Flyers, brochures and catalogues Each works in its own way and has its own function in direct mail – and each can deliver sales that the other cannot. ------------------------------------ Let's get the definition right. There are Flyers (individual pages) - issued whenever you feel like it – ideal for bringing in new customers. Flyers need to grab attention instantly. Brochures (typically 4 to 16 pages) - issued from time to time, updating your product list with latest offers, special price discounts etc – ideal for getting existing customers to buy more even if they don’t feel the immediate need. Brochures invite the customer to browse, to be tempted, to buy now rather than next month as originally planned. Catalogues (bigger than brochures) - typically covering your complete range - they can be 100 pages or more. Although many firms send them out to everyone they really should be reserved for those customers who want to see your entire range – for the people who have bought office chairs and now want to know if you sell filing cabinets. Thus each has a different function. The flyer doesn’t talk much about your company, it talks about the benefit of the product – the problem you solve. The brochures meanwhile regenerate interest and enthusiasm among the recipient. They are not intended to sit on the shelf to be referred to when a product needed, but rather they should create a need. They are read because the reader already knows who you are. This means that brochures have to be related to the reader, they have to grab attention, they have to sell benefits – but all in way that accommodates the habit we all have of flipping through glancing at each page. The unique approach Brochures ought to have something about them which unifies the selling approach. It could be a focus throughout on price, or on benefits or on the solution to particular problems. You can focus on the lifestyle of the reader, on emotions, on humour - and probably on quite a few other things - but whatever the approach is that you use, you should use it throughout. This gives the brochure its own feel – and that doesn’t have to be the same feel that the flyer which attracted attention in the first place has. You can then keep that feel for the next issue - or if it does not work too well, you can change the approach next time round. The only thing you have to keep in mind is that this is a brochure and its aim is to sell now. No matter how much you want people to keep the brochure, the chances are they won't. They’ll bin it or lose it. If it turns up a week later that is by pure chance. Which means that you have to generate attention and enthusiasm on the front page - and then, as noted above, keep the theme running. Catalogues however are meant to be kept. But the problem is you probably have a dozen rivals out there also sending out catalogues. So, what you have to do it give people a reason to keep AND REFER TO your catalogue ahead of the opposition. Just saying that you have more stock, lower prices or whatever won’t do it, because almost everyone claims that. The fact it is true in your case is neither here nor there. The solution is simple. First, only put the topic of price on the cover if you really do know you are cheaper than everyone else – and will be as long as the catalogue is in circulation. Second, if you don’t put price on the cover, put something else on that is a benefit. Don’t just take it that the customer will flip through – make the customer flip through by focussing on something interesting to the customer. Third, use the brochure to build the excitement by finding the same unique selling point and benefit for both brochure and catalogue. Free analysis of your mailshot This article is written by Tony Attwood, Chairman of Hamilton House Mailings plc. If you would like to discuss the writing or design of your mailing campaign, or indeed a single mailshot, with Tony, without cost or obligation, just call 01536 399 000, or email Creative@hamilton-house.com You can also send Tony a copy of your latest advert and he will call you back with his thoughts on how your response rate could be raised - again without cost or obligation.
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