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Drilling Deeper

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Sales Literature, Brochures, Newsletters, Direct Mail

Collateral material, as it's often referred to in the communications business, encompasses all manner of printed pieces, from business cards to brochures, newsletters to direct mail flyers. What distinguishes collateral materials from other types of marketing communications is that you control the look and content, as well as who sees the piece.

How do you know what you need?

Logos, Business Cards, Letterhead

If you're just starting out, try to keep things simple. It's not uncommon for a new business to waste precious resources on the development of a fancy logo and printed materials. On the other hand, changing a logo can be an expensive venture for an established firm just take an inventory of  all the places your logo appears!

  • As you plan your print pieces, keep in mind that print colors and computer screen colors are different. We'll help you choose and convert colors between print and online platforms.


Brochures and Sales Literature

If your prospective customers frequently ask you to send them material about your company you may need a brochure.

Brochures are among the most complex printed materials to produce. Your biggest decision will be what to leave OUT! Good brochures are graphically interesting without distracting from the message. The layout should direct the reader, and the writing should be appropriate to your target market.

Think about how you will use your brochures. Will you mail them as an introductory piece about your firm, or will you use them for follow-up at the conclusion of a sales call?

  • Will you fax copies of your brochure or sales literature? If so, be careful about images that can become "muddy."
  • We'll also want to talk with you about "shelf life" how long you want your brochure to be relevant. Some companies like to use folders with card inserts that can be changed periodically.


Case Histories

People in service businesses often find that case histories are an excellent sales tool, provided the prospective client is in the same industry or has a similar problem. They also migrate well to your website.


Newsletters are a wonderful way to keep in contact with customers and build loyalty. They provide you with a way to soft-sell your company's image and products, to nurture needs and to create preferences.

You do need to commit to a regular schedule marketers say at least four times a year for printed newsletters, although we've seen good newsletters done successfully with a three times annual schedule. Your customers will actually look forward to reading their next issue when it arrives!

e-mail newsletters need to be done more frequently, at least in alternate months. The e-mail format offers less real estate for your copy, but you can effectively link to landing pages if you have more to say that will interest your readers.

  • Tip: If you've been thinking about doing a newsletter, you may already have a file of ideas. Try not to cram too much into your first issue - you may set a standard that will be hard to maintain.


Direct Mail Flyers, Letters and Postcards

Invitations to seminars, new product announcements, letters of introduction and the like can be mailed to a list of prospects you develop yourself, or you can purchase directories or mailing lists. We have companies that we can recommend for this purpose.

The success of your direct mail campaign depends directly on how good your mailing list is. We can also suggest a variety of proven design and copywriting techniques for increasing the rate of return. Combining direct mail with telemarketing can also be helpful.

  • A printer can often handle the mailing for you, either using labels or a computer-generated list of addresses.
  • If you are going to use direct mail frequently, you may want to purchase a post office permit number (your mailing house may also let you use theirs).  We keep postage costs in mind when planning the design of your materials; different sizes generate different rates.


A cautionary note about "re-purposing" literature

Some companies try to save money by putting pdfs of their brochures, newsletters and direct mail pieces on their website. While we can migrate your material directly to the Internet using Adobe Acrobat, or modify the files slightly for posting on your website, people absorb material quite differently from their monitor and the printed page. We recommend that you approach re-purposing with caution!

From newsletters for investors, bank employees, remodeling contractors and CAD users to putting logos on a slinky when our clients said, "can you do it?" we did. Tell us about what you need!


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