Not all marketing activity is easy to measure – sometimes you need to trust your experience over the security of metrics.

In the case of brochure design, it can be especially difficult to determine your effectiveness. Print costs don’t always scale in a linear a fashion, which means you’re likely to print only one version at a time and won’t have the opportunity to make tweaks or run tests after the fact.

To ensure you end up with a brochure that works well for your client’s business, you should start with a clear brief outlining the company’s purpose, target audience and any elements of design or content that are especially important.

Below, we’ll cover five types of brochure design and give examples of businesses who are doing it right with the help of 99designers.

1. Direct mail

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As its name suggests, a direct mail brochure is sent out to clients and prospects by post. Because the recipient hasn’t asked you to send it, they’re unlikely to give it very much time or attention.

This means you shouldn’t try to convey lots of complex information. Instead, focus on making the brochure attractive, easy-to-read and with a clear call to action (CTA). Depending on your audience and your business, this CTA may be to collect an email address or phone number, offer a store coupon or send them to a promotional landing page.

Welcome Funds demonstrates a great example of a clear, easy-to-read direct mail brochure that uses a variety of calls to action.

2. Sales support

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Sales support brochures act as a support tool for the sales team, which they can use to point out key points during their pitch. They can be particularly useful if you have a wide range of products or if the team has a lot of complex information to get across.

These brochures should highlight key features and high-level benefits clearly through the use of headlines, bullet points, graphs and images – leaving the details to the sales person.

These pages from Wynbox’s brochure are a great example of how a brochure can be used by a sales team to help communicate the benefits of their service and explain a complex integration process when visiting a potential client.

3. Inquiry response

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Inquiry response brochures are sent out to prospects who have requested more information. Because the recipient has already expressed interest, you don’t need to introduce the company all over again. Instead, this type of brochure should focus on the desire and action stage of the AIDA sales process.

As with all brochures, make sure that it’s attractive, enticing and easy to read. Communicate with images if you can, and don’t shy away from providing lots of detail. This type of brochure should reinforce why someone would purchase your product by highlighting benefits and backing up claims with plenty of supporting data, case studies and testimonials. It should also guide the recipient towards next steps.

Inquiry response brochures are highly targeted. With this in mind you should consider creating a specialized response brochure for each major product or service the company offers.

Sunrise Solar’s brochure has been specifically produced for residential customers and does a great job of reminding the recipient about the benefits of solar power and why they should use their company.

4. Leave behind

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Leave behind brochures are used by sales teams to leave behind at the prospect’s home or workplace after they’ve delivered their sales pitch. If a prospective client is meeting with your team, it’s safe to assume they’ve also been in touch with competitors. That’s why it’s important for the leave behind to keep your brand top-of-mind for the client after your meeting.

Use of compelling imagery, client case studies and testimonials are effective for this purpose. If your prospect keeps the brochure (rather than pop it straight in the recycling bin), it needs to look great and offer useful information that will help in making their final decision – such as a price list, quote or product guarantee. You’ll want this brochure to act as a reminder of all key points delivered during the sales meeting, as well as any emotions you want your brand to evoke.

Your team typically won’t meet with the final decision maker, so the prospect that did meet with you will need to act as a champion for your business. If they’re going to be an effective champion, they need to be armed with a concise summary of the need you’re addressing and the benefits of using your business to address this need. See this great example from iNet-Media above.

With leave behind brochures, you don’t need to provide a CTA. Since you already have an existing relationship with the prospect, you can lead this process by getting in touch with them rather than waiting for them to call you. That said, you should still include contact details such as email, phone and website to make it easy for the prospect to get in touch with you.

5. Point-of-sale

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Point-of-sale brochures are left wherever a prospective customer could impulsively pick one up. They’re especially handy at exhibitions or trade shows.

Depending on the exhibition’s theme, attendees may not be actively looking for your product or don’t know your business exists at all. This means they aren’t aware they have a need your business can solve.

The key purpose of the point-of-sale brochure is to grab their attention and generate an initial bit of interest. When my company launched our HR software that we had developed, we exhibited at a trade show. Our main objective was to conduct as many demos of our HR system as possible which we supported by producing the brochure below. The brochure acted as a tool for our sales team to identify delegates that might be interested in a quick demo of our HR system.


In my experience brochures are a great sales and marketing tool that can be used throughout every stage of the buying cycle. They grab attention, generate interest, build desire and drive people to take action. Their ROI can be difficult – if not impossible – to measure, but that doesn’t mean your business shouldn’t use them. I hope this article has given you some ideas for how brochures can help to promote your business.

David Richter is the marketing manager for Octopus HR Software. We develop online HR systems to help SMEs manage their employees efficiently and give HR teams valuable insights into their people data.

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