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Marketing Brochure Tips: Why Your Brochure Stinks (And How to Make It Stunning Instead)

Photo of a fake marketing brochure. It has "This Brochure Sucks" as the headline with a subhead of "We Win Awards and Stuff." Also on the cover is a cheesy stock photo of three office workers smiling and giving the thumbs up. On the inside panel, it says, "All About Us &  Our Company. We do crazy cool things. And now you get to read all about how awesome we are. Did we mention all the awards we have received? Truly we are something else. You are so lucky to be reading this. We started our company out of a love for doing cool, exciting things. And now we can do awesome stuff for you, too. So go ahead and call us so we can try our awesome services." And on another panel of this fake brochure it says, "We do high-quality work at a price point you might think is pretty reasonable. Buy now!" and below that it says, "Our Amazing Accomplishments. We won the coveted 2022 Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence by the Montgomery Burns Association, and many other awards over the years. We are quite accomplished, as you can see." Fake brochure by Super Copy Editors to illustrate the qualities of a badly written marketing brochure.
The marketing brochure tips in this article will help you quickly recognize if your brochure stinks.

A well-written and properly constructed marketing brochure is a powerful business tool.

  • Brochures are relatively inexpensive to produce.
  • They are also cost-effective. Their low production cost is usually offset by the sales they bring in.
  • You can easily distribute them to customers, vendors, suppliers, and anyone else with a passing interest in what you’re selling.

However, just because something is easy to produce doesn’t mean that all brochures will be effective.

Some marketing brochures can even be downright awful—and yours could be one of them. It might be hard to accept, but you need to be honest with yourself or your business will suffer.

Fortunately, these problems are easy to fix.

The most common issues with writing a marketing brochure boil down to a few simple causes. The marketing brochure tips in this article will help you quickly recognize if and where your brochure stinks, as well as how you can make the necessary changes so you can get your marketing plan back on track.

Let’s get started.

In a rush? Get this article as a PDF guide so you won’t miss these tips!

Why Your Marketing Brochure Stinks

If your marketing brochure is not converting readers to customers, there are usually two reasons:

  1. You’re focused on your brand or company more than the customer.
  2. The design and quality of the brochure is lacking.

If you can fix these two issues, you can resolve most of your marketing brochure problems.

How to Make Your Marketing Brochure Stunning

Now that we’ve figured out the problems with your brochure, here are some expert marketing brochure tips to convert more customers and increase sales.

Put the Customer First

The first rule of business is the customer is always right. The first rule of marketing is to put your customers’ needs first.

When you write your brochure, it needs to show potential customers that you understand their pain points and have a solution for them.

You remember pain points, right?

Here’s a refresher:

This is a chart titled "Addressing Customer Pain Points." It has a cycle graphic in the middle with arrows going in a circle. At the top, it says, "Start with your solution and then conduct research to identify the actual problems 
(pain points) it addresses for your target audience." The next area, going clockwise, says, "As you research their pain points, listen to the words and phrasing that your target audience uses." Next, it says, "Your marketing should truly address their pain points rather than simply promote features. Keep your writing focused on people, not products." And then it says, "Build trust by using your audience’s own language to empathize and explain how your solution alleviates their pain." In the very middle of the chart, there is a section that explains: "Pain point: 'I need to stop missing project deadlines.' Solution: 'I need project management software.'” Chart by Super Copy Editors.

The purpose of your brochure is not to get your brand “out there,” brag about company achievements or awards, or even push for hard sales.

If you push for sales too hard, your message is too braggy, or the content simply lacks substance, your marketing brochure has become little more than a flyer advertisement.

And do you know what happens to flyers? People quickly toss them out with the recycling.

You want to write a marketing brochure that people will actually hold on to.

The top priorities for your marketing brochure are:

  • Finding your customers’ pain points
  • Establishing trust
  • Expressing how your company can help solve their problems

Put the customers’ needs first when you write a marketing brochure, and you’re guaranteed to see greater success.

This is a chart with two illustrations of the same vacuum cleaner, one with the headline FEATURES and the other with the headline BENEFITS. Under FEATURES there are little labels that say, "Revolutionary cordless design"; "Detachable wand"; "Dual-purpose vacuum and mop"; "Large on/off switch"; "6-layer HEPA filtration system"; and "Large-capacity battery (3,000 mAh)" and then under BENEFITS are labels that say, "Move around freely without tripping over a cord"; "Easily clean those hard-to-reach areas"; "Vacuum up dirt and shine your floors at the same time"; "Turn it on and off with just one finger"; "Breathe cleaner air and relieve your allergy symptoms"; and "Enjoy up to 2.5 hours of uninterrupted cleaning." Chart by Super Copy Editors.

Warning Signs That Your Marketing Brochure Isn’t Focused on the Customer

Here are three marketing brochure tips and warning signs that your brochure is talking too much about you and not enough about the customer.

  1. You’re Focusing on Your Product or Service’s Features and Not Its Benefits: This is a classic mistake for marketing brochures. Companies want to brag about how great their products and services are instead of informing the customer how they can help. Most people could care less about how your product or service works—they want to know how it can help them.
  2. You’re Talking About the Competition: A marketing brochure is about your company and how your product or service will help your customers. Talking about your competition will bring “comparison shopping” into play. Instead of solely thinking about your brand, the customer has another in mind to evaluate and possibly choose.
  3. You’re Focusing on Your Business and Not the Customer: Another common mistake companies make on their marketing brochures is treating the brochures like promotional material. Awards, accolades, history, and other company facts are useless if the reader doesn’t choose you to solve their problems. Use the brochure’s prime real estate to show how you can solve the reader’s issue. Add your corporate information on the back to solidify their choice.

Once readers pick up your brochure, the main idea is to get them to buy what you’re selling. Focus the content on them, and you will have more success.

Now you know what to put in your brochure to convert readers. But how do you get them to pick it up in the first place? After all, your marketing brochure can’t convert readers to customers if no one is reading it.

Don’t Miss: 7 Persuasive Writing Techniques to Help You Craft Powerful Marketing Copy

Pulled quote that says, "Your marketing brochure must  do two things for best results:  #1. Focus on your audience. #2. Have eye-catching design." From Super Copy Editors

Marketing Brochure Tips to Get Your Brochure Noticed

Robert Watson, writing for MillennialEYE, a publication for ophthalmologists, shared a story that illustrates how the look and feel of a marketing brochure can create an emotional impact:

“Recently, while filming a laser cataract surgery marketing video for a client, I asked one of the surgeon’s patients why she chose to have laser cataract surgery at his practice. She showed me brochures from two practices her optometrist recommended, both of which offered laser cataract surgery.”

  • “One was a trifold produced by a device company, with the practice’s contact information stamped on the back.”
  • “The other was an 8″ x 8″, 16-page brochure printed on linen paper and filled with lifestyle photos, patient testimonials, patient-friendly procedural graphics, and a convincing story about why a patient should choose that practice.”

“She said to me as she held them up, “Which of these two practices would you go to?’”

The lesson for you? Don’t settle for good enough.

Here are some additional ways to create a lasting impact with your brochure.

  • Use High-Quality Paper: First impressions matter. Use paper with a glossy or matte finish that has a thickness of at least 170 grams per square meter.
  • Ensure Your Headings Are Concise, Visible, and Informative: Most people will only skim your brochure. Ensure your headings are easy to read, and use brief descriptions to add supporting information.
  • Eliminate Unnecessary Words or Sentences: Your brochure needs to be informative but skimmable. Keep it brief. Embrace white space. Use eye-catching images.

Charts and graphs like the ones below can help create visually appealing marketing brochures:

This is a chart showing 20 different types of charts and graphs. Shown are: pie chart, column chart, histogram, graph, area chart, bar chart, gauge chart, bubble chart, donut chart, scatter chart, treetop, stock analysis, polar diagram, table, Gantt chart, financial analysis, org chart, combo chart, mind map, and Venn diagram.
(Illustration: Shutterstock)

Finally, always be sure to include relevant contact information for your business and a call to action to encourage customers to reach out to you for more information.

This will warm them up for the next step of the process, bringing you that much closer to a sale.

Don’t forget! Download “Marketing Brochure Tips: Why Your Brochure Stinks (And How to Make It Stunning Instead)” to keep it handy and take action on it. Click here to download it now.

Final Thoughts

By following these marketing brochure tips, you should now have a stunning marketing brochure.

Done right, your brochure will be a highly effective marketing tool for your business.

When you’re ready for a final polish, contact Super Copy Editors for a free quote for professionally proofreading your marketing brochure

Our expert team of editors will not only catch any spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, but we will also ensure your text is concise, logical, and compelling so that you get fantastic results with your brochure. Get your proofreading quote now.

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Dave Baker

View posts by Dave Baker
Hi, I’m Dave Baker, founder and copy chief of Super Copy Editors. I have more than 25 years of professional proofreading and copy editing experience, including work for The Nation magazine, The New York Times, and The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, where I shared two staff Pulitzer Prizes. At Super Copy Editors, we’re passionate about helping agencies, marketing teams, and education companies refine and polish their text to give them confidence and ensure success. Learn more here.

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