Why Should You Still Use A Brochure?

Brochures are very effective selling tools if they are used correctly. They give your clients a physical connection to your brand, which can increase their engagement and uptake of offers.

The physical brochure is often less forgettable than online marketing materials, which disappear out of view and mind as soon as the browser has been closed.

Major European discount brands like Netto, Lidl and Aldi use brochures to attract their customers back to the store every week by advertising what stock they will have available soon. This is particularly good for these brands as the stock on offer changes regularly.

Other major European supermarkets publish brochures to advertise their special offers for that week.

Either method is tailored to entice the customer to return back to their brand by advertising what will be available soon. This excites the audience and persuades the majority of them to return to the store.

However, it is not just food retailers who can use brochures. Many other consumable manufactures and sellers can also use brochures to advertise their products.

Often the brochure is designed to reach audiences who find it difficult to access sales material online. For instance, toy stores use brochures so children can have uncontrolled viewing of the products on offer. This is effective as children are more susceptible to advertising and can have limited access to the internet.

Industries where the consumer has significant options for purchasing might benefit from offline brochures. Electronic stores are a classic example.


Why Do Brochures Work So Well?

Brochures work well at marketing products and brands because they take advantage of two psychological factors.

The first is the imagery of the product. Images are processed very quickly by the brain and when the product is included with members of the target audience smiling, it creates a positive feeling with the reader. This increases the chances the reader will enquire or buy the product.

The second element is the physical sensation the audience has when they are holding the brochure. This is an advantage brochures have which the Internet cannot compete with.

Physical contact with the advertising materials creates a positive sensation with the reader and has been proven in numerous studies to increase uptake.

You can also attract the attention of your audience to specific offers or products with the use of clever design. This allows you to increase sales of certain products that have high profit margins or where you have excessive stock.


What Are The Negatives Of Brochures?

Besides the additional production costs, brochures do have some drawbacks. For instance, brochures are not trackable. With internet users, you can monitor who has read your content and when they return to your site. With brochures you have limited data.

This can affect how you perceive your brochure has performed.

You could get some data back by including tokens inside the brochure for certain special offers. However, the results are limited to only those who use the coupons. There may be many other customers who have returned because of what you have advertised but not used the coupon for some reason.

Brochures can also be time intensive for your brand. You need to control exactly how much you publish in each edition. Otherwise the time and costs can spiral out of control. You might also want to consider that too many items advertised in your brochure can look clumsy.

Service industries, where there are no physical elements to the service might suffer from poor uptake. An example would be accountants who might have difficulty identifying what they can use as a promotional image. However, entertainment and experience services could benefit from using a brochure.


What Elements Should You Include In The Brochure To Increase Effectiveness

There are many different types of brochures being published and each industry has variety. For instance, some supermarkets will publish brochures which are just a series of pictures with advertising text. Other supermarkets create brochures which are more like full magazines with articles and recipes.

The latter can be a good way of increasing the retention of your marketing material. For example, if you are an events company, you can include articles on how to host the perfect party for a groom, bride, etc.

Ensure your articles have high value and can be used in the long term. Don’t make them too promotional as this can cause abandonment for the content.

You might also want to include adverts in the brochure to advertise strategic partners or other paying clients. This can help you cover the costs of producing the brochure. However, too many adverts can disrupt the flow of your brochure and cause many readers to avoid reading it.

The images in the brochure should also be very effective at drawing attention. Because images are more effective at allowing audiences to make a purchasing decision there should limited text around them. At most you want to include the price (plus the discounted price if applicable), key features and when the offer is available.

Whenever possible, have people who match your target audience included in the images. Ensure they are smiling and looking like they are enjoying the use of the product or service. This will increase the uptake.

If you are looking to sell a particular product, give that product more space on the page and position it in the top left. This is where the majority of a reader’s attention is drawn to. Products with low profit margins could be included in the bottom right where the least attention is.



Brochures are a particularly useful marketing material to reach those who find it difficult to use a computer and as a way to retain customers after they have left your physical store.

There are many elements to include in the production of your brochure but by getting it right for your audience you can increase your sales.


Action Steps:

  • Design and publish a periodic brochure.
  • Split test your brochure to see how effective your campaign is.

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